In January, my daughter informed me she planned to take me on my dream vacation. We arranged a fund raiser with our local friend that runs Quartermania, and raised some money to help with the financial part of this trip, as my daughter is a server in a local restaurant and works her tush off to support her two kids, pay their bills, and have a life for themselves. Thankfully, a very special couple whom chose to remain anonymous came forward and booked and paid for our hotels - The Sheraton Downtown Nashville and the Holiday Inn Resort in Pensacola... what beautiful rooms and top notch service we received too!
An organization called Do It For the Love came forward for us, and paid for our Ryman Auditorium tickets and a reimbursement toward our transportation. Speaking of transportation, an old school mate that has since moved to Kentucky, but works for Enterprise Rent a car hooked me up with a discount rate for the vehicle so the initial expenses were half of what it would have been otherwise. Thank you again Susan!! This made things much easier on us financially. On top of all this, Suzanne was blessed and her tax return arrived the day before we hit the road... so she was able to stock the fridge for my 18 year old grandson whom stayed home with the animals, and pay for her BFF Jessica (LOVE YOU GIRL) to be able to keep my grand daughter whom is 11 and pay for her school lunches, other needs and her softball practices... as both of their girls are on the same team.
SO... the vacation...
DAY 1: We hit the road on the morning of April 13, after a good breakfast at BOMBER RESTAURANT with hubby joining us, and after a long drive... we spent two full days and three nights in Nashville - our first evening we hung out in town checking out the sights. After we arrived at the Sheraton Downtown Nashville, we unpacked and headed toward Broadway Street on foot (walker for me). It was a steep downhill walk three blocks but so much to see! We had our first meal in Nashville at Jack's Bar-B-Que and it was sooooo good! Suzanne works at Bone Heads BBQ here in Belleville MI area (Willis) so it was perfect to eat at a BBQ joint our first night.
Day two: We checked out the Military Museum across from the hotel (after all, we are tribute Rosies for the Yankee Air Museum holding Guinness World Records for it), and into town again, where Suzanne got her three pairs of Boots for the price of one... on the way back to clean up for the Loretta Lynn Concert - which was on her 85th Birthday by the way... , we saw her bus behind the Ryman. The show - AMAZING. We personally met the Band Manager whom had seen us in town earlier at Layla's and saw we had SECOND ROW FLOOR SEATS and inquired how we managed that. I told him my story and how #DOITFORTHELOVE set us up with these great seats and what they are... (Do It For The Love is a nonprofit wish-granting organization that brings people living with life-threatening illnesses, children with severe challenges, and wounded veterans to live concerts.) He approached me at the end of the show and gave me his personal guitar pic (photo shown next to the Angel Coin Stacy Edwards gave me to keep me safe on vacation). We attended the AFTER PARTY which was held at Ernest Tubbs Record Shop on Broadway, with Loretta's grand-daughter; Tayla Lynn performing. It was amazing!
Day 3: we spend the day at Loretta Lynn Ranch after a brief ride out of town, it was her Spring Fling BBQ and Suzanne splurged on the tickets to tour the house and ranch. It was AMAZING... Suzanne even saw a Copperhead snake up close and personal on the rocks of the river... We left around 5:30 and ended up a little late to the Grand Ole Opry, but made it in time to see Ricky Skaggs and Charles Esten and Chris Janson perform, along with others. We again splurged on the back stage tour, where Mr. Ricky Skaggs stopped and posed with me for a photo! WOW.
Day 4: On the road again, to FLORIDA. We stopped in Alabama to visit our VERY FIRST NEIGHBOR from 1980. So blessed that we are still friends. Our girls have remained friends as well all these years, thanks to Facebook. It was Easter Sunday and we had dinner reservations at The Grand Marlin in Pensacola for 7pm, we ended up calling twice to put the reservation back and arrived about 9:30. What a meal! When we got back to the hotel, there was a platter with chocolate covered strawberries, fresh whipped cream and a bottle of Champagne, compliments of the hotel! WOW WOW!!
Day 5: First morning in Pensacola - the rich food almost did not let me out of the room, but we managed to make it there by noon. We reserved lounge chairs for both days, with the umbrella. It was absolutely beautiful. We enjoyed the sun, surf, sand and a quiet dinner in at the hotel restaurant; Riptides at the Holiday Inn Resort in Pensacola. The food was delicious and it was so nice to sit and chat with my daughter over a nice meal. We enjoyed the sunset out our window that evening, from the 7th floor. A perfect day.
