Chattanooga, Tennessee

Our first stop on our way to the great midwest was Chattanooga, Tennessee. We arrived at night, got a decent hotel room, and tried to get some sleep so we could start out early. Chattanooga is surrounded by gorgeous mountains and lakes and the people there are really helpful and polite. It is also home to Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls, and the Incline Railway. Our day began with a little rain and fog, but what we had planned didn't require nice weather. It reminded us of our Christmas in Germany 2 years ago :)

I've always wanted to hike through a cool cave with stalactites and stalagmites sticking out everywhere. Ruby Falls definitely did not disappoint! The hike through the cave was a photographers dream... seriously. I think this was one of the coolest places I've ever been. We just kept saying the rest of our trip how awesome it was. There was a photographer on the way in that took a family photo for us that we ended up buying because it was adorable :) Josh and I really enjoy visiting places that are natural or historical. No offense to theme parks, but there's something to be said for natural wonders like this cave and the waterfall hidden inside. Noah loved it. Tristan loved it... especially any blue light since he knew there would be water nearby.

There were some crazy rock formations... turtles, chandeliers, elephant feet, bacon, potato chips, wings, even a donkey's butt! I took tons of other pics and uploaded them all to flickr (on the sidebar) if anyone is interested. The waterfall was amazing and I believe also a record-breaker. I was busy taking pictures so I didn't catch a lot of the history. Josh was filling me in though and from what I heard it was very interesting. Noah's favorite part was the waterfall, but if you ask the tourguide (who asked Noah) he doesn't like caves, only trains. I guess Noah was thinking ahead haha :)

After we emerged from the bowels of Lookout Mountain we were able to climb back to the top and check out the view. On a clear day you can see seven states from its peak, but it was foggy the day we went so it was more like looking down on Sleepy Hollow, which was still pretty cool.

From there we ventured off to the Incline Railway. The Incline rides up and down Lookout Mountain and at one point is a 72 degree angle! Noah really enjoyed it... Tristan was hungry and tired by this point so it was a little rough on the way down as he squirmed and whined. Luckily we stopped for a bit at the bottom and the boys got to run around before the climb back up. We got about 25ft up the mountain when the rain got the best of the motor and stalled out. We were waiting for 40 minutes for the mechanic to show up and fix the dang train. The whole time Tristan was screaming and crying for everyone in the train to hear. They finally got it running again and refunded our tickets (after Josh had a few choice words for management). Frankly I'm offended they weren't waiting with refunds and apologies for everyone when we got back to the top. Customer service is pretty self-explanatory, people!

After all that excitement we grabbed some lunch and got back on the road. Tristan fell asleep immediately :) Next stop, Saint Louis Missouri! Here's a preview for you ::ACHOO:: :P
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