Solar Eclipse Road Trip – Day 1

We were lucky enough to be less than 8 hours from viewing a total solar eclipse. I managed to get a couple days off work and the big girls were able to take a day off school. Michael was unable to get a day off so we ended up making it a girls trip. I looked into our options and we decided to view the eclipse from Sweetwater, TN. The only issue was that I only got the day off on a last minute trade and finding a hotel in the vicinity was not going to happen. It was too far to drive the day of the eclipse so I had to find a place closer than where we are. I finally found a place outside of Chattanooga, TN and booked it online.

We packed our overnight bag the night before. We got up early to have a quick, healthy breakfast at home before hitting the road. The goal was to make it as far as possible before having to stop. The little girls did amazing and we didn’t have to stop until lunch time. We found a McDonald’s with a play center. The girls had a chance to get out of the car to play and eat for 45 minutes. After lunch, we stopped at a Walmart and picked up some snacks to get us through the rest of the trip to Chattanooga. I filled up the gas tank before getting back on the road.

One of our snacks for the road!

We made decent time and got to our hotel just before dinner time. We checked in, picked up our key, and found our room before heading to dinner. Remember me saying that hotels were in high demand and I took what I could find. This was not a nice place to stay. It was questionable. It was a non-smoking room but there were burns on the blankets and furniture. There was black hair in the bottom of the bathtub. It did seem safe enough and there were no bugs. Every trip can’t be fancy. I’m not complaining. I’m just stating the truth. Sometimes it’s enough to not have to sleep in the car.



We drove into downtown Chattanooga and ate at City Café Diner. This is our favorite diner and we were so excited to be able to eat here! This is the cutest little place with amazing food and great service! I would eat there again and again. We stop there every time we drive through Chattanooga or near enough that we can easily detour.

Ivy and I got gyros and fries. The little girls got mac and cheese. We have never had a bad meal here. The dessert really is the star of the show at this place. They have huge cases of cakes, cheesecakes, and other desserts at the front. They all looked amazing! It was hard to decide. We each picked something different.

So many choices! Their dessert menu is really something!

I had the cheesecake in the bottom right photo. It was truly delicious. Their desserts are huge and incredibly well priced. Isabella couldn’t finish her chocolate cake and decided to take it with her. We left the restaurant and went back to our hotel to sleep for the night.


Driving on the Beach in Daytona Beach Florida

We woke up early to watch the sunrise over the ocean from outside our hotel room while the girls slept in. We enjoyed our coffee and chatted while the world woke up. The girls slowly woke up one by one. We ran downstairs to grab muffins and juice from the continental breakfast. We brought it up to our room and had breakfast together. It was lovely.

We got dressed and ready for the day. We had big plans and I was super excited. I visited Daytona Beach when I was 14 years old. It was the first time I laid eyes on the ocean. We drove down and parked on the sand. That was the day I fell in love with the beach and the moment my wanderlust began. That trip changed my life. I was too young to drive on the beach and I really wanted to. Thus my bucket list was born. Today was the day that I would finally get to drive on the beach!

We paid the attendant and got our ticket. You get to use it to enter twice. This was my moment. I had been waiting to do this for almost 20 years. It was incredible. I couldn’t stop smiling. Crossing off the very first item on my bucket list was deeply satisfying.

I love the idea of being able to park your car on the beach so you can easily bring your cooler, boogie boards, shade tents, and anything else you need for the family to spend the day on the beach. This day we were really just there to drive down the beach and spend the day exploring the pier and boardwalk area. We did park on the beach and stroll a little before moving on.

We parked near the pier and did a little browsing. The view from the pier was beautiful. We stopped to share a large order of fries and a couple sprites on the pier while watching the waves come in. People were sitting out in the sun on the beach below. The pier seating area was really quiet. We were sitting in a shaded area. It was a good place to feed Octavia.

We walked along the boardwalk and browsed for a couple hours. There are so many fun things to see in Daytona Beach. Octavia loved staring at all the pretty colors of the many clothing items we walked by. We all thought the clock tower by the beach was really pretty. Isabella said that it looked like a giant sand castle.

We continued browsing the shops until we ended up at a mall. It was very hot outside so we really enjoyed popping in and out of the blasting air conditioning in the stores. Honestly, we didn’t buy much. Ivy and Isabella each got a shell ring. We got three small bottles with Daytona Beach written on them so we could fill them with small shells and sand before going home.