Day 6: Second morning in Pensacola - tummy much better this day, but my right thigh was a bit swollen. Standing on the edge of the beach sinking my leg into the sand to get photos the day before may not have helped much. It felt as if the rod to the artificial hip I had put in back in September had moved. A little ice and a walk in the Lazy River helped to cool things down and back to the beach to join my daughter for a few hours and ended the afternoon before dinner. We dined at Frisky Dolphin that evening, and met the owner. What a great place to eat and enjoy the sunset on the water... got some great pics there! OH and the owner is a pretty cool dude... even offered my babygirl a job if she wants to move down there (which she does)
Day 7: We got a bit of a late start, but had breakfast at WAFFLE HOUSE as we were leaving Pensacola, headed EAST toward Jacksonville. It took us all day but we arrived just before the sun began to set at Jacksonville Beach. We were walking the beach and Suzanne came across a Portuguese Man of War Jellyfish that had been washed ashore and totally flipped out. Then we saw a washed up spray bottle with crustaceans living on it, I thought it was one of those rope dog toys at first. We also saw a Blue Button Jellyfish Porpita porpita, also washed ashore. There was a man attempting to fish with a large pole and was kind to warn us about his line, and a parasailer directly over the beach. We captured the sunset and stood in the shore of the ATLANTIC OCEAN that evening, and eventually found our way to dinner at Jimmy Johns. We drove that night until around 1:30 when we stopped in South Carolina to get some shut eye, at a rest area. I sat guard while Suzanne slept... she did most all of the driving on this trip, so she needed the sleep. She did not want momma to drive, with the exception of North Carolina so she could nap.
DAY 8: We woke to a foggy morning at 5am, so we let Suzanne get a little more sleep, and did a McDonalds Breakfast. They must have JUST opened, the worst service ever at a McDonalds... SO, we drove north, through the Carolinas then the Virginias, through the mountains, the rain and the idiots not knowing how to drive..yes, we saw a car on fire along the side of the road, and another accident on the WV Turnpike where an SUV was spun around and a car was upside down in the right "shoulder" of the mountain. We were in the middle lane, at a complete stop when a semi hauling landscape timbers came flying up to our LEFT screeching his brakes nearly hitting the car stopped there, with the State Trooper directly in front of his car. We thought we were dead... had those timbers come flying off that truck, Thank GOD HE was with us on this journey! That was the worst traffic we encountered the whole trip. I lost the video of Suzanne driving in the rain through the mountains, crying and praying- an swearing she'd never tease me about my driving like a grandma ever again. (note: I am a grandma...) I guess that was divine intervention. It rained most of the way home through Ohio, and we made it home around midnight Friday morning, the grandkids were so happy to see us! WE were exhausted and opted to return the rental car the following morning. Had to stay safe.
Marcy Kat was happy to see her momma when I got home, Hubby had already left for his Chicago Toy Show until Sunday so we had a quiet weekend and I slept for two days after we returned the car. Which, by the way; was a Dodge Journey and got AMAZING MILEAGE... and was very comfortable.
There are three photo galleries, because we can only load so many photos to one gallery. The first; are photos of the trip South, time in Nashville through the afternoon of the second day in Pensacola. The second is the second evening in Florida through the third evening, which ended in Jacksonville Beach, FL at the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. The final gallery, is our trip home, we drove through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio, finally arriving home crossing the Ohio Michigan border around 11:30 pm Thursday night. I got home shortly after midnight and was oh so happy to see my own bed and Marcy Kat waiting for me!
*Enjoy the photos and videos, it's taken me a month to get this far with loading this, so forgive that I don't have all the caption entered yet.... that will be forthcoming, I promise! tlc
IF you wish to continue to help TLC and her financial battle with this cancer, you are more than welcome to submit donations via PayPal to our special link; paypal.me/TLCwageWARonMBC and your secure donation will be deposited directly into Teri's account for use for transportation, household services, supplies, helping with household expenses, burial / end of life expenses and more. Thank you again and may God be with you all!
tlc Teri L Cranson Stage IV Breast Cancer Fighter ... #Lifer #Metavivor #DontIGNOREstageIV #WeHaveAwarenessWeNEEDaCURE #PinkISnotAcure #GreenPinkTeal #WagingWARonSTAGEiv #ElephantInThePinkRoom....