Monday, May 27, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth

Phew.  We did it.  We survived our first major vacation as a family of four.  For the past 10 years or so my family has gone to the Outer Banks, NC every other May.  This is the year that we were supposed to go.  Brad and I were both so looking forward to this vacation and relaxing with the boys.  One by one, members of my family started backing out.  My older sister didn't want to pull her daughters out of school.  My younger sister decided to move to Nashville that week.  And on Easter Sunday my parents told us that they just didn't think they'd be able to go this year.  Brad and I were really looking forward to this vacation and we didn't want to give it up, but we just weren't sure that a beach vacation would be all that great with the boys so young.

So we decided to look into other options.  We thought about going west and doing some National Parks, something we really want to do with our family one day.  But we didn't think that trip would be as enjoyable for the boys.  So, we started talking about Disney World.  My first time to Disney was at our first anniversary.  I loved it so much and I decided right away that I wanted to be a "Disney family."  But I also knew that it would be several years before we take our own family to Disney.  It's so stimulating and there's just so much to do that I didn't think it was ideal for very young children.  In my opinion, the ideal age would be 4-7.  But we knew the boys would be free.  And we had low expectations.  Even though they would never remember it, we knew they would have so much fun, and the memories for us would last forever.  So, we decided "why not?" and started planning our vacation.

We decided to drive down there and to make the drive part of the vacation.  As soon as Brad got home from work on Friday we set out for Nashville, our longest drive.  We stayed the night there on Friday and Saturday morning checked out the Discovery Museum in Nashville.  This was a really cool children's museum with an even great outdoor nature center area.  Micah especially loved the model trains set they had running.  Outside was a neat little nature area where the boys could run free and explore.  This is definitely a place we will take the boys to when we come to visit my sister in Nashville!  And the best part is it's park of our museum membership so it was free for us!

After the museum we met my sister and parents for dinner.  They arrived in Nashville on Saturday and helped Brittany get moved in to her new apartment.
We stayed the night Saturday  in Nashville and got up Sunday morning to head to Atlanta.  We made an unexpected stop in Chattanooga to stretch our legs and decided to check out the Chattanooga Choo Choo.  Originally, we were going to do this on the way home, but since we were stopping anyway!  Micah loved this place!  It was raining the entire time we were there, but that didn't stop him!  He kept running from train to train and telling us which one it was like.  However, he was too scared to climb up on any of them.  And he was so excited when we bought him his very own conductor's hat.  This stop was well worth it! 

Once we arrived in Atlanta we stopped at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  This place was amazing!  The children's garden was not so great, but the gardens themselves were just incredible.  They were huge and beautiful.  Lots of space to run around and plants to explore.  We could have stayed there a lot longer!  Plus, it was free for us, too, because of our Arboretum membership (I'm telling you--these memberships pay!).  However, it was raining lightly while we were there and they boys had not napped well in the car so we headed to our hotel after only two hours there.

 This post is already getting long enough so I'll stop here and right about our time in Disney later. 

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