Ultimate TRiO Southern Experience

Where has the time gone? 
I keep doing double takes at the calendar,
because it's hard to believe it is already the middle of July!  Jeesh.

On Monday, July 2, I boarded 1 of 2 coach buses,
along with 75 other high school students, college-student counselors, and TRiO staff.

Our planned destinations:
St. Louis
Tybee Island
St. Louis

But of course, our trip started off with a little excitement.

And here starts a long post.....

{July 2}
The AC on one of the buses went out. 
And traveling on a coach bus with no AC in July makes for a hot bus.

After some time spent dealing with the bus company to find another bus,
it was decided that the working bus would load up as full as possible, and head to St. Louis.
There was a Cardinal's game to get to!
Which I did not go to.
I stayed back with the remaining students and spend almost 3 hours at Coral Ridge Mall,
while waiting for another bus to come get us...after riding about 20 minutes to the mall in a 105 degree bus!
{Side note....how can people spend so much time in a mall?!  I got bored...fast!}

Finally, the last bus arrived to St. Louis over 5 hours later.
 And once we got to the hotel, I had luggage patrol!

{July 3}
 Driving through Nashville en route to Atlanta.
Can you find 'Batman'?

When we finally arrived to Atlanta, we had 2 eating options:
1.  Ride the bus to some fast food restaurants across the interstate.
2.  Walk to Cracker Barrel.

That was a no-brainer.  :)

{July 4}

First stop in Atlanta....The World of Coca-Cola.
I was impressed!  :)

At the end of the 'World', you get to sample Coke pop from all over the world.
Some were good.  A few were awful.

{Gina...notice one of the pops in the picture?!  It thought of you when I saw and enjoyed it.}

If you are ever in Atlanta, add the World of Coke to your 'must see' list.

I wanted to go to the aquarium...but decided it wasn't worth the cost for the 1.5 I'd be there.

Next stop...Stone Mountain Park.  

This is a very unique place!  But...it was HOT!

Once we got there, we all went our own direction.

The staff ended up going to the top of Stone Mountain first, via Summit Skyride.
Imagine trying to fit about 60+ people on a lift and gliding along cables....yeah, not cool.

 When we were ready to head down,
we got a crazy hair-brained idea and took the walking path.
I think it took under 30 minutes to walk the mile down.
I'm proud to say....I was the first in our group down.  :)

While roaming around more later on, I decided I had to get this picture,
where I found a little country in all the craziness!

The crowd....waiting for fireworks. Glad I found a grassy spot elsewhere!

In my opinion...it was a disappointing laser light show and fireworks.
I prefer small town Iowa fireworks better!

 {July 5}

After traveling about 4+ hours on the bus, we made it to Savannah.

Savannah State University was our first stop for lunch.
We eventually made it to the highlight I was looking forward to....Historic Savannah.
But, we were allotted 30 minutes to tour.  
Needless to say, I was/am disappointed about that.
I attempted to see the sights...
but turned around and just went to the visitors center and then back to the bus.
I loved Savannah the last time I was there.
{I hope I get to go back again, and tour it the right way!}

It was my goal that the students would get to enjoy the culture and history Savannah holds.

Maybe another time.

But we did make it to Tybee Island....so the students could go to the ocean.

Tybee Island Light House

{ July 6}

Traveled to Nashville....saw 'Batman' again.

Had a quick lunch at the Opry Backstage Grill.

We had a campus tour of Vanderbilt University.

Of course, toured the Grand Ole Opry.
I loved it!  Great history and stories are in that place.  
I think I'm going to add 'seeing a show at the Grand Ole Opry' to my bucket list.

 {July 7}

Belle Meade Plantation

Awesome place.  Again, amazing history here!

 At some point between Tennessee and Kentucky, en route to St. Louis,
I felt like the roads 'opened up'.

This is why.

Instead of tree-lined roads, there were fields!

I made it to the top of the Gateway Arch again.

I still enjoyed the view

 Gateway to the {Mid}West!

 Last night in a hotel.....some students thought it would be fun to 
break rules and leave their room and crazy hours of the night/morning.
Students were caught, consequences were given.

Finally went to bed at 2:30am.

 {July 8}

Last stop of our trip...Hannibal, MO

Saw Mark Twain's Boyhood Home & Museum.

When we finally made it to our first student drop off location,
I was happy my mom and my niece found me...since she left her phone at the farm!
The original location had to change due to some construction.

After getting to the farm and crashing for a few hours, I got to help dad round up a few stray cattle after a neighbor stopped.  It was about 10p at this point in time. 

We each drove different fence lines, trying to find where they got out.
But with it being so dark, it was hard.

Not that I'm an expert or anything,
but I definitely now know what to do and what not to do for this trip again. 
Holler if you have questions. 
I'd be happy to share, so your trip could be even better.  :)

And that's a wrap!


Jessica said...

Go figure! Last night of the trip and students try to break the rules. AH - I do NOT miss that!
I also do not miss trying to cram too much into one trip. :)

Going to Hannibal is definitely one of my to-do items! I have ALWAYS wanted to go!

Nicole said...

Why doesn't it surprise me students trying to break rules.

traci said...

that's a lot of travel, but to some great places. i can't wait to visit savannah and tybee sometime.

Kathy Shea Mormino said...

I'd like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week! http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/clever-chicks-blog-hop-8-and-rural.html

I hope to see you there!
Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick

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