I didn’t plan to like Huntsville. We chose it as our hurricane-season destination for several reasons, none of which had to do with the city itself. However, it didn’t take long for us to realize it’s a hidden gem on the Tennessee River. I’m not kidding when I report that Huntsville is one of the best kept secrets in the Southeast. Maybe in the country.
So how did we happen to select Huntsville as our “home”?
- It’s on the Tennessee River, our favorite cruising ground. And, more importantly, safe from hurricanes.
- Our best friends, business partners and buddy boat (The Perch) have a son that lives there. They were interested in spending some time in Huntsville.
- Huntsville has a great, and conveniently located airport. Brent’s job requires him to fly often so airport proximity is important to us.
- The marina, Ditto Landing, had space for us and is extremely affordable.
- We were interested in exploring a new city. Last year we only stopped in Huntsville for a day.
As it turned out, a ton of our friends ended up boating the Tennessee River this summer/fall too. We were so thankful to have such a big community. Additionally, the boaters in Huntsville embraced us and made us feel extremely welcome.
In thinking about ways I could recap four amazing months, I decided to ask everyone in the family for their highlight. Here’s what they reported:
Miller: Playing soccer. Miller wanted to try a new-to-him sport this fall. We weren’t sure what to expect, but couldn’t have been happier. He had a fabulous coach and a very skilled team. Miller worked extra hard to learn the rules and ended up becoming quite a valuable player. Best of all, he made several sweet friends.
Mary Grace: Riding her bike on the greenway to the library. Mary Grace came up with a way to say two highlights in one. Our marina sat right on the greenway and the 14 mile round trip ride to the library was perfect for her. The Huntsville library has a creator space that included several 3D printers, a Cricket machine, and several other crafty things. We all loved spending time in that room! The library also had a nice coffee shop.
Brent: The community. Ditto Landing Marina was a revolving door of Loopers and boaters coming through all summer/fall. He enjoyed meeting so many new people and spending time with lots of new friends in Huntsville.
Sarah: Teaching the kids to waterski on the Tennessee River. We had so many fun days out on the River. We took Light & Salty to some great anchorages, and also played a ton on our dinghy. One day we went out with Kim and Michael on their smaller boat, Freebird, and both kids learned to waterski.
As you can probably tell, we made the most of every moment in Huntsville!
In addition to the fun we had in Huntsville, we also used the 4 months to do some travel off the boat. We spent time in Hilton Head Island, Bald Head Island, and Atlanta. Additionally, Brent was ALL OVER the map with work travel. We are so thankful for all of the business! The kids also started their school years in Huntsville. Miller is in 5th grade and Mary Grace is in 10th grade. And Brent and I celebrated our 19th anniversary in August.
I’ll do a post with an update on our family soon- we seem to always have something going on!
So what’s next for the crew of Light & Salty?
We are going to slowly make our way down to Punta Gorda. It’s a small town just north of Fort Myers. We have a marina reservation and plan to be all settled before Christmas. I have started posting our journey down the rivers on our social media: Facebook and Instagram.
As always, thanks for keeping up with our crazy adventures!
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