A week and a half ago my wife and I set off on a long road trip to the gulf coast with our 2 dogs. We realized a lot during the trip, here's the top 5 with a few pictures.

My wife didn't want to leave our dogs at a kennel or find family/friends to watch them over our 10-day road trip vacation, so we took them with. We headed out of Sartell to Chicago, then Nashville, Birmingham, and finally resting at the Alabama Gulf Shores for a couple days. On the way back we stopped in Memphis, St. Louis, Springfield, Eau Claire, and finally back home. Here's a few things we learned and realized about the trip...

Legends in Nashville

Minnesota has the best radio in all the states we drove through.
Seriously, we heard such bad 'radio' throughout the dial along the way. It's very easy to hear that Minnesota radio stations take the business seriously and provide a quality product to listeners.

Brentwood, Tennessee - Tons of music stars live here

You CAN get sick of hotels
I've always enjoyed getting to a hotel and enjoying some great relaxation and taking a dip in the pool and hot tub for a while. We stayed in 8 different hotels and were constantly unpacking/packing the truck to and from the hotel room. Pretty quickly they all started to look the same and didn't excite us anymore.

Had to visit Tootsies in Nashville

Dogs love to travel no matter how long a trip
Kudos to our 2 labs. They enjoyed every mile of the trip, from what we could tell. They slept a lot, but didn't make a peep and enjoyed all the views from their windows. The guld beach was obviously their favorite as they ran up and down the beach and through the water like they owned the place. I think the beach was made for dogs!

Gulf Shores, Alabama at 50 degrees

The gulf coast isn't all that awesome when it's 50 degrees and windy (even when it's 5 degrees back home)
Sure, it was just a couple degrees here in Minnesota while we pulled into Alabama's Gulf Shores, but it was only about 50 degrees and pretty windy most of the time. There wasn't a chance we were going to put on shorts or swimsuit because of this...just long walks on the beach with pants and long sleeve sweatshirts on. The beach bars in Gulf Shores were fun, and the people were the nicest around.

Gulf Shores, Alabama leaving our mark

Minnesota and Alabama are very similar looking
The scenery in Alabama is very similar to Minnesota, believe it or not. You wouldn't be able to tell much difference between Minnesota fall and Alabama winter driving through most of it. Obviously when we got near the cost we started seeing Palm Trees all over the place, but not anywhere else in Alabama! I could totally live there.

St. Louis Arch
Anheuser Busch Headquarters!