We had passes to Universal Studios that needed to be used and planned on taking four days in December to go. But when we sat down and thought about how we wanted to spend our vacation, standing in lines for hours and spending $6 on a bottle of water didn’t feel like much of a vacation. So I got on airbnb and started searching.

And I found this cabin.

So one night in December, we packed up the kids and the car, and drove to Georgia. We pulled in just as the sun was coming up. It was exactly what we needed- a cabin sized perfectly for a family of four, on several acres, in the mountains. We immediately lit the fire and snuggled in to watch the sun rise over the trees.

For the next few days we hiked right behind the house. There was a marked trail that the owners created that ran along-side Oliver Creek and was doable for a four and six year old. We found a hissing beetle and collected treasures. We read and painted and found the perfect hiking stick. We drove down narrow, winding roads with the windows down and had s’mores every night for dessert. The kids played hide and seek and we fell in love with a mountain dog named Luke Parker, who accompanied us on our hikes and had a fondness for our leftover eggs and bacon. We found Mountain Valley Farm and loved on 3 day old bunnies and a cow named Ellen who really liked having her ears rubbed. We also bought some of the best marinades and sauces Kyle has ever had  and ate locally churned ice cream on the front porch of the store. We drove the short drive to Amicalola Falls and hiked the waterfall. We watched a bird show at the Lodge and ate Christmas cookies and drank hot chocolate on a porch that overlooked the national park. We watched real hikers with real gear arrive and depart the Appalachian trail, giving Kyle some stiff competition on his beard.

If you’re looking for a Georgia getaway, I highly recommend the cabin we stayed in. Our host gave perfect instructions and the cabin had everything we needed to feel at home. If you go, please let me know and bring some treats for Luke Parker.
STACIA KELLY PHOTO ELIJAY GA