Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chattanooga Trip, Day One

We decided last weekend, what with WHM being sick (again) and not yet having purchased tickets, and hoping to participate in our neighborhood yard sale, that we'd push Chattanooga to this past weekend.

Let's recap last week, in case you lost your scorecard:

Monday, April 30:  took both kids to school.  WHM's nose was still runny, but CAM was fine.  That morning, we all woke up early and I brought sweet teas to WHM's teachers for Teacher Appreciation.  On Mondays I pick up CAM 15 minutes early so we can get to Kindermusik, and as I was on my way to the school, my phone rang.  Come get CAM, she's got a fever.

So, I picked up CAM and we brought Miss Dana her Teacher Appreciation gift, but didn't stay at Kindermusik.  Instead, we headed to the wash car and then over to Perimeter Mall to the Container Store and Barnes and Noble, where CAM wanted to buy everything she saw (and how I wished I could!), and we met a lady for a craigslist purchase.  CAM took a nap in the car and when she was awake, she was her usual bouncy self.

Tuesday:  CAM woke up at her usual way-too-early hour and bounced into our room, but Mick had only just fallen back asleep, so CAM and I went downstairs to watch "kids' shows" and snuggle in on the couch. By the time we woke up at 9:30, she was running a fever again and it was clear we weren't going to school.  Instead, we had family movie day and I tutored in the evening.

Wednesday:  Everyone was feeling better.  Both kids went to school.  I ran a zillion errands in the morning and then chaperoned WHM's class for lunch so his teachers could enjoy an adults-only lunch for Teacher Appreciation.

Thursday:  Honestly, I don't even remember!

Friday:  Up early, and we went to the Atlanta Childrens' Museum, went to a nice lunch, and then had CAM's ballet recital in the evening.

Saturday:  Up early again, went to a nice lunch at On the Border, and headed to Chattanooga.  Got there mid-afternoon, and checked into our hotel (only to learn that the pool was not yet open), and headed to the Tennessee Aquarium.  We are members there, and it's so wonderful.  They have two separate buildings and between the two is a park area, with a man-made (or at least, man-altered) stream for kids to wade in and play in.  Unfortunately, I had left CAM's and WHM's pool shoes in the hotel, so despite how hot it was, we ended up having to promise the kids that we'd do the water fun stuff on Sunday.  (Which was quite fine for little old I-hate-people me, because it was by now late afternoon, and the water area was crowded.)  The Aquarium overlooks the river, and it's really quite gorgeous.
A family photo!  We almost never get these anymore.

Posing at the entry to the Aquarium.
 I took advantage of the various exhibits to play around with my camera.  Some of the photos came out alright, and others notsomuch.  I know some of the error is just my novice-level skills, but some of it is also because I just have my one, basic lens and there were situations where I needed both better skills (and knowledge), and a better lens.
RIO!  It's Blue!  The kids were so excited to see this!

Trying to touch a stingray.

There is a butterfly pavilion (none of my photos of the butterflies came out well enough to share) and this sign on the way out cracked me up.  There are actually quite a few signs about federal and state laws reminding people to make darned sure they don't have hitchhikers.

I love this photo. 

There is a whole sequence of these photos.  I love them to pieces.
Because much of the second building is dark, I didn't get too many photos that came out all that well.  I did get some practice, but how many photos of jellyfish do you care to see?  Methinks none, but I'll put one here anyway, just in case:

CAM taking in another tank.  The lighting is weird, but the effect is kinda cool.
 The aquarium is also walking distance to many downtown attractions, including a gazillion restaurants.

Being both Cinco de Mayo and a mini vacation, Mick and I decided to stop in and get some snacks and some drinks.  Mmmm, mmm was everything delicious!  The kids loved the multi-color tortilla chips, but eventually they were just plain tired, so we left.

Mick staged this photo for his Facebook status.  I snapped a regular photo for posterity, too.
Trouble was, it was barely 6pm, and without the option of the pool at the hotel, we needed something to do.  Our hotel was super close to a mall, so we walked around the mall for a while and got the kids their favorite:  Auntie Anne's pretzels.  This sounds pretty stupid, what with being on a mini vacation and not really shopping for everyday stuff, but I was actually psyched to find some more shirts for CAM at Gymboree.  They matched some of the lines I had bought for her with Mick earlier in the week, so it really turned out to be a good little score.  (And yes, I had my coupon with me!)

And then, my friends, we called it a night.  After all, we had to be up early the next morning for Thomas!


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