We just got back from a great (but very short) trip to Chattanooga, TN. This blog is a little different because I am starting it out with a photo album describing our trip in pictures. Click on each picture to see a larger image. If nothing happens, try holding down the CTRL key when you click the image. This will bypass your popup blocker. Also, once you have opened the first image, subsequent images may appear in a browser window behind the current window so you will have to use ALT+TAB to switch between windows. Good luck!
Well, let’s start from the top. I (Brian) left our house at 5:30 in the morning to bike from Birmingham to Fort Payne, 115 miles to the northeast. It was a chilly 23 degrees when I left. By 7AM, the temperature had dropped to 19 degrees on my bike computer and stayed there for about 10 miles. By the time I made it to Springville, I was getting pretty thirsty because my water bottles had both frozen (first picture) and I could only squeeze a tiny little bit of frozen gatorade out. I continued on and the temperature gradually warmed above freezing by the time I made it to the top of the first major climb, Blount Mountain (second picture). After climbing Blount Mountain, I had a steep descent before immediately climbing back up Chandler Mountain (third picture). My parents were driving with Kristine and planning to meet me in Fort Payne, but because of a headwind and the cold I only made it 93 miles before they caught up with me shortly after the last climb, Campbell Gap (fourth picture). So that was my biking adventure.
(Kristine’s narration) We made it to Chattanooga at about 3 pm and went straight to the Tennessee Aquarium, where we met Kristine’s friend, Melanie who completed her Discipleship Training School with Kristine in 1999. Melanie is from Chattanooga, but is now a full time missionary for Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Cambodia. She recently married a Cambodian named Tim, who we met for the first time at the Tennesse Aquarium. We had fun walking through the aquarium. Melanie and Tim are expecting their first child in August, so they really enjoyed seeing the Aquarium with Analise and Josiah. Aquarium highlights: A great turtle exhibit; some HUGE crabs – bigger than Analise, and with an arm-span probably wider than mine; A beautiful butterflly garden where Analise caught a butterfly on her finger, petting the sting rays and little sharks in a touch pond. Fun! We sure love the aquarium!
Melanie’s family had us over to their house for a fantastic dinner, and we hung out for the evening looking at beautiful Cambodian wedding pictures and talking. It was so much fun. Analise hadn’t napped, so she fell asleep the instant we got in the car to go back to the hotel. Josiah, on the other hand, took a little nap during dinner, and woke up revitalized for the rest of the evening. He wanted the evening to last longer than the rest of us, and he was smiling and gurgling even as we were all trying to go to sleep.
The only glitch in our lovely weekend getaway was that night. Besides the fact that we don’t characteristically get much sleep in hotel rooms with our 2 kiddos. After Josiah had been woken up the first time and joined me in bed, moving Brian to the sleeper sofa with Analise, she woke us up sick, all over Brian and the bed at about 3:30 in the morning. Poor girl.
Brian was a trooper getting things cleaned up while I took care of Analise, but Josiah took the opportunity to wake up completely and decide he wanted to crawl around on the bed and gurgle at everyone. We got Analise settled in bed with Josiah and I, but after dozing off for a little while as Josiah didn’t sleep, she woke up 2 more times to throw up. Thankfully, I kept Josiah out of the way, and we kept things pretty well contained so we still had the bed for sleeping (after almost everything had been stripped from the sofa bed, where Brian was now sleeping). I eventually traded places with Brian and got Josiah back to sleep, and we managed to find 3 hours of sleep in the early morning hours. Until Analise woke us up sick again. That was the last of it, though, and she did ok with apple juice, gatorade, dry cereal and toast yesterday. Oh, and 3 episodes of the Backyardigans and 3 Pooh video stories. She told me last night, “Maybe I’ll have fish sticks for dinner.” When they were ready, she decided she preferred applesauce… probably a wiser choice:) I think we’re over it, though, as she’s feeling fine this morning.
In spite of the sickness, it was still a fun, fun weekend getaway, especially seeing good friends.