So I have been MIA the past couple months! Oops!
I want to start writing more consistently - and shorter entries for my sanity so I want to start by sharing what we have been up to!
So the Thursday before NYE we decided to take off and go on a road trip down south. On our map, we had the few states northwest of Florida that we didn't hit on our long road trip back in the summer. So off we went!
Arkansas - I'll be frank. There wasn't much to do here. We went to the Big Dam Bridge. Sure enough, it's a big, damn bridge!
However, there was this fun photo op! We were there pretty early in the day. I'm sure the nightlife would have been fun!
We then went to Hot Springs National Park. This would be my least favorite National Park we ever have been to. I would never recommend going here. Reasoning? It truly was a tourist trap where we had to see through the shops along Bathhouse Row and envision what used to be - HOT SPRINGS. There were some glimpses as to what it once was with some public...fountains and obviously touring the bathhouses. However, there are only so many bathroom changing stalls I can look at and quite honestly these bathhouses, which included gyms, had some 'devices' like stretching machines that looked like torturing devices!
Stain glass window in a bathhouse.
From there, we moved onto this gorgeous, natural chapel I had read a lot about online. Raised Catholic, I have always found visiting churches a bit fascinating. It's amazing how different each can be. From visiting the Sistine Chapel to my home church, everything is beautiful in its own way. I'll just let the picture speak for itself.
We moved onto Louisiana where we toured the Tabasco factory on Avery Island, Jungle Gardens also on Avery Islands, and USS Kidd. This was awesome and a fun time! We then went down to New Orleans - of course we stayed near Bourbon Street.
Tabasco is a self-guided tour. We didn't know that everything was made in the US - win for them, we won't buy any other hot sauce if possible! Also the gift shop is BOMB. So cheap and so many options. Freebies too for turning in your ticket.
We bought the duel ticket for Jungle Gardens on Avery Island as well - so we went over there and got even more freebies. See pics below including USS Kidd.
Fun on the Tour - can't take us anywhere!
Buddha Temple in Jungle Gardens, Avery Island.
St. Louis Cathedral
Bourbon Street - where a man tried to get $40 for putting soap on my boots...
We went and spent a lot of time at Vicksburg. So easy to do, if you ever go, make sure you set aside time. Pretty much when you go in, you're in. You drive through the entire thing, maybe a dozen places you can get out and visit - 1 structure still standing and some memorials. Illinois' was BEAUTIFUL!
We had to be back to Illinois for a family gathering New Years Day, so we ventured back up. After the party, we headed north. The original plan was to go to Minnesota. After I started digging, it was hard to find places to go in the state (visit) or open, as the observance for New Years Day was Monday. We ended up staying in Madison. Y'all... it is HARD to find a place open on a holiday to even EAT at in Madison!
The next day we ventured to Cave of the Mounds and New Glarius Brewing - to all my friends in the area, this is a FUN day trip!!
After this trip, it leaves Jason and I to visit 17 states, mostly east coast, together. 2 - Alaska and Hawaii - that we have in our books (we already visited Alaska a couple weeks ago).
This ended up being much longer than I planned - typical! Sorry guys!
Coming soon..... ALASKA DETAILS!!
As well as - a feature of a nature photographer that I just may be related to! 😉
An adventurous soul, a kind heart, and a sarcastic mouth. You never know which you will get.