We got up really early Sunday morning. Brian and I have started back to our P90X regimen and didn't want to miss a workout, so we pulled ourselves out of bed at 6am, finished our workout, showered and got things in order for our trip. We arranged for the dog to be taken care of, were able to book a room through a program we can use from Brian's work, and packed a bag. We headed out the door for 9am Mass and left for Chattanooga after Mass was over. The kids were very excited!!
We got to Chattanooga a bit after lunchtime. We walked around the city for a bit, got the kids some lunch and then went back to the hotel for a bit. We purposefully went somewhere with a pool. It was way too hot outside and so we were glad the pool was an indoor one! Meagan had never been in a pool before, so I was very excited to get her in there and let her experience the water! The kids of course jumped right in and played for a while - Meagan fell asleep in her stroller and was out pretty good. I didn't want to wake her and jolt her out of sleep so I let her rest. About 30 minutes before we were going to leave the pool, she woke up!
I was so glad! So I changed her in her bathing suit quickly and brought her in the pool!First Brian took her into the water - he let her toes hit the water, and moved her legs back and forth to feel the water go over her feet. She seemed to really like it!
Then I took her and walked around the pool with her a bit, getting her hair wet, splashing a little water on her face gently, and letting her hands and feet feel the water again. She seemed to have fun!
After everyone cleaned up from the pool, Brian and I took the girls down to the river to the Minor League baseball stadium. We wanted to take them somewhere fun - and this was perfect! Tickets were only $5 and kids under 7 were free! That was like hitting the jackpot for our family! We got to the stadium - I had Meagan in her stroller but was worried we wouldn't find anywhere to sit with her. We don't have any sort of handicapped stickers for her yet, and she still fits in a stroller, but I didn't want to hold her the entire game - it was so hot and even though she is a fairly light weight for her age, in the heat, and with the dead weight of her body, it gets rather heavy and way too hot for her to last the whole game. Luckily, they were VERY accommodating at the stadium! They got us some seats right behind home plate where there was a good space to put Meagan's stroller right up next to us in the shade! Perfect!
The kids had a ball at the game. Kaitlin had to get her picture with the mascot (of course), and there was a great fireworks show afterwards for the holiday weekend, which was a nice surprise for the kids! Maura cried through most of it, but Meagan didn't seem to care one bit there were loud fireworks going on!
The next day, we had intended to take the kids up to a big park at one of the mountains there in Chattanooga. But it was going to be a scorcher again - and Meagan, although doing well, seemed to be really affected by the heat. So we re-evaluated and decided to take the kids to the Tennessee Aquarium instead. It turned out to be a great decision because 90% of the displays were inside where it was cool and out of the sun.
Meagan really seemed to enjoy the indoors - the day before, she was ok but very tired and hot from being outside. She basically slept the whole day -- on Monday at the Aquarium, she was quite the opposite! She was awake about half the time, seemed to look around at things (especially the big lit up tanks and the glowing jellyfish displays!) , and she was even cooing and making a ton of noise as we walked through the exhibits.
The older kids also had a blast seeing all their favorite river and ocean animals. We spent a few hours looking at all the interesting fish, sharks, turtles, penguins, and many other water animals they had in the aquarium, and then we decided to head home to Atlanta.
All in all it was a great weekend! We all got a MUCH needed 'escape' from the house, and stayed close enough to town where it was a quick and easy trip for us all. Meagan really seemed to enjoy her first "real" vacation! Even though it was only a 1 hour drive, being a world away for a few days really helped us recharge as a family!