Monday, December 30, 2013

Conquering Chattanooga

Brian and I did something super spontaneous and totally uncharacteristic on Sunday.
We transferred Baker from his crib to his car seat and hit the road.
We were minus an agenda and itinerary.
We had no plans for lunch or dinner.
I hadn't even filled up with gas or washed my car.
Tsk. Tsk.
We had taken care of the important stuff.
We had charged the camera battery and rid our stockings of all our Christmas candy and off we went!
We were ready to conquer one of my favorite cities in one day.
Chattanooga, you will never be the same!
We started with lunch at Big River Grille.
My sister, Jessie, introduced us to this restaurant while she was interning in Chattanooga.
We love it!
I have tried something new each time and have not been disappointed.

I figured a selfie was totally appropriate.
I was already way out of my comfort with the spontaneity of the trip,
may as well take an awkward family photo!
Baker is learning to walk and wants to show off his independence every chance he gets!
Without a carefully planned schedule, we were able to let him take baby steps without fear of being slowed down and missing a stop.
We wore out the pavement on Broad Street letting Baker walk back and forth and forth and back.
It was kind of neat.
Even the people with carefully planned schedules, slowed down for a brief minute to share in our joy and celebrate our little one's milestone.
From this moment on, I was okay with nowhere to go and nowhere to be.
I was with the two I love the most and if all we did was walk up and down the streets of Downtown Chattanooga, well that was all right with me.

I mean, look at that face.
Pure joy.
Walk on, Baker Bell!

We made it to the aquarium and it was so much fun!
Baker is at such an incredible age for exploring.
His curiosity and interest in everything around him made this an adventure we will never forget.

We was not really interested in petting the stingrays and sharks,
what he really wanted to do was go swimming with them!

The butterfly exhibit was beautiful!
The colors of each creature were exquisite and breathtakingly beautiful!

One of our favorites were the penguins.

There were fish and other sea animals everywhere!
I hummed Little Mermaid's "Under the Sea" the entire time.
And may or may not have pretended to be Ariel once or twice.

We even got to sneak in the middle of the starfish!

He had the best time!

We also visited the River Journey - featuring all of the creatures in the rivers around the world.
Baker, however, did not see much of it.
Playing with the penguins and swimming with the sharks wore my baby boy out!
Brian and I enjoyed looking at all of the fish and alligators and turtles and frogs and I vowed right then and there, at 3:30 in the afternoon, smack dab in Downtown Chattanooga, never again to swim in a river.
I'll stick with waters where I can see my feet.
We walked, with a sleeping Baker to a Starbucks where we rested and recharged.

Some of our best friends, Mallory and Chad, recently relocated to Chattanooga.
We got to see their lovely new home before we left.
On the way home, we stopped at Cracker Barrel in Fort Payne.
I figured we were more likely to see Randy Owens there than the Western Sizzler down the street.
No such luck.
I am over my fears of surprises and spontaneous adventures!
This was the best day and I am already planning excited about where we will go next!

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