July 8, 2014

our chattanooga vacation (part one)

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know we took a family vacation last week! We don't often go out of town for any length of time. It's been at least four years since the last time I was out of the Birmingham metropolitan area, and Eric has travelled only for work. We took a weekend trip to the beach when Seth was a baby, and that was the last time we travelled together for the fun of it. Needless to say, our Chattanooga vacation was long overdue!

When traveling, it's hard to resist the temptation to do all of the things instead of leaving margin to be spontaneous or relax. I'm type A, and so is my man, so we like to have our days all planned out. That said: yes, I did write an itinerary. No, we didn't follow it exactly. But I'm glad that I did at least create some structure for our trip because Chattanooga has so much to do. Without a little forethought, we'd have been in chaos trying to pick activities! I even planned one day for just exploring, and that was probably my favorite day of all of them.

On our way in to Chattanooga, we stopped at Lookout Mountain to check out the scenery. That alone could keep a family occupied for several days! We decided to visit Rock City after grabbing a quick lunch at the Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe. On the second day, we visited the Hunter Museum of American Art. We found lunch at a Chinese buffet that afternoon (after following a wild goose chase led by my Yelp app that led us to several diners that were already closed for the day), followed by a visit to the Chattanooga Jump Park, which all my boys declared the most. Fun. Ever.

Here's my favorite photos from the first two days of our vacation:

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  1. The meandering stone trails take visitors through beautiful mountain gardens and whimsically named rock formations.
  2. My boys and I posed on the swing-a-long bridge. The littlest one slept wrapped up on my chest all afternoon: you can't get a stroller through many of the passages inside Rock City (see no. 3)...
  3. ..."The Needle's Eye" isn't nearly as tight as "Fat Man Squeeze", where I thought I might get stuck and didn't even have room to maneuver my camera up for a picture.
  4. OMG, the view. Worth every penny. 
  5. Rainbow Hall.
  6. The iconic "See Rock City" birdhouse.
  7. Lover's Leap.
  8. See seven states!
  9. The lobby inside the Hunter Museum.
  10. So thankful for a husband who knows without being told when it's best to take the kids for a walk so I can have some one on one time with the art.
  11. Center: Around the Clock with Red, Helen Frankenthaler. Left: River of Ponds III, Frank Stella. 
  12. Feeling sad that I didn't note the names of everything I liked. The mood in this room was palpable.
  13. The roof area overlooking the river, my boys' favorite place in the whole museum.
  14. Eric preferred the classical art: he's very literal.
  15. So lovely.
  16. "Art is not about art. Art is about life, and that sums it up." (Louise Bourgeois)

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