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!

Memphis Memories

Friday I went with my daughter’s school to Memphis .   
The first stop was the STAX Museum of American Soul.  
(What used to be STAX recording studios where so many recording stars got their starts.)  
It was well worth the trip just to see this.  Fantastic museum with something for everyone.  


The kids ate lunch there while we took off for the Pink Palace museum.  The boys really wanted to do the Children’s Museum (which is awesome too) but they are no longer in the ASTC and I couldn’t justify paying $50 for the less than an hour we had to play.  
(If you don’t know about the benefits I highly recommend it.  If you join one museum in the system you get into museums all around the world FREE!  For a family it really adds up.  We manage to work in at least one every trip we take and it saves us from $50-$100 a visit.)
They had a great exhibit on the history of chocolate which made us all very hungry!
The Parke’s Circus model
We ran from there to meet the kids at the National Civil Rights Museum
This was a powerful museum.  Very emotional.  
It’s amazing that so much happened in our nation, not so long ago. 
The teacher that organized the trip played Dr. King’s last speech at the end of the tour and had the kids sit outside (where MLK was shot) to listen. 
I can’t get over how intuitive this speech was.   
 Dr. King
“And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Students listening to his last speech outside the National Civil Rights Museum