THE ROAD TRIP:
We left bright and early at 6 AM. This was the last (also first) Austin sunrise
we will see for quite a while.
Road Trip snacks (not pictured: Mini Oreos and Wheat Thins)
We stopped in at Shipley's in Waco where we were given the exact donuts we asked for (false) and we got to spend time with the ever-beautiful Kaley Eggers. She really is beautiful as is evidenced in the above picture where she looks like Barbie's friend, Teresa, while I look like Barbie's forgotten sister, Tutti (1965-1971). I had just woken up...
On top of her Teresa-like beauty, Kaley also has the most beautiful heart. She made Daniel and I this gift that we will so treasure forever. It will certainly be a part of every home we ever have.
Anyway, enough about how beautiful Kaley is. Moving on!
These are the places Foursquare suggested we go in some small town outside of Little Rock...
No thank you.
Passing through Memphis.
Daniel got way too psyched about passing by this pyramid.
So all of that was Day 1. 6 AM to 9 PM. Austin to Nashville. Radisson Hotel. Celebrity Apprentice finale. Room service pizza. Sleep.
We found this pretty graffiti outside of the restaurant Phat Bites where we ate a lunch of mixed-reviews. Side note: there were so many grossly-named restaurants in Nashville. I loved it. I can't really remember any of them, but probably like...Butt Back Burger or something. These restaurants went for it.
This is where President Andrew Jackson is buried. We went to his plantation, "The Hermitage" where we were led in a tour by someone who looked EXACTLY LIKE ANDREW JACKSON. I wish I had taken a picture of him, but he basically looked like this.
It's not like he was an Andrew Jackson impersonator. He just worked there. His life had become so immersed in thinking about Andrew Jackson that he literally took on his physical characteristics. That, or our tour guide was a ghost. I choose the latter. He winked at the end and then sort of disappeared....
I know this picture looks like the essence of freedom, but this was actually a field where Andrew Jackson's slaves worked. It was really humbling to be there. The people who worked at the Hermitage would casually mention Jackson's violence against his slaves amidst elaborate depictions of how great he was. That was kind-of-super offensive, I think. Get real, Ladies Hermitage Association.
This might also be a good time to talk about how this is where we met our first New York naysayer. His name was Larry. He asked why we were traveling through Nashville and we told him we were on our way to move to New York City. He looked like he had just seen a ghost (which he probably had because the tour guide was right there) and said, "WAH would you EVER wanna go THAY-ER?!" I was immediately frustrated with this man, but Daniel was super polite. He explained he was going to be in the New York Teaching Fellows Program, and Larry responded with a story about how his son and daughter-in-law had done Teach For America. "Worst. Experience. Of. Their. Lives" Yep. It's always good to discourage someone from making the selfish decision of teaching inner-city children. Thanks, Larry!
After leaving the Hermitage, we drove around downtown Nashville. Fun place.
We ate dinner at the Bluebird Cafe. Really fun. There was a songwriter's jam (I don't know the technical term) happening. The guy with the guitar wrote Eric Clapton's "Change the World" and some song from The Fox and the Hound 2. I'm not sure which one I was more impressed by.
After this, I was jonesing for something sweet, so in a desperate decision, we decided to make our first trip to Waffle House. We've just never lived where this place exists. We drove up and were almost deterred by this sight:
Some lady's barefoot feet! She wasn't even wearing uncomfortable shoes. They were flip flops. I was so bothered by this. I hold Waffle House responsible.
Regardless, we ate there.
Sweet potato pancakes from Nashville's famous Pancake Pantry!
Daniel with a Dragon!
Some kitties in a storefront. Fun fact: my past four blog entries have included pictures of cats, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
We decided to take a little detour in our trip and head to Greece! Kidding. This thing is IN Nashville. Why? We don't know. It cost $10 to go inside, so we might never know.
This is a picture of me on Daniel's shoulders. Why did I get on Daniel's shoulders to take this picture? The short answer is that I wanted to be taller. The even shorter answer is that
I lack logic.
This is our departing picture of Nashville taken with the Nashville filter in Instagram.
From here, we went to Knoxville, Tennessee to stay with our phenomenally gorgeous and wonderful friend, Lara.
Lara and I at Aubrey's (it's a restaurant).
Look, guys. I love this girl. I love her more than I love black olives and Diet Dr. Pepper. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of this, but she gave us the most intense basket of road trip goodies. I can't even talk about it. It was incredible. From candy to sermon CDs to Star Wars toothbrushes, this girl nailed exactly what we needed. We stayed up talking while Daniel did homework (he already had homework at that point!).
We left Lara, sadly, and then took this final picture which is an homage to the following picture taken our freshman year of college.
We left Knoxville, armed with Lara's goodies, and traveled the long stretch to Pennsylvania.
This is from a crane machine at a gas station in Virginia. 10 points if you know what this is from. Anyway, this is a testament to how severely out-of-touch this town was.
We finally made it to Carlisle, PA to stay with our good friend Clint.
He lives in a fancy apartment, but he doesn't make you feel like a loser if you don't.
We said our goodbyes to Clint and headed for New York City. It was business time. We drove the rest of the way, listening to Ted Talks and getting quietly nervous.
I want to back-track to a picture I forgot to include from Day 3.
This is Daniel at the Pancake Pantry. I didn't include this picture earlier because I wanted to save it since it is the perfect depiction of exactly how we were feeling the entire time. By the way, to fully understand this, you need to know that when Daniel gets nervous, he yawns.
We loved this trip. We saw three of our favorite people on earth, the ghost of Andrew Jackson, and that guy who wrote the song from The Fox and the Hound 2. We will never forget it, but we were full of nerves and excitement the whole time. It was weird because we so wanted to enjoy our vacation, but I think every morning we were just ready to be there already.
That Saturday, as we approached Manhattan, our nerves calmed to a simple manic excitement. We were finally here. Just look at this surreal image we took in.
As is the case with most all of these entries, I've gone on way longer than I meant to. This was kind of the equivalent of when your uncle sat you down in the '90s and made you look at his slides from his trip to Boise, Idaho. Sorry about that, but if you have any investment at all in Daniel and I, we just want you to know that we had a blast on that trip and we are having an even greater blast living out this new adventure in New York.
You knew it from the beginning. I'm splitting this entry into two parts. Next time, I'll talk about our new, crazy beautiful life. Get ready.