Monthly Archives: June 2017

Sleep Like a Log

Travel
Treetop Hideaways

Photos courtesy of Treetop Hideaways

Catch some zzz’s in the trees in a rustic, relaxed setting and take glamping to new heights. 

Want to feel like a kid again? Escape routine to build memories with a loved one? Better understand the life of a squirrel?

Don’t just look out the window at trees. Climb up into a treehouse for an overnight stay that takes glamping to new heights. Treetop Hideaways, located near Lookout Mountain in North Georgia and just minutes from Chattanooga, Tennessee, offers an upscale treehouse that combines childhood fantasy with grown-up tastes.

Place and Perspective
Built primarily of reclaimed wood and windows, the treehouse straddles two tall trees that jut up between the floorboards of the front and back porches. In between those porches and additionally supported by some beams, the two-story treehouse boasts a sitting area, bathroom and kitchenette on the main floor and a loft bedroom up a ladder that led to a hayloft in its former location. 

This not-quite-secret hideaway nestled in the woods has a playful vibe, yet offers conveniences you might reasonably expect of any hotel room. Your itinerary can be whatever you want it to be: You might book a stay specifically to experience sleeping in a treehouse, but you could also get out and explore nearby state parks or city life.

Treetop HideawaysThe inside space of the treehouse is as comfortable as it is imaginative. Tiny twinkle lights crisscross the beamed ceiling, mimicking stars. A pottery vessel sink in the kitchen is both practical and whimsical. The bathroom, which houses an eco-friendly composting toilet, has a floor that sparkles with a mosaic of copper pennies. Half a whiskey barrel serves as the shower stall; turn on the tap and water sprinkles down though a head fastened to the end of a curved pipe.

Treetop HideawaysA cushioned pull-out sofa can accommodate sitting readers or a sleeping couple. Up in the loft, a foam queen mattress seems guaranteed to invite deep sleep. Bar stools on the back porch allow you to perch and sip wine while looking a bird straight in the eye.

Wood dominates the décor, from the walls and floor to all furnishings except the bed and sofa. The view from each window is thick with trees. “We never want to build a ‘house in a tree,’” says Andrew Alms, co-founder and operator of Treetop Hideaways. “We want to build an eco-friendly treehouse that puts you in a different place and perspective.” 

Just one treehouse currently sits on the two-acre property, but construction on a second treehouse already is underway. Ultimately, “We could probably fit eight to 10 treehouses on the property,” says Alms, adding that he and his business partner, Enoch Elwell, have an option to purchase an additional five acres. But they won’t rush. “We’ll have the two now and see where we’re going as we go,” he says. “We’ll see if people like it and then maybe we’ll do four. It would be cool to have a little village of treehouses — but we’re going to see if people want it.” 

Treetop HideawaysElwell and Alms opened Treetop Hideaways in 2015. Available on Airbnb, the current treehouse is routinely booked, so adding a second one makes sense.

Alms was the primary builder of the initial treehouse. “As much as possible, we use reclaimed materials,” he says. “We sourced beams and massive windows from local industrial sites, and wood from three different barns.” To ensure year-round comfort, the treehouse is insulated and climate controlled.

Play and Be Pampered
As cozy as the treehouse is, however, you shouldn’t spend all of your time hunkered down inside the hideaway. Lush with trees, the two-acre property offers a quarter mile of hiking trails to explore. There are sandstone boulders and limestone cliffs to discover. Perhaps most of all, though, the woodsy setting encourages you to retreat and relax. The stresses of daily life slip away as the wind rustles leaves, birds chirp and you savor the realization that “Yes! I’m staying in a treehouse!” Breathe deep nature’s aromatherapy. Take a nap. Read a book. Sit on the back porch sipping a beer and watching squirrels leap between branches. Canoodle with your travel companion or linger over long conversations.

A fire pit near the treehouse is surrounded by Adirondack chairs. As the stars glisten in the night sky, you might light a bonfire then sit and sing campfire songs, share ghost stories or roast s’mores — everything needed to make the quintessential camping snack is stocked in the treehouse.

