Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by Stacy Averette

Hello, Lovely Friends! Today I want to share with you how we recently celebrated our 34th Anniversary. Whatever season of life you’re in I hope you’ll be inspired to see your life and the people you share it with as a gift worth celebrating! Big moments and small ones are opportunities for us to show the world that we serve a God who loves to see His happy children celebrating Him and His good gifts!

We’re in a new season of life as empty-nesters, working together full-time in our counseling and coaching business.  Do you know what that means? We spend A LOT of time together. We love working together and we love what we do but simply being in the same office all day doesn’t provide the kind of quality time a healthy relationship requires because we’re at work, working.  So we’re intentional about downtime and rest so that we can show up in a life-giving way for the people we serve, for our family, and for each other. For us, there’s nothing quite like a road trip, a fun hotel, lots of good food, and coffee talk to give us a new lease on life!

I’ve written before about Why We Get Away, so you might want to go read that post when you’re finished here.


A Slow and Simple Weekend Get-away

Before I share some details about our recent trip, I want to give you some ground rules we have for planning an anniversary getaway.

Rule #1 Choose your destination carefully

Here’s the thing about our anniversary trips, specifically: We choose a destination that we’re already relatively familiar with and that’s within a few hour’s drive from our home. That might sound boring to some but our goal is to rest and reconnect with each other and we do that best by slowing down, under-planning, and keeping all of our options open.

Rule #2 Unplug

We try not to talk about work or even our other favorite adults, AKA our children and their spouses. We stay off of our phones, especially social media, and we rarely turn on the TV. This offers us lots of down-time to talk and laugh and get to know each other better.

Rule #3 Ask Questions

“Get to know each other better?” Yes! You read it correctly! Even after thirty-six years together (34 married), we’re always learning something new about each other because we stay curious. We ask questions. Listen without passing judgment. And ask more questions. If you’re reading this thinking you know everything about your spouse or child or sister or mother, you couldn’t be more wrong. And you’re missing out on so much! Being intentional about getting to know someone better with each passing year is so much fun!

Eric and I have a lot in common and there are so many ways we’re alike! But guess what? We’re complete opposites about a few things, too! We don’t always agree on everything, we have different opinions about things, and sometimes I wonder, “What in the world is he thinking?”

But how boring would it be if we were just alike? It’s fun to ask him all the questions! Sometimes we go deep and get serious with our discussions and questions (What are your greatest regrets?) and sometimes we’re silly and playful (What was your favorite cartoon as a child?) The possibilities are endless.

Rule #4 Look At Each Other

Literally! Remember how you looked at each other when you first fell in love? Do that now!

We’re all prone to be distracted multi-taskers and sometimes our life requires it but that’s all the more reason to make time to really look at each other.

Face each other when you’re out to dinner. Look at him when he’s talking to you. Study his face and his hands and whisper a prayer for him. And by all means, FLIRT!

Eric and I have aged a lot but I can still see the face of that very young man I fell in love with many years ago and I can remember exactly I how felt when we were falling in love because I’ve rehearsed it a thousand times more than any other feeling I’ve had in our life together.

Rule #5 Sit Close, Hold Hands, and Kiss

Unless you drive a vintage automobile, sitting close together while riding in a car isn’t an option anymore. Eric drove a ’65 Chevy truck when we started dating and I loved sitting close to him. I always giggle when I see a couple nowadays sitting close together in an old truck.

Our Toyota Highlander doesn’t allow for snuggling up side by side but we always hold hands in the car. Do you still do that with your spouse?

Walk arm in arm down the street.

Hold hands across the table.

Life is hard. Lean on and into each other. Be kind and gentle with your words and even your thoughts.

A slow and simple weekend getaway is a great way to fall in love over and over again.

“Strong marriage isn’t magically created when you say “I do”… it’s built on a lifetime of “I dos”: I do love you, I do cherish you, and I do choose you.” Selena Frederick

A Weekend Getaway to Chattanooga

There are lots of great places to stay and eat in Downtown Chattanooga. From large hotels to small boutique hotels, you can find just about anything that suits your style and budget. As for eats, you can find just about any type of cuisine, from upscale restaurants to casual dining, within a few blocks of one another in Chattanooga’s Southside. In this post, I’ll share our favorites from our recent trip.

