We hit the road early today for our journey to the Keys. It was another hot day today. Great for the tropics.
It took us nearly 2.5 hours to get there as the road was one lane most of the way and then the limit was quite low, and it was extremely busy too which made for a longer time journey.
Well we found somewhere to park and feed the meter and walked off to explore Key West. Dave spied a electric car/scooter to hire, so that was our mode of transport for the next 4 hours. Oh boy did he have some fun and me hangin on for dear life…my seat belt didn’t work. Thank god for those handles to hang on to!!! Like all guys he didn’t miss an opportunity to give it stick in the sand on the pavement and the white lines on the road..the best fun he has had in a long time. It was a great way to see the Keys though. We were able to see parts we couldn’t with the car and certainly not walking. Much fun was had. We did a little shopping, checked out the stores and the marina and the street performers and had a drink or two in the pub. Found a Hard Rock Cafe by mistake…another glass …hehehe…then we found a raffle for a Harley Davidson motorcycle and Cobra Car..super cool. We decided to purchase a few tickets ….300 in fact . So the next hour was spent filling them out and putting them in the box. There is no way I will forget my email address in a hurry!!!! So with pen in hand and tickets in bag, we found the car and the lovely ticket inspector….we spoke in our very persuasive Aussie accent and I think she let us go but only way we will know is when we take the car back…they will have the ticket for us…yah!!
So we are finally home, with the most spectacular light show going off in the sky. Thunder storms all around. A little rain. The drive home was long. I know I won’t be up early any time soon. We pull out of here tomorrow and head up the coast North towards NYC. We are getting closer to that long journey home but I am looking forward to it…Big hugs for my children…we may need to call paramedics as they won’t be able to breathe..lol..and I think the Kleenex will be well used.
Another hot day today, I actually pulled out the dress to wear. Got a little sunshine. We had a sleep in and then headed into Miami to find the Hard Rock to collect another glass 🙂 and then checked out the marina. It was beautiful. I found a little stall that makes street signs, so I was able to get the Jovi sign after all…hehehe!!!
We then headed back to our pick up sight to join a tour of Miami. We had a bus tour for an hour and a half and then boarded a boat for around another hour. It was nice to be on the water and checking out the mansions along the bay..so pretty. The likes of J lo, Enrique, Shakira, Cher, Gloria Estefan, Antonio Banderas all have homes along here. Madonna, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor had homes here too at one stage. Mind you I only got the names from the tour guy as these names were all said in English…he spoke Spanglish most of the time. It wasn’t a great tour. The bus driver was so much better. He told us about certain areas in Miami where it was great to party, where the stars once lived.
Once that was over we headed out to our stop for the next two days – Florida City. We are off to Key West in the morning for the day and I am hoping in the next few days to book a cruise to the Bahama’s.
Well time to call it a night. Big day tomorrow. Hope you are all enjoying our adventures. I know I am. Its one I will never forget.
Missing my babies like crazy and I think I feel a countdown coming on.
We are in Miami tonight and by gingees its hot. Its like being in Bali in the blistering heat. I was a big ball of sweat this afternoon.
I had the address for Miami Ink in the GPS as the first stop…lol. It wasn’t hard to find but you would walk right by it in the street if you didn’t have the address. It looks nothing like it does on the show. They need to trim the palm tree out the front so you can see the tattoo sign. Not sure where the Love Hate bar is, as its not next door as I thought it was and there was none of the guys there. It sure would be nice to walk in to one of these places and see them standing there and get the elusive pic.
We then headed to South Beach which was just straight up the street. It was beautiful. The sand really is as white as you see it on the TV and the water was so clear. Dave and I went for a walk along the beach and dipped our toes in the water and much to both our surprise it was so warm. Kind of wish I had my bathers on, as I think I would of been taking a dip and for those that know me, I don’t go in the ocean…thats for the sharks!!!
We then went to find a tourist info place to see what tours were around. We are booked to take a tour tomorrow to see the sights of Miami. It involves a bus and a boat. I sure do hope its a big boat and not on choppy water, or Jodie may just have to skip that part of the tour…don’t fancy feeding the fish!!! Then we are heading to Florida City to stay the night and we are heading to Key West the following day. I am hoping to maybe sneek in a weekend to the Bahama’s 🙂
Well better get my beauty sleep and look forward to discovering Miami Florida.