Treetop HideawaysIf you crave city conveniences, then Chattanooga is mere minutes away. Also nearby is Lookout Mountain and Georgia’s Cloudland Canyon State Park. It’s a short drive to hike, kayak, tour museums and galleries, shop at major brands or boutique shops, sip local craft beer, dine, and much more. Like any great getaway, you can ultimately do whatever you want to do.

Though some families stay at the treehouse and it can comfortably sleep four between the loft and sofa bed (and up to five with an added air mattress), it’s most popular with couples. “Most of the time it is couples, and they range in age quite a lot,” says Alms. “We’ve seen couples who come to propose, to honeymoon, to celebrate anniversaries — including a couple from Nashville who came down for their 53rd anniversary. We get to be a piece of a lot of different stories.” 

All guests are greeted with a flowers and a gift bottle of wine. Other amenities include complimentary local snacks and beverages as well as binoculars, a hammock, picnic basket, cards, towels and blankets to borrow.

Treetop HideawaysThe treehouse offers a “bird’seye view,” but expect to be pampered like a human.

If You Go

What: Treetop Hideaways

Where: 576 Chattanooga Valley Road, Flintstone, Georgia

How Much: $275 Sunday-Thursday; $350 Friday-Saturday

More Info: (615) 300-5173 or http://sleepinatree.co/ (Do not visit sleepinatree.com because that opens an audio scam/potential virus page.)

By Hope S. Philbrick

 

 

Tropical Beach Sundae

Desserts
  • FOOD July1 orange, sliced
  • 1 pear, sliced
  • 1 plum, sliced
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Chocolate ice cream
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Sprinkles
  • 1 Twix or Kit Kat bar
  • 2 Piroulines
  • 2 Mini umbrellas

Layer half of the fruit into two glasses and top with ice cream. Add whipped cream and remaining fruit. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and add sprinkles. Add candy bar pieces and Piroulines. Garnish with umbrella and serve immediately. Makes 2.

Cell Phones for Soldiers

Community Groups in Action
Cell Phones for Soldiers

Cell Phones for Soldiers sells donated electronics and uses the proceeds to buy international calling cards for troops or to provide them with emergency financial assistance. The nonprofit organization held its annual fundraising golf tournament in May.

When it comes to providing a lifeline to our troops, Cell Phones for Soldiers does more than talk the talk. The nonprofit organization sells donated mobile phones and uses the proceeds to buy international calling cards for troops or to provide them with emergency financial assistance.

The organization also accepts donations of other electronics such as laptops or tablets, and depending on their condition, the devices are recycled or repurposed. Since its founding in 2004, Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided more than 300 million minutes of free talk time by sending more than 5 million calling cards to servicemen and women and recycling more than 15 million cell phones. “We have never turned down anyone for cell phone service,” says COO Charles Taylor.

Soldiers must provide qualifications to be eligible for assistance, and the nonprofit finds those in need through VA hospitals, its website, case workers, veterans’ organizations and homeless shelters. The cell phones help soldiers communicate with their case workers and doctors. Younger veterans who are trying to re-enter the work force use them to contact potential employers. 

Calling-post-small-photo“Veterans use the cell phones for six months, 90 days or whatever fits their needs,” says Taylor. “Older veterans use flip phones, and younger veterans want newer models with apps. They’re a proud group, and they will donate their phones back to us after they’re back on their feet. It’s a hand up, not a handout.”

Cell Phones for Soldiers, which provides more than 500,000 wireless minutes domestically per month, sends phones all across the United States. However, the organization concentrates its efforts in Georgia. 

“Georgia is one of the top five states for veterans that need assistance,” says Taylor. 

Local drop-off locations to donate devices include EMC Engineering Services in Evans, Navy Federal Credit Union in Augusta and Metro PCS in North Augusta. For more information, visit cellphonesforsoldiers.com.