Tag: travel

Wilderness at the Smokies Waterpark

Wilderness at the Smokies Waterpark

Wilderness at the Smokies is a wonderful place for a short vacation.  We had another cheerleading competition at the convention center across the street from the resort like last year.  This is one competiton that Caeden doesn’t complain about going to!  We left around 2:00 […]

Chattanooga Weekend Getaway

Chattanooga Weekend Getaway

Todd was in Chattanooga for business this week, so we decided that we would drive up on Friday to spend a couple of days there.  It is always a treat to go to Chattanooga, it’s such a cool city!  One of the fun things we […]

Nashville Flea Market

Nashville Flea Market

After Lael’s team was finished in Nashville at the cheerleading competition we decided to stop at the Nashville Flea Market before heading home.  I love flea markets.  I hardly ever buy anything, but I love to browse around and window shop.  This flea market was huge with tons of cool stuff.  But, it was sort of complicated to navigate in any organized manner.  There are a ton of buildings to go in and out and it gets confusing if you exit out a different door than you entered.  Then there are the normal flea market rows in and around the buildings.  I feel like I missed a lot of stuff because I didn’t know if I was coming or going!
Lael found this one vendor that had a bunch of locks and of course a bunch of random keys.  She picked out a few of the locks and asked the dealer how much they were, he said how about $15 for all three?  Ummmm, no.  I was thinking more like $5 for all three!  It didn’t even have a key!  She picked out one of the locks and said that she could find the key.  Yeah right.  I told her that she would never ever find the right key out of that bucket full of keys.  Of course she immediately went to trying keys.  It took her about 7 minutes to locate the key!  For real!  I was astonished.  Did I buy the lock?  well, of course I did after all that!

Cocoa Beach

For our vacation, we decided not to do the typical 5 or 7 day tour of the Disney parks.  We wanted to see a bit more of the area rather than just the parks.  So, we decided to drive over to Cocoa Beach for one […]

Vacation Time!

We had previously planned this vacation for Spring Break last year, but something came up at work for Todd and he wasn’t going to be able take off.  So, we changed it to Fall Break.  I figured that was a better time to go to […]

Chattanooga Day 2

The twins were up pretty late last night because I had promised them that they could swim in the pool, so they were doing that at 9:30! That meant they didn’t get into the bed until about 11:00. Combine a late night with a super dark hotel room and they slept til nearly 10:00! That is a major first! It doesn’t matter what time they go to bed at home, they always get up insanely early! Anyway, we had planned on going to the zoo today. The shuttle doesn’t go to the zoo, so we got the car from valet parking (which the twins thought was the weirdest thing! They could not understand why we had to pay someone to park our car, and certainly couldn’t fathom why we couldn’t go get it ourselves!) We headed out to the zoo and pulled into the parking lot where I realized that I forgot my camera!  Ummmm, no way can I go to the zoo without a camera. So we turned around and went right back to the hotel. They didn’t complain {m.u.c.h.} At the zoo, we had to buy tickets right in the gift store, so Lael starts trying to pick out a souvenir. We always give the kids $10 each to buy a souvenir when we go on trips. Not a lot of money to be sure, but enough to get something cool usually! Lael is a spender, her money just burns a hole in her pocket until every red cent has been spent! I convince her to wait until we leave so that she doesn’t have to carry around the stuffed animal in the park. I am certain that is what she would pick out! We get into the zoo, and lo and behold there is a carousel! Keep in mind they just rode one yesterday! Do they insist on riding this one as well? Of course! The zoo in Chattanooga is not huge by any means, we made the complete circuit in about 1.5 hours. But, it was cheap and a great way to spend ½ a day.  

We head back to the hotel to park the car and set out to find some lunch. I was itching for Mexican, and I had seen a Qdoba yesterday as we were coming home from the North Shore. Lael complained that she doesn’t really like Mexican food, but she is the one who ended up cleaning her plate! My burrito was the size of Texas, and after eating most of it my tummy felt like it was holding all of the burritos from Texas. Ugggh! But, it was delicious! Did I mention that I love Mexican?!? When Todd got back to the hotel, we headed out find somewhere to eat dinner, my burrito was still weighing pretty heavy in my belly. But, I am a glutton for punishment. We went to the River City Brewing Co. It looked like the wait was going to be interminable, but we told them we were willing to sit outside and were seated within 5 minutes. Hooray! 

