okay, I lied and did not post a single packing thing before leaving... nor did I make any posts during my two week road trip. I am fully aware of this, that being said, I simply did not want to take time out of all the amazing things I experienced to sit in my hotel room, play around with a heinous app that fucks up all the time, upload my photos onto my iPad, write a post and miss out on fun. Now that I am back, filled with adventure, and stories I am dying to share (I feel like this makes it more fun, no?)

The road trip crew consisted of my friend Steph, her boyfriend Chris, his brother Scott, and of course me. Our original road trip route slightly changed prior to departure, so our new itinerary was; Ottawa to Washington, DC, Wilmington, NC, Nashville, TN, Manchester, TN (BONNAROO!), Pigeon Forge, TN (HOLLYWOOD!), Cleveland, OH, and Niagara Falls, NY (USA SIDE!).

Also just a side note, this is going to be one long mother fucking post... I may or may not split it in two sections. We'll see how I feel.

June 5th - Departure
We I decided we should have an early start to our day, and leave our houses no later than 6:00 am for smooth sailing. Obviously we grabbed McDonalds breakfast (the beginning of the end) before hitting the road towards the boarder. Now, I don't know to what extent I can fully disclose certain things that happened- so I will keep it as broad as possible. Getting to the US boarder was HELL, 3 hours of HELL, waiting, wondering, watching the time tick away, the guys cursing (acting like little bitches really), Steph and I clinching our teeth repetitively telling them to shut up... THREE HOURS OF THIS! (All I kept thinking is "Well good thing we left early") We eventually did not get into the United States, nope sir, we got a white slip to give back to our Canadian boarder crossing. Why you might ask? I'll keep it short- Bonnaroo affiliated.

We cross back in our great country of Canada, park the car, blew off some steam, and figured out what the fuck we were going to do. Besides Bonnaroo, we had so much money invested in the trip, all our hotels were paid for, Airbnb accommodations waiting for us, tickets to Dollywood ready to go, and our excitement of it all seemed to be lost... not to mention it felt like we suddenly had our hearts in our throat.

Again, I will not be getting into too much detail but if you're thinking drugs (you're wrong), something with the law (wrong), anything you're probably thinking that is probably more extreme than the true reasoning is all very wrong. But I wasn't going to take no for answer, I love the United States and damn it I want to go have my road trip and explore your god damn beautiful country.

The four of us put our big boy pants back on, and drove right back to the US boarder. This time around we simply mentioned a road trip vacation, nothing else, the officer was very nice actually, but of course we were chosen for a "random" car search (don't lie to me, I know its because were four young people seeking adventure). Here we were again, the same seats we had previously sat in for three hours... could this be happening again, more time to waste, more discussing, more waiting.

We got called up, and got asked "So did your plans change from this morning", we stated they did, as truthfully in our hearts everything had changed. I'll cut this short, some discussion was done back and forth, some waiting, and another refusal was made. This could not be happening, I demand to speak to a supervisor; more chitchatting, sitting, waiting, chitchat and YES YES YES America was waiting with open arms (MY HEART WANTED TO JUMP OUT- If you know anything about me, you would know I love, no no, adore the United States of America).

Everyone was thrilled, excited, and had a little bit of hope back.

We were off to our first stop, Washington, DC! Along the way it was just a lot of sleeping, jamming out, talking, pit stops for peeing and the start to never ending stops at McDonald's.

OH YEAH, I almost forgot, at this point the lighter plug in my car died... so RIP GPS. We resorted to a good ol' book of maps.

June 5th to 6th - Washington, DC
Washington, DC, don't get me wrong the downtown core is beautiful, several neighbourhoods we drove through were not what I expected this city to look like (I mean hello it's where the White House is). Our hotel was somewhat in a primary location, and we found out quickly that this was not a driving city, I mean it is impossible to get anywhere and the street signs are not clear. This would have been our classiest hotel, staying at Doubletree; valet parking which was $50... to be parked outside.

It was upsetting to get there late, there was quite a few restaurants and such that I wanted to try but that didn't happen. We also had a hard time finding somewhere to eat as most of the places around the downtown core turn into pubs Friday's and Saturdays, being that Scott was not yet 21 we could not go in. So our search was more lengthy than we had thought it would be.

Our plan to have a full day there failed since we had a hick-up at the boarder but we did manage to visit the prime areas the day of the 6th. Nothing too crazy happened here, we ate at this famous waffle place which is said that Lincoln ate there the day of his death, the food was okay nothing special. I did really like the added touch it had, everyone that ate there could post a little note on the wall. We did a lot of walking, and it was hot that day.

After the brief day of touring we were ready to pack the car up and begin our long drive to Wilmington, NC.

June 6th to 8th - Wilmington, NC
The town of One Tree Hill (Stephs favorite, and reason this place is on our road trip stops), and I am so happy we went to this place, I have fallen completely in love with it.

We arrived at earlier time than expected, stayed at a "classy" (pure sarcasm) Days Inn, motel style, smoker friendly room, outdated but did not kill the wallet. Hooters was steps away from us, so obviously that is where we ate dinner. At this time we were under a severe storm watch and potential torrential winds (I cannot explain to you how dark the sky had gotten). But we survived the night, and no drastic storm.

