So we grabbed our very first Uber(ever!) to take us to pick up our RV, our Uber driver was a lovely lady called Roz she was a lot of fun. The 20 minute ride we shared with Roz was full of laughter, and excitement about our trip, she said a blessing for us for our travels – right there in the car park of ARTS RV’S.(www.artsrv.com) Roz is a great lady, and that’s a great service right there thank you Roz.
So we dragged our bags through the snowy car park and into ARTS RV’S, throwing them down as soon as we were through the doors. We watched the tutorial video, sign all the paperwork then from around the corner appeared our RV, (the moment we have all been waiting months for) a brand spanking new 28ft long RV pulls up.
It’s even better than we imagined, it turned out that the bad luck with the weather was a blessing in disguise, we got a brand spanker of an RV, first people to use it with 181 miles on the clock, thank you very much.
So we had the grand tour of this big beast and they explained how everything worked, and once they were satisfied that we understood everything, we were free to hit the road in this thing and we couldn’t wait.
As we pulled out of ARTS RV’S we all felt that this adventure had truly begun, and what better way of showing it, than us all shouting YEEE HAAA as loud as we could all so excited to have finally hit the road in our RV, and heading away from the snow.
First stop Walmart. We drove for about 20 minutes till we see a Walmart and we couldn’t wait to get in there and stock up the RV with all the things we were going to need for this adventure , we spent a small fortune in that hour we were in there, we got food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we got things to make the RV homely like a door mat, towels, table mats, potpourri (you know all the essentials).
So once we’d done our 60 minute make over we were back on the road, and heading south on i-55 for DOUBLE J’s RV park (www.doublejcampground.com) in Chatham Illinois. It was about 3 hour drive on a nice straight road, just what we needed to get use to driving the beast, set cruise control to 70mph hold on to the wheel and enjoy the views.
We arrived at DOUBLE J’s around 5pm, it’s the first RV park any of us had ever stayed at so we wasn’t too sure of how it all worked, we pulled up to the office and was greeted by Liz who was so helpful and friendly. Liz explained how the site runs, where we are staying, and offered to help set us up. We drove around to our plot, and thankfully remembered the tutorial from 4hrs ago about how to set up the RV when arriving at a campground. First thing check the RV is level with the spirit level they provided, plug the electric in, plug the cable TV in (would of hooked it up to the water but our RV had been winterized, this means the water tanks on this RV were filled with anti freeze due to the winter weather in Chicago so we had no on board water facilities, no shower, no tap water etc)
But as soon as we get to better climates we would have it de-winterized to give us full use of the facilities. So we were starting to get the feel of this RV life, was pretty good to drive, easy to set up, and it felt like home, hey this is easy, and a lot of fun.
We stayed at DOUBLE J’S for 2 nights , it was a great RV park and it could not have been a better starting camp for us beginners.
So it was time to hit the road again, and we had MEMPHIS in our sights, we just had a 5 hour journey to concur first, again we got on i-55 south set cruise control and enjoyed the view, this time singing Elvis Presley songs for most of the way.
We stayed at the MEMPHIS K.O.A JOURNEY RV (www.koa.com) campground on i-55 which is actually in Arkansas but bordering Tennessee, what a fabulous campground this is. The staff there were very friendly and helpful and gave us great tips on where to go and what to see, the campground was very well looked after and we really enjoyed staying here. We had a fire in the evening which we all enjoyed sitting around roasting marshmallows.
The next day we went to THE CHILDRENS MUSEUM OF MEMPHIS,(www.cmom.com) which we had a lot of fun at, they have some great things for the kids here to play with from real police cars and fire engines, airplanes to climbing frames, disco rooms, milking cows, shopping experiences, and air tubes which were really fun. The best part was the carousel, this was in pristine condition and had so much history behind it, it was a pleasure to ride such an amazing work of art.
After that we drove to a little place they call Graceland (Elvis Presley house) (www.graceland.com), we cannot believe we had the pleasure of visiting Elvis Presley house, (how crazy is that) one of the most famous if not the most famous person ever to have walked this earth and our little family is at his house, it’s something we are never going to forget, we truly appreciate that moment. We signed the wall and floor of Graceland as many millions of others have, but seeing THE ENGLAND FAMILY TRAVELS wrote on the wall of Elvis Presley house was truly a magical moment, and we are truley thankful……. “thank you, thank you very much”
The next day we went to the Peabody Hotel in Memphis (www.peabodymemphis.com) to witness a daily tradition they celebrate called the “March of the Ducks” which is where you can watch duck’s come down an elevator at precisely at 11am EVERYDAY from the penthouse suite where they live in this 5 star hotel. They march from the elevator on a red carpet to a very grand water fountain, where they spent the day swimming around until 5 pm where they then hold another ceremony where the duck’s get out of the fountain! They march back up the red carpet to the elevator, and up to the penthouse suite where they live in absolute luxury until 11am the next morning, it’s absolutely barmy but a lot of fun to watch. There’s a great story behind all of this as to why they do this, check out the Peabody hotel duck story it’s pretty neat.
After that we went to Beale Street (this is the main party street in Memphis) full of neon lights, bars, street performers, and live blues, soul, funk, and rock music. We stopped in Silky O Sullivan’s bar (www.silkyosullivans.com) for a bite to eat and listen to the band, we had a great time and food was fantastic. The band played great music which we all sung and danced to and believe it or not they had goats in the back garden, we KID you not. So a lot of fun was had by all.
So our time in Memphis Tennessee was great but it was time to hit the road again, so we have packed up, got the RV de-winterized and we are heading South for NEW ORLEANS.