Cabin Experience

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By the title of this post, you have probably already guessed what I am going to talk about today. Yes! our cabin experience. We travelled back to Tennessee again to unwind from our regular jobs. If you have been reading previous posts, we were hiking in the Great Smokey Mountains last time, staying at the Pigeon Forge in a beautiful Airbnb trailer home. We didn’t go to the Smokey’s again this time. However, we went to very quiet and secluded place located in the middle of nowhere at Whitwell, Tennessee. Whitwell is about an hour north from Chattanooga, TN. It was tedious winding roads from Chattanooga to the cabin. Local people drive very fast even in such winding roads, but be careful with the traffic. There are plenty of blind spots, and it will be even more challenging if you travel at night.

Let’s talk about cabin now. The cabin was located in the private camping area owned by Camp Chet. Camp Chet has huge area, I would say whole mountain designated for camping. We ended up reaching at the office, however, the owner made us drive around the mountain to where our cabin was located. The roads were unpaved and we were pretty nervous if our sedan could make it. It did! so Yay to that! It was pretty nerve-wracking though.

The cabin is so isolated in the middle of the forest. The forest probably doesn’t have a name. I don’t know. I have to check with the owner. The cabin was beautiful. It didn’t have any utilities- no power supply, no water supply. However, there was portable toilet available at the common area/ near pavilion. The whole camp site was basically for us because there were no any campers. So, we were alone without any other human beings. The cabin had nice bed with beautiful, cozy, warm comforters. The cabin can actually accommodate 4 people. They have 2 extra cots.

We had our own camping gear, although, the pavilion had emergency items available. We were glad to take our own propane gas stove (our first time with propane gas stove). It was very convenient and easy. However, we did not really have to use stove because grill was made available by the owner. In addition, fire pit was available with hanging grill. We utilized all because the place had plenty of firewood. The whole forest had tons of firewood available. It rained for two days. But, it was precious because we could still cook and stay warm by lighting the fire. As it rained, the little creek in front of the cabin started to flow at bigger force. It turned into a mini waterfall. We slept outside and inside with the sound of the water flowing. It was so relaxing!

As it stopped raining, we hiked from our cabin to the other side of the mountain where the Camp Chet office was located. The hike was about 2 miles. As we hiked up, we could see beautiful view of the forest and mountains. We did want to hike for the sunset view, however, we were also aware of the wild animals in the area. As we hiked up, we noticed several animal footprints- I think- was bob cat or Coyote print and deer prints as well. Some little ones and some big ones. Parents were probably teaching their kids to survive winter.

We did not have anything much to do in the cabin as we didn’t have power supply. However, we did not feel the need for electricity any way. We had battery operated lanterns and it worked fine. We engaged ourselves in cooking, eating, doing dishes by using the water from the nearest creek, and playing cards. I have played cards several times but experience was never like this time. I had never felt that good playing cards, cooking and staying near the firepit under the trees. One night I was on the chair feeling the warmth of the fire, slightly lied down against the chair, looked upwards and I could see that the sky was clear. I could see tiny stars twinkling and also two different planets that blinked. I told my husband how to differentiate between a star and a planet. As I looked up, I saw two shoot stars that night. And, I prayed. My husband was chopping some firewood for next day. I asked him if he was tired. And he replied “no, I like it.”

It wasn’t that cold at all inside the wooden cabin. They did provide propane heater, but we didn’t have to use at all. By 7 pm we were already inside our cozy bed because it would be dark by that time. We again used to talk and play cards. We got up by 7 am next morning. We are used to getting up at 5 am due to our work life. We always rushed to get up and get ready for work and leave on time. But, it was unusual experience at the cabin because even though we wanted to get up early, and tried to be productive, we could not. We realized that it was dark outside and it was better for us to stay inside. We did not miss our morning cell phone scrolling routine at all. We did not miss our TV time. We did not miss Wifi. We did not miss our fancy breakfast at all. All I could hear was that my husband telling me how rested he felt because he slept very well. I felt same way. I mean who gets so sleep in such environment with background music of the flowing creek.

