7.20.2010

This I Gotta See....

Two years ago, on the morning after our third anniversary, Will and I woke up from a comfortable sleep in my childhood bedroom. The night before we had celebrated our marriage with a delicious dinner from Dolce in Huntsville. After four courses of decadent food, we decided to skip the movie we had planned to see at the Monaco Theatre, choosing instead to head back to my cozy bedroom to watch as much as we could of a classic 80's movie, John Cusack's Better Off Dead (don't you just love John Cusack movies, friends?), before finally succumbing to heavy eyelids and full bellies. That next morning, I didn't feel like returning to the everyday routine, so I suggested a spur-of-the-moment adventure to my husband. And luckily for me, my husband is always on board for spur-of-the-moment adventures! We were ready to go after one short detour: a quick stop by J. Crew so that I could purchase some comfy clothes for the day ahead, as I hadn't brought anything casual to wear.  I put on my new pair of yellow shorts, a nautical stripe tee, and we were off to Chattanooga. Only a couple hours from my hometown of Huntsville, the drive to Chattanooga is an easy one, and we had arrived in no time at all. I had spent a lot of time there as a pre-teen, visiting my Aunt Kaye, Uncle Jimmy, and Cousin Summer, and had lots of fond memories of Signal Mountain where they lived. But after all those trips to Chattanooga, there was one place I hadn't visited....Rock City. And I would be lying if I said I wasn't intrigued by the bright red barns found scattered across the South, increasingly so near the Alabama/Georgia/Tennessee line. I'm sure you've seen them before, standing in fields with "See Rock City" written upon the slope of their fading black roofs. No, I had never seen Rock City, and on our third anniversary weekend, we did just that. We had such a spontaneous day of fun, we vowed to soon return on another anniversary, and give Chattanooga the full tourist treatment.

A couple of weekends ago, we headed back to Chattanooga. Eager to visit the city to celebrate our 5th Anniversary, and excited to be spending it with our precious Hudson, showing him the sights. Our first stop? Rock City, of course. As we descended into the cool air, strolling down tiny brick walkways tucked between giant mountainous rocks, Hudson was happy and smiling. Tucked safely in his favorite mode of transportation, Daddy's Baby Bjorn, we delved deep into the rocks by way of the Enchanted Trail.  As we passed along humongous rock formations, some estimated to be 200 million years old, Hudson reached out his tiny hands, grazing them softly against the cool, mossy stones. When Will stopped in the middle of Fat Man's Squeeze, trying carefully to fit both himself and the little person strapped onto his chest safely through the tiny sliver of space, Hudson reached out both hands, grasped the rock wall, and giggled in delight. We meandered slowly through the 14 acre property, under both sunny skies and sudden rain clouds, checking out the gardens, waterfall, and the amazing views from high atop Lookout Mountain. We even got to see an encore performance of a live show Will and I had seen the last time we were there, Rock City Raptors, featuring a cavalcade of wild birds, including a mischievous vulture named Casey, and a beautiful one-winged bald eagle. Hudson sat quietly through most of the show, although he wasn't quite old enough to be captivated for the entire half hour. He did enjoy when the trainers walked into the audience with the birds, giving him an up-close view of the wildlife; he especially seemed to like the owls. After the performance, we made our way across the Swing-a-Long Bridge to Lover's Leap where we saw spectacular views of the Tennessee mountains, Chattanooga cityscape and serene countryside. As we wrapped up our tour of Rock City we exited through FairyLand Caverns into Mother Goose Village, where Hudson saw funny depictions of popular fairy tales nestled into the cool cavernous rocks. We had a great day visiting Rock City, and we couldn't wait for the fun that awaited us in downtown Chattanooga....


{Our 3rd Anniversary Escape to Chattanooga. Rock City, 2008}


{Checking out the magical adventures that await!}


{big gnome}


{miniature gnome}


{Rock City Gardens}


{"Ooh! This is fun!"}


{twists & turns, rocks & flowers}


{checking out the rocks}


{sweet hands}


{taking in the sights}


{Daddy and Hudson and Mushroom Rock}


{watching the Raptor Show}


{Hudson's favorite owl}


{Look who got to pose with the eagle!}


{putting out fires on Lookout Mountain}


{natural beauty}


{just swinging along}


{Lover's Leap. Don't Jump!}


{View from the Top}


{smiling in the rain}


{it's a long way down}


{pretty}


{squeezing through Fat Man's Squeeze}


{Hall of Rainbows}


{The Falls}


{they found a cool spot}


{Fairyland Caverns}


{little underground waterfall}


{"Let me make a wish & toss a coin."}


{Deeper into the mountain we go.}


{Rub a Dub Dub. Three Men in a Tub}


{fairy tales are fun.}


{We loved seeing Rock City!}


2 comments:

Jeannie said...

Looks like you three had a fun time!! Hudson enjoys anything as long as he is with MaMa and DaDa! He is so adorable in these pictures. What a sweet baby.

M.E.H. said...

Okay Ashley, I see Will always wearing this baby carrier. When are you going to wear it on our lunch dates? I want it to be just like The Hangover with your aviators and all! :)