Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Incline Railway: My {Very Late} Birthday Present

Very late may be a bit generous of a descriptor since this was supposed to be my birthday present LAST YEAR. Just 11 months late, but who's counting?

Last year Daniel surprised me with a trip to Chattanooga for a birthday breakfast at the BlueGrass Grill and a proposed trip to the top of Lookout Mountain on the Incline Railway. The only problem was that it was really foggy and we didn't feel like the views would be worth it. 

Plus I was almost 9 months pregnant and the thought of going into labor on the steepest train in the United State, while ascending a mountain didn't seem like the best idea...

At the time, we did take a scenic drive up Lookout Mountain and I experienced my first Braxton Hicks contractions. However, Jack did not show up for another week.

Anyways, I recently informed Daniel that he better figure out when he could take me to the Incline Railway since my birthday is fast approaching and he still owed me a trip. So on Friday, we headed to Chattanooga for a day of family fun.

We really needed that time together. We have both been busy with work and home improvement projects; then last week a friend of ours died unexpectedly. It just felt right for us to take some time to be together as a family.

We made it to the base of the Incline Railway in time to make one of the last trips to the top. This railway is the steepest in the United States. At the top the grade is 74% – which is kind of nuts! The track splits halfway up the mountain so a train going the opposite direction can pass.

We enjoyed our scenic ride up the mountain. We only had about 30 minutes at the top since it was late in the day. It was probably the perfect amount of time for Jack. I think he had a good time riding the train.

After our railway experience, we headed downtown to attend the Three Sisters Bluegrass festival at the Riverfront. We decided to eat The Blue Plate Diner, which is right behind the grassy area where everyone sits for the concert. We even scored a table on the patio without having to wait too long. We had a lovely dinner and finished it off by splitting a slice of their Moon Pie Cheesecake for dessert.

This is our second year to attend Three Sisters -- it is very family and dog friendly event that happens to be free. We ended up leaving about 9 eastern since Jack was falling asleep in our arms; despite his best efforts to stay awake to watch all of the kids, dogs and general concert craziness. I'm sure that we will be back in the future.

It was a good day. We are trying to be more proactive about not spending our ENTIRE weekends doing things that can wait. We want to make more concerted efforts to spend time together doing things we love. Sometimes the chores can wait. 

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