College Dreams & Other Things (or Summer Road Trip 2014- Part 1)

This summer we wanted to take a road trip that consisted of touring colleges that my daughter is considering next year, with some fun thrown in.
The plan was to make a giant loop and hit every school from here (central Arkansas) to DC and back with good dance programs- BUT of course with only one week to do it, we ended up with a MUCH smaller loop… (only 1300 miles… so glad we opted for the small trip!)
Day 1:
We made it to Memphis by lunchtime and stopped by the Memphis Zoo.
Goofing off with the Panda bears at the zoo


Boys +5 years at the zoo
Next we headed a few blocks over for a quick tour of the beautiful
Rhodes College in Memphis, TN
“Rhodes looks like Hogwarts!”


We pushed on and got to Nashville for the night.  (I’d made reservations as we drove in the car on  We stayed across the street from Vanderbilt.
Vandy @ night
Day 2:
We’d made arrangements to tour Vanderbilt after lunch, so we visited the Parthenon in nearby Centennial Park.  My kids are huge Rick Riordan fans (author of the Percy Jackson series) and we like to make “Percy Jackson” stops when we travel.  In Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief,  Percy and the gang stop by the Parthenon to obtain a magical pearl.  The museum inside the Parthenon even has some notes from the movie and props, which the boys loved.
Parthenon Fun

After a quick lunch at a quaint old diner (place was cuter than the food was) then headed to Vanderbilt for the tour.

Elliston’s Diner
What a gorgeous campus.  No wonder it’s so expensive!  
The tour was fantastic in itself.


This is a DORM @ Vanderbilt


After the tour we hit the road.  Emily’s Butler tour was Thursday morning and we had to make it to Indianapolis!


We’re back! Disney was fun. This fall break the kids have is going to be nice. Great deals on vacations, good weather, small crowds! Now for some shameless pics of my kids…
(All taken with my phone so forgive the bad quality.)

We happened to be there during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Oktoberfest, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and German Reunification Day which was fun too. (We didn’t make it to the Halloween Party for 2 reasons-

1) It would have been $420 more for us to go.
2) The kids can’t eat any food coloring so candy would have been a problem!

We had loads of fun anyway, and on the last day we went to the parks it was a special fireworks show which was the best I’ve EVER seen. Also Magic Kingdom was open until 1am that night and we actually stayed all day which ended up being really neat. The kids were great, except for maybe two small incidents- not the easiest thing for a severely hypoglycemic kid with sensory issues going into a crowded park- but he only had one melt down. The youngest had his on the plane which lasted a good ten minutes. The worst thing was that we were the ONLY family with kids on that flight! Talk about business people praying they weren’t sitting next to us! He crashed and slept the rest of the way which was good for all.
I am now trying to wade through the laundry. Tonight Emily and I go see “Mamma Mia!” which I’m really looking forward to also!

On Vacations…

My cousin has a new fun Mr.Linky on her site. Here’s my answer…

Oh, I love to travel. Luckily my honey does too. Some of my faves…

Coba, Mexico (on the steps to a pyramid)

With family in Playa del Carmen

We love Quintana Roo, state in Mexico. We honeymooned there 17 yrs ago. We went every year for awhile. A couple of times with friends and once with family. We like to stay in the Iberostar chain hotels, but now our family is larger (and they only allow 4 to a room) we haven’t been back but once I guess. Have to rent a house there soon!
City Museum

Then there is St. Louis. What an awesome family trip! Last year we drove up and hit all the hot spots (City Museum, Arch, zoo, Transportation museum, Blue Owl Bakery…) FUN!
And San Antonio! We rode the train there over Spring Break and had a fantastic trip. We stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa (I sooo recommend this place for families! Free bikes and trails, fantastic pool and beach, close to Sea World, great food…) Hit the Witte museum, SA zoo, Alamo, Riverwalk…

Another great trip was our drive from Arkansas to California! We saw lots of fun things that were along the old Route 66, went to the Grand Canyon, LA, Pasadena, La Jolla (Scripps museum) San Diego…
on the way back went to Arizona and saw more fun things. (Hint, if you join a science museum close to you then usually it’s reciprocal with museums all over the world. We usually don’t have to pay a dime anywhere and a family membership is around $70 for a year.)

Picture of Train in Grand Canyon (Max took this!)


Our next trip is Orlando (Disneyworld) this fall. Can’t wait! I would like our trip after that to be Panamá.