Summer Fun,  Travels


We are freshly back from our weekend getaway to Chattanooga to celebrate the end of the school year. Before this trip, The Little Girl called it Chagganooga. It was 1 of only about 3 words that she has ever repetitiously mispronounced in her entire life, and I let her because there were so few of them. [FYI, Peapock (peacock) and 4-liter (4-wheeler) hold the other 2 spots.] After this weekend, she now pronounces it correctly and I’m a little sad. Who said she could grow up so fast? I know I didn’t.

Anyway, we had a FANTASTIC time on our trip. We left Friday morning and one of the most exciting moments of the trip was simply leaving. I didn’t have that nagging feeling that I had forgotten something, I was 100% caught up on work, and it was just the 3 of us. I grinned from ear to ear as we drove towards the interstate. I was filled with nothing more than the amazing feeling of anticipation. At some point on our trip we realized that this is the 1st time we have vacationed as a family (just us 3) since Missy Prissy was 8 months old. Sure, we have vacationed, but it has typically been with extended family.
No trip to Chattanooga is complete unless you play the Rock City vs. Ruby Falls sign game on the way there. On this trip, Team Ruby Falls was the clear winner. Our 1st stop was lunch and then the Creative Discovery Museum. I’m not sure who had more fun, Mike or Skylar. They both loved all the different activities where you could explore and make stuff. Mike spent the most time creating a working car in the Inventor’s Clubhouse and Skylar spent a huge amount of time at RiverPlay. They also had areas for art (always a favorite), music & so much more! We spent SEVERAL hours here and had a blast!
We got checked into our hotel, which was great. It was conveniently located to downtown (without the downtown price), had an awesome breakfast buffet, and an indoor pool. The pool was quite possibly the highlight of the trip for Sky. In fact, she said so.
We headed up to Point Park before dinner. This was not originally on our things-to-do list but hubby couldn’t resist the history. Surprisingly, Skylar really enjoyed listening to him tell the story about the Battle Above the Clouds and she also liked the cannons. Most of all, I think she preferred exploring all the trails. This place has some great mountaintop scenery and is only $3 for adults. Kids are free and you pay on the honor system.
For dinner, we stopped back by the Chattanooga Choo Choo and had dinner in one of the train cars. It was a little restaurant called the Silver Diner, which served thin-crust pizza. It was a pretty inexpensive dinner but a cool experience to eat INSIDE a train. We also spent some time walking around the gardens and by the shops. There was no resisting the Sweet Shop. 🙂
Back at the hotel, we changed into our swimsuits and headed for the pool. Back in the day, my dear daughter was swimming pretty well at 17 months old, but when we switched classes the following spring, she REFUSED to swim and went on hiatus for the next 2 years. Okay, fine with me. I’m not sure if it is her age or if it was the allure of the hotel pool, but she suddenly decided that she was ready to swim again and went for it head first, literally. She swam so hard that night that she got a “stitch in her side” and then KEPT swimming. She was a little rusty on technique but it slowly started coming back to her. I could have cared less about her skills. I was thrilled with her eagerness to be in the pool and UNDER the water!
The only downside to staying in a hotel is the sleeping arrangements. Naturally, we would have loved for her to be in bed by 9, especially after a long, but fun, day! With Mike and I still up, even doing quiet activities like reading, she wasn’t buying into sleep. I think she finally fell asleep around 10 both nights. I should insert right here that I was confused about time all weekend long. I had totally forgotten about the 1 hour time difference.
We started day #2 of our trip by visiting Rock City Gardens. Skylar loved climbing all the stone structures. It’s really pretty and serene but I have a fear of heights that apparently has increased quite a bit since having a child. I couldn’t enjoy the scenery aside from keeping my eyes glued to the very busy preschooler whom I was convinced was going to fall off the ledge of everything we walked on. I was an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Skylar was not bothered by heights in the slightest. Her favorite part was looking for the gnomes that were scattered throughout the entire attraction, as well as the Enchanted Trail. She also mentioned liking Fat Man’s Squeeze; although, her skinny-winney self didn’t have to squeeze through anything. Naturally, you have to exit through the gift shop. I agreed to a reasonably-priced souvenir and my girl settled on a bag of rocks. Not kidding. Okay, not just any bag of rocks but a bag of really pretty rocks that she got to pick out herself. I suppose that makes it worth the $3 we spent. LOL!
At Rock City, we wanted to recreate a picture we had taken on our honeymoon. There was no one else around so I half-heartedly handed the camera to Skylar. Surprisingly, she’s a decent photographer. I feel like we’ve reached some sort of milestone. Mike and I can actually be in pictures TOGETHER again. No more looking like single parents in the photo albums. LOL!
On the way down the mountain we had lunch at the very quaint Cafe on the Corner. The staff were so great and helpful. They even made a fuss over Skylar’s rocks which she loved. The food was delish and the playlist was very cool. Then again, if you play anything by Dave Matthew’s Band, I’m a pretty happy gal. We headed back to the hotel for a quick nap which made me feel so much better. At this point, we headed for the mall to let Sky have her first experience with Putt Putt Golf. At Glo Golf, you pay 1 price and get to do the 18-hole course THREE times. However, one time around was plenty for my girl who was just learning. Her favorite part was putting the ball in the little machines to make it glow, which they have strategically placed around the entire course.
This is when the trip starts to veer off the happy course. First of all, if you get a hole in one on the last hole, you win a prize. Needless to say, none of us got a hole in one and The Little Girl was rather upset. Then, as we walked around the mall with all the pretty, pretty, shiny, shiny at every corner the Gimme-Monster came out. I have no idea where she even learned this technique. She was a wee (understatement if I ever heard one) bit cranky and I was getting stares O plenty. Next, we had dinner in East Ridge at Herman’s Soul Food. The food was fantastic and they have the best cake I have ever put in my mouth. I know, because we tried every flavor they had. Don’t judge. However, the service was extremely slow. I don’t hold it against our server because she was literally in the weeds but, when it took 30 minutes just to get the check, we were a bit outdone. This also caused us to miss dusk at Sunset Rock. Boo! 🙁
Back at the hotel, another dip in the pool seemed to cure what ailed us. Even though the indoor pool was PACKED for a Saturday night and LOUD, that did not deter my little fish from swimming her heart out once again.
We took a laid back approach to Sunday morning waking up and getting packed. We had breakfast and then headed for downtown Chattanooga. We had wanted to go to Coolidge Park but they had the bridge closed off. Instead, we stopped by The Passage behind the aquarium. Skylar had fun playing in the fountains and I loved the sound of the rushing water. Though, the sight of Skylar’s footprints made me sad. They’re HUGE! Where did the baby feet go? I miss them.
On the way home, we stopped off in Monteagle. In keeping with travel rule #1 (no eating at restaurants that you already have at home), we found Dave’s Modern Tavern. Oh. My. Goodness. The entire menu looked scrumptious. We couldn’t decide what to get so we ended up ordering a bunch of appetizers so we could try it all. Skylar slept the rest of the way back and we arrived safely at Home Sweet Home.
This trip was to celebrate school being out and I think it was a great way to kick off summer. We’ve already talked about our to-do list for next year. Dare I say we have an annual vacation on our hands?

One Comment

  • Anonymous

    What a fun trip!!!

    (this is hannah by the way… google is being weird and not letting me log in with my gmail, instead it's trying ot get me to sign up for a blogger account… so i'm just going anonymous til they figure that out) 😉

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