“Well, I got a bumper sticker
On the back of my truck
There ain’t another like it
‘Cause I had it made up”
– George Strait, “Honk If You Honky Tonk”
Those with an RV know the first staple item of any RV family is the blank map of the good ole USA. Every time you cross a state line, you add the sticker to your map of that state and eventually, your map starts to fill in and show all the amazing places you’ve traveled in your RV. On our first big trip, we drove a little out of the way to cross a few state lines – all with the goal of earning more stickers. We covered the entire Southeast United States and ventured into Arkansas and Louisiana – simply to earn our state stickers.
“Down to the drugstore, to be with the crowd
A candy sodapop for cyrin’ out loud
All day long, sittin’ on a stool
Drinking milkshakes again, she giggles like a fool.”
– Jerry Lee Lewis, “Milkshake Mademoiselle”
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love milkshakes. This won’t be the last post I make about milkshakes, but let me tell you this is one of the best milkshakes I’ve ever enjoyed. I give to you A. Schwab. This awesome place was founded way back in 1876 and we recently had the pleasure of sitting on a bar stool of the old soda shop to enjoy hand scooped milkshakes right there at the bar. You can’t go to Memphis without visiting this Beale Street staple. You just can’t argue with a milkshake in a glass jar and a candystripe straw.
“You’re as smooth as Tennessee whiskey
You’re as sweet as strawberry wine
You’re as warm as a glass of brandy
And honey, I stay stoned on your love all the time”
– Chris Stapleton, “Tennessee Whiskey”
We’ve decided we don’t find the Moonshine, the Moonshine finds us.
Ok, so maybe we find the Moonshine.
And the homemade wine.
One of my favorite things in Tennessee is all the homemade wines and liquors. While we first discovered Moonshine at The Island in Pigeon Forge, we discovered the true gem of Tennessee driving down a random Pigeon Forge road off the beaten path away from the tourist trap area – that’s where we found Tennessee XXX Moonshine in a red, barn-like building. We pretty much had a personal tasting with the great man running the shop (who is also a talented musician playing in various shows around Pigeon Forge). We tasted. And tasted. And tasted. And tasted. And tasted. Did I mention we tasted the Moonshine? Then we left with half a dozen jars of Moonshine.
So. Freaking. Good.
Then we found a great little place called Tennessee Homemade Wines right on the main street in Gatlinburg. I don’t like wine and saying I don’t like wine is not being dramatic. I don’t like it at all. Red, white, doesn’t matter. I just don’t like it. This is not wine. It is, but it doesn’t taste like wine. It tastes like a kid’s juicebox on steroids. And don’t even get me started about mom turning this wine into Sangria. Holy geez that’s good stuff. You can even buy the wine online (not an ad, just saying this stuff is awesome).
Dolly for President shirt from Southern Fried Designs!
“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white”
– “White Christmas”
We’ve never spent a Christmas away from home, but we decided to go for it this year! Being a Floridian, I personally was hoping for a white Christmas, but I may have been the only one secretly wishing for snow. We didn’t quite get the snow, but the cold weather and rain was there to greet us in Tennessee. We made the journey to Pigeon Forge to support the local businesses who were struggling after the recent fires in Gatlinburg. We stayed at Riveredge RV Park in Pigeon Forge right in the hustle and bustle of the city. This was actually one of the very first RV parks we ever stayed at years ago when we were renting C class RVs to decide if we liked the RV lifestyle.
Check out the photo below of our miniature Christmas tree – complete with ornaments that can’t break! We were able to store the tiny tree in a bin under the bed so we can whip it out next year. We’re huge Christmas people so we have to be able to decorate somehow!
“We’re caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby”
– Elvis Presley, “Suspicious Minds”
Do you ever have a moment when you discover something new (to you at least) and you wonder where that something new has been your whole life? That’s how I feel about my time in Memphis. I never knew how much I needed Elvis music in my life, but now I do.
We stayed at Graceland RV Park & Campground and while there was nothing special about the campground itself, you’re parked across the street from The Guest House at Graceland and within walking distance to Graceland itself. I didn’t take any pictures of the campground (I promise to get better at that moving forward!), but I have tons of pictures of Graceland and the exhibits about the life of Elvis. I can tell you, we’ll definitely be heading back to Memphis soon because I just can’t get enough of Elvis. Enjoy!