Friday, January 16, 2015

Family Trip to Chattanooga

I really wanted to take Max on a trip, just the three of us, before Jude is born. I thought it would be fun to take him somewhere he would love and just focus on him for the weekend. I talked to Tyler about it and we decided to plan a trip to Chattanooga to visit the Tennessee Aquarium and the Children's Creative Discovery Museum. When we planned the trip, we had no idea it would be that much fun! We were only gone for 24 hours, but we packed a lot of fun things into that short amount of time. 

Max is the perfect car traveler now that he loves watching movies on the IPAD. He likes to put on his headphones and watch movies or episodes of Blue's Clues, Jake, or Mickey for almost the whole way. It works out well for everyone.

The nice thing about Chattanooga is that it only takes about 2 hours to get there from our house. We got there late afternoon on Friday, December 5 and checked into our hotel. Max was excited about every single thing we did starting with the idea that the three of us were going to spend the night in a hotel together and have a sleepover. He wanted to pick which bed he would sleep in and then jump on it. Of course we let him. Then we decided to walk around the city a little bit. Chattanooga is a very walkable city, so we put Max in the stroller and took off exploring. We checked out an amazing indoor carousel that we thought Max would love, but he didn't and refused to ride.

We walked over the river and ended up getting some amazing ice cream before dinner. Max got chocolate ice cream with M&M's, sprinkles, and hot fudge. Needless to say, he was in heaven!

Then we walked to Mellow Mushroom to meet Tyler's brother, Greg, for dinner. Greg moved there from Memphis last year and we haven't seen him since he moved, so it was great to catch up.

Then we had a pajama party in our hotel room and Max loved it!

The next morning we ate some breakfast and then headed over to the Tennessee Aquarium. Max kept talking about how all he wanted to see were the sharks. We tried to explain that there was a lot more to see than just sharks, but he wasn't convinced. The Aquarium was amazing and I would definitely recommend it to everyone. It took about 2 hours to go through. One building is filled with freshwater fish and animals and the other was all saltwater animals. Max loved petting whatever this fish is called. All I remember is that they live for up to 80 years!

Enjoying looking at all the fish!

Check out the illuminated fish behind Max's head!

This kid was really excited about Christmas, too, and loves pointing out every Christmas tree he sees.

He loved the penguins

 His favorite exhibit was the giant saltwater tank filled with tons of different kinds of fish, sharks, and turtles. Two divers entered the tank just as we were getting there. They talked to us all about the fish in there and about how they take care of them. Max sat perfectly still and watched the whole time. He finally got to see his sharks.

Having a little fun in the shark cage.

Giant crabs! Yikes!

I thought the jelly fish were fascinating.

After a nice lunch at Big River Grill, we took Max to the Children's Discovery Museum which was directly across the street from our hotel. We weren't sure if Max would like it or not, but as it turns out, it was awesome! All three of us ended up having a blast and we were so glad we went. I would recommend it to anyone that has kids. We were worried that Max would't be old enough to enjoy it, but there were so many fun things to do, we couldn't get him to leave the place. Now I know why it's been voted one of the best children's museums in the country. It was a nice balance between being educational and encouraging creativity and imaginative play.

We only have a few pictures to show, but we could have stayed there all day. Every room encouraged a different kind of play or taught something new. Tyler and I were really impressed and we will definitely be going back.

Using air to blow the beach ball through the hoop

Max LOVED the dinosaur exhibit. The giant T-Rex was impressive

He thought the giant sand pit full of dinosaur bones was great! I thought it was a great idea too, so we went digging for dinosaur bones. I think he could have stayed in there all day.

Clearly, he enjoyed it.

He liked riding in this car too. He liked pretending it was running out of gas. He would fill it up and then keep on driving.

What a great trip this was and all three of us were so glad we took it. It was such a nice family trip to take before our house gets crazy for a while with a new baby. We wanted Max to feel special, and I think he did!

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