Christmas Quiz: How many days of vacation do you deserve?


(A picture of my favorite ornament…I got it on a trip to The King & Prince Golf and Beach Resort)

A Christmas Quiz:  How many days of vacation do you deserve when this holiday is over?

Let’s face it, not everyone considers this the most wonderful time of year.  Yes, there’s a lot of wonder, excitement, and festive activity going on.  And we get to celebrate the birth of Christ, which is the best part of it.  The carols are great, the decorations are fun to see, but the season does create a very large holiday to-do list on top of your regular to-dos.  So I have created this quiz to help you determine how many days of vacation you deserve after this season is over.  Get out your pen and paper, and let’s begin! Choose one answer for each question, and give yourself the corresponding number of points.

  1. How’s your Christmas spirit right now?
    1. Santa, stop here! Cookies and milk are waiting! (Give yourself 1 point.)
    2. Just tying up some last minute details today and listening to Christmas carols on the radio, and then I will be ready for egg nog tonight. (Give yourself 2 points.)
    3. My Fala lala la is all Jingle Belled out. Can I take down the tree yet? (Give yourself 3 points.)
  2. How many days off do you have for Christmas?
    1. None, really. I’m working or on call for Christmas Day and/or Christmas Eve. (Give yourself 3 points.)
    2. I have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day completely off. (Give yourself 2 points).
    3. I have more than just these two days off – I am one of the fortunate ones! (Give yourself 1 point.)
  3. How many houseguests do you have?
    1. My family is local or we are seeing them another time. (Give yourself 1 point.)
    2. I have up to 2 guests, or am visiting at someone else’s house for a few days. (Give yourself 2 points.)
    3. I have 3 guests or more descending upon my home for an overnight stay. (Give yourself 3 points.)
  4. Are you baking or cooking for others?
    1. Nope! They can find their own goodies. (Give yourself 1 point for this.)
    2. My spouse or significant other did that. (Give yourself 2 points.)
    3. Whew. 8 batches of fudge and now working on tomorrow’s side dishes. (Give yourself 3 points.)
  5. Last question…How’s the outside of your house looking?
    1. Scrooge lives here. I put up a wreath or nothing at all. (Give yourself 1 point.)
    2. Buddy the Elf came by and put a tasteful sprinkling of Christmas cheer on my house. (Give yourself 2 points.)
    3. Clark Griswold would be proud. (Give yourself 3 points.)

Now, tally up your points and see how you score:

5-7 points = Even if you love this time of year and make the best of it with store-bought baked goods and an easy schedule, you still deserve to decompress a little after it’s all over.  Get 2016 off to a great start with a quick 3-5 night getaway!  Take a cruise, spend a long weekend in NYC, or catch a flight to Cancun.

8-11 points = Perhaps you’ve suffered some aggravation at the hands of family, inlaws, outlaws, or otherlaws. Or maybe you just went out of your way here and there to make it a special Christmas. Either way, wouldn’t it be nice to escape and unwind? Take about 7 nights to recreate yourself and do something that you’ve always wanted to do. Is it Hawaii?  Maybe it’s Cuba? You decide!

12-15 points = There’s no doubt about it.  You’ve really put yourself out for others this season.  You’ve had to endure a holiday that maybe you don’t even enjoy that much for one reason or another. Nobody is more entitled to a break from the daily grind than you are.  10-14 nights, or more, are what this doctor of travel prescribes for you to recharge your batteries. This is a great length of time to do that European tour or river cruise you’ve always dreamed of. This is definitely a good time to do something more exotic or distant, like China, Galapagos Islands, the Amazon, or Australia.

Whatever your score, I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Azalea Travel

Choo-Choo-Choose Chattanooga for Family Fun

chochoo hotel (2)

Pardon me, boys. Is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?  Well, if it’s not, it’s one that looks just like it.  And you can stay overnight in it, if you like. The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel is located in an old train depot, Terminal Station, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Pullman cars in the courtyard aren’t just for show, either. Yes, I meant it when I said you can stay in one. They have guest rooms so you can pretend you’re a luxury-style traveler on a long journey in the late 1800s. There are restaurants and events in the hotel making it easy to enjoy yourself without going too very far. But, you’ll want to venture out, even if you do stay there, because there’s plenty to see in this town.

If trains aren’t your thing, another unusual place to stay is the Delta Queen Hotel, which is actually an old steamboat. Moored at the shore, the boat never cruises anywhere, but just allows you the unique experience of staying on a steamboat instead of a regular hotel. Sure, the cabins are a little small compared to a regular room, but it gives you a taste of how travelers in 1925 made their way down the river.  Accommodations range from upper and lower bunks to luxurious suites.

Now, what to do?

  1. Tennessee Aquarium: Voted as a Top 10 US Aquarium on TripAdvisor, this one is a must-see. You can spend a morning there enjoying the fish, alligators, penguins, and other species. This is the kind of learning that happens when you don’t even realize it, because you’re having fun. From mountains to coral reef, see what lives in each habitat.
  2. Steamboat tour: Just a stone’s throw away, you can pick up a riverboat cruise, if you’d rather ride than stay on one. Catch lunch, dinner, or a sightseeing cruise aboard the Southern Belle Riverboat. There are also special events for the season, and the boat is available for private parties. This would make a great spot for a family reunion or celebration.
  3. Incline Railway: A slightly tense but fun ride up the side of the mountain on one of these rail cars will allow some fantastic scenery. While you’re up there at the top, you are within walking distance of some Civil War attractions. After you make your way back down, you can enjoy the restaurants and shops at the base on the railway.
  4. Ruby Falls: Now, this is really something. If you’re claustrophobic, you may want to skip this attraction, but almost everyone seems to be able to handle this one.  Ride an elevator over a thousand feet down into the inside of a mountain and take a short hike with your tour guide to see something you’ve probably otherwise not seen before – a waterfall inside a mountain. The water isn’t actually red, as the name would indicate, but rather named after the wife of the spelunker who discovered this fascinating place. At one point while getting to and from the falls, there’s a rather short portion where folks need to duck a bit to walk under the rock. But it’s not uncomfortable.  Be advised that this is not a great activity for people with physical handicaps. Allot a couple of hours for this.
  5. Rock City: You must see it! That’s what the roofs of red barns have always told us. Now it’s mostly just the birdhouses, which I find delightfully campy and fun. Sad to say, this is one big Chattanooga attraction I have actually missed on my previous trips, but I do plan to hit it next time. See seven states from atop Lover’s Leap, let the kids mine for gems, amuse yourself in the Fairyland Gardens, or make your way across the Swing-a-Long Bridge. This attraction is another that will take roughly a couple of hours.

Don’t hesitate to call me at Azalea Travel for more information, or to plan your next trip to Chattanooga.