Ava* and Bianca* Take Tennessee: Gatlinburg and Tunica, Mississippi

One item on my bucket list was take a fun filled road trip with an adventurous girlfriend.  I wanted the road trip to be a Lucy and Ethel meets Thelma and Louise kind of adventure. (I wanted to have loads of fun without breaking too many laws or driving over the Grand Canyon.)  When I mentioned this to one of my dear friends, Bianca*, last August during our home trip last year, she was IN!! 

Everyone needs a friend who will joyfully participate in your shenanigans.  Bianca is that friend to me.  Here we are at the end of a 10:30 am Anhueser Bush brewery tour in 2008.
After a few months of planning, we finally decided we would take a seven day, six-night road trip across Tennessee.  We would start in Knoxville, and then head to Gatlinburg, Memphis, and finally Nashville. 

We figured we would start out our trip by checking out a drive thru zoo, and then head out for some Dukes of Hazard fun, maybe some mini-golf or go-karting, and visit the Guinness Book of World Records entertainment in Gatlinburg.  You know what they say about best made plans.

Bianca was all about the drive thru zoo! We could pull up to a barn, pay a nominal fee, buy some food, and feed animals from the comfort of our car.  We didn’t realize the cow standing next to the gate would be hangry!!

We were ready to feed and explore.

The cow looked a little hangry.   
He was a little too hangry.  Sometimes we have hiccups in our plans. I am still vacuuming glass out of my car. I will never visit another drive thru zoo!
With the exception of a small scratch on Bianca’s hand, no animals were hurt in this adventure.  However, we needed to get the window fixed.  We headed back to Knoxville where I got my window fixed and we reclaimed our sanity.

Thanks to the gentlemen at Autoglass of America, we were back on the road for some safer adventures by 3:00 pm!

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is kind of like Panama City or Myrtle Beach in the mountains.  Our first stop in Gatlinburg was Cooter’s Place.  When I was a child, I was obsessed with the Dukes of Hazzard.  Cooter’s allowed me to fulfill my dream of seeing the General Lee in person. 
If you are looking for some great places to go junkin', Gatlinburg is the place for you!

Dukes of Hazzard + putt putt+ go-carts = AWESOME!

Bianca was all about racing the mini General Lee.

I paid the $3.75 to get a picture in the real deal. The interior of the car was freakishly similar to my Grandma's LTD. Please keep in mind I was a fan of the show, not the flag.
Some people are no fun.
If you are wanting any Dukes memorabilia, Cooter's is the place to see!
After getting our Dukes of Hazzard fix, we headed to the Guinness Book of World Record museum to check out the abnormal and try breaking some records ourselves!

Bianca poses with a statue of the world's tallest man.

I had a lovely time hanging in the jaws of the world's largest predatory shark.

In addition to seeing various oddities, there were multiple opportunities to break world records at the museum!

We had a lovely time attempting to break multiple records. 

I'm so thankful my skin doesn't stretch that far.
After the museum, we grabbed a much needed cocktail and headed back to Knoxville to get some rest for our road trip the following day.

Refreshed from a good night’s sleep, Bianca and I grabbed a quick breakfast at Denny’s and caught up while riding down a long, desolate (at times), highway 40 in Tennessee.  Before we reached our destination in Tunica MS, we stopped for some fun at the Tina Turner Museum at the Flagg Grove School located off exit 56.

The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center was a great place to take a much needed road break.

The museum/ welcome center had a plethora of information about the heritage and happenings in West Tennessee.
The Tina Turner portion of the museum was located in the one room, segregated schoolhouse she attended when she was in elementary school.  
While I was hoping to see more of her wardrobe from her early days, her costumes were impressive.  The exhibit only contained artifacts from 2000-2010.  The museum is free and worth the stop.
After the museum, we headed to Tunica, Mississippi for a little fun, and a cheap hotel room.  Located in suburban Memphis, the Horseshoe Hotel and Casino in Tunica is a great place to stay for a cheap price.  (We paid $42 plus $16 for a resort fee for a one night stay at a 3.5-star hotel.)

We had an amusing yet unprofitable evening at the Horseshoe.
As anticipated, Lady Luck was not with me at the casino and the combination of the bells, whistles, smoke, and live music were a little much.  So we headed to bed and got ready for a fun day in Memphis!

*Names have been changed in my Tennessee posts to protect the parties involved.

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