The year I "retired" from working as a pediatric nurse, the doctor I worked for gave me tickets to see Wicked as a going-away gift. I had never seen it before but he always raved about it. So, Byron and I went to see it and a friend loaned us the soundtrack to listen to on the way there and home. If you have ever seen the show (which I HIGHLY recommend) you will know just how amazing the music is. Well, the soundtrack became a fixture in the car and Louisa requested it each and every time she got in the car. By the age of 3 she could sing the song "Popular" verbatim with all of the inflections, pauses, etc. spot on. The more I think about it, the child is a living Glinda (or Galinda if you prefer). She is pink and sparkly and girly and twirly and happy and passionate and as Elphaba described her, blonde. Anyways - that year for Christmas, Santa brought her the soundtrack so that we could return our borrowed copy and Louisa could listen to it to her heart's content.
To this day, this CD remains in Byron's truck. Just ask our neighbor who borrowed the truck one day only to get in it, crank it and realize there was a musical BLASTING at full volume. It just so happened to be Popular then too. I still giggle. Nash can now sing half of the songs by hear too.
Well, Byron saw that Wicked was going to be in Nashville for Louisa's birthday so we thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate. So, we got tickets and packed the car and headed to Nashville for the birthday girl to see her show. Clearly, she was so excited.
She loved the show just as much as we thought she would and even though it was my second time, I couldn't get enough. In fact, it is coming to Atlanta next year and I plan to see it again. Best show ever with such an amazing message behind the story.
Anyways, when we told the kids that we were going, Nash started calling the town "my-bill." I am quite sure the town was named after him, right? ;) It was too cute and he even told the teachers at his school that he was going to "my-bill" for Sis's birthday. Nashville, my-bill, same thing. :)
Since driving in the car (which have I mentioned how it shrinks with each trip?) with my kids is the equivalent of poking my eyeballs repeatedly with a pair of tweezers, we decided to split the trip and spend 2 nights in Chattanooga and visit the aquarium. I cannot say enough about the downtown of this town. We had a blast. It was clean, it was kid-friendly, the people were friendly, it was safe, there was SO much to do and see, etc. The kids loved the aquarium, and Byron and I really enjoyed it too. I had always heard people talk about how crowded it always was and how you should go at this time versus this time, and yadda yadda. I figured that if we survived 2 years at Disney during spring break...we could do this. And we did. There were crowds and lots of field trips, but nothing that would deter me from going again.
There were 2 different areas set up that you could actually pet the fish, stingrays, sharks, etc. I found it really cool and could have stayed all day. The kids enjoyed it too and the rule was that you could only pet with 2 fingers. Well, I died laughing at this picture I caught with Nash and his triangle fingers steadily waiting for the baby hammer head to come back by to pet.
The second area that you could pet fish was in the river exhibit. There were huge sturgeons swimming in some murky water that looked straight out of the back woods South. I was so fascinated listening to the lady talk about sturgeons and how that was where caviar came from and this was why the sturgeons were facing extinction that I almost missed Nash leaning over the edge and drinking the water. Not kidding. I so wish I was. There he was, steady leaning over with his lips under the water drinking away. One lady saw him and she was so grossed out she almost fainted. Nash was fine, I made a mental note to get ready for the cha-cha-chas later and told him that was gross. I asked if he was thirsty (duh) but he informed me that he was fine. This child...oh my word. He is definitely from Mars.
After we explored and drank (ahem, Nash) to our content at the aquarium, we took the kids to the children's musuem which was in walking distance. That was one of my fave parts of this town, you could walk to SO MANY things just in a few blocks. Needless to say, they loved this place. And Byron and I loved that we could sit down, rest and just watch them play.
Here is my child with his fascination of water again. He didn't drink from this one. He probably thought it was too dirty since there were kids putting their hands in it, not murky sturgeons. ;) For all of you Morgans reading this - see how he is holding his mouth just right?
One of my faves was the dinosaur dig. Nash's facial expression is priceless. I think t-rex was around the corner.
Here, Louisa was confused as to what she was supposed to be digging for.
After the children's musuem we went to watch an IMAX movie on great white sharks. I actually was a bit afraid that it may be too much to see those sharks so close up on such a large screen. However, it was so intense that Nash fell asleep. Seriously. It was actually a fantastic movie and I learned a lot about sharks and Louisa decided she wanted to help protect the sharks from becoming "ex-stinged." Yes mam, save those sharks Lou. Tell your brother there may be sturgeon-water involved and he's probably in to help! :)