I wanted to check out a place that I had found. It was a unclaimed baggage centre. Where this company buys the unclaimed baggage from the airlines and they sort through it and then they sell it to the public and a 3rd of the price they have it valued at. So its basically finders keepers, losers weepers. It was amazing to see the items that they have found that was unclaimed. They also have stories of items some people have bought , only to find they are worth thousands. We did manage to find a really nice necklace for Dave. Their was some beautiful jewellery. I was kind of a little gutted though, as I think I expected more. They have it set up like a retail store. Me being the bargain hunter that I am, I really want to go to the auction , where they auction of the suitcases. So its like a big lucky dip. I think it would be cool to see what you would find. There are some things that I wouldn’t want to find..LOL. Anyway after taking a look around we headed off for our next major city…Miami – Florida.
We are doing lots of driving now, so only stopping to eat and stretch the legs and then somewhere to sleep, where we won’t wake up in the morning and find the car missing its wheels…LOL
Well we didn’t get very far today. We had great intentions but this place was just too gorgeous to pass through. So many things to see and then taking the sky rail up to the top of the mountain. Amazing. What a sight to behold. It really is beautiful. At the top of the sky rail cable car is a huge ice rink inside a group of shops, where you can hire skates. There is a water slide. A great viewing platform. We spent a little time here just taking in the views and eating a ice cream, watching people fall on their butts before heading back down the mountain. By this time it was getting darker, so on the way down the city lights were on…breathtaking..and for those who know me…me and heights don’t mix. I can certainly tell you that because it was a huge cable car and fully enclosed that I was able to ride it. Dave wanted me to ride the chair lift…not in this lifetime baby!!!! Mind you when that cable car hit the high tower and started to swing a little…Jodie’s guts did a 360…not so good.
When we got to the bottom, we took in the sights of the city. I have never seen so many people, not even in LA. We stopped at a little italian place to eat. We ordered the pizza- New York style…Dave was in heaven…it was pretty damn good. He also became the class clown. We were sat right in front of the window facing the street. So Dave thought this would be great to watch the people outside. Yep you guessed it….had to make sure he was seen…too funny!!! He was in his element.
I finally dragged him away and now we have gone back to the motel. Time to unwind and get some sleep. We leave here to drive through the Smokey mountains tomorrow. Looking forward to that.
So time to see what is playing at the back of my eyelids.
Today we headed back out to Dollywood to see what we had missed yesterday.
We watched a show about the bald eagle and the foundation. They use the animals to educate everyone about how these animals hunt and how they are being hunted. Some of these animals were amazing. They are all unable to be released into the wild, as they have had life threatening injuries or injuries where they would not be able to overcome in the wild. One of these birds has been taught to take the notes from you for donations and he puts them into his nesting box. He is so cute. Another of them has been taught only to look for pink things. Showing that birds see in colour. Very interesting.
We had booked for the afternoon to see the Dixieland Stampede. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it sounded like fun. It involved watching a story told by entertainers and horses. It was great. They had a blue grass band before the show started. They rocked the place. When we got inside we were seated in a long line, side by side and introduced to our server. We were given free refills of cool drink. The meal consisted of creamy veg soup to start, biscuit (scone) for starters, then out came the main meal…well I nearly died…they put a whole friggin chicken on my plate, along with potato and corn cob and then a slice of ham. Well I knew I was going to struggle with this. And I was right. The chicken got stuck…not so good for Jodie……very embarrassing moment was to occur.
Leaning in to tell Dave I was going to be sick and then Jodie chucking all over herself. Now that was bad enough and I thought it would be ok, as it was dark and no one would see….nope no such luck…at the precise moment they decided to turn on the house lights….arghhh Jodie shrunk into the seat….while Dave was trying to be the doting husband, he was quietly pissing himself laughing….Kodak moment!!! The staff was super wonderful though and got me some wet towels and I was able to clean up quickly….luckily for me it is never a huge chuck….apologies to those with queasy stomach’s. I was able to go on though and enjoy the rest of the show.
