Where to begin to describe a trip like this. It was everything I knew I needed, and even more than that.
When we left for the trip, I was exhausted. Point blank I was spent. My runs were sluggish, I was tired, I needed a break. I needed this vacation to force me to take one, because I simply don’t notice how burned out I am until I get injured or cry.
Yup, I cry because I am so overwhelmed.
This vacation came at the perfect time. In order to finish a marathon, I needed to rest a lot, both physically and mentally. That’s exactly what we did.
The first two days of driving, I slept a lot in the car. We started from my parent’s house (where I left my van) at around 9:00AM. We wanted to make good headway getting to Ohio and to Cincinnati that night.
My sister’s boyfriend drove, and he was great about stopping when we needed to stop, and indulged me when I found random trails or parks to take walks and break up the trip.
The first day we ate out of the car, then stopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner near our hotel. This was the first night I slept in a bed in 4 months. It was excellent!
The next day we ate breakfast at the hotel, my sister and I ran a bit together and we hit the road again by about 9:30AM. We knew we’d be going through Tennessee and our goal was to make it to Little Rock, Arkansas that night. If you’ve ever watched the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives from the Food Network, you know the host has been to many places in the TN area. We googled a few of them and settled on Cajun food as our first southern culinary experience.
We went to Bro’s Cajun Cuisine, which was basically a shack on a freeway in the middle of Nashville. I was in love with the atmosphere. It wasn’t busy, the people were relaxed, the food was amazing and it was just, southern hospitality I guess. We even met Bro (who actually spells his name Breau) who brought Cajun from Louisiana to Nashville 30 years ago. Really nice guy, great food. Highly recommend it.
After eating, we continued our trek to Arkansas, stopping at a Diamond Cavern and a few other miscellaneous parks. It warmed up quite a bit, which was a relief considering we had come from mostly still winter New York.
The next day we only had a 5 hour drive to get to our AirBnB, so we took our time in the morning getting ready. We visited the Hot Springs and walked around there before it started to rain. We spent the afternoon driving and got dinner at Twisted Root Burgers in Waco before getting to our AirBNB.
The burgers were so good, as were the sides! I got a veggie burger made with chickpeas, black beans and rice with avocado and homemade BBQ sauce. As a side I choose the fried green beans and OH BABY they were dangerously good! The whole atmosphere in there was neat. The restaurant was a renovated warehouse with high ceilings, music videos and baseball playing on TVs on the walls and both booths and tables. My sister said that was her favorite place that we ate.
We made it to our AirBnB that night, hung out on the porch swings and relaxed.
The next day was packet pick up. That post, and the race, will be for another day.