Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Did we just step into a Hallmark movie? Mother's Day Trip

  


(Atlanta Parent Cred:Dalia Faupel)

All I wanted this Mother's Day was to go on an adventure. After spending a year in quarantine basically isolated from the entire world, I had the travel bug. I wanted to go to a new town that we have never been too and I wanted to find a book store that resembled a small town shop. I went online and researched for about two months when I finally came up with a list. I went through the list to find the most interesting book stores to visit this year, starting with the ones that were the closest to our home. There was something about the town of Serenbe that seemed to call me from the great beyond. ( The Great beyond is the internet.) Serenbe is a small quiet wellness neighborhood in the town of Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia. Serenbe is what is called a "New Urbanist" town. (New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types. Wikipedia to the rescue.)  



We woke up on the Friday before Mother's day to embark on our hour and a half journey to this mysterious bookshop and town. Upon arriving we realized that this town was actually a community neighborhood which seemed to be sectioned off by itself from the rest of Chattahoochee Hills. As soon as we turned in we saw people walking their dogs and beautiful landscaping which turned out to be a walking trail. Then our eyes were amazed at this small town sectioned off from the rest of the world. It was almost like finding buried treasure but much better. The homes surrounding us were red, grey, black and white. Their architecture was beautiful and very unique. I wanted to stop and stare at them but my family was ready to go explore.


"Did we just step into a Hallmark movie?"
My twelve year old daughter asked as she stood in amazement looking at all the little tiny stores down the right side of the town. The town resembled the town from the "Good Witch" television series on Hallmark. It was uncanny because on the way to checkout the little area there was a sign that read, "Middleton Way", and Middleton is the name of the small town from that very show! 


There was a General Store ( yes that is actually the name of the store), and inside as we walked around the Owner was very kind to give us the history of this little community! The creator of the town Steve Nygren, created a Bed and Breakfast and then branched out to form a small community that is now Serenbe. The town of Serenbe actually branches out into the older first versions of the town with more restaurants, boutiques, homes, and if you keep going a Trail riding area and the Serenbe Farm House Bed and Breakfast. (The Farmhouse at Serenbe)  As we kept walking towards the Hills and Hamlets Bookshop that was located across the street from the General Store we noticed a few of the buildings were not stores at all. As we walked by the the open doors we were surprised to find school desks, a chalkboard, and backpacks. We then realized these were classrooms. And actual School Houses. Talk about Hallmark vibes central!!!! That would also explain the group of different aged children across the street playing on the play ground and sandbox. We decided to visit the book store AFTER we let the kids go play with the school children. They enjoyed playing in the sand and socializing with the locals. My husband and I sat quietly under the beautiful Gazebo in bewilderment at the town we felt way too lucky to have discovered.  After sometime I am sure the teacher realized there were two extra children that did not belong. and then she found us and when we asked she informed us that the school houses were a part of a  Montessori school.  ( A Montessori School is a school that encourages independence and supports children's natural ability to want to learn and encourages it in their environment.) She explained that the town was very small and there was a mixture of different ages at the school which were separated by buildings. During the day they play outside together and are encouraged to learn at their own pace when inside a classroom environment. I have never before in my entire life wanted to I drop my normal life and just become a member of a community without any hesitation until I came to Serenbe. I was willing to move my entire family and give up my cabin in the woods to be a teacher for this school and move to Serenbe. Soon all the kids packed up and snapped my husband and I back to reality. We told the kids it was time to check out the Bookstore in which was why we came there in the first place. 


Read Part 2 to find out about the Hills and Hamlets Bookshop and our experience inside this captivating book store! 

xoxox, 

Amanda The Book Witch




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