On July 4th, we loaded up our three kids and headed to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the weekend. I packed for a family of 12 heading to the desert for 4 weeks. I’m a horrible packer, I admit it. I always pack one outfit for each day, a few extras in case we go somewhere nice for dinner or someone gets their outfit dirty. Plus, I always throw in a few extra items in case the weather goes all arctic on us. And I never forget the shoes for dressing up and for dressing down and for walking around. Unfortunately on this trip, I forgot sleeping bags, swim goggles and one kid’s medicine. But hey, they sure did look good.
Anyway, we planned to leave around 10 in the morning, so of course it was noon when we pulled out of our driveway. That’s actually not too bad for us. We had a pleasant and uneventful drive, which any parent of small children will tell you, is a wonderful gift from above.
Our kids entertained themselves with their video games and movies and even looked up occasionally to enjoy the view. We didn’t make the usual four stops every ten miles, which was great. My husband and I were able to have an uninterrupted adult conversation. I’d almost forgotten what that was like.
We checked into our hotel in Chattanooga, threw the luggage in our room, then headed off to Lake Winnie Amusement Park to meet our best friends, J and M, and their four kids. We have traveled more times than I can count with them and surprisingly, they still seem to like us.
Using our parenting genius, we divided up so the kids could ride as many things as possible. The toddlers rode a bunch of kiddie rides, including a mini roller coaster. I rode with the kids the first time and M rode with them the next go-round. As is her luck, the coaster stopped part way into the ride. She had to drag two of the kids out of the car and climb over the tracks. She also got stuck in the hotel elevator on our NY trip last year, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. Crazy things always happen to her.
The bigger kids rode paddle boats, the ferris wheel and several spin-you-around-until-you-throw-up rides. M and I agreed that we were insane to let our kids ride some of those rides. We’ve put too much time and effort into getting them raised to this point to lose them on some crazy rickety old ride. Our husbands just laughed at us.
The kids loved the park. We thought it seemed kinda dirty and some of the people there were just plain scary. Maybe it’s not normally like that, but ewww. It’s definitely not Disney, but it’s nearby and the kids had a blast. Plus, I did enjoy a huge Icee and a funnel cake. That was definitely worth putting up with a few carny folk.