Coast to Coast 2012: Smokey Mountains and Fredericksburg Day One


I hopped on the scale yesterday morning, our first FULL day back home, and realized I only gained two pounds while on vacation.

Two pounds.

People.  That is, like, one good poop. 

If I was reading someone else's blog and they announced they only gained two pounds on vacation I'd put on my judge-y pants and be all, "Well, honey, you so did not do it right" or I'd hmph and think, "that's not a REAL vacation."

I mean I go to New Orleans and for three days and gain THREE times what I put on this vacation. 

But I DID do this vacation right and it TOTALLY was a REAL vacation and we had such a good time.  We just (literally) walked our asses off.

Proof it was a good vacation: between my phone and camera, I took 1,100 pictures.  ELEVEN HUNDRED.  Good vacation.

I figured, when it came to writing about this trip, I'd just go in chronological order by day.  I realize that might be boring to you but this is my blog and it was my trip and I want to remember it. (Rude, much?)  Besides.  My friend Rachel already told me she'd read my blog posts.


We left Sunday the 10th and stopped for the night in Knoxville, Tennessee. I had never been further east in Tennessee than Nashville prior to this trip.  Wanna know what I learned?  First off, the Smokey Mountains are BEAUTIFUL.  I'd love to go back in the fall.  Second, East Tennessee boys love them some Brandi. 

Love this picture of the crosses with the mountains in the background!

We pulled into Fredericksburg on Monday evening and spent some time hanging out with my brother and his family.

Tuesday was our first full day in Fredericksburg and it was a very full day.  It was also a rainy day.  Sad face.

We started the day off at the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. 

Note, if you're ever in the area and want to check it out, the lady who works there was a total C-U-Next-Tuesday Faced B-Word who did not want the children there.  Regardless of the fact that the children (at that time) were not being assholes.  Regardless of the fact that she was a park ranger for a NATIONAL HISTORY SITE and I was trying to introduce my children to a little bit of hands-on history.

The Cooter-on-a-Scooter probably would've kicked me out had she seen us taking this picture. 

The Shrine was FILLED with Civil War era artifacts and was actually very interesting.  I kinda wanted to go just for the sole purpose of saying I'd been, you know?  But I really like old stuff and the house was full of interesting antiques.

After we left, we headed to the Fredericksburg Battlefield.

I had visited a Civil War battlefield -- Pea Ridge in Arkansas -- when I was in high school.  But this battlefield seemed more . . . sacred, I guess?  It was raining and we didn't get to see as much of it as originally planned, but I was still glad we went.  I hope to do this (and a lot of other things from this trip) when my children and older and more able to understand the magnitude of where they are and what they're seeing.

Fredericksburg has a neat, very cute little downtown area.  Since we were right there for the battlefield, we headed over to check things out.  We started off with lunch at Goolrick's Pharamacy -- which happens to be home to the nation's oldest functioning soda fountain.

The sandwiches left much to be desired but that's not the real reason we were there anyway.  The boys each had a milkshake (chocolate for one, vanilla for the other).  They were pretty much the best milkshakes EVER.  The vanilla - ohmygahhhh.  I had a cherry coke -- like a real deal cherry coke.  And it was worth every single last calorie.  It was amazing.

We had a lot of fun checking out downtown.

There were TONS of antique shops, a few souvinere shops.  We even found a candy store where I let each of the kids pick out one thing.  There was a children's bookstore (LOVE!) and the owner was an absolutely delightful lady.

We love Ladybug Girl!

The rest of the day was spent playing in the hotel pool (seriously, folks, how many pictures can one person take at the hotel pool?  Chill out next time, B!), eating fast food for dinner, and the collapsing into bed.

Next up: The story of Abraham Lincoln and "John Wilky Boots," George Washington's birthplace, Stratford Hall, and Maryland.
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