A few days ago, I woke up like any other day, and almost immediately after waking up, Elijah looked at me and said “pack your bags. We’re going on a road trip”
Okay, what? Me, being the planner that I am, needed to take a minute to process what he had just said.
There was NO WAY we could just pack up and go, could we?
Well, apparently we could because I found myself packing in the next 15 minutes.
I had a photoshoot that day, so I quickly drove to that, while Elijah stayed home and finished packing. Once I got home, we loaded up the car and BOOM. We were on the road. Where were we going? We had no clue.
We packed for any scenario. So we included nice clothes, comfy clothes, bathing suits, etc.. Considering we didn’t know what we’d be doing, we wanted to be prepared.
Okay, let me backtrack. We had a fewwww ground rules. We chose a general direction. We wanted to go west vs east. And we wanted to find a place before sunset. But that is it.
So, we left. And we started driving.
After a bit of driving, we passed a sign for “the lost sea”
Elijah had mentioned taking the kids there, so it became our first stop!
If you don’t know what the lost sea is, it’s super cool! It’s an underground cave, and home to Americas largest underground lake!
The tour took about 2 hours, and after checking out the cave, an underground boat ride, and much more, we were back on the road!
We didn’t want to drive through the night, and so after a bit longer, we noticed we were coming up on Chattanooga. So we decided that would be our destination and we would spend a few days there!
We quickly booked a hotel, checked in, and got ready for our Chattanooga adventure!
Once we got unpacked, we decided to take a quick trip to Walmart to grab us some snacks for the next few days and a few other things we realized we would be needing (Of course there were a few things we forgot, considering how quickly this was thrown together, Haha!)
We arrived back at the hotel, super hungry, but Grant was DYING to swim! So we hopped in the pool, (which may have been Grants favorite part of the entire trip. He is seriously such a water bug!)
And we swam for about 45 minutes before Elijah called us in some pizza!
Once the pizza arrived, we snuggled up in the hotel room, eating, and just flat out enjoying being away from home for a bit!
And once the boys were in bed, a little bit of planning went into the vacay. I googled some things to do in the area, just to get some ideas in mind, on top of the things I already knew of, but that was about it.
And then, we were off to bed!
The next morning, we woke up ready to take on the day! The boys were eager to explore and so we quickly got ready and out the door!
Our first stop was of course coffee, for mama. And while we were there, we gave Grant some options to start the day, based on the things Elijah and I had done in the past or seen online (Rock City, The Museum, The Aquarium, Coolidge Park, Chattanooga Choo Choo)
He chose Coolidge park, and once we arrived it was so lovely! Absolutely gorgeous and such a big area to explore!
They had a splash pad that wasn’t quite available yet (It was only early May when we went!) and an antique carousel built in 1894! (It has since been restored)
It was so much fun just walking around, taking in the sights!
After a while of walking, it was getting pretty hot and we had remembered there was a snow cone truck right where we had parked! (If you don’t know us, snow cones are our FAV!)
While we were eating, we were talking about how our next stop would be the aquarium. We would just walk over the Walnut Street Bridge and go! But then we realized that we forgot to pack an important aspect of the trip: A stroller!
So I did a quick stroller rental search and next thing I knew, we were headed 30 minutes away to Georgia to pick up a stroller for the trip!
(This little trip was a great opportunity for Holst to get his nap out, also! We didn’t want him to be crabby going into the aquarium!
So we got the stroller and ended up grabbing a quick lunch at Sonic!
Once we had our stroller and our lunch, it was back to Chattanooga and off to the aquarium!
We walked to the aquarium on the Walnut Street Bridge (SUCH a beautiful view!)
The Chattanooga Aquarium (AKA: The Tennessee Aquarium) is so awesome! There are actually 2 exhibits: The Ocean exhibit and The River Journey exhibit!
We began with the Ocean Exhibit and the boys had so much fun! Grant just loved seeing all the creatures and petting the stingray! There was also a super awesome butterfly exhibit that was a big hit for the boys!
About 3/4 of the way through our aquarium trip, however, we began to smell something awful.
And of course it was Holstons diaper..
To make matters worse, we left our diaper bag in the car, accidentally, alllll the way across the bridge.
So what do we do? What do we do?
Well, I quickly tried to google a general store to go grab some diapers so we wouldn’t have to walk so far back!
So I found “the Moon Pie General Store” not too far from the aquarium!
Funny name but I mean it’s a general store, so surely they sell diapers, right?
Oh my gosh, SO WRONG!
As soon as I saw the sign, I instantly knew it wasn’t what we were expecting.. We walked in and burst out laughing when we found out it was NOT a general store. It was literally just a store that sold Moon Pies and Moon Pie merchandise. WHAT!? lol
Elijah was in heaven, however. He loves Moon Pies.
But anyway, we asked the men behind the counter (after a quick laugh at our expense) if they knew where we could purchase diapers, and they directed us to a family dollar right around the corner. Thank. Goodness.
Afterwards, we went back to the Aquarium to finish up the river portion.
Once we were done, we let the boys play in the water outside. Deciding they could stick their feet in, of course led to Holston falling in and getting soaked head to toe! lol.
So we went back to the car, stopping to get some delicious cookie dough first at No-Baked Cookie Dough, and then to the hotel to change before dinner.
We decided to go sit on the patio of Big River Grille for dinner and we had such a great time! The food was super delish and the drinks were great, too!
Once we finished with dinner, we were headed back to the pool for a late night swim session. (Our kids stayed up way passed their bedtimes this whole trip, and we totally justified it by saying it was because we were on vacation haha!)
The next day, we finally got to sleep in! (Seriously, we all slept until 10:30. Like WHAT?! We must’ve been exhausted from the day before, because honestly that never happens!)
We woke up and began packing, because it was checkout day for our hotel stay, but that didn’t mean the fun had to end!
We went to get coffee while contemplating what to do that day. It was rainy, so we figured the children museum would be perfect. I had heard such great things about it and I was NOT disappointed!
It was amazing!
It’s called the Creative Discovery Museum and it was seriously so cool! They had so many sections and fun activities for all ages! So much fun!
It took us about 2 hours to check out the entire museum, mostly because we were playing so hard! And we probably would’ve stayed longer, but we ended up getting hungry!
So we left and headed to get some sushi and hibachi for lunch, and then decided it was time to head home! It was going on 5:00 and we were about 2 hours away from home.
I’m not sure what it is, but driving home from vacation is always such a different vibe then heading TO vacation. Maybe it was the rain but it was insane. Traffic was crazy, we were all so tired, and oh my gosh we were just ready to be home!
We finally got home around 6:45 and curled up in bed, snuggling up with our puppy!
All in all, it was such an awesome trip and I’m so thankful for Elijah taking us and allowing us to do such awesome things for our family!
Planning feels good. I’m a planner at heart. But sometimes the best way to blow off some steam is to drop everything and just GO.
We didn’t plan this trip, and because of that, it was inconvenient, it was chaotic, and the planner in me was nervously biting her nails basically the whole time. But this trip is one I will always remember. The way we just went with the wind lead to many unforgettable experiences and exciting adventures.
It was special because it was different, and it taught me that not everything has to be meticulously planned out for it to turn out perfectly!
I can’t wait for our next trip, already!