learn something new every day:


Check out these gorgeous paintings and see why The Blackstone Hotel’s art collection is better than a museum – and how you can spend the night surrounded by it!

Read All Entries

get the latest from Lois

Stay connected to the Oasis!

encore! our buick bucket list trip comes to an end :(

Buick Encore goodbye

After reading about our Buick Bucket List trip for the entire past week, you may be glad it’s ending. But we weren’t.

In fact, we wanted to pull up these pretty landscaped chairs in the Opryland gardens, grab an iced tea and park ourselves.

Opryland chairs in garden

We took one last walk around, admiring the scenery and trying to figure out how we could come back during the holidays when more than TWO MILLION lights shine throughout the resort. And we started laughing when we noticed a man in front of us holding an umbrella. He was not going to get wet in Opryland, even if it was pouring out, but we totally understood his feeling that he could!

Opryland ceiling

We said good-bye to our beloved Ravello and Tweeted Chef Mike that we just might miss him most of all.

Opryland Ravello sign

Then we got into our Encore, with some admiring looks – for the car, not us – and took off for the airport.

Opryland Buick Encore admirer

Along the way, we reminisced about the trip and all its highlights – the Elephant Sanctuary, the Grand Ole Opry, Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, the amazing food and the incredible Southern hospitality offered by everyone we met, the four fantastic hotels we stayed in, the surprise of falling in love with the beautiful state of Tennessee.

Tennessee Scenic Trail sign

Pretty much everything we did was a highlight, and we are so grateful to Buick for giving us this opportunity to volunteer and to expand our world, and for putting us in a car that so aptly describes what we want to do next: “Encore!”

As it turned out, our flight was delayed 15 minutes, a half hour, an hour, two hours. With each announcement, we wished we had just driven home in the Encore, which had always been so reliable.

And, about three hours into our six hour flight, when the flight attendant asked if we wanted to purchase a $10 box of processed cheese and crackers, we sighed and wished we had bought a plane ticket for Chef Mike.


  1. I loved reading about this trip and thank you for sharing your adventures with us. Where are you going next? – I look forward to hearing all about it.

  2. It’s always sad when a vacation ends. We just got back from Disney on Sunday and I cried when we left….and this is our sixth year in a row, so it’s not like it was our first time.

  3. Sad say. But you had a great run and I enjoyed seeing what you all did.

  4. I’m really enjoying your Buick Bucket list blog posts, they make me want to get out and live a little and come out from behind this computer. Your Buick is beautiful, so are all your photos. They make me wish I was there in the passenger seat.

  5. It’s always sad when vacations end!
    I always feel like I need a vacation after my vacation just to get everything back to “normal” again.
    Sounds like you really enjoyed yourself.
    I can not wait until we get a chance to take a vacation.

  6. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    What an amazing trip and now I can’t wait to visit some of the sites you did. I enjoyed your travelogue!

  7. Thank you for taking us on this trip with you 🙂 I’ve really enjoyed reading and seeing about everything that you’ve been able to do- especially the elephant sanctuary.

  8. The Buick matches perfectly with the Ravello marquee. I think that’s a sign that you need to go back and get Chef Michael. Thanks for taking us along on your trip.

  9. I always hate ending a fun trip, but when I get home, I’m so glad that it’s over and I can have my own bed again.

  10. Jennifer Williams says:

    You had an amazing trip, I enjoyed getting to see the things you did. I am jealous as the car you had is on my wish list for my next vehicle.

  11. You may have worn that Buick out! Sounds like a great time.

  12. Well it sure looks like you had a lot of fun, even though it had to end!! I do really like the buick line of cars though!!

  13. I loved this series and am already in the process of making plans to go there this fall. As you know I take care of my mom and I think this would be a great place to take her to. Thanks for all the great information I pinned most of it for later use.

