On the Road Again...

While hitting the highways from Atlanta to Minneapolis we were extremely lucky to have time to stop in Nashville for one night along with an extended stay at our homes in the St. Louis Metro and Chicagoland areas.

For your viewing pleasure, here are a few random tidbits and experiences we picked up along the way:

1. If you stop in Nashville and you don't know where to go--Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge never fails. We visited on a Monday night and could barely walk through the place as it was flooded with patrons from wall-to-wall on both the top and bottom floors. The caliber of talent in Music City is already out of this world and the artists that performed at this venue on a weekday night were just truly incredible. We highly recommend Tootsie's for your next Nashville visit!

2. Busch Stadium still has the best nachos I've ever had. I was lucky enough to have a tasty reunion accompanied by a Cardinals win over the Mets.

3. For those of you who have asked about my amazing mother, Billie Cox, she is still kicking cancer's butt one day at a time. She recently finished another round of chemotherapy on October 5, and is looking forward to her last treatment on October 26 (as long as all tests are negative) followed by six weeks of radiation. Everyone's thoughts, prayers and positive energy during this year have meant so much to me, my family and of course to my mother--please keep them coming!

For the random readers out there--my mother is my inspiration, my rock, my bestfriend and my life. If you want to meet the strongest and sweetest person on the face of this planet (no joke) than I'd love to introduce you to Ms. Billie Jean Cox.
(...And yes, that's her name and no she's obviously not named after the song) ;)

4. Eckert's Farm located in Grafton, Illinois (another location in Belleville, IL) is still everything I remember from childhood and more! Above are a few pictures from my favorite apple orchard. Still serving some of the best apples, cider and tasty candy covered treats--Eckert's Farm is worth a trip up the Great River Road for the beauty, eagle spotting and fall fun!

Help boost your local economy by visiting an orchard or pumpkin patch in your area.

5. My grandmother knew how to crochet, my mother knows how to crochet.....and now I do! Thanks Mom for teaching me! Note: Don't be fooled...I'm still a work in progress.

6. Roma's Pizza is still my favorite pizza of all time. It was nice to call, give my order (without a first or last name, phone number or address) and pick it up twenty minutes later with no mistakes.

7. If you're going to watch the Bears game at Bull and Bear in the Chicago loop, you need to make a reservation ahead of time. Luckily, if you show up early to Joe's on Weed Street you should get a table just fine but they also take reservations for your liking.

8. Mrs. Garms has the best culinary skills my tastebuds have ever encountered. I marvel at her dishes every time we're "home" in Arlington Heights and I now know why one of Casey's favorite home-cooked meals is BBQ pork chops--still salivating just from our delicious dinner.

Often times I feel really bad for Case knowing that my cooking skills are nowhere near the spectrum of his mother's and sadly is limited to adding milk to cereal or grilling pre-made turkey burgers on a George Foreman grill. Someday...

9. Driving through the entire state of Wisconsin during the fall makes for a beautiful drive. Imagine the view as your engulfed by trees painted orange, red, yellow and green surrounding both sides of the highway the entire ride--breathtaking, scenic and helps the drive go by a lot faster.

10. We cherish every single moment with our families. We had an incredible time at our homes and love and miss you all very dearly. xoxo

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