We spent a quiet New Year's Eve as a family this year. We ate at our favorite pizza place on the mountain and then went home and built a fire and let the boys watch a Netflix countdown (which Jack didn't really understand at all) before putting the boys to bed.
Daniel and I stayed up watching Blacklist and drinking hot chocolate before watching the ball drop on television. We could hear the city of Chattanooga shooting off fireworks in the distance.
On the first day of the year, I was determined that we would do something outside as a family. It was a bit cold, but I really wanted to get outside to do a first hike of the new year (we have done this a few times since getting married and I hope it becomes a yearly tradition).
When we discussed our plans, Jack whined and said he wanted to go on a bike ride instead. Since we did a bike ride on Christmas Eve, we stuck with the hiking plan.
With young kids we are at a stage where we have to balance our desires with their abilities. Also we don't want something like weather or poor planning to turn them off of the outdoors.
With that in mind, we decided to head over to Lookout Mountain to hike to Sunset Rock. We were hoping to do the full mile from Point Park to Sunset Rock, but since Point Park is a National Park, it was closed for the New Year.
Instead we drove down to the Sunset Rock trailhead and hiked a quarter mile. So it wasn't big mileage, but it did deliver great views. Daniel was even able to point out the mountain we live on to Jack.
And in all honesty, with the temps in the upper 30s/lower 40s it was the right thing for our boys. Even bundled the boys had frosty cheeks when we finished.
Even though he started out the day complaining about hiking, Jack had a great time exploring the trail, even wanting to get much closer to the edge than we felt comfortable with once we were out at the view (don't worry, we held on to him!).
It's been awhile since Daniel and I have done any climbing or rapelling, and standing on that high cliff made me a bit dizzy. There is a part of me that wonders if I could really lean back over the edge of a cliff and rapell again...
I guess having kids makes you feel a bit differently about risk taking.
Our thirty minutes on the trail was just right for our little family on this cold first day of the new year.
When we finished we made a pit stop at Starbucks at Rock City to get coffee and hot chocolate to warm ourselves up a bit.
We are looking forward to many more hikes and adventures outside in the days to come!