<24 Hours in Chattanooga


If I write a relationship how-to book one day (this will never happen), chapter 1 will be entitled: How to Not Plan a Trip Well. At All.

The secret to successfully not planning a trip well is to book it without your significant other’s consent. This is an excellent way to ensure that your travel plans don’t align with either person’s schedule. At all.

This is how Adam and I found our way on the road to Chattanooga at 4 o’clock in the morning on Saturday.

I booked us for an all-day Saturday acro yoga workshop with Scott Cooper without taking into account that Adam was already teaching his annual rooftop yoga charity event Friday night. (Want to use yoga in unique places as a fundraiser for your charity? Check out Big Horizon Yoga.)


With complete disregard for geography (and perhaps our health, wellbeing and sanity), I shrugged it off and assured everyone who doubted my itinerary that Chattanooga was a quick and easy four hours away.

FALSE. Chattanooga is actually six hours away. Who am I, Magellan?

So after a late night tearing down the rooftop event and shoving vegetarian diner food into our faces at midnight, we woke up at 3am to hit the road to Tennessee so we could make it to the 11am class on time.

Once you’ve already ruined everyone’s lives by planning your trip on a terrible day, you should then definitely not get gas when you need to. This step is even more effective if you are driving on E in the middle of the Smokey Mountains with no exits on radar for miles around, all the while saying, “I live life on the edge, baby.”

When you finally roll into the podunk-est gas station on the planet on fumes and in seriously hot water, make sure you pick the pump with the broken credit card machine. This is very important because it ensures your significant other has to go inside and deal with the angry cashier whose backwoods Tennessee slang practically needs a translator.

If you survive the gas station escapade, it is best at this point to force your gluten-free, vegetarian significant other to eat at Cracker Barrel for the first time in his life. He will definitely not love it as much as you did as a kid.


After tiptoeing around a meat-heavy menu, make sure you’ve allotted juuuuust enough time to park your car after your 6-hour drive and walk straight into the studio for 6 hours of acro yoga. No dilly dallying.

The workshop was actually amazing and worth the ridiculous trip to get there. I didn’t even get flustered and start yelling about my arms being too long to pike into an inversion on Adam’s knees until hour 5 of being tossed around in the air. I consider this a victory.


As is true with basically every aspect of my existence (including this sentence), I am exaggerating the agony that was our horribly planned trip. We had a surprisingly delightful time despite a severe lack of sleep and excessive amount of time together in a vehicle.

As can be expected, we crashed hard in Chattanooga but not before eating a meal that on its own could have warranted such an excursion as absurd as ours.

We ate at Sluggo’s, a vegetarian cafe just over the bridge from downtown Chattanooga. We started with the vegan wings. (I know.) If I’d ever had a real wing in my life I would tell you if these were comparable, but I’ve never had the real deal so all I can say is these are too spicy for me.

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Adam had the sweet potato enchiladas, which would have been incredible on their own but they kind of dipped into the shadow of my mind-blowing plate of pecan-dusted seitan with garlic mashed potatoes, collard greens and corn muffins.


We stocked up on candy at the gas station before bed only to hit the road home again at 6am.

I suspect Adam will be planning the next trip.

Seriously this trip was kind of awesome. I was surprised and impressed by our ability to make the best of it and am convinced that before you take one more step forward with your significant other, you need to force them into a sleep-deprived long-distance car ride that leads to a destination you’ll visit for less than 24 hours. If you can’t handle that together, I’m afraid you have no future.

I credit our success to the liberal use of the ridiculous safe word we created in case anyone started getting grumpy. It’s like a reset button you toss out when a situation is escalating unnecessarily. I can’t tell you what it is because then I’ll have to kill you. But before you take a trip like this with someone you need to create one of your own. You’re welcome.

5 thoughts on “<24 Hours in Chattanooga

  1. This is hilarious! I love the idea if a “safe” word– totally stealing that when we go to the outer banks this summer!!

  2. I did something very similar on a european trip. Booked us a night in Verona and then booked 10am tickets at the Uffizi in Florence the next day. Oops. Required a 6am train ride and spent all of 12 hrs in Verona.

    I like the safe word idea, may steal that for the next trip.

  3. Long time reader and even longer time resident of Chattanooga. I’m glad you enjoyed your short jaunt to the “Scenic City,” it’s a shame you couldn’t have stayed a bit longer and taken in a show at Riverbend. Riverbend is a week+ long music festival that attracts roughly 100K people a night that is currently going on just across the river from Sluggo’s in the downtown area.

  4. Hi! Love your blog! I am always amazed by the fantastic vegan/vegetarian/healthy restaurants you visit, in Charlotte and also on long (or short!) roadtrips and places you’re unfamiliar with — can I ask how you find these places? Do you just stumble upon them, do your research in advance, GoogleMap-it when you decide you’re hungry?

    I ask because I recently moved back to New Jersey from CA (I know, what was I thinking? Haha) but I have the hardest time finding good places to eat here that offer ample healthy/veg food. I’m close to NYC so that’s no issue, but usually here, I’m stuck!! Any advice?? :)


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