It’s an unusual week when we drive across the U.S. in 10 days, but that’s what we just did! Okay, sure we stopped in New Mexico, not California, but that was pretty darn close to coast to coast, so we’re counting it.
It would be easy for me to lament all of the cool places we didn’t stop along the way (due to COVID-19, budget constraints or anything else), but instead, I thought it would be more fun to share the top five things that we did get to do on our trip!
We’ve created an absolutely incredibly lifestyle for ourselves, and we know we’re very privileged to get to live and travel on our own terms. And of course, we’ve made lots of decisions along the way that have allowed us to build this life, and we love helping other people to do the same. Today, I’m celebrating our hard work that led us here, as well as the hard work that got us across the country in ten days! Here are the top five parts of our latest RVing adventure.
5. Cracker Barrel
Okay, so maybe visiting Cracker Barrel doesn’t sound like your top choice right now, but as full-time RVers we love that Cracker Barrel has RV-sized spaces and allows overnight parking. We don’t eat at a lot of chains, but we do visit a Cracker Barrel a few times a year because it’s affordable, tasty and it gives us a safe place to stay (usually with a convenient location off the highway and near or in cities with fun things to do). In the age of COVID, I really thought we’d be skipping them this time around, but as we were driving we started noticing a lot of highway signs for Cracker Barrel that said “Dine In. Curbside. Delivery.”
So when we needed a spot for a night, we didn’t hesitate to try Cracker Barrel. We used their curbside option (Ross drove the car into a curbside space) so that we didn’t need to go inside. As usual, it was reliably delicious with big portions. And curbside was so easy that when Ross needed more coffee on the way out of town, it was curbside again for the win! (Oh, and if you’re wondering, Ross doesn’t really have a regular order, but I do – I love getting tons of sides so I can get my veggie fix! And some fried apples, of course.)
4. Twin Fountains RV Resort, Oklahoma City, OK
This campground is such a cool one! In the time of COVID-19, many of the perks aren’t as appealing (limo rides to downtown, anyone?), but we enjoyed the spacious grounds (largest campsite we’ve ever stayed at!), catch and release pond and laundry facilities. They’ve also got a restaurant, salon and dog groomer on site. This was a great spot and if we ever want to spend more time in Oklahoma City, we will be happy to pay a bit of a premium to stay here!
3. Tontitown Winery, Springdale, AR plus Fayetteville Fun
This winery was perfect for a Harvest Hosts stay, with delicious wine, a sweet spot with electricity, room to walk in nature nearby and some amazing food too! We did a meat/nut/cheese/fruit tray for 2 for dinner, and it was incredible, with pickled veggies, olives, bread and crackers as well as the aforementioned deliciousness. And thanks to corona, they had made their famous grape ice cream for a local festival and didn’t have an outlet for it (no festival this year), so we were able to grab a pint of homemade ice cream too!
We went with takeout, but outdoor seating with live music was also an option. Such a fun night, and super convenient for exploring nearby Fayetteville! Under normal circumstances, we would have done a lot more, but even so, I (Jamie) had previously tried another location of Bliss Cupcake Cafe when I was passing through, and it was amazing and had stellar gluten-free options. (I also learned that delivery is now an option – so you can get these too!)
I made a trip to Fayetteville for cupcakes and a key lime frosting shot to go, and since I was heading in anyway, I got some homemade ice cream as well (also excellent). Basically a pretty perfect evening!
2. Big Spoon Creamery, Birmingham, AL
Well, if this was just about me (and not Ross), this would be number 1! But since Jamie went solo, it gets the number 2 slot. Big Spoon Creamery’s ice cream was incredible. Life-changing. I went with three flavors, and while they were all absolutely incredible, the vanilla was literally the best I’ve ever had in my life.
No doubt. More like a custard and more like white chocolate, honestly…so outstanding! I would probably just tell everyone to get the chocolate and the vanilla. Perfect together or solo. I can’t wait to go back someday. Such a highlight!! You can look forward to a blog about it here soon.
And finally, at #1, Iron Star Urban Barbeque, Oklahoma City, OK
Curbside from Iron Star was so good that we seriously debated going back immediately for more food. Ross went with a brisket sandwich (it comes with amazing pickles!), and believe it or not, I just had a bite and ordered some outstanding deviled eggs that came with a spicy vegetable pickle appetizer! (I was saving room for ice cream, TBH.)
This place is truly special, and we can’t recommend it more highly. Honorable mention to Roxy’s Ice Cream Social for some excellent ice cream with extraordinarily friendly service.
As you can see, we had a TON of fun despite the challenges of COVID. We felt much more comfortable treating ourselves when we got out of Florida and Georgia (the COVID hot spots), and we had some really tasty indulgences as we made our way across the country, taking what felt like reasonable risks for us.
So, I want to know: How are things where you are? How are you making the most of your summer right now?
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