So here we are. February 20, 2019 and I have just completed another road trip. I drove with my godparents, cousin, and parents from Baltimore to Clarksville, Tennessee, about an hour past Nashville. I went because my cousin was coming home from Afghanistan on February 15. I missed his deployment 8 months ago, but there was no way in Hell I was gonna pass up a road trip to see him come home to his family. My cousin is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. It was great getting to spend time with him, his wife, and two little girls. It was pretty emotional seeing 175 Army soldiers coming home from deployment and reuniting with their families. I’m not gonna lie…I teared up.

The day after my cousin got home, we hiked at Dunbar Cave in Clarksville. I actually kept calling it “Dundalk Cave”. The cave wasn’t open for tours during the winter, sadly, but it was cool to walk around its perimeter. The hike was about a mile long and it took us roughly 20 minutes to do. (We were lazy and took the short route).

On Sunday, we went on an outing to Nashville…and it POURED! My family toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and I went to the Nashville Zoo. The Zoo was really neat but my shoes and socks were drenched by the end. The coolest part of the Nashville Zoo was the Red Kangaroo exhibit. OH…MY…GOD! WOW! These kangaroos were free-roaming in their own enclosure and people could pet them. I was in my element petting these amazing animals! I was surprised at how docile, gentle, and fluffy these animals were. It was almost like they were oblivious to the fact I was there.

I did get the chance to try some down South homemade BBQ and walk around downtown Nashville. I walked past the Ryman Auditorium where the Grand Ol’ Opry is. It was pretty cool to see it, even if I am not into country music. But hey…when in Rome.

We left Tuesday, Feb. 19 at around 7am and got home around 9 or 10pm. That’s taking into account the fact we stopped off to eat twice and made a few bathroom stops. I would have liked to have gone to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, but there’s always next time.

So all in all, it was an amazing trip! Would I recommend it? Based on my experience on the way home through the Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, then yes. But depending on how far you live, be prepared for a long car ride. It took us 12 1/2 hours to drive straight through…and we drove at night to get there. But knowing the type of person I am and how much I love traveling, then yeah it was worth it! Of course, it’s always worth it when family is involved.

Oh, before I go, I have to mention something about downtown Clarksville, Tennessee. The downtown area is small, but it’s really neat. It’s got that small-town kind of feel to it. There are no “modern” stores like Best Buy or Target or WalMart in that area. BUT they have a river you can walk along which was pretty with all the foliage around it. Unfortunately, all the trees and bushes were dead, so I would love to go back in summer when everything is blooming. The best place I ate at all trip, probably, was a little coffee bar in Clarksville called Yada Yada. They have THE best latte I have ever had! It’s called the Spanish Latte, and WOW! It’s all natural ingredients and coffee. IT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! Even my mom, who isn’t into coffee and lattes thought it was good!

So all in all, I had an amazing trip! It would have been good if it were just a road trip to Nashville, but I wanna go back and see Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. I’m sure those places are beautiful, seeing as they are right in the Smoky Mountains. But seeing my cousin come home safe, sound, and in one piece all more than made up for it! So that’s gonna do it from me. I want to hear from you. Have you ever been on a long road trip or been on a military base or any of the afore mentioned? Thanks for reading!



Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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