It is so funny that one night my husband asked if he could play some music from the car. It was new years eve day. I said “okay”.But it was only “okay” because when I am in nature, I feel like playing music is disrespect to the nature. I don’t know if any one ever feels this way. I think it disturbs creatures. I think it dominates natural sounds coming from the forest. Anyways, he turned on the car and played music but he quickly turned it off. It was not worth it. It actually was more disturbing than soothing. I said, “there is nothing more soothing than listening to the creek sound, under the tree, listen to trees move”. We laughed.

We had our own drinking water but we did not fully want to use it for dish washing purposes. We went down to the creek and fetched some water for cleaning purposes. It felt amazing. We felt so connected to the nature, and I thanked it for welcoming us and letting us do what we were doing.

I have realized that these tiny little things make us happy. We were more happier than before. It was a simple life. There is hardwork but it is still therapeutic because hardwork is done being connected to the nature. I don’t know about you all but it gives me some power and some positive energy which is why I keep on telling everyone that God is nature and nature is God.

Mount Dora, Florida Travel Guide

If you ever are travelling to Orlando, or Tampa, don’t forget to spend your day or two at Mount Dora. Mount Dora is a small town that will amaze you in many different ways. The town is located 92 miles north from Tampa. It is approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes drive from Tampa. Following are few things to see in Mount Dora.

Lake Dora

Lake Dora is not far from the downtown. Spend your morning or afternoon near the lake Dora. You can also take your picnic. Enjoy the sunset. Boat tours and beautiful nature trails are available on site.

Palm Island Park

If you are looking to spend your time watching birds and other animals such as alligators and raccoons, Palm Island Park is the place to stop by. The park has beautiful boardwalk on the lake Dora. You can also see Mount Dora Light House from the boardwalk.

Mount Dora Light House

Mount Dora Light house is located in the Port of Mount Dora. The lighthouse is one of only 3 freshwater lighthouses in
the state of Florida. It is about 35 feet tall. It was opened since 1988 and there is no access inside.Mount Dora Downtown: Downtown Mount Dora is a beautiful destination for a getaway in Central Florida. This vibrant downtown will surprise you with beautiful antique shops, museums, restaurants, hotels, and shopping stores. The downtown is not far from Lake Dora. Enjoy looking at the beautiful murals and old buildings in the downtown.

Mount Dora Downtown

Downtown Mount Dora is a beautiful destination for a getaway in Central Florida. The vibrant downtown has antique shops, museums, restaurants, hotels other shopping stores. Stroll around the downtown to look at murals, old buildings, beautiful arts that exist in the corner of the downtown. Downtown is not far from lake Dora.

The Donelly’s House

Don’t miss out on visiting Mr. Donelly’s house. John. Donelly’s house who is one of the founders of the local yacht club.
He is also Mount dora’s first mayor in 1910. This house is owned by mount dora lodge now.He built this house as a gift to his wife.
It is listed in national register of the historic places.

Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce

The first place to visit to get information about Mount Dora is the chamber of commerce. Located in the heart of Mount Dora downtown, the visitors center has staffs dedicated to assist you in making your visit easier. Stop by the visitors center to grab maps and other Mount Dora travel guides.

Saint Augustine must visits!

Saint Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S., located in the northeast coast of the Florida. The beautiful city of St. Augustine is famous for it’s beautiful beaches, and Spanish architecture. The city was regarded as the capital city of Florida.

Learn more about the city by visiting following historic and natural landmarks. Click on the listed links to learn more about these attractions.

Lightner Museum

The museum is located in the downtown Saint Augustine inside the Ponce de Leon Hotel. Enjoy the museum and the beautiful 19th century era building. Learn more about the museum here

Flagler College

Plan to visit Flagler College when you visit Saint Augustine downtown. Flagler college’s beautiful wall and ceiling arts will keep your jaws wide. Click here to learn more!

