Back in May, my family decided we were going to take a road trip to Orlando. We decided not to make it just a mad rush to arrive, but to try to hit fun places on the way down and back along with some Diners, Drive-in and Dives featured restaurants. The first thing I did was create a Pinterest board for my trip with places we may like to see along the way. I tried to remember to place addresses in the pin description in case I hit areas without the internet. However, the hardest part is to plan what time you’ll be in what city. Therefore, making it hard to plan for which restaurant you’ll want to hit.
I packed the car up Thursday, as we were leaving Friday when my husband got off of work. We didn’t go the typical route of packing in suitcases because we wanted to condense and save as much room as possible. See, we used to live in Orlando, and when we moved away, my husband had left three drum sets and a bass guitar at a friend’s house. We wanted to pick those up to take home with us. (Luckily my in-laws came and had a ton of room in their van!) So instead of suitcases, I used plastic bins to pack. I had all the clothes for our family of five in one plastic container. Also, food and toiletries in one and all our swimming/pool stuff in a third.
Knowing that we were planning on making a stop somewhere overnight, I packed an overnight bag. It contained clothes for us all so we wouldn’t have to unpack the entire van at a stop. I also went shopping and got the kids each a new backpack with goodies in it to keep them busy. They each got a new coloring book, crayons, activity books, a small toy and they had their DS or LeapPad along with headphones. We brought our travel DVD player, but I think they watched a total of two movies over the five drive days that we took. We had a small snack bin in the middle of the van along with a cooler with drinks, cheese sticks and apple sauce for snacks.
Friday afternoon my husband got home, and we hit the road. We left around 4 in the afternoon, so we were hungry pretty early on. We couldn’t make it to Indianapolis where I had my first DDD restaurant picked out, so we just hit Arby’s. I’m so not a fan of that restaurant. It’s overpriced, and this one had no changing tables. I don’t understand how you can operate a restaurant off a major highway and not have changing tables!
We continued driving and somewhere around 10 p.m. started looking for somewhere to stay the night. We ended up in Elizabethtown, Kentucky for the evening. The next morning we got up and decided to drive around and see the sites because they had some Civil War memorabilia. My husband started driving, got on the phone and ended up getting back on the road without getting to see anything. The problem was, he got on the WRONG road, and we didn’t even know it at first! We ended up with a very scenic view of Kentucky.
We got into the Nashville area by lunch time, so we were able to try one of our DDD restaurants! First, we tried to go to Bro’s Cajun Cuisine, but they weren’t open for some reason. So we ended up at Athen’s Family Restaurant. We got there at the perfect time because we were sat immediately. As we were eating, I looked behind me and saw a line out the door. There was nothing fancy about the place, but that’s why it’s featured.
My husband got the Bacon Lamb Burger with an egg on top: Grilled and lightly spiced ground lamb patty, strips of bacon topped with melted swiss cheese and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Chef Adel’s original creation featured on the Food Network. I just got a four cheese burger: Need a cheese fix? Yummy Swiss, American, Cheddar & Feta all wrapped up in a big patty. Both burgers were pretty good. I liked their fries, though. They had spices, and Feta cheese sprinkled on them. YUMMY! The staff was pretty good at the beginning, but then the waitress forgot my sweet tea and never came back to check on us. I was disappointed in the service by the end.
After that stop, we looked at the GPS and noticed that we could make it to Orlando by 11 that night, so we just tried to make some good time. We made one more meal stop which was just Subway and continued on our way. We ended up getting into town at 1 am.
For more about my vacation in Orlando and our road trip home, visit Frosted Fingers.