Thursday, August 20, 2015


Have you ever done a staycation before?  Wikipedia defines a staycation as a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night. For some unplanned reasons, our plans changed and we embarked on a staycation but first, let me tell you what our original plans were....

Joe and I had been wanting to take an end-of-summer trip since June after we got back from the beach.  We thought one more trip would be good for us both.  Our original plan was to go back to the beach but after 2 Bachelorette Weekends and our own trip to the beach, I was a bit burned out on the beach and looking for something different.  So, on a spur moment, I cancelled our beach trip and we began to look at different locations for a vacation away.  We thought about Atlanta, Charleston, and Asheville to name a few places.  I posted a Facebook question if anyone had any recommendations for trips and someone mentioned Natural Bridge Caverns and the Drive-Thru Safari.  I haven't been to the Natural Bridge in years and I thought what a perfect trip for us.  Outdoors, hiking, animals.  All our favorite things.  After doing some research I came across a lot of tours in the area about Stonewall Jackson and Robert E Lee.  First, let me say, Joe loves anything Stonewall Jackson and Robert E Lee, then I saw ghost tours and he is a major history buff.  I found a hotel called Robert E. Lee and booked us a stay for 2 nights.  We were both really excited about the getaway.  And then, Joe calls and says, "I feel like I'm getting sick."  His throat was hurting and his body was achy.  I was so bummed to say the least but I felt bad for him as well.  So, we decided to cancel our reservations and ALL our Lexington, VA plans to enjoy our first-ever staycation.

Day 1
I could tell Joe wasn't feeling too good.  Coughing, sneezing, runny nose just typical summer cold symptoms.  He was feeling so bad that we both took the time off from work and didn't want our vacation days to go to a waste.  So, after going back and forth of where we could go that was close by but yet we still could sleep in our own bed, we decided a day trip to Boone would be perfect.  From my house it normally takes me 1.5 hours to get to Boone, it took us almost 2.5 hours, so I wasn't used to the longer version of driving to Boone.  I was getting ancy at about 2 hours especially when you start going up the mountain.  On the way there, I asked Joe if he had ever been to Howard's Knob and he said "no."  So, first stop was taking Joe up to Howards Knob.  We rode all the curves up there with our ears popping but the view was gorgeous.  The temperature was a bit "chilly" that day for Boone so I had a jacket on.  After we enjoyed the scenery we headed to downtown Boone.  I've always loved all the shops there, even when I was a student at App State so you know I had to some shopping.  We enjoyed lunch at Macado's and made our way out 105 towards Banner Elk.  Joe wanted to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway some, so we hopped on the parkway near Banner Elk and came across Linville Falls.  Neither of us had even seen those falls before, so he hiked to see the falls and took some pictures.  God's beauty is absolutely breath-taking.  After the hike, which I could tell did Joe did in.  The elevation was not helping his breathing and head congestion.  We decided to head off the mountain towards Hickory, both our old stomping grounds.  Both of us were in a Mexican mood, so we decided to go to "El Tap" but much to our dismay, they changed the name.  The food was still delicious.  We headed home after dinner and Nyquil put us both out for the night.

Howards Knob

Selfie at Howards Knob

Linville Falls

 Day 2
Another day of Joe not feeling well yet he trooped through and we decided to enjoy our 2nd staycation in Charlotte.  I live a little over 1.5 hours from Charlotte and Joe lives about 30-45; however, both of rarely go or visit because it's so congested and we despise the traffic.  We were hoping most people would be at work and traffic wouldn't be so bad.  We started off eating at a deli place and I hate I can't remember the name of it because it was delicious.  After the deli place I had been talking about going to Discovery Place.  I haven't been to Discovery Place since I was a child, so I thought it would be something fun for us to do.  I just knew Joe wouldn't be up to walking around that place for hours upon hours so we opted to seeing a documentary at the IMAX theatre.  We watched a documentary about "The Great White Shark."  Great story and very interesting.  We bought really enjoyed ourselves during the 45 minute clip.  After the IMAX show, we walked around downtown Charlotte a bit and came to this corner where this guy was filming a music video.  I kept telling Joe, that's Thomas Rhett, I just know he is.  Take a picture of him so I don't look like a creeper.  Well, we never got the picture because Joe didn't believe me and was googling his name to see what he looked like.  After we pulled up the picture, he's like yea, that's him.  Bummer, we don't have a picture to prove it.  We left downtown and Joe was like, how about I take you to SouthPark.  I was like yea, I can window shop, we have no money because we are planning a wedding and doing house renovations.  We held hands and walked around SouthPark for a bit and then decided to walk into Brookstone and sit in the massage chairs.  We both about fell asleep.  So relaxing! Steaks followed at Texas Roadhouse to finish up our summer vacations.

Downtown Charlotte
IMAX Theatre
Thomas Rhett

Massage Chair

I highly recommend a staycation to anyone who wants to get away yet sleep in their own bed when they get home!  We had an amazing time and I loved spending every moment with my sick handsome fella.
Until Next Time,