Chattanooga; The Moxy; Kenny's Sandwiches; Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel

Our New Favorite Place to Stay in Chattanooga

When traveling in the US we usually start our search for a place to stay on the Marriott Bonvoy app. We’ve stayed at lots of Marriott hotels and find the price and quality to fit our needs. For a recent trip to Chattanooga, we discovered The Moxy by searching the app. This is a new-to-us hotel and we loved it!

It’s described as a stylishly chic, lifestyle hotel that focuses on less while offering so much more for the young and young at heart. Young at heart! That’s us!

We were getting away to celebrate our thirty-fourth wedding anniversary and although The Moxy looked like a very different hotel experience than we usually expect with Marriott, it seemed like a fun option. Our thirty-four years together has been quite the adventure so why not?!

4 Things We Love About The Moxy Chattanooga

1. Location

The Moxy is located in Southside Chattanooga, an area where we’ve stayed a few times before so that was a plus. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that when we get away on an anniversary adventure or long weekend we like to go to a familiar spot. Our getaways are primarily to relax and reconnect so we don’t want to spend our time trying to figure out where to eat or exhaust ourselves with a sight-seeing adventure in a new city. We save those trips for longer vacations.

The Moxy Chattanooga is perfect for just hanging out and walking to find a cup of coffee or your next great meal.

2. Price

Like many Marriott hotels, The Moxy fit our budget. When we travel we’re not interested in breaking the bank nor or we interested in finding the cheapest hotel. The Moxy Chattanooga was reasonably priced at $112 a night. If you’re able to plan your trip in advance, I’ve found that the best rates are available about two weeks prior to your stay. I check the rates daily and watch the price drop before I pull the trigger on booking a room. I also find I get the best rate by booking through the Marriott Bonvoy app or through the hotel website directly versus using a third-party trip planner.

3. Aesthetic

We’re homebodies who love to travel so when we leave home to stay somewhere overnight I want it to be a special experience. Marriott hotels consistently provide rooms and common areas that are beautiful, inviting, and reflect the local culture. The Moxy did not disappoint. Wow! The layout and furnishings in the lobby were stunning and had a bit of a vintage bohemian style with a modern twist. There were lots of beautiful spaces for couples to sit and talk while other spaces were perfect for a large group of friends to gather.

The brightly painted murals on the wall were striking, the furniture was extremely comfortable, and the large outdoor space was fun and festive.

At night, this place came alive! The Moxy is a local gathering place for more than just the hotel guests so we had lots of fun people- and dog watching in this pet-friendly environment. The crowd is very young and hip but there were quite a few young-at-heart guests like us soaking in the fun atmosphere.

Our room was smaller than we’ve been accustomed to at Marriott hotels but we really didn’t miss the extra space. The platform bed was extremely comfortable, the large window provided a nice city view, and the bathroom was clean and spacious. Oh, and there was a large 48 inch LCD TV with streaming capabilities which made watching some of our favorite shows fun. (Our TV at home is much smaller!)

4. Service

From check-in to coffee runs to chatting with the valet, service was the best! They were so attentive and polite and helpful. They all seemed to really enjoy their work. We enjoy meeting new people and interacting when we travel so good service always makes a stay extra special.

We will definitely be returning to the Moxy Chattanooga and look forward to visiting their other locations.

Our Favorite Places to Eat in Downtown Chattanooga

One of our favorite things about traveling is eating! Isn’t that true for everyone? We love to try new places and visit old favorites and this trip was no different. Getting recommendations from hotel staff and locals is a great way to find the best places!

We’ve been following a whole-food, plant-based way of eating for over 2 years now and love it. However, when we travel we expand our options. Staying vegan is hard when you’re traveling and we enjoy the opportunity to try new places and appreciate the local cuisine.