Castillo de San Marcos

The Castillo de San Marcos is masonry fort located on the shore of Matanzas Bay. The fort is oldest and in the western area of the bay. Designed by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza, when Florida was part of the Spanish empire. Learn more about the fort by clicking here

Alligator Farm

Don’t miss on visiting the Alligator Farm if you are interested in learning about alligators, and other few bird species. Watch park rangers feed the alligators. Also, if you are looking to be little adventurous, try their zip line over zoo. For more information click here

Villa Zoyrada Museum

It’s worth to visit Villa Zoyrada if you are interested to learn about Egyptian ancient history or American. The museum has the world’s oldest carpet made out of cat fur. The carpet was found in the bank of Nile river in Egypt. You are not allowed to take photos inside the museum. Enjoy learning peculiar history. Click here for more!

Riley’s Believe it or not

It is clear that this place has unbelievable collection of items from ancient and modern times that will keep you shocked. The museum is kids friendly. From wax replica of the world’s tallest man to the world’s smallest production car, the museum has tons of oddities to offer you. For more information click here

Treasures of Central Florida

The most popular attraction in Central Florida is Disney World. Visited by people worldwide, Disney remains on the top of the chart for so many people and has shadowed other exotic destinations. If you look closely, the central part of this state has a lot to offer you from springs, manatees and mermaids to rolling hills and treasure coast. This article will list only a few places that you must visit if you enjoy nature.

Before establishing Disney World, Weeki Wachee Springs was one of the most visited places due to the mermaid performances. However, the popularity of Disney world affected Weeki Wachee’s businesses.

Crystal River Archeological State Park

Standing at the bank Crystal river, the mounds lead you to imagine the life of ancient Indians.  The mounds are the piles of shells used by the Calusa Indians. The Calusa chiefs built important temples, conducted essential ceremonies on the top of the mound. Take the stairs to the top of the mound, and enjoy the breeze coming from the beautiful Crystal River.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Home for manatees, the Homosassa springs lets you experience the wildlife and nature closely. Take a boat tour from the entrance to the wildlife rehabilitation.  

The other attraction in the springs is an underwater observatory that allows you to watch Manatees and thousands of fishes and mullet. Manatees mainly visit Homosassa springs during winter. They visit springs seeking the warm 72 F water. The park volunteers run the informative show while they feed Manatees foods such as carrots.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and Weeki Wachee preserve

Famous for mermaids, Weeki Wache springs hold the history of one of the most iconic springs. Enjoy the boat tours, swim in the Buccaneer bay, and hike in nature. Do you like freshwater adventures? Weeki Wachee springs allow you to kayak and launch your private rentals.

Located in Spring Hill, Weeki Wachee preserve is situated in the conservation land. It extends up to the Crystal river buffer preserve. The preserve has an uneven road, easy to drive. However, the gate is only open on the second and fourth Saturday of a month. You can still hike and take your bike when the gates are closed. The area has only one picnic table located near the beautiful lake. 

There are several man-made lakes in the area that formed after the land mining operations. This habitat is the largest remaining black bear habitat in along the peninsular gulf coast. 

Pine Island

Embraced by the beautiful marshlands and palm trees, pine island is one of Florida’s exotic hidden treasures. As you drive the island, you enjoy the beautiful view of the palm trees forest. The beach houses are seen when you get closer to the Hernando county beach. Enjoy the forest scenery on the horizon while you walk on the white sands of the beach.

Rainbow Springs State Park

The crystal clear river of rainbow springs attracts many visitors. The constant 72f water in the spring is ideal for the children and families to swim, kayak and paddle. It will be less crowdy as you paddle away from the bank of the spring. Immerse in the beauty of nature, watch for birds and alligators. Rainbow springs state park has more to offer you. As you stroll around the park, experience fantastic butterfly garden. Smell the blooming jasmine flowers floating all the way from the top of the tree to its root. 

Silver Springs State Park


Silver springs is another beautiful state park with one of the largest springs in the USA.    The boat tours at the state park will sail you to the lap of exotic trees, homes of birds and alligators. 

Experience underwater life by viewing from the glass bottom boats take you the underwater.

Get to learn the park deeper by bringing your own private rentals in the spring. Educate yourself about the spring at the visitors center that offers you museum. 

