Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Decatur, AL and Nashville, TN

We were thankful to continue heading north. Hopefully we would escape the cold, windy weather! On our way to Decatur we passed a brown historical sign reading "Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament - Next Exit." We decided to be spontaneous and check it out. About twenty miles away from the bustle of the city, through rolling farm hills, we found it! White picket fences lead our way to a beautiful castle and Vatican-esque plaza. There was a church, gift shop, Nativity Scene, Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, and an entire building dedicated to the now Saint John Paul II and the teachings and history of the Eucharist. We didn't get to go on the tour, but we enjoyed praying together and walking around. We knew we had to get back on the road soon, but it was nice to take a moment to be with our heavenly Father.

Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Point Mallard RV Campground is a part of a huge complex of fun things to do. A track, soccer field, ice complex, indoor/outdoor tennis courts, batting cages, chapel, water park, golf course, driving range, bike trail, and RV park are all collectively Point Mallard. Their RV park was the largest park we have ever been to! They also have a pretty big section for tent camping only. Basic amenities were included minus cable. We even had curbside trash pick up multiple times throughout the day. The office and camp store was well stocked. The host couple was nice enough to explain how to connect to the park's WiFi. A host couple is a couple who is staying in the park for at least three months. They help with park maintenance, and other campers are encouraged to see the host couple for any issues that come up after office hours. Josh and I have considered doing this!

The Voice audition in Nashville, TN

After weeks of planning, we decided to rent a car and drive from Decatur to Nashville for The Voice audition. It was awesome and a bit strange to drive a car again after months driving the RV! When we arrived at the Nashville City Music Center the line wrapped around the entire block! There was a bike show in town so we were thoroughly entertained while we took an hour or so to walk around the block. Longest walk ever! By the time we got to the door, I had to say goodbye to Josh and continue the rest of the journey without him. I wasn't alone though! I met two awesome chicks in line: Tammie and Dominique! We stuck together through the entire process. We distracted ourselves with conversations about past auditions and our dreams of becoming a singer.  I didn't make it, but I am so proud I gave it my best! The Voice's audition process is much less stressful than American Idol or X Factor. I only had to wait in line for one day and not two. All of the singers were very respectful of each other. It was nice not having to deal with all the crazy people that come out for American Idol. Josh met one of the girls who made it through the audition to the next round.  We got the RV because getting on these shows is like winning the lottery, and we are just going to keep "buying those tickets"!

The next day we decided to take the motorcycle out and ride around the town. Decatur is a quaint city filled with neighborhoods and restaurants. The only place in town to watch Superbowl XLVIII was at a Chile's. We were hoping for a small business to go to like in Wilmington, NC, but this made it clear that Point Mallard Campground is pretty much the best thing the town has to offer. We ended up having a pretty good night though. We ate way too much and enjoyed the game and commercials. 

While we were staying at Point Mallard, we met a very sweet couple from Texas who was staying in a fifth wheel across from us. Every day we walked the dogs, we gawked at their rig in amazement. It was the first RV we ever saw with a telescoping slide out. We knocked on their door one evening, and they graciously invited us in. I had a fun time bonding with the wife while Josh talked RV logistics with the husband. We enjoyed swapping stories about our travels with them. It was the first time we met another couple we got along with and liked since we've had the RV. 

After staying in Decatur for three weeks, we were ready to continue our journey. The weather had different plans for us though! We found out that Decatur was going to get snow. The temperature was already below freezing for the past week. Our sewer hose and tanks froze. We couldn't even get the RV to start on most days. Since we realized we needed to prolong our stay, we decided to take advantage of our surroundings and walk to the ice complex. Josh had never been ice skating before, and I had only been once in New York City. Surprisingly, there were a lot of families at the rink that day. The prices were so reasonable, we ate lunch there too. You can tell from the pictures and videos we had a blast! Later that night it snowed. It snowed for four days straight. It was a lot of fun playing in the snow. The dogs also got to wear their Ruffwear boots in the snow for the first time!

After a month long stay in Decatur, it was time to start heading to South Florida to visit some of my family. We hit the road and started the drive to Opelika, AL. Check out two new YouTube videos I filmed during our stay!

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