Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 2: Chattanooga, TN

Day two of our marathon roadtrip!
Can you believe it?

UN,UM...Jacob has a building named for his favorite saying...7th graders!

Well, let's just say I loved my vacation and enjoyed rising up every morning! The first morning I took the opportunity to use the silence in the room to give myself a pedicure and fix my hair...and shocker even put on make...that I forgot... but bought in the Walgreen's the night before. I know...I bought makeup at walgreens. I will be reporting back how Covergirl compares to Lancome. I even got this wet n' wild lip gloss! I haven't had wet n' wild lip gloss since 7th grade!!!
PS: The makeup was perfect....hmmm, time to rethink purchases.

Mike gets up and then Jay, all are happy!

We get dressed and head down to the restaurant for Breakfast. They have an amazing hot bar, cold fresh fruit and yogurt, bakeries, make your own belgium waffles, and cappuccinos like they serve in a Starbucks! FABULOUS! The best part was, you could order whatever you like fresh.
I had orange juice, half of one of Jay's scrambled egg and a little of the waffle mike made for him. Oh, yeah, I did have a caramel cappuccino..MMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!
Back to the room. Oh did I mention it was pouring down rain all night and morning?
We had to rush through breakfast as Jay ate fruit, waffle, egg, bagel and was done...ready to go. Mike decides it is best to get out for a ride and explore the town while it is raining. Chattanooga is QUIET on Sundays! Very nice! We rode up to Lookout Mountain and saw nothing because it was shrouded in a cloud! But you could at least see the area and it is stunning! All the beautiful dark greens from grass to leaves to trees covered in rain. The homes are huge mansions with yards that all deserve to be on the cover of Southern Living. The road treacherous and curvy but so different than anything we have back home! We could have parked at lookout mountain, but there was nothing to see so we came back down and went to the Chattanooga Visitors center and got the address for the Farmers Market

that is held every day in Chattanooga.

WOW!!! Mother, the fruit and veggies we get...sick sick sick! The veggies and fruit here...OH MY GOSH!

Amazing! We bought Blackberry's the size of huge black olives and ate them in the room! Jay loves them!

I put one in my mouth and bit down. It was an immediate flashback to my childhood, as I would pick wild berries and pop them in my mouth. I do not think I ever collected any...I only ate them! Amazing! That's all I can say.
There were various artisans and interesting things to look at...nothing like what I see back home. Only thing missing were the booths of vintage doodads and garage saley things like back home.
They had a play area for the children with a train table, plastic figurines, a castle with characters, and magnets.

Jay loved the train table and mingled with the other children without even looking for us. I am going to go ahead and say Jay has no problem with his self esteem or courage. He was mixing it up with 5 year olds.
A wonderful banjo duo was playing and kettle korn was being popped. Everytime a batch finished, a huge sound like a back fire would sound. It always made everyone jump! Good advertising I bet! hahahaha
We passed on the kettle korn and settled for some Mayfield Ice Cream!
They were selling it 5 scoops for 5.00 for a charity. You received a ticket and when you got your scoops you got a box crossed off. Jay can not have ice cream so we passed! Then a family came up to us and said, we only got one scoop would you like this to get some ice cream? I wanted to try it so I said sure, and that we would pass it along to someone else to get a scoop. Pay it forward if you will! I sampled the black cherry chocolate chunk, half the fat. Hmmm, I think it was absolutely delicious and recommend it! Just right on every taste! I then passed it along to a grandpa who was playing with his granddaughter at the kids playing area. Told him I was passing on the fun to his sweet girl! We headed out to the car, set the GPS to our hotel and 2 miles later back in our room! Did I thank you yet for the GPS Mother and Dad???? Wow, that things is awesome!
I promptly cleaned the blackberries in the sink and Jay and I feasted while Mike was parking the car! He came up and had some too! Jay then went down for his nap.
After he woke up, we decided to walk down to the river about 5 short blocks.

Jay prefers to attach the clasps on his stroller rather than ride in it!

We pass a highly rated and chatted about restaurant on called the Blue Plate.

It was about 3 pm and we had not eaten since 8 am. It was too hot to play at the nearby playground,

so we decided to stop and eat outside.

What is this foot statue outside the restaurant??? The plaque was broken...
Trying to figure out why they thought putting this next to where you eat was....appetizing?

It was an absolutely perfect spot for lunch. It overlooks an open grass area where children were running and playing.
Just beyond is the Tennessee River followed with gorgeous tree covered mountains.

Lunch was mediocre at best. I had a meatloaf sandwich and some homemade chips,

Mike opted for a Sloppy Joe with chips,

Jay had a chicken tender with a side of fruit.

Over priced and not very tasty! (Add insult to injury, walking back to the hotel we see a cute restaurant with an outdoor eating area with Locally grown blackberry margaritas.) That would have been so nice to sip on this particularly warm afternoon!
We walked across the street from the Blue Plate to the Tennessee Aquarium and into the visitors center so Jay could ride the escalator up and then back down again. I felt a little guilty when I got to the down escalator and a sign was placed strategically right on the escalator: Do Not Play on the Escalator! Oooops! We were not playing, it was a teachable moment!

