The drive from Manchester to Hot Springs is about twenty-three hours total. When you drive with someone who isn’t a fan of driving, that’s a pretty long trip. Want to guess who the non-fan is? Yep, it’s my husband, not me.
Months ago, when we began planning our year of finding a new home, I decided to be the chief organizer. Finding homes to rent, determining how to ship our possessions, and planning travel all fall within one of my favorite skills: research. As I planned this year, one thing I wanted to do was make the travel to each location into a fun adventure. I’ve raised kids; I know how to make a boring car trip into fun.
Since the first drive was almost a day long, if done straight through, I decided to break it into chunks. This worked well for several reasons. First, none of our days of driving lasted more than six-ish hours. Second, because our drives were shorter, we could leave after morning rush hour and be at our next destination before afternoon rush hour. Third, we each had time to work at the start and end of each day. We didn’t have to work late into the evening nor be stressed about work piling up.
Along the route, I didn’t have set stops for the first two days. It was merely a matter of seeing where we would end after six hours of driving. Since we were traveling in January, I knew that weather might slow or delay our travel, so all hotels were booked about noon of the day needed. Thankfully, the worst weather we encountered was downpours on Friday morning in West Virginia.
However, on the third day of driving I did have a destination in mind: Nashville. We couldn’t move into our home until Sunday, so why not spend 36 hours in a fun, new-to-me city? It was a great choice. We basically ate (and drank) our way through a portion of the city. Here’s a quick accounting of what we enjoyed:
- Friday afternoon snack at Tavern at Bobby: Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Italian 75 (me), Everything Nice Old Fashioned (him)
- Friday dinner at Party Fowl: Fowl Balls (shared), Hot Chicken Tenders with collard greens and mac & cheese (me), Hot Chicken & Beignets (him)
- Saturday afternoon snack at Diskin Cidery: Charcuterie (shared), Flight of Bob’s Your Uncle, BTC, Resolution, and Wetter the Better (me), Tiki Tonic and Jalapeno Honey (him)
- Saturday dinner at Butcher & Bee: Creamy Kale, Whipped Feta, Avocado Crispy Rice, Lamb Riblets, Apple of My Eye Cheesecake, and Sweet Potato Pie (all shared)
Nashville was a delicious city! It also was a great city to explore. It was upper 30s and overcast on our one day to tour, so we didn’t walk as much as we could have. However, in that time we did visit the Nashville War Memorial, Tennessee State Capitol, Belmont Mansion, and Nashville Craft Distillery. As non-country music fans, I think the locations we chose worked well and were perfect for us.
Sunday was our final day of driving, and we arrived in Hot Springs in the mid-afternoon. Return next week, as I’ll share more about the start of our Arkansas adventure!