Hi! My name is Amy, and I decided that all work and no play was not the way I wanted to raise my family! My husband and I work opposite shifts, and in the hustle and bustle of the busy work-family dynamic, we don't often have the time to reconnect and really spend the time together that we would like. When we do have time, we are a rather adventurous family of six, despite the fact that our children are still pretty small... ages two, five, seven, and nine. But we never let this stop us before, so why now?! We wanted to show our children the WORLD! With so much tragedy in this country and around the world, and seeing how each day is really such a gift, we decided to just go for it and plan the most epic road trip EVER! We also wanted to find opportunities to teach our children about diversity and equality, and were hoping to happen upon teaching moments through our travels. With the help of Roadtrippers, I embarked on a six-month planning journey to find the absolute coolest places in America. With tons of late-night planning, sacrificing family time to work overtime and save money, and a whole lot of ambition, we set aside three weeks to go more than 7,500 miles in our trusty Suburban. It ended up changing our lives!
Hellertown, Pennsylvania, United States
This picture was taken moments before we left and perfectly encompasses our feelings about the epic journey ahead. Excitement, apprehension, silliness-- preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, and also just the sheer craziness of taking four kids under 10 across the country.
Our first pit stop!
Harrisonburg, Virginia, United States
What are road trips about if not reconnecting with old friends? We made our first pit stop in Harrisonburg, VA, to refuel, fill up our coffee mugs, and spend a few hours with dear friends from college who we haven't seen in nearly five years. A great start to our trip!
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, United States
Gatlinburg was our first destination, though we didn't have long to spend there. I had always wanted to see the Great Smoky Mountains and explore this little town, with its moonshine distilleries and true Tennessee charm. It was a little gem, and we added it to our bucket list to return when we have more time to truly explore it.
This place was super cool and had delicious food-- the interior was so "Tennessee" and it was such a welcome stop after 12 hours of driving!
Goats on the Roof
Pigeon Forge was an unexpected surprise town that we passed through on our way to Gatlinburg, and it was by far one of the coolest spots we saw. It reminded us a little bit of Ocean City, MD, with a southern twist. We stopped at the iconic "Goats on the Roof" where my kids had a blast stretching their legs by riding a roller coaster through the Smoky Mountains, feeding goats, and panning for gold and gemstones-- because it doesn't get more "Tennessee" than that!
My little goats!
Panning for gold and gems! This place actually gives you an entire BUCKET full of panning material-- most places only give you a small bag. And my kids found tons of gems. It was definitely worth the money.
My kids had such a blast on this roller coaster-- you control the speed yourself, which was perfect for our family of diverse ages and adventure levels.
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Nashville has been on our bucket list for decades! We are huge fans of country music, and really love the show "Nashville", so this was a must see.
The Nashville "strip" was everything we imagined it would be.
Rippy's Bar & Grill
We wanted to eat lunch at a true honky-tonk that was kid friendly, and Rippy's was perfect! It had good food and drinks, great live music, and was super family friendly. My two-year-old couldn't stop jamming out by the stage, and her excitement and exuberance was encouraged!
A great first honky-tonk experience. Definitely somewhere my husband and I would like to return to one day, just the two of us, to experience all of the nightlife that Nashville offers.
The Bluebird is such a big part of the show "Nashville", that it was a must-see for us!
The line was out the door at 4 p.m.!
Gone With The Wind Filming Location
We were looking for a perfect place to stop and stretch our legs and picnic, and this little park was absolutely amazing! Simply gorgeous, quiet, and uncrowded, and with such history.
Sneaking in a little romance! :)
This park was LOADED with turtles-- they were everywhere. It was an unexpected treat for my kiddos.
POPS Soda Ranch
700+ kinds of soda? Sign us up! We limit soda pretty strictly in our house, so this was perfectly over the top, which is what vacation is supposed to be!
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