We thought twice about the Aquarium, but decided that Jay would not enjoy it to it's full potential due to the fact that his attention span is not quite there yet. So we walked on back towards the hotel. As we were walking, we saw that same carriage and horse I talked about yesterday!
Jay waved at the horse and said "Hi Jay" after I said to him, say hi Jay. Why would I tell him to say hi to a horse? What exactly was I teaching him? Actually, he had it right...As the horse pulled up to the curb he was YELLING "NAAAY, NAAY."
Yeah, he has learned in the last week that there are different volumes to his voice. He prefers the most high setting on voice volume.

Your token street person capitalizing on his...err...talents?

On the way back to the hotel at nearly 5:30, we decided to head back up to Lookout Mountain.

So we set that GPS for Lookout Mountain and off we went...back up the curvy, treacherous mountain!

But it was even more stunning than I could have imagined. I took alot of pictures!
Once we arrived at the top, we parked and set off to see the view. We decided to forgo parking on the street and paying at the meter and resorted to parking free at the fort and paying 3 dollars a piece for Mike and I to go in and look out from there!

What an awesome choice when it comes to view.
But unfortunately, I can not tell you one interesting story about the place. Nope not even one!

I took a few pics of the monuments around that told some stories...but that's all I got.

Seriously, I now understand why children are free. They could care less about the lookout or the fact that it drops off 2000 feet without a fence or guardrail around!
No, not a care at all. Now the steps.

That's a different story.

We paid 6 dollars

to help Jay walk up and down the same sets of stairs over and over and over again!

Seriously, every step was not left unstepped!!!!!
And I am serious. Can you tell?
We headed down a path down the mountain to a museum,

which was converted from the fort lookout.
We couldn't enjoy it because we had to have a constant hand on him or he was wandering.

Jay sat down on this bench and proceeded to call his dad over to him. This will be a resounding theme at every sop...stay tuned!

Mike kept trying to take pictures of us and kept trying to get Jay to look.

But every time you try and "make" Jay pose for a photo he turns green, flexes ever muscle, bends his head back and ~SCREAMS~! (The Hulk has nothing on him!) I said just snap it when I look good, and however Jay looks he looks...just don't take a picture of my butt when I turn around. You know, as I scanned through, sure enough...there it was my big butt! Ok, on my behalf, I swear I must have lost some weight already...I am hardly eating anything. What's that about??? I love eating on vacation!
I'll tell you what it is about, there is nothing more painful than trying to have a meal with a two year old.
It works out a little like this:
1. Find a seat and hopefully the waitress brings a high chair FAST! If it is not fast, the child gets the idea he might be able to sit in a both or chair like us and heads straight for it. If this happens, getting him into a high chair is a screaming nightmare!
2. Try and look over the menu and find something for yourself and for child before he can reach out and grab the menu out of your hands.
3. Entertain said child while waiting for the food to arrive. Sneak small toys in his shirt pockets when you distract him to look other direction and then act surprised when he finds it. Said child will put in and take out toy for several minutes. Play, I spy and see how smart said child is. Every correct answer gets a high five.
4. Once food arrives move everything as far out of his reach as possible, he will immediately put his hands in anyone's plate regardless of food temperature.
5. Make his food edible, attach bib he has taken off and thrown on the floor three times prior, hand him fork and let him at it!
6. Check out my own dish and then eat my cold food as quick as possible.
7. Pay bill, tip nice waitress extra and get out asap.
Now, after hearing all of these things you may be wondering what the H-E-double hockey stick is going on with Jay. Well, I will tell you what it is...the terrible twos. Left undisciplined, these kind of children turn into kindergarten nightmares. So, a good part of our days are spent reminding Jay we are the parents and he is the child.
All of that chit chat to simply tell you little children make it hard to enjoy eating!
Which brings me to the next thing I wanted to talk about...CHATTANOOGA!
Love this town, it is as close to a perfect town to visit as I have ever seen. Something for everyone, food is pretty good, people are very very nice, atmosphere is quaint and enjoyable, August is hot but with an incredible breeze off the river, kid friendly but also a very romantic vacation spot.
Romantic??????????? I've been reading your blog!!!!! You may be screaming this at the computer screen this very instant.
But it is, we could be having such an amazing time if Jay had a nanny and they were back home. That is not to say that we have not been having an amazing time with Jay. It is such fun watching him enjoy all of the new things! Besides, it is such fun to detail the moments he is belligerent and pushing his own agenda.
It makes me smile:
-When he hollered out to the horse nay nay!
-When he says mmmm delitshus(delicious) when he eats something new
-When he takes his daddy's hand and then looks over his shoulder with his hand out to me saying momma, momma, momma!
-When he hunkers down next to me and checks out the walnut that fell from a tree and helped me pick up a rock from lookout mountain for jayda.
-When he closes his eyes at the end of the day and he is so so quiet
Which tonight happened so easily! We walked him forever today! Wore him out!
Well, enough for now.
Next up Danville!


luvzenkm2 (Leea) said...

Left you a message on facebook....if your still looking for non chain eating....let me know

Anonymous said...

Your blog is so appreciated...keep it coming. I love every word! Mom

rairie said...

LOL again...did I admit to wishing Jay on you or no? Hey it was a long time ago and I did not really mean it. I thought Jayda was it. wrong...Jay!

Kelly said...

I feel like I am right there on the trip with you sounds like such a great trip minus a few minutes here or there. Enjoy every minute of it! Kell

Scrapbooking 500 Pages in 2008