Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Break in Chattanooga! Day 1

Around the middle of March Michael informed me he had taken a weeks vacation off of work for the first week in April, which is also known to anyone who has lived in Gwinnett Co their whole life, SPRING BREAK! (I'm sure it is also Spring Break for many others, but I know its different some places too. My whole life it has been 1st week of April!)
At first I was like, "um WHY?" lol. But turns out the way his vacation time works, you have to use it by a certain time of the year. So really he had to or he risked losing it.
So he says, "lets get in the car and just go somewhere." UM, what? I am like an OVER planner of everything. So going somewhere last minute is totally not my style. However it is now!
We discussed a few different options. Michigan to visit his family? Myrtle Beach for a few days? Florida?? Due to it being Spring Break, we quickly learned almost all hotels with any kind of deal on the beach were already booked (non-perk for late planning!) and the ones that were available were pretty crappy, or overly expensive. Plus the weather I was looking at wasn't too beach promising for me!
We decided to go to Chattanooga, TN. 2 hour drive was a major perk! Maggie and Madison aren't the greatest car trippers yet and the thought of 6 hours in the car sounded horrible compared to just 2!
Plus after researching, Chattanooga had a lot of stuff to do!
Even though it was pretty last minute, I still had time to do all kinds of research and deal searching for a good hotel. We wanted to make sure we had an indoor pool to enjoy at night. Hello!! What kid wants to be bored in a hotel room every night? No fun!
Best deal we found was at the Sheraton Read House. They had a deal that included 4 aquarium tickets! Bonus!! Plus Valet parking included! Which was a big perk because everyone else was charging $10 a night!
The weekend before we were leaving I had a little time to do some shopping! I don't know why, but whenever we are going somewhere special I always like to get everyone a new outfit! It kind of adds on to it, making it a little extra special. Plus I can semi match everyone and get cute pictures ;)

We left out Monday about lunch time. It is kind of easier to stop and pick up lunch on the way so kids are occupied a good 30 min eating ;)
The drive was SO much shorter than I imagined. GPS time it 2 hours exactly. And even with pit stop, we arrived in 2 hours! It was a very pleasant drive too. No major break downs from children and weather was gorgeous! We listened to and sang the ENTIRE Adele CD on the way!

We borrowed my aunts van for the trip! Makes me want a mini van even more now!!! I have my car (Toyota Avalon) and Michael has his truck (Chev Suburban) so anytime we go somewhere all together we have to take the truck. It was a total gas hog,  and with Maggie and Madison getting taller, their car seats in the backseat of a truck aren't so comfortable for a long period of time. So my aunt was sweet enough to let us enjoy the comfort of her van for the trip ;)
 The girls knew when we started to see Mountains we were getting close!!

 We have arrived!!! And ready to check in our hotel!!
Hello gorgeous hotel!!

One new thing for me this trip is valet. I know, I know totally pathetic. Ive done like the normal kind where they park your car for you then bring it back out for you. But this is a little different. When we pulled up to hotel a guy was practically running to the van to open the doors for us. They got our name and brought a cart for our stuff. They were going to unload the car for us, BUT Michael being Michael politely declined and would rather do it himself ;) Men.. lol.
They then kept our rack for us while we checked in. When we go to our room I called down to valet with our room # and within a few minutes a guy was knocking on the door with our stuff!

We didn't really have much plans for Monday. Since we were arriving that day, so we immediately just went out to the town and started walking. I #1 wanted to see how far away the Aquarium was for the next day, and we needed to find out about restaurants nearby. We leashed up Maggie and Madison and were off. They loved walking!

Well for the first half they loved walking. Then it was piggy back rides and shoulder seats the rest of the way!!
(Side Note- Abigail and Aaliyah are still in the "don't take my picture phase" so I know it seems like I have super cute pics of M&M and none of A&A.. ugh.. we ended up having a pep talk about it before Aquarium, so that day I got great pictures!!)

The walk was much longer than expected. Aquarium was like a mile from our Hotel. We walked there and back. 2miles, in flip flops, carrying a child = major calorie burner!!
We went back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. Then headed out to Applebee's. It was a 5 min walk, and the big girls first choice of place to go!!
And NO I don't have pictures of that, bc I left camera in hotel :( Poo I know.
After dinner, we went back to the room and got ready to go  swimming!!
lol. They ALL love the water. None of them have ever been scared of it. None of them have had lessons, they just are born ready to swim!
I also don't have pictures of this bc pool room was super hot, and kept fogging up the camera, and there were lots of kids and people. Not too many dry spots. So I ended up taking it back to the room for safe keeping!
The pool was really nice! It was 3 1/2 feet to 4 feet. So both A&A were completely head above water! Major perk! There was a water fall on one end of it too! Then there was also a 3 ft hot tub. And I mean boiling hot tub. I guess when it is so warm outside hot tubs indoors seem extra hot!
Girls had a blast! All 4 of them!! I was not very fond of having to put on a swim suit. But you know when it comes to making your kids happy and having fun with them, there is no way I wanted to sit on the sidelines!! I didn't care what I looked like, we had fun!!!
I had to pry them all away from pool by about 9:30! I knew we wanted to get up early for Aquarium!
Back in the room everyone was pj'd up and ready for a night of hell. Oh Im sorry, everyone was ready for bed, little did Michael and I know, it would be a night from hell!! (Excuse my french!)

It is no secret that Maggie and Madison don't do too well sleeping away from home. Actually as a matter of fact because of it they have actually NEVER spent the night away from home. When younger they didn't like the play yards. And now, idk, they just don't like anything other then THEIR beds. Our hotel room was a nice sized room with 2 queen beds. I though that Maggie and Madison would do better just going to sleep with me and Michael. haha. yeah. right.
Our night was filled with screaming, crying, fighting, kicking, falling off bed, more crying, and more screaming. One would fall asleep for a few min, while one screamed. Then they would take turns aback and forth! I know. lovely right?
Madison would say "No, no I don't like this room" SO Michael bundled her up and took her for a walk. While Maggie and I got a 30 min nap. As soon as they returned Madison started again. At this point Maggie was sound asleep. It was about 2 am. I thought for sure the people beside us would  have us thrown out the next day!!
I rocked Madison until I thought my back would break in half. Michael and I  kept doing switch offs. Napping in between. Then sleeping for the short times she would fall asleep. PURE TORTURE.
Luckily no one else seemed bothered and all slept just fine. I got a good nap in when finally at 5:45am I decided to let Michael get a nap in. So I put madison in the stroller with her pillow and blanket and we left to go for a walk! She finally stopped crying.
I walked around the hotel (in my pjs!) for a good 30 min. Everyone I passed very politely said "Good Morning Mam" I wanted to cuss everyone of them out. lol . But I didn't, I smiled and said "Morning!"
In my mind thinking, It's morning already??
Madison fell sound asleep so I headed back up to the room. I didn't dare move her so she slept in the stroller the rest of the night.
What was funny is before we attempted bed, I set my alarms for 8am. We wanted to go to Aquarium at 10 when it opened.
My first thought when I got back to room was to change the alarm times!! NO way were we getting up that early now. Well I guess great minds think alike. My phone was laying on my pillow and the alarm page was already open. Michael had already turned every alarm off while I was gone!!
I love that man.
Maggie also took over my side of the bed while I was gone too, so I nestled down in a little corner, and was out like a light, ready to catch a few Zzzzz's!

Next up, 2nd day, Aquarium!!

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