Days 18-20: To a Tennessee Wedding

After picking up Milo and getting some much-needed rest, we were on our way from Cincinnati to Jackson, Tennessee for a wedding. We picked up the suits we’d left at a dry cleaner’s before flying to London, stopped by a barber for a fresh haircut, and hit the road.

Missed the beginning of the trip? Start here.

Traffic Jam

The drive should have been about 6 hours, and we were all set to arrive mid-afternoon, in time to check in to our place for the weekend and head over for the rehearsal dinner/reception with a bunch of extended family. But along the way, an accident showed up on I-40 west of Nashville, showing more than an hour’s delay and growing. Nearly a dozen family members, traveling together, were stuck in the traffic. We had an opportunity to avoid the traffic, but the detour didn’t look fast either. Faced with a slow-but-predictable detour or sitting in traffic until the interstate reopened, we chose the detour.

We got there a little later than planned, making a quick pit stop along the way to change before heading directly to the dinner. After dinner, which of course went fairly late, we probably should have headed to our place for the night. Instead, we went to the hotel where much of my family was staying, and enjoyed a round of drinks with aunts, uncles, and cousins. Eventually, we made our way to find the AirBnB we reserved. Since we were traveling with Milo, we reserved a pet-friendly spot, the cute little blue house below. With all of the taxes and fees included, we were out $230 for the two-night stay, split between my brother and his girlfriend (now fiancé!), Andrew, and myself.

Another Great AirBnB Spot!

Cute AirBnB rental for the wedding weekend.

Andrew and I, still waking up on a central European clock, made our way to a nearby grocery store Saturday morning, and used the kitchen to fix breakfast for the four of us. The wedding wasn’t until late afternoon, so we had a pretty relaxed day. While breakfast was kind of late in the morning and very filling, we eventually needed something to eat–waiting until the reception wasn’t quite going to do it. Fortunately, Cook-Out was having a grand opening for a restaurant in Jackson that weekend, the furthest west Cook-Out has a location. Perfect!

Cook-Out!!  Perfect pre-wedding food.
The place that makes a Wendy’s 4-for-$4 deal look terribly overpriced. Some of the best burgers in the fast food world, with handmade patties, and milkshakes that are in a league of their own.

The newlyweds exchanged vows and the reception was lots of fun. My 90-year-old grandmother was out on the dance floor as usual, but for the second time at a grandkid’s wedding, without her life-long dance partner. It was probably after midnight when we left, and that was pushing it. I caught Andrew falling asleep!

I think he likes me.

Last Leg of the Trip

Sunday morning we started off a little slow. We ate breakfast, relaxed a bit, and eventually packed up. Milo insisted on reminding me that he forgave me for leaving him for almost 3 weeks. We headed over to my aunt and uncle’s house (the bride’s parents) to visit with family a bit more, and help unload and repack leftovers, and eat. No surprise, lunch took a few hours. After that, we ended up going back over to the church to help finish taking down lights and decorations, and didn’t hit the road until about 4:00 for the 8-hour drive back to Iowa.

Milo keeping an eye on Andrew's driving on our way back from the wedding.
Are we there yet?

We didn’t want to get back any later than necessary (we already knew it was going to be really late), but that didn’t mean we didn’t make time for a good dinner. While I was driving, Andrew found a restaurant not too far out of the way in St. Louis. Since it was a beautiful day, we both wanted to eat outside.

Dinner was a success. Excellent food, perfect neighborhood atmosphere, Milo was welcomed, and even got some attention from a kid and his golden retriever at the next table over. Four hours later, the trip was over.

Next time, I’ll give a run down of what we spent, some stats about how we traveled, and some of our favorite spots along the way. After the longest interruption in a dozen years, I’m back to full-time RVing!

Day 18 455 mi 0 mi 0 mi 0 mi
Day 19 24.4 mi 0 mi 0 mi 0 mi
Day 20 547 mi 0 mi 0 mi 0.2 mi
Total 3,778.1 mi 8,802 mi 184.6 mi* 68.9 mi

*Includes water taxi (0.9 mi), canal tour (2.2 mi) and Lyft rides (13.5 mi)

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