And The Winner Is…………….
March 31, 2009
After much debate we have chosen a winner for Vacation Destination 2009……………Chattanooga, TN.
While comparing destinations Branson had alot to offer in the way of activities. From Silver Dollar City and Riding The Ducks to shows for the whole family, it appeared that there would never be a dull moment. We found one excellent package deal that included lots of things to do. Too much actually for our timeframe. When we looked in to doing a few of these things seperately it was quite costly. Additionally, Jonas sister plans on coming with us, however, her plans often change, and I really didn’t want to pay in advance for a package that included her, and her change her mind. Nonetheless, after some debate, it seemed that we were Branson-bound.
A quick internet search revealed that Chattanooga also had many activities, at a decent price. It was places like the Tennessee Aquarium, the Children’s Museum and the local zoo that led to us making a last second destination change our destination to Chattanooga. Chattanooga also has their own version of, “Riding The Ducks”, which we have since decided against experiencing. With the 5 of us it would cost close to $100 for an hour long voyage. Compared to $30 for all day at the zoo, it seems a little excessive. Even without the ducks, I’m sure we will find plenty to see and do.
With our destination decided, the next order of business was finding accomodations. While I prefer hotels, J really wanted to go camping. I would be all for this if we had a camper, but we don’t. We have a big tent, and tent camping, is a real pain in the ass. So much crap to pack and set up. While camping is relatively inexpensive, it’s alot like work, and since I’m on vacation, I really don’t want to have to work that hard. Therefore, I jumped at the chance when I found a campground with rustic cabins. We reserved the largest one, a whopping 12′ x 20′, complete with grill, fire ring, 2 beds, microwave and television. The campground also has an on-site cave, pool, game room, wifi, and a plethora of other activities. The feel of camping, the comfort of a hotel, with a price tag somewhere in between the two, and a location minutes from downtown Chattanooga made it a no-brainer.
With our activities planned, and our cabin reserved, I moved on to perhaps the most important part of vacation……the food. I really get irritated when we go to a new town and wind up eating at a chain restaurant where we could eat in our hometown. The only thing that perturbes me worse is when I try some place new and it’s such a terrible experience that I wish we would’ve went to the Cracker Barrell. When stepping out of comfort zone we often find lackluster, or even downright awful food, or prices beyond what we expected, and sometimes a combination of the these things. The prime example of this for us is the Nashville restaurant, The Aquarium. You pay for the ambiance, and you pay well for it. The 4 of us went there once and it cost us in the 3 digit range, with the food being terrible to boot.
I vowed that with the help of google, I will never again be ripped off like that. Therefore, I have been doing my restaurant homework, and have found 2 places that I must try. While searching the chamber of commerce’s website, the name Bea’s Restaurant, caught my eye. “Sounds homey”, I thought. Upon finding a site of Chatannooga area restaurant reviews, I discovered that Bea’s is basically a home cooked buffet for lazy people. They bring food to your table and place in in lazy susans for you and the people at your table, all for about $10 a person. Bea’s is right up this chunky girl’s alley.
J and I are big fans of the show, Diners, Drive In’s and Dives, or Triple D, on the Food Network. On this show they go to different towns visiting diners, drive-ins, and dives that are locally famous for serving usually greasy food. J and I are usually salivating over the creations featured on the show, even though one bite probably has more calories than we should have in a week. We checked online to see if any Chattanooga area establishments had been featured on Triple-D. None had, but there was a restaurant who’s newspaper review said it should be, which is good enough for me. We plan on making Ankars Restaurant a stop also.
We still have a few months to set the final details of our vacation. And with more meals to plan and activities to chose from I get more excited every day.