C rides the Choo Choo

Several weeks ago, Josh caved and told me about a surprise trip he had been planning for the three of us. I absolutely adore surprises and this was definitely a big one! As of right now, little boys world revolves around choo-choos. And that's putting it lightly. He's full on obsessed. It's the first word out of his mouth in the mornings and the last at night. He only wants to watch Thomas or train documentaries. It's all he reads about. It's mainly all he plays with. It's amazing to watch your kid be so fascinated about something, so I was beyond excited when Josh said the surprise was to ride the TN Valley Steam Engine in Chattanooga. In case you didn't know, Chattanooga has trains every.where.you.turn. It was heaven for our little guy.

We left early Friday morning after a stop for donuts of course:)
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We drove straight to the Chattanooga Zoo (fun tip: if you're a member of the Memphis Zoo, you get a great discount here! Only $8 for Josh and I both and C was free). The Zoo is much smaller than our zoo, but it was still so much fun. The weather was crazy cloudy and hardly anyone was there besides us.
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 I forgot to take a picture of it, but they had an old train car for you to go in to view the cougars. Trains everywhere I told you. C was ecstatic.
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 After the Zoo, we headed over to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel also known as C's paradise. It's an old hotel that offers nights in an old train car, dinner in the train car, a model train museum, and lots of other train activities. So so so awesome basically. Best part? the Tour is free & the model train exhibit is only $5 (kids free). We didn't stay the night here because one night in the train is $200. And we didn't eat here either because the meal was overly priced. But we did tour the trains and visit the Model train museum. C's face the entire time was so serious and mesmerized. Little guy was in pure heaven.

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 Can't tell, but below he's doing his happy dance. It's the worst moves you ever seen and absolutely precious all at the same time.  photo chattanooga-009.jpg
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 Josh's mom came along with us, and we are so glad she did! I was thrilled that C was getting all this time with his Mudgy. Such a joy to have her there!!!
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 These pictures don't do the model exhibit justice. It was overwhelming and incredible. C hardly spoke a word the entire time. He just pointed and stared.
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 Afterwards, we stopped for dinner at a yummy place called The Terminal, and then we headed to our hotel (if you book the day before your trip on Hotwire it's insanely cheap).

The next morning we went to the TN Valley Railroad Museum. There are atleast a dozen trains in front for you to tour and play on. We played while daddy bought our tickets for the train ride. They offer several different excursions but we chose the shortest- a 1 hour ride.
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 ^^Happy dance:)
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 Josh's mom bought C this train. We had no idea at the time how much devotion C would have to that little piece of plastic. It never left his hand the remainder of the trip. Like the entire 5 hour drive home, he just stared at it. And I'm not exaggerating. He napped for one hour and the other 4 he just starred at it. It was unreal. And it hasn't left his sight since returning home. It sits on his night stand at night and is glued to his hand during the day. Even joins him for bath time and every meal. It's kind of absurd how much he loves it.  photo chattanooga-047sbw.jpg
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 The Steam Engine! photo chattanooga-050.jpg
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 photo chattanooga-054.jpg photo chattanooga-056.jpg photo chattanooga-058.jpg He was so serious the entire time, with little moments of cracking a smile. He was just in AWE of the entire thing. We drove 30 minutes to another station where we got off to watch the engine turn on the round table. We also toured the engine work shop before getting back on and heading back.
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I 100% teared up editing these photos. It was just seriously one of the best trips I've ever taken. We didn't do anything other than this, but it was seriously the most fun I've ever had. And it was such a cheap trip, that I know we can do it again in the future. Our time just the three of us is coming to a fast close, and this trip was the perfect way to close this chapter of our lives. I love this little boy more than I could ever imagine. I love his father all the more. Thank you babe for doing this. For planning this surprise, for loving our boy. Watching him that weekend, in his element amongst all the trains, I can't even explain how much of a blessing it was. Parenthood is hands down one of the greatest gifts a human can be given. It's hard at times, duh. but. So. much. joy.

It's hard to imagine how in the world my heart could love another person as much as I love these two. I know it will happen, she'll come and boom, room made easily. But as of right now, my heart is already over flowing.

Thank you babe for this. It meant more than you know. And I have to quit writing now because I'm crying. Thank you preggo hormones.

This trip also counted as our September family date!!


Brooklyn DeShea said...

Your photos are gorgeous! I now want to visit this place! Can I ask you? What setting do you take your pictures in? Do you adjust the aperture, etc. or use a preset?

Brooklyn DeShea said...

Okay so I know I'm commenting twice, ha, but Friday night my family and I went to the Spaghetti Warehouse in Mem. and if you've never been, go! C would love it. Our family ate inside an old trolley car and train stuff is galore there. It totally reminded me of this post!