We took an overnight trip this weekend to Chattanooga, which is just over an hours drive from here. We left wondering why we don't take this trip more often. Actually, I left wondering why we don't live there. There is so much to do and see, it's easy to get around whether you are driving or using the electric (free) shuttle downtown. The town loves sculpture, it's everywhere. It's near water and mountains. I couldn't resist picking up those real estate magazines and dreaming.
We wanted to take this trip to go the Tennessee Aquarium so Henry could see the penguins. This boy loves penguins. We weren't sure what his reaction would be when he saw the real thing but it fell somewhere between utter joy and just plain awe. He didn't want to leave the exhibit, but since it is fairly new it was quite crowded. The penguins were really fun to watch though. They seemed fairly interested in us too.
There was no possible way we could have crammed in everything we wanted to do in the day and half we were staying there, but I think we made out okay. Especially with Henry getting a little less nap time than he would have liked. He was a trooper and really enjoyed himself too.
The first day we went straight to the aquarium which took just over 3 hours to navigate (with a lunch break). After that it was off to the hotel for a nap. Then we drove across the river, to visit some local shops and eateries and check out Coolidge Park on the waterfront. There was a storytelling festival going on at the park but it was ending when we got there. Also the hand-carved carousel was getting ready to shut down for the evening. So, Henry played in the fountain a bit and then we grabbed a bite to eat. Leaving the restaurant we noticed the dance steps on the sidewalk.
The next day we drove around downtown a bit. Chattanooga has a nice downtown. Very green for a downtown area, I think. At least compared to ATL. And again, sculpture is everywhere. We wanted to take Henry over to the carousel for a spin today and then check out the art district. We parked near the foot bridge and walked over to the other side of the river. Did I mention it was windy? As in 24+ mph gusts. That made for an interesting walk over the bridge. Also, I am afraid of heights. Seriously afraid. So of course my child wanted to walk next to the rail. That even made Matt nervous. I let Henry look for a while as I had a death grip on his shirt, but I couldn't look over. I was a nervous nelly for sure, but we made it.
The carousel was fun, I think I enjoyed it more than Henry. He actually looked a bit peaked a few times, and I made him ride it twice. We asked if he wanted to go a third time and he shook his head no.
Next it was off the art district. We loved it. I seriously cannot describe what a nice surprise this was. The Hunter Museum of American Art is there, but we just walked around outside and around the area. Sculptures everywhere! We had no idea it was there. It started in front of the museum and then down around the water front to a sculpture garden and was interspersed with the shops and galleries. We even know two of the artists in the permanent collection. Great coffee shop in the area too, I recommend the pistachio butter cream cake.
It was such a treat to spend Mother's Day weekend with my guys, especially since last Mother's Day I was put out of the house most of the day and spent it shopping. For a bra. I don't like shopping and I despise bra shopping. So, needless to say we had such a great weekend that I tried to talk Matt into calling in on Monday so we could stay an extra day (didn't work, he's too busy and starts a new project today).
I hope all of you mama's out there got to spend a great day with your loved ones, too!