Sunday, May 22, 2016

Chattanooga: Family Getaway Weekend

We were invited to a surprise 30th birthday party for a sweet friend of ours who lives in Nashville last weekend. Jonathan has been wanting to take a family trip somewhere for awhile, so we decided this was the perfect opportunity to make a weekend of it. It was very last minute (the Chattanooga part) and not very planned, but we had the B-E-S-T time!!

Nashville is about a 4.5 hour trip, so Chattanooga was kind of a halfway point. It only took us a couple of hours to get there. The boys don’t typically sleep in their car seats, so we wanted to break it up. They were great for not having a nap.

The weather was BEAUTIFUL! We walked around downtown for a while and checked out the aquarium and the riverfront. The boys loved it! We ate an early dinner at a local restaurant (Big River Grill I think?) and headed back to the hotel because we wanted to take the boys swimming  before it got too late.

Kade obviously enjoyed his black beans.

We stayed at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. It’s older, but I was seriously nostalgic staying there and it brought back so many memories from my childhood. It was was an actual train station back in the day and is over 200 years old. My mom always took us the coolest places and gave us the best experiences growing up and I have some really fun memories from my childhood. I know the boys are little, but Jon and I want to do that for them.

Jase thought it was AWESOME sleeping on a train just like we read about in our train book.

Being their mama is the BEST.

This was Kade’s first time in the water and he L-O-V-E-D it. Total water baby!!

It takes Jase a little bit longer to warm up to it. Even though he loves to play with water, he is still a little hesitant about the pool- maybe flashbacks from ISR? (We did not have a great experience our first go round, but plan to give it another shot with a different instructor.)

Kade was splashing everywhere and kept nosediving/faceplanting in the water. And then he would laugh. He had the best time!

Jase felt much safer when Daddy was holding him. I just adore this sweet picture of my fellas!

Hahah! This one cracks me up.

Swimming wore them slap out! I gave the boys a bath when we got back and we put them down for the night. There was a little cot where Jase slept and a perfect little nook for Kade’s pack n play. We brought Jase’s little whale music player.

The train was really cool, but not very sound proof. We could hear neighbors and people outside walking by super late. Kade thankfully slept like a rock all night, but Jase woke up a few different times when he heard people talking and once to get a drink of water. Jon & I didn’t sleep worth a poo. Helllllo, Spark! Being an adult with kids makes me feel sorry for everyone who stayed around us back in our travel ball days. #sorryboutthat

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, and it was not so great. Actually, it was pretty nasty. No healthy options at all, and pretty much everything on the buffet reminded me of school lunch. We both agreed we wished we would have just had the meal replacement shakes I packed. They didn’t charge us for the boys, but heads up if you stay there…go somewhere local instead. It wasn’t worth the $9.

We did have fun walking around after breakfast though. They had lots of neat little games and things set out around the grounds. There is probably a picture of me in front of this very same train somewhere in my parents’ house.

The highlight of our trip was the Children’s Discovery Museum. We could have stayed there all day! It was worth every penny and there was so much cool stuff. It would make a great field trip. I HIGHLY recommend it if you have kiddos, and it’s worth the trip to Chattanooga just to visit the museum. The boys (and when I say boys, I am totally including Jonathan in that too) had a BLAST! I’m not sure who had more fun.

Anyone who knows me knows that I was obviously the singing talent in the family band. #not

Dr. Butler was checkin out daddy’s heart.

They even had a place specifically geared to Kade’s age. He rode in the stroller most of the time, but he went wild & free in this area and loved it.

We walked a couple of blocks over and had Taziki’s for lunch. We love Mediterranean food & everything there is so fresh. MUCH better than breakfast!

That double stroller is finally coming in handy.

We packed the boys up after lunch and headed to the Reynolds’ house for Beth’s surprise party. We hoped the boys would sleep in the car on the way there, but we only got about 30 minutes out of Kade and nothing out of Jase.

Beth was genuinely surprised and it was fun getting to celebrate her big 3-0!! We also loved seeing their beautiful home!! Jase had a blast running around with all the kiddos and the food, cake, and company were all great. The boys were pretty good for day 2 of no naps. Always a toss up how that’s going to go, but they were troopers.

We headed home and decided to play it by ear whether we would stop to stay the night or not. Both boys ended up cashing out about an hour into the drive home, so we decided to finish it out and head straight home. They slept the whole way home.

I guess all of the running around and playing wore him out cuz this dude fights sleeping in his carseat tooth and nail.

We ended up getting home around 11:30ish (we always forget about that time change) and tag teamed putting the boys down. It was a pretty decent transition from car to bed..only about a 10 minute meltdown for each. Ha!

It was really such a great little weekend getaway! We love making memories with our little family.

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