The hardest part of any long cross country trip I take on is the physical act of leaving…. packing everything in the car, finishing up last minute to dos, calming a super anxious cat who this time literally threw up on the clean sheets as I was changing them…..it all becomes a bit much. But then we’re on the road and hurtling ourselves into the journey and slowly I breathe and relax and settle in for the drive…. I love it ever so much.

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Our first goal was to get out of Virginia….we made it within 10 miles of the Tennessee state line. :o) And about 45 minutes before we stopped for the night, Dad was gassing up the car when the automatic shut off valve on the pump failed and gas came spilling out of the car and all. over. his. shoes. The guy a pump over saw it happen and yelled in support as Dad yanked the nozzle out to shut the gas off. The smell was overpowering as we drove off and we tried various combinations of open windows as we drove to help alleviate the fumes.

The next morning: to allow his shoes more time to air out, Dad slipped into his alternate footwear: his house slippers. And that my friends is when he made the brilliant discovery that his slippers were indeed very comfy to travel in…. even commenting that he may make it a regular habit to drive in them. #dadgoals

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Monday as we drove through Tennessee, Dad requested that we take a quick detour to see just how much Gatlinburg has built up since his honeymoon 40 years ago. Six hours later we were back on the road. :o) We forgot to factor in Columbus Day traffic, but the slow movement allowed us to really take in and appreciate the scenery of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. There is literally half a titanic by the side of the road. Ridiculous, but my heart will go on…..

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We made it down to Birmingham to crash for the night already scheming for a New Orleans adventure the next day…..where I only got one string of beads….