The Teenager took off for a youth group ski trip on Friday.  He’s going to try to snowboard for the first time!  Go Jacob!  I hope he doesn’t come home too cranky or exhausted.  Faced, with a weekend “alone”, Jon was itching to get us out of the house as well.  He used up some old airline miles and got us a hotel room in Chattanooga.  I had what seemed like 15 minutes to get us ready for the trip.  The ordeal wasn’t pretty.

Both Jon and Gideon have been suffering with colds.  Levi had started complaining that his ear hurt, so I wanted him checked out before we left.  I called the clinic and they explained that another clinic had a doc call in sick, so our doc was with them.  In essence, they were closed.  Yikes.  So I had Jon call the clinic down the street that was taking new patients.  He called me back and told me that they did indeed take our insurance.  It was a little after nine, Jacob had to be at the church at 11:30, so I high tailed it down there and wished myself luck.  Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.  While I filled it out I kicked myself for forgetting the phone.  I had no emergency numbers as usual.  Why do I always forget that part????  Waiting, waiting, waiting.  At ten minutes to eleven they took us back.   I could only hang around until 11:05 at the most.  I took turns pacing the room and white knuckling the chairs.  At 11:07  I flagged someone down and said we HAD to leave and explained about my son going to North Carolina for a ski trip.  The nurse pulled in the nurse practitioner and in about 10 more minutes we were done.

I left out the BEST part.  While in the waiting room, Levi made a “poot again”  (as he calls it) and I had neglected to grab a diaper bag.  Uggggh.  Rushing never works for me.  After the nurse had taken us back and left the room, I searched all the cabinets like a crack head.  I found wipes.  Then I grabbed a blue paper gown and wadded it up and shoved it in Levi’s pants.  I begged him not to pee in his pants, but to tell Mommy when he needed to potty.  (The kid has ZERO interest in potty training.)  Luckily, he held it.

I drove home, flirting with speeding, but trying not to.  I ran in and found Jacob at the computer.  His stuff was all ready and at the door.  Gideon, however was not ready.  At all.   He was covered in snot.  Wearing SHORTS.  I mentally told myself to forget it, and we ran to the car.  As we were driving Jacob assured me that it was no big deal, he had to be there at NOON.  I asked where the 11:30 number had come from.  He said he wanted to be early so he told me 11:30.   Uggggg again.  Well, at least we were still early.  I tore into the parking lot, booted him out, hugged him and put a fresh diaper on Levi.  I was sweating from head to toe, and had yet to start doing anything related to the trip!

After feeding the animals, collecting eggs, emptying trash, washing dishes, making the bed, showering, doing laundry and packing at break neck speed, I picked up Jon and we went directly to Wal-Mart.  Was Wal-Mart the wonderful vacation, you ask???  No, I had to run in and wait for prescriptions, and buy snacks for the trip.  When all of that was done, I melted into the passenger seat and proceeded to have a  wonderful time.

Here are the highlights!

The Chattanooga Choo-Choo!


We stumbled into Con Nooga...Whoops!


Queen Amidala and her Jedi Escort.


This train was LONG!!!!


I'm a sucker for domes.


Gideon poses.


Our next stop...the Tennessee Aquarium!




I took about 400 pictures.  Getting good pictures in a low lit aquarium was HARD!  That last turtle was one of the most frightening things I have ever seen.  It just sits there, perfectly still until an unsuspecting creature swims by…then SNAP!  I believe this was the alligator snapping turtle.  I will never put my toes in the water again.

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