Well, we're here in Chattanooga and pretty much settled! It's been a crazy month with one week in a hotel and the next week trying to unpack as much as we could so we could get back to somewhat of a normal life and routine. It's an amazing feeling to get rid of all the boxes and packing paper and be able to find things again!
When we moved to Dickson shortly after we were married, I did a terrible job at getting to know our town and finding fun things to do. Because of that, it was a hard and boring transition and I was determined not to do that this time around. It helps that we're in one of the coolest cities in Tennessee now with plenty of things to do! I came up with a fun little list of things to do to kick-start your first month in a new place, help you get to know what the area has to offer, and make it feel a little more like home.
1. get active: find your local nature park
We try to stay active by doing fun things (I'm SO not a treadmill kind of girl!). Michael loves to mountain bike and I enjoy walking with Noah. Michael found Enterprise South Nature Park, a 2800-acre ammunition plant turned nature park with miles of mountain bike trails and walking paths. It's less than ten minutes from our house and perfect for going as a family when Michael gets home from work.
2. eat up: check out the local grub
Lupi's Pizza Pie is one of our favorite restaurants in Chattanooga. To be honest, it was our favorite before we even moved here. I knew that anytime we traveled here for a business trip, we wouldn't leave without having their amazing pizza. The restaurant downtown is fun, a little psychedelic, and we love that they try their best to buy local and organic. Another restaurant we love is Tupelo Honey Cafe, located in the beautiful Warehouse Row downtown. Thanks to some mommy groups I'm now a part of, we have a full bucket list of restaurants to try!
This past weekend my dad came to visit and we decided to head to a Chattanooga Lookouts game. None of us had been to a minor leagues game in years! They really are a fun way to spend the evening: people-watching, fun music, and indulging in stadium food. We baked in the sun for the first hour (and of course, this mama forgot sunscreen and hats!), but it was the perfect evening once the breeze picked up and the sun went behind the mountains. Noah climbed the stairs the entire time and fell asleep before we even left the parking lot.
4. support local: check out the farmer's market
We try to buy as much of our food from local, organic resources as possible. We found the Chattanooga Market and it's now one of our favorite weekend spots! There are many organic farms to choose from, even more local artisans selling their craft, anywhere from twenty to thirty food trucks, and a never-ending supply good music and atmosphere. We stock up on farm-fresh eggs, organic veggies and greens, and hope to find some good meat resources soon!
5. for the kiddos: play time!
As a stay-at-home-mom, I have to have good community resources for Noah and me. Parks, playgrounds, splash pads, library events, kid-friendly events, and other fun places and things are invaluable and key to making sure we don't become homebodies! We found Imagination Station, a huge playground and park with a walking trail and a fun caboose for kids to climb on. Noah loves the swings and the smaller kids' area is perfect for him to play more independently. We also LOVE all the water play options that the riverfront area downtown has to offer. There are water stairs, splash pads, and a little mini river that flows between the aquarium buildings.
Making time for fun has been vital in making this city feel like home. Moving is never easy, especially when family and friends are still quite a distance away. It can get lonely and somewhat boring if you don't get out there and explore, and we're looking forward to exploring our city more up close and personal!