Who are these Critters you speak of?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Chattanooga, Day Two

Day two was our "relaxed day."  We definitely needed it after a long day at the aquarium and museum.  Reese absolutely loves trains so we figured while in Chattanooga we would have to ride the Chattanooga Choo Choo.  The train departs three times a day and we wanted to make sure that we got the early one, before it go super hot out.  We got our tickets and hoped aboard.  It was a really cool ride, we went over two bridges and through a pretty long tunnel (it was not very large, the train seemed to barely fit through it).  We reached the half-way station and got out to see the restoration shed and the locomotive turn-table.  This was really cool.  They turn a couple ton railroad locomotive with a turn-table run by a lawn-mower size engine.
After that we hoped back on for the return trip.  We headed back to downtown Chattanooga to do a little exploring and had lunch at a hip little burger joint.  While there we made our dinner plans after hearing about a Mexican restaurant that the owners also ran.  Before dinner we took a trip up Lookout Mountain and discovered a small national park with a historic house and a great view.  After letting the Critters run a little bit we headed to 'Taco Mamacita's" for dinner.  Then back to the hotel for a quick swim and then to bed.  We had big plans for the next day!
Here are a few pics from the day:

Me and the Critters on the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Rian and the girls.

Haddie taking it all in.

Pooh loving every minute.

The girls.

The East Chattanooga Station (half-way point).

No it wasn't the Polar Express and that is not Santa (as far as we know), I think he said his name was Frank and he was our guide.

The huge turn-table.

The Tennessee Valley Rail Authority.

Grand Junction Station (the starting point).

Family pic.

Rian loved this sign (and made sure to point it out every time we saw one - which was a lot).

Picture at the Cravens House on Lookout Mountain.

This was not our hotel.  I just thought it was a cool old sign.

The fam @ Taco Mamacita's.

It had it's own El Camino - nuff said.

Old School Plaza Sign.

No that's not a beret.  Yes that's underwear.  We had to make an emergency pit stop as Rian forgot to pack the girls underwear.

A big rock with something (we couldn't figure out what) painted on it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chattanooga, Day One

For my birthday this year we decided to pack up the family rig and head up to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a long weekend.  We made the looooong 7 hour drive after work on a Thursday.  I have to say it was a little bit of a blur north of Atlanta, I was a wee bit tired.  The Critters were great though.  We even stopped to have some BBQ, which was freaking amazing, at this little hole in the wall off I-75 (I can't remember the town).
Friday was my actual birthday and we headed over to the Aquarium, which was really cool.  It is divided into two buildings, one concentrating on the ocean, and one on the Tennessee River.  After playing outside in the river montage area we finally headed in.  The kids absolutely loved it (can't wait to have to pay to take them to the Atlanta Aquarium - it's about double the price of this one).  We spent about 3-3.5 hours at this place, definitely got our money's worth.   After the Aquarium we had some lunch at this really cool place on the river, food was really good.
After lunch we headed to the Chattanooga Children's Museum.  Once again a home run with the kids.  We probably spent another 2 hours at this place.  They had art and science displays/activities on the first floor and the entire second floor was a traveling exhibit based on the Magic Treehouse books.
From there we headed to a cupcake shop for a quick snack and then back to the hotel for a dip in the pool.
Here are a few shots from day one:

The Critters outside of the Aquarium.

The girls descending a huge bridge over "the river."

Pooh heading down to "the river."

Slowly but surely.

Haddie zipping across.

Cat with a butterfly in the "butterfly garden" exhibit.

In the shark cage!

Dad with the Crits.

The girls looking up from the bottom of tank.  There was a glass bubble you could climb in an look up at the fish.

Dr. Carson (@ the Children's Museum).

Captain Haddie.

Haddie working the levies at the river exhibit.

Carson playing in the kitchen.

Carson in her period costume.

Carson heading out by boat.
Dr. Pooh.

Haddie making a great escape.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Grandma B's Birthday, The Brevard Zoo

We all headed down to Orlando at the end of July for Grandma B's birthday.  This year we decided to all go to the Brevard Zoo.  All in all it was pretty good, ridiculously crowded, but fun.  The only issue was that it was apparently too hot for the giraffes so we were unable to feed them.  After a day at the zoo we headed up to Titusville to have dinner at Dixie Crossroads, which was delish as always.
Here are a few pics from the day:

CarCar and Dad, at the giraffe feeding area, minus the giraffes.

Hadley being Hadley.

The hands on area.  Hadley with a turtle shell.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fourth of July, St. George Island

The Lighthouse at St. George Island.

For the third year we headed to St. George Island for the 4th of July.  Unfortunately, the weather wasn't quite as nice as the previous couple years.  Translation, it rained quite a bit this year.  The big news this year was that the Critters were finally 40 inches and they could climb all the way to the top of the lighthouse.  I will just say, it is not the easiest climb as you have to squeeze through a small hole to reach the top.  

Luckily, this year we had a pool at the house so in between showers we were able to take a dip in the pool.  All in all it was a relaxing week swimming, heading to Appalachicola to eat, and getting soaking wet at the 4th of July parade (that was held on the 5th due to inclement weather).

Here are some pics from the week:

Dad, Brother, Haddie, and Mom at the top of the lighthouse.

The hole you had to get through at the top of the lighthouse.

Haddie navigating the ladder.

Brother gettin' ready to come down.

Making his way down.....slowly.


Haddie and Abbey.



Not sure what is wrong here.

The Cat once again.

Brother playing Jai Alai solo.

Haddie and her floatie.

The Cat in flight.

Doubling up with turtles.