South Florida Must Visit

We usually like to visit nature rather than cities. South florida is mostly popular for big city such as Miami. Miami attracts thousands of tourists to its beaches, latin and carribean cultural attractions and big downtown. About 3 hours west to Miami is a beautiful treasure of Florida, the Florida Keys.

Florida Keys

Famous for beaches, sunsets and water adventure, the Florida keys consists of several small islands connected by highway 1. The furthermost point of the keys is a beautiful small town, Key West. Several tourists visit this small town every year to experience the tropical climate, and the southern culture. The town has very less free park spots. Thus, it is recommended to find paid public parking spaces. While you walk through the town, enjoy little souvenir shops, coffee shops, bookstores, and shopping centers. You will notice stray chickens every where in the keys which is quite intriguing. The popular stops in the Key west are Earnest Hemingway house, the southernmost point, shipwreck museums, ship museum, mallory square and so much more. However, if you are looking to experience beach life, grab your swim suits, sandals and enjoy dipping your feet in the beautiful sands at Bahia Honda State Park. Keys is fully surrounded by the water, thus, has beaches every where.

Everglades national park

Everglades national park is the America’s largest subtropical wilderness park in the United States. This is a wetland of international importance and a part of world heritage site. Some of the most famous areas to visit in the Everglades are the Shark Valley. Rent a bicycle and enjoy riding the shark valley loop. Shark valley has 65 foot tall observation tower. Enjoy looking at the vast never-ending marsh lands of everglades from the top. Speed boat tours are another famous activities to do in the rivers of Everglades. Enjoy alligators and other other exotic birds and animals.

USA’s smallest USPS post office- Ochopee Post Office

The I-75 route may be the fastest, however, scenic backroad, the Tamiami trail has a lot to offer. Spare your 5 minutes to visit the USA’s smallest USPS post office located in the scenic Tamiami trail. USPS post office. Read about the history of the place in the little board posted in the site.

Fort Myers

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Fort Myers is one of the most popular places in Florida for its beautiful beaches. If you are interested in automobiles, visit Edison Ford Winter Estates. Located in Fort Myers, the estates is a museum that consists of the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The beautiful 21 acre botanical garden remains next to the stunning Caloosahatchee River. Join the guided tour, or have a self-guided tour. The home dates back 1885, when Thomas Edison purchased the property to build a vacation home in Fort Myers. Apart from history homes, you can also take a visit to the well preserved laboratory from ages ago.


Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

If you are stopping Naples for 2-3 hours and looking for a place to relax, However, put Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in your GPS. The park has 2.5 mile long boardwalk over the swamp. The boardwalk takes you to through wet prairie, marshlands, bald cypress forests, and many other vegetations. Take your binoculars with you to watch alligators, white-tailed deers, otters and turtles more closely.


The Ringling

Wherever you go in Florida, beaches are the most popular attractions. However, Sarasota has a famous museum to offer you. Don’t miss out John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. You could spend a whole day if you are interested in learning about beautiful ancient arts. The Ringling has varieties of wonderful bayfront gardens that are instagram worthy. On top of that, do not miss out visiting Ca’ Da’ Zan’, the home of the circus king and his wife. Another must visit museum in the Ringling campus is Circus campus. You can walk the write, take pictures with faux tiger, observe and study about the beautiful parade wagons, cannons used during circus to shot performers in the air, and their costumes. Do not miss out on visiting miniature museum. The slideshow can give you idea of miniature museum.

Myakka River State Park

Visit Myakka River State Park if you plan to camp, hike, do boat tours, picnic, bike ride in Sarasota. Myakka River State Park is the oldest state park of Florida and offers wide variety of vegetations and landscapes. Travel to this state park mid of May to experience between yellow wild flowers. Deers lurk and play in the wild flowers field. There are two swallow lakes- Upper Myakka lake and Lower Myakka Lake. You can take your own canoe, rent canoe or take a boat tours. The alligators and exotic birds can be easily spotted near the lake. Enjoy the sunset, and you might even want to camp there. However, make reservations via park’s website beforehand.