Road Trip 2015, Day 2: June 25 2015 (Jackson, TN to Cave City, KY)

Living the Dream!
(click here for today's pictures)

We slept incredibly well last night and managed to get about 2 more hours of sleep than the night before even with doing some laundry last night.  It was sure nice for Robby to bring just a bit of laundry back to the room which I quickly folded, put away and then promptly fell asleep.

Robby said that he woke up once in the middle of the night and I did too-I am not used to sleeping in a room with so many other people.  I couldn't fall back asleep until the air conditioner came on.  When we woke up, everyone was still happily snoozing away and they were all covered up.  
I hated to wake them up but we had to load up and head to breakfast.  Robby had already gotten the vibe that this hotel was a bit more controlled than in when he checked in, they asked "you have 2 adults and 2 children right?"  Robby quickly replied "yes" which is the truth-he does have 2 adults and 2 children in his 4 more children.

Back to breakfast: So we split up with Robby taking the boys and Keaton to load the car and Campbell, Reagan and Whitman went with me to start on breakfast.  There was a man standing there to make the self serve waffles for you.  I personally think that is a bit odd since the waffle machines are meant for the guests to make but okay, I will play along.  Campbell asked for a waffle and the man wanted to make her a half but I assured him that someone would eat the rest...I was wrong, we didn't eat the rest or much of it-they weren't that great.

Keaton wanted a banana and then the man handed her a bruised one.  I was going to get another one but it was empty...until a minute later when they replaced Keaton's banana with one more.  They were bringing out the bananas one by one.  

And I am sure that we are a bit paranoid but all Robby could notice in the ceiling were cameras.  When we went to get ice carrying his bag, the lady jumped out of the office door and said "do you need an ice bucket?"  He said sure and filled it to the brim and then sent me back to get more ice.  I thought about changing my shirt so they wouldn't know that we were together (this is orange and yellow day).

We pulled out pretty much right at 8:30 and the kids started on their license plate games and drew their pictures of yesterday.  Robby turned on a song about Casey Jones and we listened to it a few times before turning on a movie.  I picked the movie this morning (Dora) so I could distract Keaton, who had already said that she needed to potty!

We did then stumble upon a rest stop and I made sure that everyone pottied.  I let Whitman out and we looked at a butterfly and then tried to touch a sign before getting back into the car.  Since we were approaching Nashville, the kids had their own songwriting competition.  We had a song about leaving the prairie, driving down the highway and about shapes (circle, circle, square, circle, square, triangle).

The first real stop of the morning was the Parthenon.  It was a good little stop for everyone-plenty of room to walk around, climb up steps and run off some energy.  This is my second time to see this site (other time was in high school) and I still don't know much about the Parthenon except that is a replica of the real thing in Greece.  It probably would help if we were to go into the museum but maybe another time.  

Just a block down the road we stopped at Elliston's Place.  It was a nifty little soda shop that is the oldest continuously operated restaurant in Nashville (I think that is right).  With the 12 of us, we pretty much filled that place up.  Some sat on stools, some at a table and others in a booth.  Whitman sucked down half of a shake before coming up for air.  Robby and I split a chocolate peanut butter shake and it was very good.  

After leaving there, we had about 20 minutes in the car before we arrived at the Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson our 7th president.  I never learned the names of all of the presidents in school (or I have forgotten that I did) but since the kids have been in school, I can sing them all (mostly).  

Old Hickory was interesting.  It was cheaper for Robby to become a member so I guess we can stop back by this house another time-preferably in the winter.  It was hot, hot, hot there-like sweating rolling down your face and into your eyes hot.  I had just finished telling Shannon that I did not like audio tours when we walked into the next room and the lady started passing those blasted things out to all of my kids.  I guess that I might have been a bit wrong: though I never really ended up using one, the kids sure did enjoy it.  And this place did it right because they had a kid number to push so they could hear a kiddie version from the player.

There was also a house tour and usually I feel like once you have been in one old house, then you have been in them all (I sound like a fuddy duddy, don't I?)  This house tour was my favorite type-short and sweet.  I did learn that Andrew Jackson balanced the budget and left it with a surplus (I think the only President to do so), didn't like the idea of paper money though he is now on the 20 dollar bill and was the last president to have known all of the presidents before him.  Jackson's bedroom was downstairs which was unheard of at the time and at times the house would have 20 house guests a night with not nearly enough beds for them all-so glad I live in the time of air conditioning.  

After our walk around the grounds, we wrung the sweat out of our shirts and climbed into the car.  The original plan had been to have a picnic on the grounds but the tables were way too far from the cars and not shaded.  And did I mention that it was hot!  We decided to drive down the road a bit until we found something a bit better for our first picnic!

We did stumble upon a perfect picnic spot at a town hall-a pavilion (like I want in my backyard) and a few gazebos.  Also it had plenty of area for the boys to play a bit of football which greatly delighted my Graham (he has known that we had a football in the car and has been dying to get out and play since we left home)  We had our peanut butter and jelly and our turkey and cheese sandwiches along with chips and brownie while the Wilsons had their sandwiches, chips and rice krispy treats.  

