I Want To Live There

by tinareale on March 21, 2013

A few reminders before hopping into this morning’s post:

Back to your regularly scheduled programming…

You may recall from yesterday morning’s A Giant Surprise post that I spent this past weekend in Chattanooga with my family. I already covered the food side of things. Now lets cover the activities side.

We sort of planned this trip on a whim. One day a couple weeks ago Makenzie started talking about the circus. I then brought up to Peter how last year we had said we would take her to the circus this year. I knew we had missed the Atlanta stop, but wondered about other options. A quick Google search let me know that the circus would be in Chattanooga, just an hour and a half away the next weekend.

We bought tickets, booked a hotel room, and planned a short overnight trip up there. This is what spontaneity looks like as a parent, folks. #canthandletheexcitement

It may not be a spur of the moment trip to Europe like some friends I know (yep, I’m jealous, Julie!), but we definitely had a blast on our little getaway.

After arriving to Chattanooga and enjoying our picnic lunch by the river, we ventured to the main attraction of the weekend – the circus.


I can’t remember the last time I went to a circus. Probably a good twenty years ago? The circus was a lot different than I remembered, but still fun.

There were tons of acts. Some classics like the high wire and the group of motorcycles all riding around that tiny metal ball.



Plus some newer things I don’t remember at the circus – tricks on trampolines, flips off these high up swinging platforms, and lots of juggling tricks.



Plus some short parts with the few animals featured – some horses prancing and the elephant appearance.



Makenzie loved her first circus and was talking about it nonstop the rest of the weekend.

After leaving the circus, we had a good bit of time to kill before dinner so we walked around the downtown area a good bit – so clean and low-key!!! – trying to decide what to do next. The aquarium? Some parks? Makenzie decided for us when she saw the Creative Discovery Museum.


So that’s what we did. Play time for the kids with some of the most fun toys I’ve ever seen. We played music on giant instruments and made LOTS of noise in rooms full of things to bang and clang.


We put on a special performance on a little stage including sound effects and all.


We learned about science…


…kind of. Or we just watched electricity and magnets do their thing. Probably the coolest of all was the dinosaur exhibits.


Isn’t she a little actress? The dinosaur exhibit had pretend fossil dig zones, tunnels to climb through to see different layers of sediment, books, and more. Oh, and they had costumes.


You’re welcome for that.

On the down side we only had just over an hour before the museum closed, so we didn’t even get to see the art area and other fun activities. But on the up side, that wasn’t the end of our time in Chattanooga.

Sunday morning we had more to do and see with a visit to Lookout Mountain.

Lookout Mountain was a key point in various battles in the Civil War. There is a battlefield park and museum at the top with some astounding views. To get to the top, we took the Incline Railway.


This train car goes up, up, up the side of Lookout Mountain with a serious cable. We’re talking STEEP up the side of the mountain. It’s hard to see in this picture, but when you’re in the train car you feel like you’re looking straight down the side of a mountain as you get further up the top. Pretty cool stuff!


At the top, we took the short walk over to the park and museum. I’m not a big history buff, but it still interests me to see relics of things from long ago.



And I’ll never turn down a chance to catch a view like this…


As Peter and I walked around up there, we talked about the trip and both of us suddenly said “I could live here”. May be crazy but after our trip, I want to move to Chattanooga. And Peter and I are actually seriously talking about doing so. That’s how much we enjoyed our visit there this past weekend. We could just see ourselves there. Who knows if that will ever happen, but we’re not opposed to it. One thing is for certain, though. We’ll be back…


When’s the last time you went to the circus? Ever just fallen in love with an area after a quick visit?


1 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 21, 2013 at 8:05 am

Looks like a great trip! I’ll cross my fingers you guys are able to get back again soon – whether that be to visit or to find your new home. ;)

2 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries March 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

We grew up going to the circus pretty regularly, and it was one of my favorite things to do! I’d love to go again in the near future. It looks like you guys had so much fun!

3 Heather March 21, 2013 at 8:33 am

I went to the circus in HS when my mom realized I had never been, so she took me!

4 Danica @ It's Progression March 21, 2013 at 9:21 am

The scenery is just beautiful!
I’ve never been to a circus, and to be quite honest, I’m afraid of clowns so I’m more than okay with that haha

5 tinareale March 22, 2013 at 7:00 am

I hate clowns too! Luckily they now aren’t that creepy looking. They’re more normal people with silly outfits on. Or at least at this one. Thank goodness!

6 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance March 21, 2013 at 9:52 am

My grandparents used to take us to the circus when we were really young! I remember being allowed to take a ride on the elephant prior to the show starting. At the time . . . it was SO cool! :) It looks like your kids had a blast. They are creating great memories!

