There is nothing better than getting away for the weekend to have some family time and relax. So this past weekend my family and I headed up to Gatlinburg, TN to enjoy the peacefulness of the mountains and spend the weekend at the brand new Margaritaville Resort in Gatlinburg.
The staff was great during our entire stay and genuinely eager to help with anything that we needed. The rooms were nice and spacious with fun, relaxing decor. We opted for a double queen room which is the perfect size for a family of 4.
For those of us that need a little extra help relaxing or just want to pamper themselves. Margaritaville St. Somewhere Spa provides just that. The aromatherapy as you walk in the door immediately relaxes you. Plus, they offer a variety of services for you to choose from, including: massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, waxing, spray tan, hair cut/color, make-up, and more.
We spent the majority of our time at the outdoor pool. They have a great setup with a splash pool, water slide, and regular swimming pool. They truly have something for all ages to enjoy. Plus, the resort also offers a full service menu outside at the pool from their License to Chill Bar. Their are waitresses that will come around for food and/or drink orders so that you can stay poolside and enjoy your relaxing oasis in the Smokies.
We had dinner at night on the outside patio overlooking the pool. Each night on the patio, they had live music that you could enjoy while you ate or enjoyed a couple cocktails. Both nights the musicians were great and were a nice addition to the night.
Margaritaville Resort has so much to offer its guests and once you arrive there is no need to leave the property they have everything that you need right there. Food can be enjoyed at the Licence to Chill Bar, the Landshark Bar & Grill, or at Joe Merchant's Coffee and Provisions. The St. Somewhere Spa is full service and ready to assist in your relaxation. They have an indoor pool, outdoor pool, and hot tub on the property. Plus, for those of you that do not like to take time off from the Gym while on vacation they offer a 24 hour fitness facility.
If you do decide that you want to explore the area. The Resort is located in Downtown Gatlinburg and is walking distance to food, shopping and other attractions. We enjoyed our time there and cannot wait to start planning a trip back.
I had the chance a couple of weeks ago to visit the Grand Canyon and let me tell you it was an amazing experience! We stayed in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area and decided to take a day trrip to the Grand Canyon, since it was only a 3-4 hour drive away. After looking at all of the options we decided to book a 13 hour tour that picked you up in the morning and drove you to the Grand Canyon making stops along the way!
Our first stop was Sedona! Even though we only had a short time there we were able to take in the incredible scenery!
As we headed on our way we experienced rain which quickly turned into snow! I have never seen the weather change so quickly or drastically in the matter of minutes.
When we got to the Grand Canyon it was so foggy that you could only see a short distance in front of you. Luckily, to our surprise about an hour after getting into the park the clouds opened up showing us the most majestic views! (just look at the difference in the two pictures below)
We had a wonderful time on our Florida vacation. My family and I stayed in Perdido Key between Pensacola, FL and Orange Beach, AL. It is such a nice spot because the beach in never over ran by tons of people so you never feel crowded. We spent lots of time enjoying the beach, but we also stayed busy doing all sorts of activities and creating memories with the boys.
On our first night in Pensacola, we went to a Pensacola Blue Wahoos game and had a blast! When we arrived they told my 3 year old to go make sure he signed up for a 1st Game Certificate so that he could remember his first Blue Wahoos game. Believe me he will always remember his first Wahoos game. While signing up for his certificate the lady asked him if he knew how to speak into a microphone and, of course, being the little entertainer he is, he said yes. So they let him kick off the ball game by saying, "PLAY BALL". While waiting on the field to complete his job for the the night, he got to talk with a few players, meet the mascot, and experience the excitement of being on the ball field. Let's just say it will be a night he will never forget. The Blue Wahoos staff went above and beyond from the time that we handed them our tickets to be admitted into the game until the minute we left. I have never experienced such a genuinely friendly and caring staff at a sports game. So, thank you Wahoos and keep up the great work!
We also went on a dolphin cruise on the Intercoastal Waterway. The cruise was extremely enjoyable and exciting. They took out two boats full of people and the boats would ride parallel to one another. And more times then not when they would start driving parallel and making a wake dolphins would come up and start riding the waves. We lucked out and got some of the best seats on the boat and were able to get super close to the dolphins.
One rainy morning, we took a trip to the Naval Air Station and visited the museum. You could spend hours in there just enjoying the history and learning about all of the restored planes. It is actually the world's largest Naval Aviation museum with 350,00 sq ft of exhibit space and is free to the public. So if you are ever in or near Pensacola I highly urge you to stop by and check it out.
During one of our last days on the beach I got roped into Parasailing. I do have to say given my fear of heights it was not as bad as I had expected. Although, it was pretty intimidating seeing the harness that you wear when they send you up in the air. I guess I had always pictured it as a chair swing kind of seat that was a little more secure that having a harness on both legs clipped to a parachute. But once we got up in the air I was so excited that I had faced my fear because the view was unbelievable and flying around in the air attached to a parachute was surprisingly relaxing. Well, it was relaxing until they decide to dip you in the water and then the fear of a shark hanging out in the ocean just waiting goes through your mind and all the fear come back. But luckily, we made it back to shore safety uneaten and in one piece.
It would not have been a proper Florida trip without going crab hunting a couple nights while we were there. After putting the one year old to bed (and leaving him with Nana) we headed down to the beach, flashlights in hand. Crab hunting was an experience in itself. I do not know what was better finding the crabs with our lights or watching his dad run after them while trying to catch them. But Braden has a great time and loved every minute of it. Our second night crab hunting, crabs were everywhere. You could not take a step without seeing two or three run across the sand. But while on the beach, we saw a 15 year old boy fishing and much to our surprise as we were turning around to go in for the night he caught something on his hook. So we waited for him to reel in his fish and Braden was excited to see his catch. But to our surprise, it was a baby shark (see pic below)!! And all I could think while standing there was his mom is probably close by looking for him. Which is one reason we mainly swam in the pool.
This vacation was much needed and such a blessing. We got to spend time with family, relax, and enjoy making memories. I can not wait to go back and do it all over again! :)
We have made it back from our 10 day summer vacation in Pensacola, FL! And man did we have a great time! But, honestly, I think I am more tired than I was when I went. Our trip was jammed packed with all sorts of fun in the sun and local activities. I can not wait to share all the fun!
We got to experience some great local food, a dolphin cruise, a baseball game, and I even faced my fear of heights by parasailing! Look for a post or two later this week with all the fun details.
Travel tip: a personal fan is a must have when you fly
(Planes have very little air flow until they take off and of course we had a mechanical issue that landed us on the tarmac an extra 30 minutes in a hot plane. But the lady beside me had brought a personal fan for her baby that was sitting in our row and , luckily, she was nice enough to share. And now I have added that to my carry on must have list every time I fly and you should too. I just can't believe I didnt think of it sooner.)
Hi, I'm Brittany! I am a mommy, blogger, and Realtor! I look forward to connecting with you through the blog, social media channels, and our monthly Girl's Night Out events!