We took our first mini-vacation as a family of four last week. We went to Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is about a three-hour drive for us.
I spent some time in Chattanooga when I was growing up, and again here and there over the past 15 years or so. It was fun to go back to a place that I knew so long ago, and to see a lot of new things through the eyes of the girls.
We arrived in Chattanooga mid-afternoon, the girls having taken about an hour-long nap in the car.
First stop...the children's hands-on museum.
The girls both had a great time "driving" various vehicles...
...and they also enjoyed trying out a lot of musical instruments...
Afterwards, we had our first of several great meals. I ordered the girls a chicken quesadilla appetizer, and then planned for them to share our meals with us. The girls ultimately ate about half of my fish and green beans...but they literally jumped into Daddy's lap when they realized he had jambalaya!
We spent the morning at the aquarium. It's really amazing...very well laid-out. The girls LOVED seeing all the fish. To their delight, there were a lot of turtles and frogs, too.
The butterfly sanctuary was also really wonderful. Daddy seemed to have The Touch, as he coaxed a couple of beautiful creatures to alight on his finger...much to Baby B's amazement.
That afternoon, our girls put their newly-aquired fish knowledge into practice with a swim in the hotel's indoor pool.
That night, we had a fantastic dinner at a local pizza joint, some of the yummiest homemade pizza I've ever had. I'm glad we got a large, too...as the girls made sure they got their share!
We spent our last morning at the zoo. This was the girls' first trip to a zoo, and it may have been a good thing that they didn't have set expectations. The zoo was incredibly small, and I wasn't very impressed by the habitats. Nonetheless, the girls enjoyed seeing the animals, the gorillas and the cheetah being their favorites.
We drove to the picturesque Bluff View Arts District for our last meal in Chattanooga. We enjoyed a fantastic meal with some amazing fresh-baked bread and handmade pasta, and then we braved the heat on the terrace to enjoy the view of the river for a few minutes.
You can barely glimpse the river behind the girls. By that time, they were pretty tuckered out, and they were more taken with a potted plant than the view.
After one last pit stop for a pastry (or two caramel truffles for me if you wanna get all detailed about it), we hit the road. The girls fell asleep really quickly, and we got to enjoy the precious sounds of two sleeping babes behind us.
I happened to think to snap a picture of their little feet while they slept...perhaps the best view of the entire trip.