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Trip Report Orlando Calling...yes, I was "there" too...

the clash GIF


Orlando calling to the faraway towns..
Now a vacation is declared and we come down..
Orlando calling and I don't want to shout...
But while we were driving, I saw you nodding out
Orlando calling, and the Disney World..
Come out of the house, you 4 boys and 1 girl..
Orlando calling to our 2 bedroom resort...
Now that I'm home, the trip I report...

I never felt so much alike, alike, alike, alike
 
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Billy6

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello there...

Although the context of the song is a little different than my lil' ditty, the "calling" part meant that a Florida vacation was calling to us after a few years off, a new addition to the family and overall angst of getting out of our state for a while...


Band Members:
Billy-lead singer and financial backer...
Heather-lead guitar and family glue...
Liam-Drums and Mini Van Valet
Kaiden-Bass and back of the van vocals(screams)
Jace-the newest member of the band

Tour Dates:
June 3-IL to TN...
June 4-TN to FL(Ocala)
June 5-FL to FL(Resort)
June 5-12...Marriott Harbour Lake, just outside of Sea World. This has been my family's home resort for almost 20 years when my father became a Vacation club member(they sucked him in).

Harbour Lake is a great family friendly resort with 2 BR villas that we've had the pleasure of staying at for all these years. 2 pools, plenty of activities, mini golf and close to everything...

We had one more week to use before their system turned into points based so my dad offered it to us and the trip was born..
Flights out of the Chicago area were ridiculous and we had just bought a new mini van for the wife, so our chariot was set...

First leg-Chicago area to Murfeesboro, TN....

Load um up and cue the music...

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jim webb vacation GIF
 

Billy6

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
After getting tips from some driving experts on the site ;) we had our routes planned and if you've ever been to IL, except for the Chicago area, it's flat and boring...so that was our drive too...boring.

Kids had movies and I had Sirius XM...Made a few food and bio stops for diaper changes and such...

Got into Kentucky in good time...

"Deeeeeeep River...."

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THE Ohio River
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Billy6

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Our first stop was a night in Murfeesboro, TN... We made it though the first day without much drama in the front of the car, but the back wasn't as pleasant... Nutshell: lots of screaming, whining and "are we there yets"... Oh and "I'll stop this car and turn arounds"...

I drive Nissans so I had to get a picture of the stadium my car payments probably helped build in Nashville...

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Stayed at a Residence Inn in Murfees' and the kids got to let off some steam after we ate dinner!

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Good first day and waiting for more...

TN to FL leg next!
 

erstwo

Well-Known Member
After getting tips from some driving experts on the site ;) we had our routes planned and if you've ever been to IL, except for the Chicago area, it's flat and boring...so that was our drive too...boring.

Kids had movies and I had Sirius XM...Made a few food and bio stops for diaper changes and such...

Got into Kentucky in good time...

"Deeeeeeep River...."

View attachment 648864

THE Ohio River
View attachment 648865
Yes, but you get to drive by/ through Effingham! 😂 ;) And one day your kids will think that's hilarious, like mine did back in the day. I was so glad when they finally finished the bridge construction in Louisville and we could take 65 up to see my in laws again.
You guys are troopers - That is quite the haul. Safe travels!
 

Billy6

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Yes, but you get to drive by/ through Effingham! 😂 ;) And one day your kids will think that's hilarious, like mine did back in the day. I was so glad when they finally finished the bridge construction in Louisville and we could take 65 up to see my in laws again.
You guys are troopers - That is quite the haul. Safe travels!
Yes! Our first lunch break was in Effingham. 24 was much better than 65 was. A neighbor and a friend both took 65 a week before we left and said Indiana was horrible from the Chicago area... Made that choice easy for me..
 

Billy6

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Road Trip!!!!! I absolutely love family road trip reports. I hope you include all the "good stuff". We had a Plymouth station wagon growing up and road trips with 3 older sisters are some of the memories we laugh the hardest about!
Road Trip Reaction GIF by Travis
The good stuff was discovering Valhalla..er...I mean Buc'ees... and some of the new sites I didn't remember from last road trip to FL...
 

Billy6

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
After some free eggs, bacon and fruit from JW, we headed out for the fun part of the drive.... The Bunny Hills..
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Down The Mountain Falling GIF by Laff


That mountain stretch before Chattanooga where they have the warning signs for the truckers...and my wife.

I learned from my neighbor who drives trucks that if you have to use one of those ramps, you also get heavily fined and ticketed...means your equipment wasn't up to snuff... The more you know...

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I think that was a church atop the mountain near Chattanooga...

"Hey kids, do you see that church up there?"

"Zzzzzzzzzzz....." I guess the roller coaster ride down the mountains was enough for them"...

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In the blink of an I-24, we were through TN and into the Peach state, then back out again and then back in again....(that lil' part that goes back and forth between the states)


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The closer we got to ATL, the slower the traffic got...it was early afternoon on a Saturday so we knew what we are in store for. It was about as bad as I thought it would be. Once we got through the city proper, it opened up and we made up the time pretty well....
I was on my phone trying to see if our toll pass would work in GA but we were about 3 weeks off from being able to use the EZ-Pass through the ATL express lanes...

Bathrooms and lunch stops...all the boring stuff. I didn't even get to see the third biggest ball of twine, which was only a few short hours away..

Florida was on the horizon and after seeing a couple hundred signs for a Beaver store(???), we put the pedal to the carpet at made our way to the Sunshine State...
 
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Billy6

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I live in Murfreesboro! Know exactly where you stayed. I don’t love the drive on 24 to Chattanooga though. It is pretty at times, but the winding road is not my favorite. Looking forward to reading your report.
Yes! Excellent little area there where all the big box stores and restaurants are... We had B-Dubs carry out for dinner that night. We would stay there on the return trip a week later..Great place...
 

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