Our Home Away from Home | Family Vacation to Tennessee

For the last 4 years we’ve looked forward to traveling down to one of our most favorite places on Earth; Tennessee! We absolutely have enjoyed each and every trip thus far, and can’t wait to return. We have even talked about moving there some day, God-willing.

What do we love so much about Tennessee? Well, the people are super friendly, we LOVE the mountains and how beautiful they are, hiking and being outdoors, and the food. Overall, it’s just a really happy and relaxing place to be. My late grandparents traveled there all the time, so I think it’s just meant to be that we familiarize ourselves with this wonderful state. We have so much more to explore there!

For the last 3 years we rented a cabin to stay in. It’s always neat to see what your home away from home will look like, and cabins are just the cutest! This year we decided to rent one through Airbnb, and we were pretty pleased. However, when we arrived on our first day, we found that a lot of the cabins were destroyed by the fire (so devastating!). We truly couldn’t believe that our cabin had not been touched by the flames since the cabins on each side of us were under construction.

This trip was also a little different since it was just myself, Brandon, Kipton, and Sophie. Briana unfortunately couldn’t join us, but there will be plenty more trips that she’ll be able to go on. My parents and sister normally go with us, but they were also not along for this one. Hopefully we’ll get a big family trip planned for 2018/2019!

Each year seems more difficult to leave TN to come back home, so I just think we’re meant to be there. Enjoy some photos from our 2017 family trip to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, TN!

10/21/172017-12-21_000110/22/172017-12-21_0057.jpg2017-12-21_0002On Sunday we went to Ober Gatlinburg for the Fall Fest. Sophie got her face painted, we rode the scenic chairlift (just Sophie and I because poor Kipton is afraid of heights), ate yummy food, and went through a maze. 2017-12-21_00032017-12-21_0004

2017-12-21_00152017-12-21_00162017-12-21_00172017-12-21_00052017-12-21_00062017-12-21_0007These phone pictures do not do this view justice. It’s INCREDIBLE!2017-12-21_0008Where’s Waldo?2017-12-21_00092017-12-21_0018.jpg10/23/172017-12-21_0010.jpg2017-12-21_0011.jpgWhat do you do when it rains in TN? Play air hockey or watch a movie! The rain didn’t last too long. We eventually headed to The Island in Pigeon Forge where the kids had a blast at the arcade, we did a little shopping, Brandon sampled some moonshine, we listened to an awesome bluegrass band, and we had pizza at Mellow Mushroom.2017-12-21_0019.jpg2017-12-21_0012.jpg2017-12-21_00132017-12-21_001410/24/172017-12-21_0020Here we are at the Cherokee Indian Museum in North Carolina. (This did not interest the kids, although they look rather entertained. LOL!) The town of Cherokee was kind of neat.2017-12-21_00212017-12-21_0022.jpg2017-12-21_00262017-12-21_00272017-12-21_00282017-12-21_00302017-12-21_00292017-12-21_00312017-12-21_00322017-12-21_00332017-12-21_00342017-12-21_00352017-12-21_00362017-12-21_0037Relaxing back at our little cabin was one of our favorite things to do.2017-12-21_00232017-12-21_0024We went out later that evening to the main strip of Pigeon Forge for a snack. Any guesses as to what we had? 😉 (Blueberry cake donuts are THEBOMB.COM!)2017-12-21_0025
10/25/172017-12-21_00382017-12-21_00392017-12-21_0040Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!2017-12-21_00412017-12-21_00422017-12-21_00432017-12-21_0044Rock climbers!2017-12-21_00452017-12-21_00462017-12-21_00472017-12-21_0048We found a cute little joint on the side of the road that allowed the kids to find gems. They loved it!2017-12-21_00492017-12-21_00502017-12-21_00512017-12-21_00522017-12-21_0053We took a little walk through our cabin’s neighborhood, Gatlinburg Falls. Okay, maybe I should say HIKE because STEEP HILLS, y’all.2017-12-21_00602017-12-21_0061
10/26/172017-12-21_0054More exploring in the national park, and then some shopping, sampling jams and jellies, and lunch at Delauder’s BBQ, a true hidden gem in Gatlinburg. The owners and staff were so friendly and the food was AMAZING! Try it out if you’re in the area.2017-12-21_00552017-12-21_0056.jpg2017-12-21_00582017-12-21_00592017-12-21_00622017-12-21_0063Later that evening we ventured out to downtown Gatlinburg where we did lots of walking, eating, and more moonshine sampling. There was even a bear sighting, and unfortunately the cops had to shoot it. The amount of people chasing after the bear was kind of shocking.2017-12-21_00642017-12-21_00652017-12-21_006610/27/172017-12-21_00672017-12-21_00682017-12-21_00692017-12-21_00702017-12-21_00712017-12-21_00722017-12-21_00732017-12-21_0074This was our last full day of vacation. We rode another super fun mountain coaster and played at this playground. We were not looking forward to leaving such a fun place, but we made some pretty neat memories and can’t wait to go back!