Chattanooga – Day 1

Todd had a week long business trip to Chattanooga this week. He always stays at the Read House in Chattanooga  when he goes, which is owned by Sheraton. It has a long history and is a very beautiful old hotel. Luckily this trip was on […]

Cathedral Caverns

We have been wanting to visit Cathedral Caverns for a while now.  It is only about 45 minutes away from our house.  This Saturday, I had a few inspections to do around Scottsboro, which is close to the caverns.  So, we decided to make it fun-filled […]

Weekend Trip – Chattanooga

Weekend Trip – Chattanooga

Todd had a business trip so we decided to tag along.  He had to be there Thursday night, so I talked to the principals at both schools to find out what the policy was for excused absences.  They are allowed 5 per semester – just a written note from the parent.  I was quite surprised, but glad.

Friday while Todd went to his meetings, the kids and I went to the TN Aquarium It was awesome.  Chace and I had been there before, when he was much younger, but he didn’t remember much.  We started out in the Ocean Journey building, and the very first thing was an exhibit where you can touch stingrays.  So, of course they were both instantly soaked!  The kids were excited about touching them – I wasn’t so sure, and didn’t really want to do it, but Chace insisted.  I think the twins might have crawled inside the tanks with the stingrays if they could have.  In fact, Caeden was the first to almost dive in headfirst – he lost his footing on the slippery edge of the tank and went in all the way up to his shoulder.  His chin might have even dipped in.  A few minutes later, Lael did the same thing.  A few seconds later, I figured we better move on……Next up was the penguin exhibit.  I was shocked that some penguins grow as large as 44″ tall – That is bigger than Lael!!  One of the penguins pooped while we were standing there, which was by far the funniest thing the twins saw all day!

My favorite exhibit was the Butterfly Garden.  This was the coolest place – all soft harp music, waterfalls, exotic flowers and beautiful butterflies.  I was trying to get a picture of the various butterflies, by getting up close, then zooming in with the digital zoom on my camera.  I was about 2 ft. from one of the butterflies and it left the flower and landed on the tip of my finger holding the camera.  Very slowly, I moved my finger away to try to get a picture because I figured it would fly away at the slightest movement – but it didn’t.  It just sat there.  Lael and Caeden wanted to hold it, so I very carefully transferred it to Lael’s finger – the look of awe on her face says it all.  Caeden was quite impatient, and I was still sure that he would fly away at any moment, so I took it back from Lael, and transferred it to Caeden.  He was equally as awestruck as Lael.  We finally had to put him a flower after walking all around the exhibit with him.

The whole aquarium was awesome, but we enjoyed the Ocean Journey building more than the River Journey building.  That could have been because we started with the Ocean Journey, I don’t know.

You’d think it would get easier to get a good picture of all 3 kids as they get older – but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  This picture was taken at a lobby like room on the top floor of the Aquarium.  We rode the what seemed like the world’s longest escalator to get there.  It was definitely the longest one I have ever been on.

Notice that Chace and Caeden are dressed alike.  I realized this as we got on the elevator at the hotel.  I said Oh, look Caeden.  You and Chace both have on grey Alabama shirts and red track pants.  How cute!!  Chace grimaced and tried to go back to the room to change – but too late!

Friday night we went to the Chattanooga Choo Choo. We ate dinner on the Silver City Dining Car, (pizza, which was good, but Chace declared the pieces were too small) The twins didn’t seem to notice we were on an actual train car, or else it just didn’t make that big of an impression. You can never tell what will get them excited.

We also toured the Model Railroad Museum, which Todd loved! :love You know how much he loves trains! I felt like I was in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

Saturday morning we woke up to fog and rain.  We had planned on going to Lookout Mtn, riding the Incline Railway and fun stuff outside but didn’t think that would be much fun wet.  So, we decided to just go to Ruby Falls.  I had been there as a child, many years ago, but I didn’t remember that it was a cave!  Oh well, just goes to show you that some things don’t make a big impression!  The kids really seemed to enjoy it.  They wanted to touch everything though, and that is a strict no-no inside the cave!  Lael kept asking if this was rock, or was this stone, or were we walking on the real cave floor, or cement etc etc etc.  At the end of the tour, Lael was checking out this obviously man-made stucco like support for a light fixture and wanted to know if it was plastic.  I said no, it’s not.  Apparently she did not like my answer or didn’t believe me.  Next thing I know, the tour guide asks if there are any questions.  Lael’s hand shoots up into the air.  The guide says yes, what is your question?  Lael walks over to the thing in question, kicks it and says “is this plastic?”  You could hear a pin drop in the cave along with a few snickers and muffled laughter.  The guide says no, ummmm, I think that may be stucco or cement.  funny, but a bit embarassing!

Camping at Wheeler State Park

We have been talking about another camping trip for months now. Finally, we picked out a weekend. This was it. It was perfect. The weather could not have been better! Well, I did get a bit cold Friday night in the tent, but it was […]

Fall Break Fun

Fall Break Fun

I love Fall Break!  There is talk of Madison city getting rid of the week long Fall Break next year or in the years to come.  I sure hope they do not!  I love having big blocks of time where the kids are off from […]