Staycationing in Chattanooga

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Staycationing in ChattanoogaStaycations seem to be a new normal, at least for my family. Recently, we enjoyed a week of fun while my husband was off. We planned something daily, whether it was fun at home or out and about, we made sure to have fun activities for the kids to enjoy. Then, one weekend we left the kiddos with their grandparents so we could celebrate our twelve year wedding anniversary. Amazingly, we haven’t been on a trip for two since our honeymoon. Yes, you read that correctly; we have not had a romantic getaway in twelve years.

Our staycation was a much needed break to say the least.

We started out the week at the Backyard Shack Creations LLC. They are located in Lafayette, Georgia and it will definitely be somewhere we start going regularly! We took the three oldest kiddos and let them pick out a ceramic piece to paint, then my husband and I picked out a project to do. Each of the kids picked something different. Nate, my oldest, picked a skull mug, Sophie picked a teddy bear, and Link picked a penguin. My husband picked a gnome mug and I picked a pumpkin cookie jar. I have to admit I was a little nervous taking the kids for the first time. Link and Bella are on the autism spectrum and can get overwhelmed in crowds or be a little rambunctious. Bella stayed with my parents since she is a little too young to enjoy painting ceramics for now. We have been places before where we didn’t have very good experiences but this was completely different. We had a blast and the ladies there were so patient and kind. They engaged with the kids and we all left so happy. We can’t wait to go back!

On Tuesday, we decided to go to the zoo. We hadn’t been in over a year so we loaded up all the kids and off we went. We decided to go early so we didn’t have to worry about the younger two getting too overwhelmed. One thing we love about the zoo is that they offer sensory bags with headphones; we didn’t use them this trip, but at loud exhibits there are signs saying that headphones may be needed, which takes the surprise factor that my kids don’t like out of the experience. After the zoo, we went to Mellow Mushroom for some gluten free pizza and then to Ben and Jerry’s for some dairy free ice cream. It was an awesome day and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, we had fun at home with arts and crafts and baking. The kids made their own pizzas, we made rice krispy treat ghosts and pumpkins, and gluten free pancakes — it was laid back and we just relaxed. We painted with one of our favorite YouTube tutorials for the kids to follow. We wanted Wednesday and Thursday to be pretty calm because we knew Friday would be hectic. On Friday, we went to Copper Creek Farm and spent the day. The kids loved every second of it. Mining for jewels, hayrides, pony rides — you name it, they had it. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the goats and were in awe of the flowers. It was the perfect way to end our week of fun with the family.

Sunday was my twelfth wedding anniversary. My husband did some searching and found the perfect little town to go to for a getaway. We found ourselves in quaint Clayton, Georgia. It was perfect. We stayed at the White Birch Inn. It was a perfect little 100-year-old building that couldn’t have been more picturesque. We ate lunch at Grapes and Beans where the sandwiches were amazing and there were many gluten free options. We made reservations at Fortify Kitchen for dinner for a casual fine dining experience, we visited the White Birch Provisions for morning coffee and shopped at local mercantiles for home goods and gifts for the kids. We visited Goats on the Roof for a fun experience and enjoyed amazing fudge. Then, we ended the trip by going to Tallulah Gorge State Park and walking the trails to see beautiful waterfalls. We were amazed with the number of gluten free restaurants in town and since my husband can’t have gluten, I was thrilled that he could have his pick of so many amazing places. This will definitely be our new go-to for a weekend getaway. It was about a three-hour drive through beautiful mountains and the most laid back place we have been in a while. We returned home refreshed and relaxed. 

Sometimes I forget how much good a trip can do for a person. A staycation was nice for the week, but the romantic getaway did my heart so much good. Sometimes you need to put your relationship in the forefront and remember what it’s like to just enjoy one another.

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