  14. Great round-up! SO…when are you buying yourself an Encore now?! 🙂

  15. Lois I. Van Dahm says:

    Let’s see. You could head to Wisconsin;specifically Kenosha.Here you would revel in the beauty of our lakefront, our Civil War & two other museums, Have lunch & shop at Andrea’s & delight in all that Tenuta’s deli has to offer. Many famous folks have been there already. These are both managed by a 4th generation. See where Jockey & Snap-on tool products are made..visit our college campuses Carthage,of course. Stroll through & buy at Harbor Market. Relax in our parks.You might want to squeeze in a day(?) in a small town north of us, Milwaukee! Have I forgotten anything? Oh, yes, drop in at the Van Dahm’s humble abode & attend Lois Club if it’s a 5th Tues. We’ll leave the light on for you.

  16. It has been so fun following you on this bucket list trip! I want to do it all NOW!

  17. It’s always sad when a trip is over and you have to resume your daily schedule but memories rock.

  18. Even though your vacation has ended, you have so many great memories. So now the airlines are selling cheese and crackers?? Wow!! that is a high price for a snack like that.

  19. It seems that you visited some nice places and got there in style with the car you were using

  20. That is an expensive box of cheese and crackers.. Whoosh. Love the Buick and really want to travel to Tennessee.

  21. Looks like a sweet ride! And a fun trip!

  22. I’m not glad to see it ending! I loved living vicariously through your posts LOL!

  23. That car looks like the perfect size for me! 😉 Sad your trip is over but time to plan the next one!

  24. Oh no! Vacation endings are so sad! But it seems like you had a wonderful time! I enjoyed reading all about it!

  25. I am needing a vacation fast! Lol. My BF is getting ready to buy a Buick

  26. I am sorry your vacation has come to an end. Do you have anything planned for the future?

  27. I went to school in Nashville and loved visting the opryland hotel. Brings back memories.

  28. So sad that your amazing trip had to come to an end

  29. Nice! My Mom and son both live south of Nashville, (in Jack Daniel’s/George Dickel area!) and I love Opryland and that river–but yes, wintertime is so beautiful!

  30. Sounds like you had a nice time, it’s always a bummer when fun trips come to an end, you plan and plan and it goes by so fast.

  31. Sounds like you guys had a great time. And $10 for some processed cheese and crackers? Yikes!

  32. I loved going on your adventure with you. Sounds fun! Looks like a great car.

  33. Even though it was ending, I’m sure you thoroughly enjoyed yourself! Great memories 🙂

  34. So sad the vacation is over, but at least you can go back and relieve your adventures from your blog posts 🙂

  35. I love that car. I can see why you hate to leave it. Glad you had a great trip even though the flight home was delayed. My son just went through that and in the end his flight was just plain canceled but he was lucky to get on another one.

  36. You definitely went on some amazing adventures. Those memories will last you a lifetime.

  37. Christina says:

    What a wonderful trip! Do you plan to go again or try something totally new?

  38. lol NO kidding on the prices of snacks on the planes. I laugh too when they say, we take credit cards only. Of course you do. ;;)

  39. Amanda Love says:

    I enjoyed your bucket list trips and you had an amazing time. It’s crazy how expensive those airline snacks can be and Chef Mike would have been great.

  40. The price of snacks on planes is crazy! Glad you had fun on your trips.

  41. That was one heck of a grand time you had! I’m glad you got to do so much!

  42. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    What a fantastic adventure you shared with us! Thank you, it sounds like you had so much fun.

  43. It’s always hard to say goodbye, especially when you enjoyed using the encore so much. Sounds like it made your trip extra enjoyable.

  44. Since I have been living vicariously through you this whole trip, I am so sad to see it come to an end. What a grand adventure!

  45. I loved reading about your adventures. I too am sad that it’s over…I found myself looking forward to your posts to see what was next (and I wasn’t even there) so I can imagine how incredible it was for you.

  46. Oh! You took some nice pictures though and looks like you had an amazing time! Memories will at least be there for a while, I’m sure.

Speak Your Mind