Steph had a full One Tree Hill itinerary ready, so the whole squad got ready, jumped in the car, and headed for breakfast at Waffle House! No one had been to this great chain restaurant, but myself so I was happy to hear out what they had to say about it... Scott & Chris became obsessed. Afterwards we set out to visit the little town that created this TV series... that me and the guys had never watched. The best part was yet to come; beach time! We drove around the beautiful quaint town of Wilmington, walked along the water front, downtown area, checked out cute little shops and this was just the start of my love for it. We then drove across a bridge, entering the small town of Wrightsville beach, it had cute little wooden beach houses, local shops, everyone in bathing suits, and crowds of people enjoying life.

Now as most of you know, I do not go into open water, but, I did get the balls to go into the water... passed my knees! Everything about that area, the beach, the houses, the shops, the town was just the cherry on top to why I need to live there.

We truthfully all enjoyed being there, and we're glad Stephanie wanted to visit it because of a TV show. I can't speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself, I was so sad to be leaving.
June 8th to 9th - Nashville, TN
The drive to Nashville started early, and we hit an area that was pretty cool called South of the Boarder it was all pretty bizarre; large sombrero you can climb to see the town, a character named Pedro, which all the restaurants and shops were named after him. It was actually cool to see. I always forget to mention... but between each drive there was absurd amount of McDonalds stops.

Chris was driving this time around, Steph was navigating, and Scott & I were snuggling the cooler in the back trying to sleep. Our drives at this point were all based on the map book, and screen shots that Chris captured on his phone before hitting the road, so if anything went wrong... well I guess shit would hit the fan. As we were closer to Nashville a huge downpour happened, but I am talking buckets of water being poured on us, we could not see a thing on the road, our roof bag straps were flushing in water beyond belief, needless to say the drive was pretty scary. The whole way to our Airbnb home in Nashville it was just a torrential storm - we were driving in at least a foot of water.

I almost forgot about a funny little story; my phone was dead by the time we got to the house... I was also the only one with data, and we needed my phone for the code to get in the house. Steph and I dropped the guys off, they stood with our roof bag under this small covered area while she and I went on a bumper to bumper goose chase, but we only thought about checking around the house for outlets once we were gone. Face palm. We managed getting back as quick as possible, got in the house, and boy do I ever wish we stayed there longer for just the one night. Guys, hey, if you're reading this next time were staying longer in Nashville! K?! Okay.

Anyways, our house in Nashville was pretty rad, two bedrooms, two baths, lovely kitchen, open concept, huge living room, washer and drying (our saviour) and just all round great!

It so happened that one of Stephs coworkers was also coming down for Bonnaroo, and was in Nashville the same night as us. So we had a few drinks, Steph and Chris went out on the town, Scott and I had a failed attempt on watching School of Rock as we just fell asleep.

The next morning, Chris wasn't feeling so well which put a damper on our day, and made packing the roof bag a BITCH! We survived. He survived. 

Steph had really been wanting to go back to Pancake Pantry since the last time she had been to Nashville, so being that it involved pancakes I was down. Chris stayed in the car as he was not up for much movement. After breakfast, the guys were anticipating to leave and make our way to Manchester, but Steph and I wanted to browse around some cute shops that were on that strip. And that we did!

Driving to Manchester is an easy hour and half drive.
June 9th to 15th - Manchester, TN (BONNAROO)
Steph and I were in the front seat, while the guys were passed out in the back (always snuggling on that damn cooler). Our main goal was to do groceries for our campsite, and get into the Roo before 5:00 pm. Groceries were a breeze for the most part, and we were very much on time, while organizing all our groceries, Steph has brought window markers to decorate Elvis for The Roo! Our car looked pretty badass by the end, flames up the side, our claim to be Canadian (Honk if you <3 Canada), vast writing and doodles... I wish I could show you but we failed and took zero photos of our masterpiece.

Shit somewhat hit the fan when we made our way into the farm.

Getting to the farm was easier than I had expected, but upon arrival we were told we had missed a whole chunk; aka signing in... which was meant to be done at the school, yes an actual school. This fucked us royally, primarily because Steph and I had accidentally driven by the school and had no realization that it said "Bonnaroo Check In". Whoops! So back the opposite way we went, not to mention the line up was over 2 hours long. I will spare the details of the boring wait but; Chris was dying, we were slightly irritated, tired, hangry ish, bored, playing games, being silly, walked back to the car for snacks, ate, complained, drank free Red Bull, until we finally got to the check point. ALLELUIA!

I will keep Bonnaroo short and sweet as it's just too much to write about as we were basically there for a weeks time. We set up camp, realized we had a very small space as our "hang out" area... we made it work.

It was excruciatingly hot, as always, I wanted to peel my skin off. The shows were amazing, the evenings were the best since its not overwhelming. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all had a wicked time at The Roo! We all had specific bands we wanted to see, we did things as a group and solo which is also what I really enjoyed. I can finally say that I have seen BILLY JOEL live!!! The meeting areas were a little difficult but it was manageable.

I don't know what more to say other than it was a really great time, good vibes, and amazing experience. I am also sure we each have our own personal memories of the days we spent together, alone, in random groups at Bonnaroo!

So this is getting very long... I will post part 2 shortly. 

*Photos were taken by Steph, Chris and myself.


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