This is the furthest West we’ve ever driven

Since we’ve last had access to the interwebs, we’ve come a long way!

After a great time in Knoxville we headed to Nashville.

We were so fortunate to see so much family at dinner at Aunt Teresa and Uncle Larry’s! Thanks so much to Jon and Donna, Kristen M., Meghan and Neil, Kristen F., Steph and Jon and Allie and Sam, Matt and Corinne and Olivia and Ava for all coming out! It was so great to visit with you all!

Loving on Sam and Allie 😀

Thank you so much Teresa and Larry for hosting us and the crazy crew!

From there we headed to Memphis to see my grandparents.

They’ve lived in this great retirement community since last December and are doing very well there. The place has everything you’d ever need: a library, little shop, exercise facilities, physical therapy, on site physicians, plenty of card playing rooms, a great dining hall and place to get your hair done. Granddad even has a spot to garden in out back and you can tell his tomato plants from everyone else’s (hint, they’re HUGE and of more than the run of the mill varieties).

Granddad showing off his plants

Tomato from the garden

Grandmom showed us all her scrapbooks from out west – I come by my propensity to doing it honestly! She even has pictures of all the state signs as they crossed over the borders, so I’m looking forward to comparing how they’ve changed over the last 20 years.

We got in a brief visit with my cousin Katie, her sweet baby Sutton and Aunt Kathy before starting the card playing. In our family anytime you get together you can bet on several tables of hand-and-foot being played. Its a shorter version of Canasta, with more decks and Jeff has become quite the expert in it.

In the morning she made Jeff and I delicious biscuits and gravy to help send us on our way:

In the morning it was time to say goodbye

I just wish that Memphis and Seattle were a tad closer. So ended the “farewell tour” and Jeff and I are now really on our way out west. Our first stop was Kansas City, MO via St. Louis to see the arch.

It looks like you’d save time by going straight from Memphis to Kansas City, but you only cut off 30 minutes and it was nice to see the Gateway to the West

The arch was cool – not worth a special trip out to see it, but definitely if you’re in the area I would recommend checking it out. Unbeknownst to us – grandmother said you could go up in it! Tickets to the top cost $5 a piece in 1992 and cost $10 now twenty years later.

Outside the arch

Up inside the top of the arch

We’ve collected three new states along the way. I completely missed the sign for Arkansas early in our trip and Jeff was sweet enough to turn around so we can try once more for it. Off through most of Kansas and Nebraska today!

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