Ben and I took a vacation this summer with some friends to the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. We actually stayed in Fort Payne, Alabama, and drove up to Chatty for a day, and visited a few other towns around.
The first necessary task to the beginning of any trip is taking the dogs to the kennel. Our precious puppies are bestowed into the care of our vet, and then we don’t have to worry about them while we’re gone. The cat though, she’s just on her own. No, we did get Ben’s brother to come take care of her and the garden while we were gone.
|Colby and Jackson love riding in the car…until they realize where they’re going|
Next, before you leave town, you must have car snacks
|Yes, these were just for me. No, I didn’t share. Yes, I ate them all.|
We stayed at a cabin outside of Fort Payne. It was an actual log cabin that the owners built themselves. The antique décor was very reminiscent of my grandmother’s house. We enjoyed the front porch with rocking chairs, and the back porch with a hot tub. It was a really great little cabin.
Another thing every trip needs: livestock as next door neighbors. Apparently the people that own the cabins we were staying at keep goats as their pets and lawnmowers. Lots of goats. We could see them from our porch, and had fun “baaaing” at them, and hearing them “baaa” back. Every time we came up to the fence they ran up to see what we had for them to eat, though we just disappointed. They were pretty funny to watch.
The next critical thing for any trip: get sunburnt and sore your first day of vacation. We spent one day playing around at Little River Canyon. It’s a beautiful waterfall that we hiked down to and spent the day swimming below the falls. My first time to get in the water all summer, so it was great! Though we forgot the sunscreen and were all pretty red by the end of the day, with sore muscles from swimming and climbing all over the rocks. Sadly no pictures cause of the water factor.
We went to Chattanooga the next day for some beautiful views from atop Lookout Mountain.
We went to eat lunch at a really cute café on the mountain. Ben suggested we get some calamari. He had had it before and knew he liked it, and the rest of us were up for trying it. It comes out looking like any other fried food. I tried a few bites, and it was ok but a little chewy for my taste…but when I saw the tiny little squid still whole in the middle of the pile, I couldn’t eat anymore. Kudos to Super Hubs for not being grossed out.
Then we visited the Tennessee Aquarium, which we’ve been to a few times now, but is always a treat to see. I especially enjoy the hands-on exhibits, like where I get to pet stingrays! They gave us shrimp to feed them, and we tried, but they weren’t interested in us. I guess they’d already had enough to eat.
Lots of awesome things to see, like one of my favorites: penguins!
and jellyfish, which are super cool to look at, but I would definitely not want to see one in water I’m swimming in.
and super chilaxed alligators
One neat thing about Chattanooga is they have a lot of brick sculptures all around downtown.
We had dinner at a local brewery/restaurant, which was super neat. The fun thing about eating at a brewery is trying their beers that you can’t get anywhere else.
And your final essential: plan to do a bunch of things in one day, but make sure that all those places will be closed by the time you get to them. Saturday we had a full day planned of shopping. First we visited the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama. This is where all the lost and unclaimed luggage gets sent and you can buy it for a steal. They literally have everything: from clothes to books to kitchenware. They even have some food, though I wasn’t too keen on buying any of that. Ben and I scored some slip-covers for our wingback chairs, and our friends found some good clothing deals.
Following that we tried to find lunch. Note for future reference: apparently NOTHING is open in small-town America on Saturdays. We drove around for about an hour and a half through several cities trying to find somewhere to eat lunch that wasn’t fast food (though there wasn’t much of that either). I enjoyed eating at the local places, so we pressed on and finally found a café that was fifteen minutes from ending their lunch hours. We made it just in time and the food was delicious!
After that we tried to go to Trade Day, which is just a GIANT flea market, but by the time we made it there, there wasn’t a single vendor left. Apparently it had started at the crack of dawn and wrapped up around lunch. Next stop was an antique store in Fort Payne, but by the time we made it there, it was closed. Then we were going to try to go to a glass-blowing shop, but by the time we would have made it there, it would’ve been closed. Finally, we had nothing else to try to do and went back to the cabin to relax.
And then we came home. Overall a wonderful vacation, and much-needed break from work and life. But is so nice to be home.