Road Trip 2016: Memphis, San Antonio, Pensacola, and Gatlinburg.


At nine months, Leo is ready for his first multi-state road trip. I know we are! So, let the journey begin. Memphis, San Antonio, Pensacola, and Gatlinburg, here we come.

Memphis, Tennesse

After leaving the state of West Virginia, driving through Kentucky, we arrived at our first destination, the historic Peabody Hotel. Tomorrow, we will tour the Duck Palace, witness the Peabody Duck March to the fountain located in the hotel’s lobby, then explore historic Beale Street, Home of the Blues.

The Lobby of the Peabody Hotel.
The Lobby of the Peabody Hotel.

The Peabody Hotel is a beautiful and luxurious hotel. This morning we took the elevator to the top floor and walked onto the roof. You could see the mighty Mississippi River and a lot of downtown Memphis. Viewing the Duck Palace, a multimillion-dollar mansion atop the Peabody, we were able to observe the ducks through the atrium. The duck march didn’t start until 11:00 am, so we decided to head back to street level and explore Beale Street.

BB King's Blues Club, on Beale Street.
BB King’s Blues Club, on Beale Street.

Beale Street is Home of the Blues. As a trumpet player, being able to walk on this iconic street where Louis Armstrong once played gave me a strong sense of pride. While walking the street and hearing musicians perform, it is interesting to think at some point people walked the street just as I the first time they listened to the sounds of B.B. King.

While making our way back to the Peabody, Leo fail asleep. The ducks marched to the elevator where they were lowered to the lobby and waddled to the fountain to the tune of the King Cotton March by John Philip Sousa. Leo may have missed out, but it was still entertaining for adults alike to see the Duckmaster leading the ducks. Awaking in time to notice the stuffed Peabody Ducks in the gift shop, we had to stop and obtained him one of those adorable yellow quackers.

San Antonio, Texas

Check out our, “Parental Escape: 2017 to San Antonio!
We loved San Antonio so much; we went back for a no children getaway!

After driving through Arkansas, we stopped at our second destination, San Antonio Texas. Tomorrow we would like to explore the Tower of Americas, take a night boat ride on the San Antonio River, and see the Alamo at night.

Observation Deck of the Tower of Americas.

The Tower of Americas was built for the 1968 World Fair as the highest observation tower in the US. Our morning view from the observation deck was a spectacular sun-drenched site of downtown San Antonio. After exploring downtown, we purchased our Alamo tickets for the historic walk through. It was an educational trip through the history of the Alamo as a Spanish Mission, a Mexican and Texas Military Outpost, to a Shrine.

San Antonio River, Romantic Night Boat Ride.
San Antonio River, Romantic Night Boat Ride.

This evening we took the night boat ride on the San Antonio River. It was a beautiful, relaxing, and informational tour of the Riverwalk and its surrounding venues. Walking up from the Riverwalk, to get our night shot of the Alamo, we passed lighted horse-drawn carriages along the streets taking people on night tours of downtown. We have never experienced one of these tours, but we do see it available in a lot of other cities. Maybe we will be able to add that experience later, but for now, we must return and pack. Florida, here we come.

Pensacola, Florida
Enjoying Pensacola Beach.
Enjoying Pensacola Beach.

Leaving Texas and driving through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, we awoke to the morning Sun glistening off the pristine white sands of Pensacola Beach. With the smell of the Ocean breeze and the warmth of the Sun covering our bodies makes for a spectacular start to our day.

Today we did nothing but sit on the beach, have drinks, eat, and relax. We enjoyed the relaxing so immensely; we decided to stay another night and repeat it tomorrow. Starting our visit in Pensacola with a Sunrise, we decided to end it with a Sunset. Our last night there, we purchased tickets to walk out on the pier, where we witnessed a beautiful sunset over Pensacola.

Viewing the sunset from the Pensacola Pier.
Viewing the sunset from the Pensacola Pier.

On our trip to Pensacola, we noticed a few miles West of where we were staying was Fort Pickens State Park. This Fort was built due to the War of 1812 to help defend U.S. Ports from further attacks. It is now a State Park with a lot of history, from being protected by Union Troops during the Civil War to imprisoning Chief Geronimo. Our next trip to Pensacola, we will most likely be camping on Fort Pickens beachfront campsites and immersing ourselves in the Fort’s history.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee
The lobby of the Glenstone Lodge.
The lobby of the Glenstone Lodge.

Heading back home, we made a quick stop in Gatlinburg, TN and stayed at the Glenstone Lodge. It was during the start of the Fall Foliage Season, so we were a little worried about the room price. The rooms were reasonably priced, clean, and comfortable. Check-in and out was fast and friendly. Decorated with a country flair, the lobby housed a glass elevator taking guests to their floors. We found it faster to use the stairs than the elevator, but it was enjoyable to use. They also have two indoor pools, one with a waterfall, and one hot tub.

We were only here for a night stay, but it is a place we would gladly come back and make our base camp of operations while exploring Gatlinburg and the Great Smokey Mountains area.


Leo’s first multi-state road trip was a great success. Eleven States were seen and three great areas explored. History of the Peabody and Blues in Memphis were learned. A walk through time at the Alamo, a romantic boat tour of the San Antonio River, relaxing on the white sandy beach of Pensacola, to having a little bit of country in Gatlinburg made for a grand and beautiful adventure.



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