Thursday, October 21, 2010

Roadtrip in AL, TN and MS

It’s been another fun week in Alabama. The people down here are so nice, beautiful weather, great scenery and we couldn’t ask for anything more.  We rented a car for a few days and ended up driving over 1,200 miles.  We took in many sites each day and tried the local cuisine including alligator, catfish and BBQ.  The kids tried it all and Jaxon ate more alligator than anyone (he didn’t understand the mental part of what it really was - ha ha). 

Morgan and Ryann went tubing together and when Morgan fell off Ryann was laughing so hard I thought she might fall off.

Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, AL consists of 125 small stone and cement sculptures created by Brother Joseph over 75 years ago.
Eveyln Burrow Museum at Wallace College had over $9.5 million dollars worth of sculptures from around the world.  We were able to take in a Holocaust exhibit and video too which was all very educational for the children.

Lawlers BBQ is a very well known for locals and tourists. The meat was really spicy, and without a kids menu to select the regular options, we all enjoyed something besides mom’s cooking. 

Unclaimed Baggage is a 40,000 square foot building that housed lost treasures from around the world.  They stock over 7,000 items of everything imaginable ALL from people who lost their luggage or cargo of sorts. They’ve been on Oprah, CNN, CBS, David Letterman, etc. The kids loved seeing all of the Nintendo DS’s, a huge surfboard, purses, camera cases, etc. that were available for very low prices to purchase. 

Incline Railroad is a mile high ride in a trolley car to the top of Lookout Mountain.  It is the steepest railway in the world at a 73% incline that was created in 1895.
There was a great panoramic view from the observation deck.

Point Park, just down from the railway was the location of the Battle Above the Clouds.
Going down the Incline Railroad was just as much fun!
Chattanooga had a beautiful riverfront area. It was very spread out and clean as could be.

 The longest glass pedestrian bridge in the US.

 Great place for a good burger!
 We had ordered more school books from a local book store and the kids had fun putting on plays for eachother.
 Chattanooga Choo Choo Train with a wood burning engine was established in 1880 and ran from Cincinnati to Chattanooga.  It was last used in 1940 for service in the Smokey Mountains.

The Jack Daniels Distillery tour in Lynchberg, TN was quite an experience.  Every drop of this famous whiskey has been made here since 1866.  The grounds were kept in their rustic appearance, but well maintained and a well versed tour guide lead us through the grounds for over an hour.  At one point we took the blue canister here and squirted 140 proof whiskey into our hands for a drink. A smell from the kids made for funny faces. 

 Dad, this one if for you....a 1919 American Lafrance firetruck that was so similar to your old 1929..very fun to see.
 The cave pictured here is the reason Jack Daniel picked this particular location. From the beginning until now the fresh spring water is drawn from here to give it the unique flavor it has. 

 This is the only part of the tour where you will have a Jack Daniels on the rocks as Lynchburg is a dry county. 
You can purchase an entire barrel of Select Barrel whiskey for between $9,000-$12,000.  They have a wall full of plaques from clients that have come to purchase a barrel, going into their testing area and getting special treatment.  The handmade barrels are sold for $80.
 The lemonade at the end of the tour was a big hit.

The Old Jail Museum in downtown Lynchberg housed inmates from 1893-1990. What a unique experience for the kids to see the inside of an actual jailhouse.  The local Sherrif and his/her family lived there as well. 

George Dickel Tennessee Whisky Distillery in Tullahoma, TN was founded in 1870.  There is no “e” in whiskey for this distillery, because George thought his whiskey was of the same quality of a Scottish one (which doesn’t use the “e”).  With only 26 employed it was amazing how unbelievably low-tech the process was.

 Dad, another one for you...we came out into the parking lot one morning to find over a dozen of these electric cars!
Downtown Rogersville held their annual Fall Jubilee with a car and engine show, live music, crafts, chili cook-off and a tractor pull.  Ryann was first in the 7-8 age group category, but the boys in her division out weighed her terribly.  Morgan however was the strongest in the 9-10 age category and did almost a “full pull” and won first place.  The Mayor of Rogersville awarded her with a trophy and certificate. 

After the raccoon incident last week we’ve been contemplating getting a dog to make us aware if someone or something is onboard.  The kids have been asking for one for years and it’s never really fit into our busy ever-changing lifestyle.  We want to think it through and make the right decision for our family so time will tell on this one.  There are a ton of people that travel with animals so we’re gathering a lot of advice everyday from fellow Loopers. At the Jubilee there was a woman giving away 12 lil puppies for was tempting, they were really cute!
 Our car was an HHR....Ryann called it "Her Hot Ride"
 Helen Keller Birthplace in Tuscumbia, AL.
 We happened upon this little paradise in Tuscumbia.

Corinth, Mississippi was the site of a Civil War Battle. The kids were able to do the Junior Ranger Program and learned a lot more that way.    

 Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee was yet another bloody battle ground of the Civil War.  The girls did another Junior Ranger Program, took in a movie, and were even able to try a uniform on.       


  1. The Parrent family can pack more fun into a few days than anyone else I know. I kinda like Ryann's "Hot Ride" HHR, we're considering something like that to tow behind the RV.

    It was actually good to see Morgan and Ryann with sober faces for the first time (especially while in those Civil War uniforms), I'm thinking they must have been born with a smile. You too, Jaxon!

    I rode the Incline Railway up Lookout Mountain when I was only 13 (1955). It's a fun memory that's still with me. There were signs on barn roofs from Illinois to Chattanooga reading "Lookout Mountain, See 7 States".

    If you're getting a puppy, consider Yorkie or a Maltese, both are good traveling companions and easy to potty train. The Maltese probably has the better temperament around young kids. We have one of each and they both do very well in the RV and with the grandchildren.

  2. I love your comments Al! I just realized that people have posted comments....for some reason I never saw that before! Thank you!!! I'm having computer problems now, so more later! danielle