Posted by: angelnorman | August 3, 2008

The Normans love: Rock City

I’m sure if you’ve known me for any length of time at all, you are keenly aware that this girl loves Chattanooga, TN. You’re probably also aware that a roadtrip to Chattanooga with Michael was our very first “Oh my gosh, we’re actually alone for the first time in the 2 months since we’ve been dating” date. And if you know that, then you know that that roadtrip resulted in him admitting that he was 100% without a doubt in love with me for the very first time. You know this is why we go to Chattanooga on almost every single anniversary vacation.

So I’ll spare you those details and instead tell you that today, we spread some Chattanooga-lovin’ over to our kid. We’d never taken him there with us, except for that time when we were driving home from Tybee and we decided to stop and eat at Tony’s for dinner. And since school starts in a week, we wanted to do something fun as a family before our summer was over.

We’d been throwing ’round the idea of vacationing at the end of August, but we decided instead that we’d rather be the responsible adults that God intended us to be and pay off some of our debt instead of affording a beach vacation this year. We figured though that we would just do a weekend trip to one of the handful of cities within 4 hours driving time from where we live and just explore it. Mike was all about Chattanooga, though I originally scoffed at the idea since I’ve been there TWICE this year. But he really wanted to share Rock City and the aquarium and stuff with his kid for the first time, so how could I refuse? I’ve been looking at weekend getaway packages to Chattanooga in September ever since.

Then this morning I rolled out of bed late, too late for church but not so late to eat lunch, and it just hit me. See, we’re putting our car in the shop in the morning to get the a/c fixed because August is typically TN’s hottest month, and we have to rent a car to do that so that we have transportation. So I said, “Hey let’s rent our car a day early and drive the two hours to Chattanooga, do Rock City since it doesn’t close till 8, and then come home.”

This was Mike’s answer, “Um. Okay.”

I was pleasantly surprised that he agreed. And he was surprised by himself a little too. I think it made him feel a little carefree, you know, since we know Chattanooga like the back of our hands. I think that in his head, my wild and wacky plan to just roadtrip on a whim actually made sense to him too, because honestly, we had a blast. There was no tension at all, which is rare for a Norman roadtrip, usually because one of us doesn’t want to be there, ha.

Anyways, Rock City was fairly expensive admission-wise–$45 for a walk through some rocks, but it took us five minutes down the trail before we no longer regretted the decision to see Rock City all spur of the moment like that. Nick was leading us through the rocks; he always had to be first down the path and while most of my time was spent shouting, “No running! You’re going to fall! Slow down right now, mister! HEY! I said come back here,” I was really happy when I saw how much he loved it all. He didn’t really get the rocks that looked like other things, but he loved seeing the big gaps in the rocks and exclaiming, “We’re really high! Look mommy! Daddy, can we go in there?”

And son of a gun, if my kid didn’t just run across the swinging bridge like a seasoned veteran. Any other time, Nicholas will stand on a street curb and shake because he’s terrified he might fall. But put him on a wooden bridge on the edge of a mountain, and he is invincible. I felt mildly ashamed of myself for lacking the courage to even step on the swinging bridge, but I was glad to see that Nicholas hadn’t inherited all of my wimpy genes. He’s much braver than I could ever be… he’s like his daddy in that way.

Nicholas loved it, and we loved sharing it with him. Now when we go in September, we can spend a day at the Aquarium and then another day at the Creative Discovery Museum or something. Heck, I wouldn’t mind breaking it all up into seperate day trips since the drive there is nothing compared to that long trek to Gatlinburg, ugh. I’m sure, though, if he had his way, Nicholas would choose to do Rock City again. I don’t think it’s going to be easy to convince him otherwise.

Here’s some more pics.



  1. love the pics!!! I’m so glad ya’ll got to do that! sounds like it was fun! I love Rock City! Scott and I went to Chatt. for our honeymoon and try to go back every year! we just love it there and Abby does too! We always do Rock City & the acquarium! this last trip we also did the discovery museum! it’s awesome!!! Abby loved it!

  2. Where do you stay in Chattanooga when you go back? Or do you just do it in a day trip?

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