We stopped at The Starlite Diner for a late lunch. We decided to share a couple things instead of individually ordering meals. We got a Mucho Taco Salad with jalapenos on the side, fried mushrooms, and chicken strips with ranch dressing on the side. The food was amazing and fresh! The atmosphere is super fun. It’s a great place for kids. The staff was really nice. It was a great lunch for around $30 plus tip. We went during a downtime so it wasn’t too busy. I understand that this place is crazy busy for breakfast and traditional dinner time especially on the weekends and during local events.

After lunch, we stopped at a discount shop to get Isabella a pair of flip-flops to wear to the beach. We found this cute mural on the way back to our car. It was a bit of a walk back. We had a great day in Daytona Beach, Florida!

Freddy’s Steakburgers

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We recently took the kids to dinner at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in Amelia, Ohio. The food is made fresh to order. The steakburger patties are thin so they cook very fast. I went with the classic. The beef was well seasoned. The shoestring fries are thin and crispy! They were very good. However, the star of the show is the fry sauce. This creamy sauce is the perfect complement to the crispy fries. Bottomless drink refills and unlimited fry sauce are at a self-service area near the food pick-up window.

The place is perfect for a fun, family dinner. It’s not the healthiest stop but sometimes it’s alright to indulge a little. The kid’s meal is basically slightly smaller portions of the same food. The whole family enjoyed themselves. I cannot comment on the custard they serve for dessert. We were too full from the large meals to want dessert. It is an affordable dining option with meals coming in under $10 per person.

Izzy’s in Florence, KY


I can’t help it!  I just love a good sandwich! I also adore the pickles at Izzy’s.  They bring this bowl of free pickle goodness to your table and everything is awesome from that moment on.  We devoured our pickle appetizer while waiting on our sandwiches. Izzy’s is known for their pickles, Reubens, and potato pancakes.

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On this particular day, the hubby ordered a Reuben and I got the corn beef and Swiss.  They also make these perfect potato pancakes.  They are perfectly fried heaven.  I could easily go to Izzy’s and only eat them.  You can order them separately.  This restaurant is extremely family friendly.  They do offer kid’s meals that are similar to the adult food but the potatoes are different.  Isabella got the corn beef sandwich.  I could order a potato pancake for Isabella for lunch instead.  They are big and she loved them so much she put a pretty good dent in mine and her Dad’s.

We visited the location on Mall road in Florence, KY. The parking situation at this particular location sucks. It is in the same building as a Starbucks and shares a parking lot with a small strip-mall. If you go here at midday, you may have to circle the lot to find a parking spot.  It is worth the time spent finding parking. Very affordable at under $10 per person.

Come hungry and Enjoy!

Antique Shopping and Louisville’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Crazy Daisy Antiques

We went on a day trip to Louisville, Kentucky for a girl day.  We did a little antique shopping.  We started at Tickled Pink.  It is a cute little shop.  We enjoyed browsing all the little goodies tucked into rooms and the art hanging on the wall including the staircase.  We also visited The Crazy Daisy Antique Mall.  This place was pretty big.  It has different stalls to visit.  The items were extremely varied.  The kids enjoyed seeing the old toys and baby clothing.

Please & Thank You

We decided that we must try the chocolate chip cookies at Please & Thank You while we were in town.  We had heard so many good things about this place that I wasn’t sure it could live up to the hype but I was wrong. The place definitely has a Hipster vibe. The staff was polite. The iced Thai coffee was amazing. Our oldest daughter, Ivy, really enjoyed their specialty tea assortment. She decided on the Ruby Slipper and loved it.

So Many Goodies!

We came for cookies but once Isabella looked in the case she decided that she had to try the Bourbon Bar. It was quite delish! Everything looked and smelled amazing. We placed our order and waited for it to be made. It was Sunday afternoon and the place was very busy. We found seats in the back near the record shop area.

They had a small table for the little kids with crayons & a shelf of old toys.

Ivy and I sat at the end of a large picnic table that was shared by many patrons. It was comfortable and friendly. The chocolate chip cookies were gooey and perfect. I understand why they are the best in Louisville.


We had an amazing day trip!  I’m glad we took the short drive.  It’s always nice going out with the girls for a day.  It is so relaxing being away from everything for a day.  There is so much to do in Louisville and it is such a pretty city that I know that we’ll go back.