The show was such a blast and they have the audience participate. It was definitely worth the $50 and more. So enjoyable.
So now its time to head off to the next destination.
Well its Black Friday today…so glad that I don’t let that bother me but the weather certainly is playing along with the day. Its cold and miserable and it made it very hard to see out the windows on the homes of the stars tour in the bus. Fogged up windows. Mind you I’m not sure how, as the bus driver must live in Antarctica. He had the bloody air con on the whole 4 hour trip…Jodie and air con don’t mix…could of snapped my fingers off…brrrrr.
While the tour was interesting it wasn’t something I would recommend, as you couldn’t really see many of the houses, as they reside in gated communities or they were behind gates and up a massive drive way. But I can certainly see why they choose to live in Nashville. That place is beautiful and the homes are some of the most amazing, stunningly beautiful homes I have ever seen and the prices are cheap compared to home…..mmmm wonder if the kids want to move to Nashville????
We went to visit Dollywood this afternoon. They have a deal on, that if you arrive after 3pm , then you can re enter the next day for free.
On our way there though, we had to go through a place called Pigeon Forge….OMG it was amazing. It beats Vegas hands down. At every corner there is something incredible to see, no expense has been spared. Huge mini golf arenas, go carts, dinner and shows. There was a titanic replica ship and the most unusual thing I have ever seen, a giant mansion upside down. Its called Wonderworks and is a house of magic. It truly was a sight to behold.
We have decided to stop here for the night and head on back out to Dollywood tomorrow and then head towards the Smokey Mountains. I wonder if I can talk Dave into renting a log cabin for the night???
Well got to go and load pics and catch up on some sleep.
Well today we headed out to see the sites of Nashville. First stop being the Grand Ole Opry. We put the address into the GPS and everything was fine, until we got to the address. Dave and I followed the signs to park the car. Well we should of looked further down the street, as we parked in the hotel parking lot @ a cost of $20 mind you, only to find that the Grand Ole Opry was then another 20mins walk from the parking lot…boy did we get our exercise that day. Probably a good thing in hind sight, as we sit on our backsides most of the day, stopping to eat and then back in the car. We haven’t really found any attractions etc that have been strenuous activity. Didn’t help that I needed a pit stop…the bladder was working overtime that day. We finally made it to the Opry and had an hour spare to just sit and get the breath back…so unfit …hehehe.
Once we went inside it was a great tour backstage. Seeing where the stars play and their dressing rooms, entrances etc. I found it interesting to know that you can write to the stars at the Opry and they have post boxes there for the them. They are their for the stars to collect when they arrive to play there. So cool. It was also interesting to learn that the Opry went through a flood and 4 feet of the Opry was under water. They never cancelled any of their shows, just moved them elsewhere and they had the place back up and running 2 months later. They managed to save the original circle from the stage and it has been placed back there. People like Elvis Presley, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Trace Atkins have all stood upon this circle and today I got to stand in their shoes. That was super cool. We had our picture taken with the mike stand and our tour guide was a crack up. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it if ever in the area.
Fan Mail Wall
Dressing Room for the Stars
The Opry Stage
We then walked across to the Opry Mills shopping centre for some lunch. We saw a sign that said Underwater dining attraction. We had to check it out. I am so glad we did as it was awesome. They have built a restaurant that has huge aquariums in it, full of sharks and rays and all kinds of fish. You walk in there and you truly do feel like you are under the ocean, except you don’t need an oxygen tank to survive!!!! We decided that we have to order fish and chips..how could we not?? Well so glad we did, it was the BEST FISH AND CHIPS I HAVE EVER EATEN. So good and worth the 20mins walk from the car park. LOL. So after our fine dining experience, we ventured back out to walk back to the car.
20mins later we were back on our way into town to check out the main st.