After lunch was over, we ran to a nearby gas station so we could potty and buy a bag of ice.  There was just one bathroom there so that stop took a while.  I finally let the kids play on their kindles after lunch-they had been asking for a long while.  I thought about turning on Whitman's Thomas movie on the tv for him but I was afraid that he wouldn't go to sleep on this leg of the trip.

We arrived at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green around 4:20.  Their last ticket sales is at 4:30 and they close at 5.  The entrance had quite a few corvettes in it and we could have been fine without doing the entire museum.  But Tony and Robby batted their eyes to the front desks people and they managed to get us in for just a donation.  That was really great and we didn't need that long to see all of the Corvettes.  I am sure that some folks would enjoy reading all of the signs but we were able to zoom through the museum until we made it to the main event....the sinkhole.  

If you remember, the Corvette museum had a sinkhole inside of it last year and it swallowed at least 6 Corvettes.  That was the most interesting part-one car has been restored and others were sitting near the where the covered sinkhole was and those cars were completely crushed and destroyed.  That was really the most interesting part-apparently the roof of a cave had fallen through and that caused the sinkhole to form.  Sinkholes are common in this area....eeek!  

We scurried through the museum and even finished in time for the kids to play in their play area for a few minutes.  While they were doing that, I ran into the gift shop and bought our second Christmas ornament of the trip (a convertible, of course).  Then it was back into the car for a short hop to Mammoth Cave.

The visitor's center was closing soon but we still had time to stamp our passport books (all of them: my 6 kids, our book, Shannon's book, Brett and Layne's books as well)  After we came through and stamped 10 stamps they were practically out of ink.  We walked through the exhibits and then headed towards the natural entrance of the cave.  We never even thought about calling ahead a reserving a tour a week or even a day or two ago which we should have.  But even without a tour, we still saw the mammoth cave!

Robby and I were here with a little Reagan and a baby Anderson in 2007 (click here for pictures from that trip).  We did some type of tour though we can't remember what it was at all.  I do remember that Anderson was in the carrier and he started crying because of the change in temperature and Reagan fell and bumped her lip on a rail so both little babies were crying and we turned right around and headed out of the cave.  That is about all that we saw of the cave today-just a bit!  

Mammoth Cave is the largest cave system in the US (possibly world-didn't read it that well) and is over 400 miles long.  Pretty impressive-we have read that it doesn't have as many cave decorations (stalactites and stalagmites) as other caves.  We did find a pretty, shaded trail to the entrance and man was there a temperature difference in the cave.  As we approached the cave, we were immediately able to feel the cool air!  

The entrance into the cave was a steep set of stairs that we all climbed down.  Once at the bottom, Whitman decided that he wasn't too excited about the dark and windy cave but he may have gotten that idea from his sisters (Campbell and Keaton-not Reagan) because they were acting skittish too. We then climbed out and Robby and Whitman went one way to return to our stroller and we went another way and met at the top.  

Our hotel was about 20 minutes away through some neat little towns and on the way I blogged while the kids played on their kindles.  Robby has been plagued with problems today and that is what he started trying to deal with once at the hotel: 1. his phone isn't keeping a charge and one minute is fully charged and the next powers off  2. our house electricity has been off since last night (he wasn't really sure that it was off but couldn't see our alarm and thermostats)-the lights are now back on thanks to Entergys speediness  3. and to top it all off, he broke a sippy cup. 

I do guess breaking a sippy cup is the least of his worries and I have a second one, along with a backup followed by 5 other backups (though they are not as good)-really, I should have been a Boy Scout (you know, always be prepared).  I know that I am jinxing Whitman and all the rest of the kids when I say that kid-wise things have gone surprisingly well.  Whitman has done great-relatively few 2 year old meltdowns.  He is almost to the point where you can reason with him, almost like he gets what we are saying.  He only had about a 5 minute nap today so when Robby asked him if he wanted to go to bed, he didn't hesitate at all.  And tonight's bathroom is wonderful-I will be able to go to the bathroom in a minute after her is sound asleep!

Today's route was pretty perfect and we were able to do everything we wanted (except the hot dog place in Nashville since it wasn't yet lunch time but we will hit it on the way back home.)  Really our timing worked out pretty good and hopefully it will tomorrow-we do have time change to deal with pretty early in the morning.  

After checking in, we unloaded and then met the Wilsons at the pool.  Tony picked up pizza and we all devoured it.  What was left, we put in our ziplock bags and will snack on another day.  The kids swam and swam and it was pretty noisy in that little room especially when they started playing Marco Polo-my Campbell and Graham have no volume control at all! Whitman was happy on the steps or sitting on the edge of the pool splashing his feet.  He did float around when Robby was in the pool but likes his feet to be planted on solid ground (like his momma!)

I came upstairs first with Graham and Keaton so they could start showers first and I could call Nonna and Pops and fill them in on the day.  Then the others came up to shower.  Right now, everyone is almost asleep and Robby is returning from moving the laundry into the dryer (it is 10:40).  I do feel like we are more settled into the hotel room today than yesterday-possibly because this room is bigger or maybe because we are getting more into the hotel staying routine.  

It has been a good day today but we are tired!  Laundry will hopefully be done within the hour and we can all sleep well again tonight.  Tomorrow is another big day-Lincoln, Baseball Bats, Cincinnati and hopefully Bologna.

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