TRAVEL: Gatlinburg

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This past fall we took a long weekend and went to Gatlinburg, TN for much needed family time that took us out of our normal routines of everyday life. We stayed at our friends, Karla & Ray’s, air b&b and we are already looking forward to heading back for another adventure. If you know of Gatlinburg at all then I am sure you know it can lean towards the kitchy side which I am also sure you know is not exactly our vibe. That being said we also have two children who love playing putt-putt, laser tag and partaking in corn dog stands. Karla and Ray’s was a perfect sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle where extraordinary views could be taken in and nightly action movies be had. Our days were filled with hiking and all the things downtown Gatlinburg had to offer. We played and we laughed hard. We took multiple trips on the ski lifts with legs dangling, fears being overcome, and games of who can find the car first. Of course, our favorite part was a family of bears sighting. Don’t worry this pic was taken with our pro camera and zoom lens. All our limbs still remain. It’s amazing what just a few days can do for our family unit. Taking us away from the to-do list and reminding us that our times with our children is fleeting. I mean Ellie will have her learner’s permit next year, is your mind blown just as mine is? We want to be sure to nourish our relationships with all the time we have left with them by our side.

The Details…

Karla and Ray’s Gatlinburg Air B&B is full of inspiration. They are king and queen of making small spaces work for a growing family. They value experiences without sacrificing style. They documented the condo makeover on their blog and instagram, but I recommend taking time to read all the posts as they feature so many doable DIY’s and beautiful small space design. Plus they share sources which is always a plus. Not to be missed is the room their 3 boys share and this space they created for a shared girls room. They make me want to be a kid again and remind me to always have a bit of fun in design.

Living & Dining Area

The Kitchen

Master Bedroom side table DIY

A guide to Gatlingburg can be found here.

You can see what we were able to partake in on my Instagram Highlights here.

Karla & Ray also have a beach Air B&B perfect for a couples get away.

*Rather than making a whole post of my current favorites I am adding a rotating list every month to my footer. This month it is all about staying cozy and organized.

*One of my favorite shops, Schoolhouse Electric, is having a online dock sale! So many good finds, but some of my favorites are this table which we have here, this little wall light would be perfect by a bed, and these candle sticks could go anywhere.

Boston

If you happen to follow me on Instagram then you saw the Mr surprised me with a trip to Boston for our fourteenth anniversary. To be honest at first I was apprehensive. It was the first time I left little Kellen for more than a few hours since he got sick this past January. Although I know we are on the upswing it was like cutting the umbilical all over again. I am so grateful the Mr made the executive decision to head out of town so we could simply reconnect. We needed it. We know marriage is so important and it can only sustain so long if you don't take the time to nurture it so that is exactly what we did. We took the time to talk and really listen to each others dreams, goals, and hardships. We held hands and walked the streets of Boston for hours on end. We ate well and ended each night watching a movie that took place in Boston. We laughed and I cried once I realized I need to breath again. It was just what our souls needed. 

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We walked from our loft  in Seaport along the harbor everyday. It was quite and the breeze was oh so glorious on a hot summers day. This view from the loft was perfection. Caffe Nero supplied me with my morning cup of cold brew and the Mr a late night snack. 

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Beacon Hill we could stroll for hours. The architecture, the cobblestone and brick walk ways, coupled with the beautiful greenery was a sight to behold. 

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We bought city 3 day Go Boston passes. They were so worth the money. The Cityview trolley drivers were all locals who loved their city and each guide shared something a little different. We could get on and off and tour different historical areas. Little Italy was one of my favorites. We ate at La Famiglia Giorgio’s. They had the most amazing gluten free pasta. The line at night was out the door, but for lunch we got right in. It was close to Paul Revere's home. He bought it when it was almost 100 years old. Can you imagine? The Go Boston pass also gave us ample amount of passes for different sight's that was good for adults and kids. The way it worked for the Cityview trolley was brilliant. It didn't feel touristy and felt more like hanging with your Uncle who had all the best recommendations. 

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One of the Boston Go passes was for the Skywalk and it was jaw dropping. Getting to see the layout of the city and all the different architecture made it one of my favorite stops. The skywalk is part of a beautiful shopping center with plenty of places to eat and shop. It also now houses a smaller version of my New York favorite, Eatly. See the river in the photo above? We took a little tour boat, the Charles River Cruise, and got to see the city from yet another angle. It took us through Cambridge and down to Harvard. It was a nice way to be off your feet yet still take in all the site's. 

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The passes also included one premium event and we choose going to a Red Sox's game. I was beyond myself giddy to be in Fenway Park. I actually grew up just outside of Boston and never been to a game. If I had a bucket list then this experience would have been right at the top. 

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Tatte Bakery was throughout Boston. It was recommend to me by an old blog friend and she was spot on. Every shop was little different and they had the best iced tea, not to be mistaken for sweet tea for my southern friends. They had gluten free options too, but I did not partake. 

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Have a sneaker lover? This hidden gem it just the place to stop, Bodega. The store front is a market and then you go through a hidden door that leads into sneaker lovers dream. I was in awe. 

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Overall we saw so much yet I don't think we even broke the surface on what this city has to offer. We are already planning another trip with the kiddos. Nothing like learning history while walking the streets. 

stay: airbnb

eat & drink: Caffe Nero La Famiglia Giorgio’s, Tatte Bakery, Pastoral {best gluten free pizza I have ever had. We took it to go and ate it in our loft while we watched a movie}, seaport area in general has so many wonderful places to eat

travel and sight seeing: walk, lyft car service & 3 day Go Boston {not paid to endorse just sharing my experience}

We Travel - Watersound

Last week I shared one of my favorite places to travel to, 30-A florida. For our family it's a time to disconnect and be present. I know that is something that can be done from home, but why is it so hard sometimes? Something about escaping the daily routines of home life can really awaken our spirit, be more intentional with each other, and let us simply just be. These are some of my favorite moments from this past winter.

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Things To Do:

  • Grab a meal and watch a movie or a game at the Hub. It's a perfect place for little's and adults to have a good time. 
  • Bring or rent a bike and ride for hours on the bike friendly sidewalks
  • the taco place in seaside is one of our favorites. Don't forget a donut from five daughters food truck, they have gluten free too, but beware once they sell out for the day they close shop. 
  • Exploring the architecture of Aly's, Watersound and Rosemary Beach always leaves me inspired. Everything from the landscape to building is done oh so well. Also tons of little hidden play parks for those with little's. 
  • we can never get enough of reading on the beach
  • George's is a favorite place to dine. It is a bit of a splurge for us, but so worth it.  
  • For the rainy days we may head to the movie's at pier park they have an arcade that is fun for all too.