After 10 days, 10 states, 3200+ miles (all driven by my husband), and 1 eye injury (totally all me) we returned to Chicago on Sunday night and all fell asleep in a fully dressed pile on our bed with our cat, who missed us.
It was a great adventure!
Some Highlights –
In the lovely city of Austin, TX.
TEXAS: After a fun overnight in Lufkin, Texas to visit my husband’s aunt and uncle and their family, we headed to the lovely and weird city of Austin for a few days. There, we got to see my husband’s sister, his brother, and their respective families – so it was a big, happy, family reunion. While in Austin, we visited the TX State Capitol, Zilker Park, the Big Top Candy Shop, the Alamo Drafhouse movie theater (for a “Clue” Quote-a-Long!), the Blanton Museum of Art, and ate tons of wonderful food. We went to the Congress Ave bridge to see the Bats, but it was early in the season so we only saw a few.
At the TX State Capitol
Also in Texas, we took a day trip to San Antonio and walked the beautiful Riverwalk in the warm rain. (We got rained on during this trip a few times. Oh well. Such is life.) Of course, we also stopped by the Alamo.
Remember the Alamo.
After Texas, we headed to our other big stop on this adventure…
NEW ORLEANS: One of my favorite cousins lives in The Big Easy, and it was a city Eric and I have always wanted to visit, so we’d worked it into our itinerary. I booked a hotel close to the French Quarter via Hotwire, so we were within walking distance of everything, which was really terrific. We had coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde, saw Jackson Square and the French Quarter, visited Bourbon Street, and even ducked into the Audubon Insectarium and Butterfly Garden to avoid a downpour. The Insectarium turned into a real highlight of the trip – our toddler loved it. Bugs everywhere!
Checking out the little gators in the Louisina Swamp exhibit.
New Orleans was great, and we’ll definitely return someday – hopefully, not in a rainstorm.
From New Orleans, we drove back to Chicago with stops in Birmingham, Alabama, Nashville, Tennessee, and Indianapolis, Indiana. We only saw these cities quickly – Birmingham was really pretty. We stayed at a hotel by the airport in Nashville, but made a quick stop into the massive and crazy Opryland Mall. The lunch we ate at the Broad Ripple Brewpub in Indianapolis was a highlight of the whole trip – omigosh, the beer cheese dip and bread was sensational! I’m still thinking about it.
Whew! We’re home now, and I’m in Day Two of unpacking the craziness.
Traveling with a toddler isn’t bad. In fact, it’s kind of fun. Our dude does great on long trips, as long as he has snacks and a tray to play trucks on, and frequent stops – even if it’s something as simple as running into Target. Don’t let young children stop you from adventures. :)