7 Emily March 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

Such a fun weekend! I actually worked at an agency right out of college that did PR for the circus. It was….interesting, to say the least! I may have had clowns in my car at multiple times lol

And yes, when my husband and I went to Costa Rica we talked the whole time (and still do!) about how we would love to just move there. I’m exciting to see what happens for you!

8 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions March 21, 2013 at 10:34 am

I’ve never been to the circus! To be honest, it was never anything I was particularly interested in growing up, although I think it’d be cool to experience at least once. That’s so great that you love Chattanooga! I’ve only driven through once and it was at night, so I’m pretty unfamiliar with the area, but your pictures make it look lovely.

9 Jessica March 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

That is how I feel about Savannah, GA! Chattanooga is beautiful but I’m a Nashvillan and sorta partial to Tennessee anyways! :-)

10 tinareale March 22, 2013 at 7:02 am

I love love love Savannah as well. I have family that is there too. It has never hit me like Chattanooga did for some reason. We’re still talking about it and keep saying how we never feel this way about a place.

11 Meghan @ After the Ivy League March 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

The circus looks like so much fun! I’ve never been to a big circus, just small local ones, and even those are surprisingly entertaining a lots of fun!

12 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef March 21, 2013 at 11:41 am

i love TN! we went to nashville a few years ago and spent a long weekend in cumberland gap recently. while we were there, we met a few couples from Chattanooga at breakfast and it sounds like a great place to live!

13 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I have definitely fallen in love with places after a quick visit, I know the feeling! Glad you all had a good trip!

14 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I fell in love with where we live right now while on vacation! It’s so funny how things happened to fall into place once we decided we wanted to move here. We both found jobs at the same exact time and found a place to rent immediately. It was meant to be!

15 tinareale March 22, 2013 at 7:03 am

Definitely sounds like it! We’re still talking about it and figure things will line up if we’re meant to be there. :)

16 Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers March 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm

If you ever move here, we’ll have to meet up to run someday. Maybe someday when you’re injured or tired or sick so I can keep up. ;-)

17 tinareale March 22, 2013 at 7:03 am

That would be so cool! And that I could have a new friend already in the area. :)

18 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables March 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I love Chattanooga! So close to my family!! We need to do our meet up there! :)

19 tinareale March 22, 2013 at 7:04 am

We should! Peter and I are talking about going back and spending a bit more time in the area looking at different areas to live and more of what’s there.

20 Stacy @ Stacy Eats March 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Looks like tons of fun! One of my favorite trips as a kid that I still remember was to Chattanooga. We went to the aquarium, See Rock City and stayed in a hotel that was a train car. It was so much fun!

21 Rhonda Rose March 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Looks like you had a great time! Reminds me of when my kids were that age (20+ years ago). They loved the circus! I miss doing things like that. Hoping to have grandkids one day…..

22 Jill @ a Girl in Progress March 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Looks like you guys had a great time! How fun. We’ve been loving Miami – we’ve been there probably about six or seven times since we got married six years ago. Maybe because it is so different than being landlocked in the Midwest with cold and snowy winters!

23 jobo March 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I LOVE that you took this trip on a whim!! I was going to say, I don’t remember reading about this trip coming up :) LOVE the pic of the monster constume dress-up, so cute! and the circus….honestly, I don’t even KNOW if I have ever gone! is that sad??

24 tinareale March 22, 2013 at 7:05 am

You have to go at least once!

25 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength March 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm

WOW!!!! How fun….you must have loved it if you want to move there! I feel that way about Annapolis and pretty much everywhere in California, but sounds like in your situation the move might actually be realistic! I’m glad that you don’t want to live at the circus though…I originally thought that’s where you were going with this. hahahaha

26 tinareale March 22, 2013 at 7:05 am

Haha! Oh no. That would be weird. And smelly.

27 Sana March 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I totally want to go to the circus for my 24th birthday!

28 Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit March 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I’m totally jealous of Julie, too. ;) But, I agree – little getaways, even if they are closer to home, are just as fun! :D Looks like you had a great trip.

29 Lisa March 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Ah everything looks like SO much fun!!! Is it weird I’m 22 and want to go to the circus. I love that stuff. I’m so quick to fall in love with places I visit, there’s many places I want to live just because I enjoyed vacation there so much.

30 tinareale March 22, 2013 at 7:06 am

Hey, I think I was more excited than the kids….so not weird at all in my book. ;)

31 Katrina March 24, 2013 at 11:50 am

We just saw that same circus last night in Jackson, MS. And yes, I have a terrible fear of clowns but the only one was a silly guy with the rubber log. I didn’t see his face up close so I didn’t run screaming from the area like I did when I was 5. (which was the last time I went to a circus). It was a lot of fun and my 3 year old nephew had a blast.

I love that area of TN. When Alabama plays TN, we take a family trip to that area to see the fall colors and truly enjoy FALL weather. Alabama doesn’t get fall weather until January :-|

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