Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring Break 2017: Chattanooga Part Two

On Sunday morning, since it was so cold and we couldn’t bear the thought of being outside too long, we headed to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Thank goodness the sun came out though! HG has experienced a plane, subway, trolley, bus, boat, taxi, monorail, and pedicab, but she’s never been on a true train. So we sought out to cross that one off the list. (Still need a ferry and helicopter) Stepping into the train station was like a step back in time. We grabbed some lunch and hopped on board. As we got started, the conductor came through to punch our tickets, and we started shoving food at Cressey. Before we knew it (and the rest of us were able to finish our food), we made it to the end of the line and got out to see them rotate the engine on a turn table. We passed the steam engine just as they let the steam out, and Cressey was NOT HAPPY. As they turned it, they blew the whistle again, but at least this time Sissy was ready and was holding her hand. Needless to say, we got back on the train as soon as it was done! We loved it overall though and highly recommend the experience.

Once we got Cress down for a nap, HG and I headed out to meet the Eldreds, Wrens, and Carters (who also happened to be in Chattanooga for spring break!!!) at the Incline Railway. We took the incline up the side of Lookout Mountain, explored a little, waited what felt like an hour to come back down, and then enjoyed some much needed ice cream. Whew! We met up with Meredith and Matthew for delicious burgers at Urban Stack for dinner before calling it a night. (HG found a 901 rock in the bushes there and was SO excited!)

The next morning, after a TERRIBLE night of no sleep for Cressey, we hit the road and stopped for lunch and fun in Huntsville at the US Space & Rocket Center. We had a big time checking out all the rockets and spaceships, but soon enough, we were all exhausted and ready for home. Cressey took a good nap on the second half of the trip, and we all slept like rocks in our own beds that night!

I had to document this moment. HG loves her iPad for Minecraft, and she let Cress touch it and play around a bit. Wow!

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A train!!

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11 months old

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Such a sweet and helpful big sister

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Andrew, Emory, Elliot, Rowan, HG, and Lawson (and 4 mamas, two of which are extremely pregnant). I’m tired just thinking of the herding that took place. But living between Memphis, Nashville, Olive Branch, and Brandon, we are extremely thankful for the time we get to spend together and watching our kiddos play.

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Space Museum

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HG is a little bitty dot under the rocket.

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HG was so cute and wanted Cressey to go down the slide on her lap.

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Blue didn’t let HG out of his sight that night.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring Break 2017: Chattanooga Part One

Our cousin, Meredith, has moved to Chattanooga within the last year, and as it’s about five hours away and has tons of outdoor places to explore, I thought it would make a good road trip for Spring Break. Thank goodness that Spiffer and Granddaddy agreed to come along to help because there is no way I could have done it without them! I wasn’t quite prepared for all that went into hotel life and hours in the car with an almost one year old.

We planned on hitting the road early Friday morning so Cress could nap in the car. Teething has really taken a toll on Cressey’s digestive system, and breakfast ended abruptly with an immediate bath. Needless to say, Mama was a nervous Nelly having to load her up in the car. (I kept her in her diaper and put a blanket underneath her in the seat.) About an hour into the trip, HG got car sick, and after a bathroom stop and some cold air blowing in her face, she decided to move up to the middle of the middle row with me and Cressey. Cress finally gave up fussing and slept for about 30 minutes before we stopped for lunch in Decatur, AL. (Fun all around.) All was right with the world after an awesome and fulfilling Chick-fil-A stop. Those nuggets, a playground, and a clean bathroom are the cure for any bad day. On the second half of the drive with Helen Grace’s help, C slept almost an hour, and after waiting in terrible traffic outside of town, we finally made it to Chattanooga a little before dinnertime. We walked down to Big River Grille and met Meredith and Aunt Sharon (who was in town for the night).

We stayed in a suite at the Doubletree downtown, which had a great location, very helpful staff, and updated accommodations. Cressey was so tired but balked a little at sleeping in the pack n play in one of the bathrooms. She eventually gave in and slept relatively well.

On Saturday morning after Cressey’s nap, we met Meredith at the Tennessee Aquarium. I hadn’t been since I was in high school, so it was neat to see it as a grown up. We started with the River building which is beautiful with huge multi-floor aquariums that run along the middle of the building. Experiencing it with a stroller was a whole new experience, and not in a good way, especially with a wiggly wanna-be-walker. We enjoyed what we could see, albeit quickly, and then headed to Puckett’s next door for lunch.

After lunch, Cressey was overdue for a nap, so she went back to the hotel with Spiffer and GD while Mere, HG, and I headed to Ruby Falls, an underground network of tunnels that end in a spectacular waterfall. It started sleeting on us as we drove up Lookout Mountain! Luckily, it was 60 degrees down in the cave. The place was packed with spring breakers and took a while to get through, but the effort and patience was worth it because the waterfall was breathtaking. HG had gotten a little nervous in the small and dark tunnels, but her amazement and excitement at the falls was so rewarding.

As we had walked around downtown, we passed High Point Climbing, and HG was really interested in checking out the kids’ climbing area. We promised her climbing time after dinner, so that night, we chowed down on pizza at Mellow Mushroom and then let her loose. And man, was she on fire! Seems that she has found a new passion. I was scared to death since I had to be the one to clip her into the auto belay system, but she showed absolutely no hesitation or fear as she tried new after new things. Amazing. She basically shut down the place that night and slept like a rock! (And we walked back to the hotel in crazy SNOW!)

Note to self for memory sake: We were already dealing with the time change to EST in Chattanooga, and then our trip fell on Daylight Savings Time weekend. So we never knew what time it really was! At least we lost an hour, so the girls slept to a bearable time, and we had a whole week to get back to normal before school schedule resumed.

Woke up happy for a road trip
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Plan B for breakfast when you make a big mess in your chair (obviously post bath)
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Nap #2
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Welcome to Georgia!
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And 10 minutes later, welcome to Tennessee!
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Walking to dinner Friday night (brrrrr)
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Early Saturday morning
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Hotel breakfast bar
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Napping was a bit of a challenge at first, so slept in my arms until she got used to the pack n play. I literally can’t remember the last time she did this, so I was more than happy with it.
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Touching the sturgeons- she wasn’t sure about it once she actually felt them
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But Cressey was sure she wanted to try!
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This trip marked the first time that HG read every sign in a museum on her own. She’d get so excited when she realized what things were and asked me to take a picture.
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Our little mayor waved at every single fish (and person).
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Lunch at Puckett’s, where Cressey found her love of sweet potato fries
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Outside the aquarium
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Ruby Falls adventure
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Watching sissy scare Mama
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Checking on a sleeping baby when we got home
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