SecondIron's Blog

Sharpening Iron to Live Second

Home Away is Our New Way to Stay

As I write this I am a bit sore and tired from a busy few days of vacation. Sore from all the adventures, tired from all the much-needed sleep. Sounds terrible doesn’t it, I mean how awful to spend a few days with no agenda, fresh water to swim in and plenty of sunshine in December? We decided to take a quick four-day getaway before all the holiday festivities were upon us. Being that we are dog owners we always try to find places where we can take them along as well. My wife did a little bit of research on the Web and found a site called Home Away. Home Away is where people open up their homes or other real estate to be rented as a vacation rental. After spending some time and numerous emails we found our destination over on the Gulf Coast of Florida near Pensacola on the Santa Rosa sound. We packed up our two dogs and hit the road for about a five-hour trip to the other side of our home state last Thursday. After traveling the entertaining stretch of I-10 (anyone that knows the stretch knows that is a stretch) we arrived at our destination in a small town of Mary Esther tucked in between Fort Walton and Pensacola Florida. We were greeted by our host Steve and our dogs soon to be best friend, his dog Cooper. Steve showed us the two bedroom cottage that would be our home away for the next few days along with […]

What a Huge Retreat at Mountain Harbor Inn

We continued our journey of the Tennessee mountains.

Winding down Lookout Mountain after our stay at the Garden Walk Bed & Breakfast we headed east, well northeast. Opposite of our final destination to another secret getaway hidden in the hills.

As like many places we were not due for check-in until 3 PM. Having some time on our hands we decided to make the most of our journey.
Our first off the track destination was for some Mayfield ice cream at the Mayfield Dairy in Athens, TN. We had picked up a brochure on it the day before in Chattanooga. Driving several miles down the back roads of Tennessee we finally made it. “Closed to the Public”, my heart sank and hunger pangs filled its place. Well no Mayfield ice cream today it seemed as we turned and headed back to the highway.

A few more miles down the road were signs for a Sweetwater Valley Farm, another dairy farm that offered daily tours. We decided to give it a shot, driving again out of our way. After a few miles back in the hills we found acres of dairy farm filling the valley.
We tasted some fresh cheeses and even some elk sausage. Walked around and checked out the sites of the farm. The next guided tour was too long a wait so we did a self guided Udderstory tour. Full of cheese curds and Mayfield ice cream (they sold it there) we headed back on the road.

Just another click or so was