Here’s what we found:

1. Kenny’s Southside Sandwiches

Kenny’s is at the top of the list! I found it in a Google search of restaurants within walking distance of The Moxy and noticed that it got great reviews. The valet confirmed that it was a great choice. “They make their own bacon every morning!” he added.

I love historic buildings so to settle into a little table for two with my favorite person, good coffee, and jazz music was a great way to spend a lazy Sunday morning.

The Croque Madame (my choice) and Bacon-Mushroom Omelet with a side of roasted potatoes (his choice) did not disappoint! We arrived just early enough to get a table but shortly after we arrived the place got super busy. Still, the service was excellent!

2. Frothy Monkey

Okay. I know Frothy Monkey is “a Nashville place” (our favorite is the Franklin location) but who can resist having breakfast at the Frothy Monkey located in the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel! Talk about a beautiful, historic place! Wow!

The place was already busy even though we arrived just before the Saturday morning rush. As always the coffee was delicious and I ate every bite of the quinoa bowl ordered. Eric enjoyed “The Britt”—Atlantic smoked salmon*, dill cream cheese, capers, and sprouts. Served open-faced on a bagel of your choice.

Service was a little slow, but we enjoyed the bottomless coffee cup, conversation, and hand-holding while we waited. It was fun to linger, with no place to go.

3. Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint

This is another chain restaurant but y’all—the burgers and fries are the best! We discovered Jack Brown’s first in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. We were returning home after visiting friends in Nashville and this place popped up on a Google search. The Murfreesboro location is in the historic, downtown district and definitely satisfied our love of all things vintage. The decor, music, and food will take you places, for sure! Our server even treated us to complimentary fried Oreos!

While in Murfreesboro we noticed the Chattanooga location and decided then and there to add it to the list of places to eat. We stopped for a late lunch before we even checked in at The Moxy, which was only a few blocks away.

At both locations, we arrived mid-afternoon and our servers were fun and helpful. The crowd included multi-generational families enjoying a meal together, businessmen and women having a lunch meeting, and students tapping away on laptops.

Of course, there’s a wide selection of craft beers if you’re into that but if not, the food, service, and fun atmosphere make it worth a visit!

The consistent quality of food and service make it a place we’ll visit again!

4. Goodfellas Pizzeria

Goodfellas was literally a stone’s throw from The Moxy. We had dinner there Friday night and a late-night pizza snack on Saturday night! The pizza was delicious! I had a slice with olives and artichokes plus a side salad and Eric had something with lots of meat!

The walk-up counter service is fun and casual and the historic building with all the exposed brick made it a perfectly romantic Friday night date spot. There are cozy tables for two as well as large tables, perfect for big gatherings. It seemed like a popular spot for locals and I can see why!

5. The Terminal Brewhouse

This is one of those places we visit every time we stay in downtown Chattanooga. The historic old, brick building next door to the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel houses the restaurant that is locally owned and operated. The food and service are always good. Eric really enjoyed the Pepper Smashed Steak! I ordered the Yosemite Salmon Cakes but I think I’d eaten too much all weekend to really enjoy my meal. Our server, Chuckie, made the 30 minutes wait for a table well-worth the experience!

Next Time Around

Chattanooga is a fun place to visit with no shortage of attractions. I’d saved several places to visit—options in case we wanted more to see and do. Like always, we opted for the slow, simple weekend with plenty of time for conversation and rest and good food.

Next time around we might check out these places:

    • Lookout Mountain/Incline Railway-we’ve both been there years ago and we’ve taken our own children when they were younger. We stopped by Saturday morning but the Incline Railway had already sold out of tickets for the whole day. If you plan to go, be sure to purchase tickets online, ahead of time!
    • Alleia–“Vintage brick storefront with arty, mod interior dispensing rustic Italian pizzas and homemade pasta,” according to the Google business listing. Sounds like a place we’d love!
    • Rembrandt’s Coffee House–“Cozy European cafe serving coffee drinks alongside fresh-baked bread, pastries, and desserts.” Sounds perfect to me!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a recap of our weekend adventure to Chattanooga! Are there any places you’d like to add to our “next time around” visit? Any questions about what I shared? Feel free to leave a comment!



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