Friday, January 19, 2018

Mother Daughter Trip to Chattanooga

It's Friday!!!  Although, I really can't tell what day of the week it is.  Our kids went to school one day this week and have been out the rest because of snow and icy road conditions. It's been like a mini-winter break, but we aren't complaining.  Before the snow rolled in, Little Mama and I packed up for a short mother-daughter weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  She had a cheer competition there last weekend and originally it was going to be a family getaway, but the little two had basketball games they didn't want to have to miss and Little Mama was really keeping her fingers crossed for a girls only weekend.

We packed our bags and hit the road as soon as she got off the bus last Friday afternoon.  We made sure to bundle up and pack lots of warm clothes because the highs were going to be in the upper 20's and low 30's.  Super cold for our southern blood.

We made it there before dinnertime on Friday and got settled at our hotel before meeting some friends for dinner.  When we were checking in I saw this sign and laughed.  I mean, obviously they speak from experience. I talked to the guy at the front desk and he said they had a time trying to get the glitter cleaned up after the last cheer competition.  I assured him our team didn't deal with glitter so he and nothing to worry about with us!

We stayed about 10 minutes from downtown, and the drive/parking to meet up with friends who were downtown was so easy! I was a little worried about finding parking, but let me just say downtown Chattanooga is nothing like downtown Atlanta.  Parking was easy, cheap, and abundant.

We had an early morning meet time so after dinner we made our way back to the hotel and called it night.  The next morning we were up bright and early and ready to go!

All of the moms (and some of the dads) wear attire or colors supporting our gym!  It's fun for the kids to see we are supporting them in any way we can.

We were freezing on the drive over and the car barely warmed up before we could park and get into the convention center.  It was SO cold.

 The kids competed and did such a great job!  They had recently changed their routine so this was the first time competing it with the changes and they really looked great on stage.  

After watching the other teams from our gym we decided to head out and grab a quick bite to eat before exploring some more that Chattanooga had to offer.  We took the free shuttle that runs all over downtown since it was such a cold day, but we could have easily walked if the weather was warmer.  Everywhere around downtown and signs up and welcomed all of the people there for the competition. It was fun to see other cheerleaders around town and see all of the businesses that were supporting our kids! 

After lunch we jumped on the free shuttle again and made our way to the Tennessee Aquarium.  We'd been there several years ago, but it was still a fun afternoon activity.  

Now, having been to the Georgia Aquarium a number of times it is hard to compare it to this one. This aquarium feel smaller, but I love the way it flows and how you start on the top floor and work your way down to the bottom through the various exhibits.

There are actually two different buildings...a saltwater one with ocean animals and a river side with freshwater animals.  

My girl was happy to just be there with her friends...

Because while they loved seeing the fish and animals, being with your friends is what makes it the most fun.  This is what cheerleaders do at the aquarium...

We spent a few hours there and had so much fun.

That night we had made plans to go to Taco Mamacita for dinner and it was so good!  I'm so happy I had thought to call and try to get some sort of reservation ahead of time because this place was so crowded and busy.  We walked in and they told us it would be an hour and a half wait, but thanks to my call earlier in the day we only waited about 20 minutes.

The food was great, the margaritas were yummy, and the atmosphere was fun.  It was a great night with friends.

The next day we had another early morning meet time so that meant getting hair/makeup done at the crack of dawn and arriving just as the sun was rising.  The kids practiced for a bit with their coach before hitting the stage for day two of the competition.

They had another great performance, but we really had no idea how the results would end up.  These cheer competitions are usually two days and they combine scores from both days to determine the winners.  The scores are weighted differently each day and there are all sorts of factors that go into the scoring like difficulty of the routine, execution, technique, deductions for various things and more. I really don't even understand it all so going into the awards ceremony we thought they had done great, but didn't know where they would stand out of the 7 teams in their division.

When they called out third place, my friends and I all looked at each other and held our breaths. When they weren't called for second we knew they had won and we all started jumping up and down, hugging and crying. These kids had worked SO hard and overcome so many obstacles and drama and doubts the past week.  Winning their division was the icing on the cake and the perfect way to wrap up our weekend!!!!

They got a big banner for the gym, National Champion shirts and a metal.  We were all on cloud 9 and knew that the work they put in was so worth it.

No rest for the weary.  They got right back to practice a few days later and now are preparing for another competition tomorrow. This one is in town though so we don't have to travel.  She kind of wishes we were though. It was such a special weekend together and I'm so happy to have had this one-on-one time with my girl.

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