Until next time, TN! ❤

New Adventures Down South | Family Vacation to Georgia

It seems we have a pattern for the trips we take down south to visit Matt, Sam, and the boys. Every two years we’ll pack up the minivan and head to Georgia for a fun little family vacation. (I wouldn’t mind if we changed it to yearly, because I would never get sick of Savannah and all its beauty.)

We always, always make sure we head to River Street in Savannah. It truly is a gem located along the Savannah River. The street is lined with antique shops, boutiques, galleries, brew pubs, fabulous restaurants like Treylor Park, and so much more! Speaking of yummy food, you MUST try Treylor Park. We shared avocado fries, but to be honest, I could have eaten them all by myself! These delicious “fries” are panko crusted and served with sriracha aioli. YUM! My main plate was the chicken biscuit. This was a lightly fried chicken breast served on a buttermilk biscuit with country sausage gravy. Oh my… now my mouth is watering.

We took a couple trips to Savannah and did a trolley tour. It was super neat learning about the history! I was a little busy taking pictures, so I didn’t catch everything, but if you’re in the area, these tours are so worth it! Other highlights of our trip to Savannah were Savannah’s Praline and Forsyth Park.

We took most of the kiddos mini golfing one night while Sam had a meeting. Poor Jayden couldn’t go because he ended up getting strep throat. 😦 It ended up raining while we golfed, but it didn’t last too long.

On our last day in Georgia, we took a little trip to Hilton Head Island like we have done for the last few years. The kids had so much fun at the beach! I don’t go in the water too far, though. Dark water creeps me out, and sharks are not my friends.

We can never thank Matt and Sam enough for having us down! They are very gifted in being so hospitable. Thanks again, guys! We’ll be planning a 2019 trip before you know it! 2017-07-05_00412017-07-05_00422017-07-05_0043Matt took this shot of us! Good job, brother-in-law! 🙂2017-07-05_00442017-07-05_00452017-07-05_00462017-07-05_00472017-07-05_00482017-07-05_00492017-07-05_00502017-07-05_00512017-07-05_0052Cooling off in the fountain. 2017-07-05_00532017-07-05_0054Both Kipton and Sophie have their mouths full of taffy. LOL!2017-07-05_00602017-07-05_0059Kipton loves Pete the Cat! James Dean is the artist behind this book, and he lives in Savannah with his wife, four cats, and one dog. Neat!2017-07-05_00582017-07-05_00572017-07-05_00562017-07-05_00552017-07-05_00612017-07-05_00622017-07-05_00632017-07-05_00642017-07-05_00652017-07-05_00662017-07-05_00672017-07-05_0068The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is BEAUTIFUL!2017-07-05_00692017-07-05_00702017-07-05_00712017-07-05_00722017-07-05_00782017-07-05_00772017-07-05_00762017-07-05_00752017-07-05_00742017-07-05_00792017-07-05_00802017-07-05_00812017-07-05_00822017-07-05_00832017-07-05_0084Until next time, Savannah & Hilton Head! ❤