We took a walk up the main drag and I had mentioned to Dave that I would like to get some real cowgirl boots. So we walked into one of the many stores and I tried some on, not expecting any of them to fit, as I have trouble getting boots to fit my calves. Well much to my surprise the ones I looked at fit me perfectly. Dave by this stage was running for the door with the credit card. So with my new boots on, we went walking. Stopped for a bite to eat and low and behold we walked past a store that said, buy 1 boot get 2 free…at first I thought they meant buy one get one free but no they actually meant…buy 1 pair and get 2 pairs free…I couldn’t believe it. Dave was frothing at the mouth. Just our bloody luck. So while I went to find 1 pair of boots , I now have 4 pairs of cowgirl boots 🙂 Dave took my hand and we were out of that place like a whirl wind.
So now its back to the hotel, to find somewhere to put the new purchases and get ready to head out tomorrow. We are off to see the stars homes in Nashville and then continue on our way to Pigeon Forge – Dollywood.
Well up early to get to the shop and then get on the road. Dave had a blast in this antique store. Lots of old tin signs. We struck gold. Now we don’t have to look any more for them. Thank heavens. I got him out of there before he spent all our savings…lol and he was worried about my spending on scrap booking. Mine didn’t even come close to adding up to what he spent. LOL.
We hit the road again with the agenda to make it to Nashville today, as we got no where near it yesterday.
We stopped in a little antique store to check out the items. Well that turned out to be a very eventful stop. We got talking to the owner, Mr Bob Moore. He was a scream. We ended up being there for over 2+ hours just talking about Australia and the States. He knew heaps of places to check out along our journey. He told us many a tale. His sense of humour was so much like Dave’s it was uncanny. They got along like a house on fire. I think we persuaded him to go to Australia for his holiday. Let him know to come check us out in Perth and that we would be more than happy to show him around. What an awesome person.
He told me about the time his father was driving along the highway and this car went past him and then swerved in front of him and pulled to the side. His father stopped to see if he could help, turns out they had blown a tyre, so his dad helped changed it. Low and behold, who should step out of the car but Elvis Presley. He thanked him for helping them out. How cool. We managed to drag ourselves away from there and left with his email address and I think we made a friend for life. Sure do hope to catch up with them in Australia one day.
We finally made it in to Nashville and we will fill up our day tomorrow with checking the place out but for now its time to call it a night and get some shuteye.
Today would of had to of been a highlight of my trip. This was another bucket list item that I got to tick off.
Today we headed to Graceland. Wow what an amazing experience. It was so surreal to think that we were in the same building, walking on the same ground that once was graced by “The King” himself. He truly was an amazing man and so generous. When you go through the house , you can clearly see how much he loved his family and how much he just wanted to help those less fortunate. He presence can still be felt there. It is just so hard to put it into words. Its such a shame that he had to leave us at such a young age, but boy did he make an impact on it while he was here. Even though I was old enough to know who he was, I remember growing up listening to his music as my mum is a huge fan. It truly was an experience I will never forget and would totally recommend to anyone to do it if you ever get the chance..you won’t be disappointed.
I was amazed to learn that when Elvis purchased the property, he paid just over $100, 000 for it. Now while that would of been an obscene amount of money back then, it is a steal now. The place is huge. They have kept the house completely as Elvis had left it. The decor is unbelievable. No expense was spared. Elvis truly believed in over the top. One fact that I found fascinating was that he never wrote any of his songs. Amazing.
Dave and I really spent some time here and it was kind of freaky when we came to his head stone. Elvis is actually buried here with his mother and father and grandfather. I kind of felt like I was intruding on a very personal place but feeling very privileged to be able to pay my respects to a wonderful musician, great man and a devoted father. What an unforgettable experience.
Dave and I left there in awe of a man that changed the world of music and the lives of many.
Rock on Elvis!!!
We spent the afternoon on the riverboat learning about Memphis and those that worked on the Mississippi River. The historical cruise was very interesting. Our tour guide was great too. He knew his stuff. We are certainly learning a lot about this country and their history. I probably know more about this country than my own…lol.
After the cruise we took a stroll down the main st with the many clubs, pubs etc. It has the same feel as New Orleans. I really do love the South and the people here.
Anyway time to get to bed, ready to hit the road again tomorrow.