After our FULL day at the aquarium, we were very ready to head to our hotel. We had looked at about a million options online before going and really thought the kids would get a kick out of the Chattanooga Choo Choo (AKA The Holiday Inn).
We got to the hotel, checked in and drove around back to find our rooms. I should take a few minutes to explain that there are several different parts to this hotel. You have the main area where you check in complete with restaurants, gift shops, and the train museum. Behind this, you have the train cars that you can sleep in (but they book up kind of far in advance). Behind the train cars, you have buildings one, two and three. Building one has rooms and it also houses the indoor, heated pool. The smell of chlorine also knocks you out the minute you walk into building one. Buildings two and three are just more rooms, but each of these buildings are either connected by a covered walkway or nothing at all. Not cool if it's 30 degrees outside and you are trying to get from building 2 to 1 to go swimming.
Now, I know sometimes I can seem like a negative ninny on this blog and this will be another one of those times. Our hotel room in building two cost $151.01 after taxes and whatever junk they tap onto the original price of $129. When we walked into the room, I immediately realized I had just paid $151.01 for a room that would have been $49.99 had it not had the words CHOO CHOO on top of the hotel. I would call the room "vintage." Not that my kids noticed. All they wanted was a vending machine and an indoor pool and they thought we were staying at the four seasons.
After dinner, the kids were DYING to go swimming so it was time to head to the indoor "heated" pool in building one. Did I mention that the only shoes I had brought were Ugg boots? So, here we go..the darlings go to the indoor pool. The kids all cute in swim attire, swim shoes, etc. and mom in her swimsuit covered by jeans, a tshirt and Ugg boots. We walk outside in the 30 degree weather to get to building one and open the door to get smacked in the face with the smell of chlorine. I literally thanked God in that moment that our ROOM wasn't in building one as I would have had a migraine in two hours flat if I had to breathe that all night.
When we got to the pool, we picked up our complimentary towels that were the size of postage stamps and got in the pool. Because they are children and don't notice these things, my children didn't bother to notice that the "heated" water was FREEZING. The only hot water in the whole pool was being pumped into the pool through a white PVC pipe, which I figured out after about 3 seconds in the pool. Mama hung out by the pipe while my kids jumped off the sides, splashed around and had a blast. There were about 40 other precious little tykes in the pool so I was ready to get out after about 4 minutes, but it would have devastated the kids so I stuck it out. After about 30 minutes and being blind from all the chlorine that had been splashed in my eyes by the precious little tykes, I drug my kids out of the pool and dried off with the hand towels. I was uber happy by this point, especially when I had to put my freezing, WET feet into my Ugg boots. Good times.
We trudged back to our room and I called dibs on the shower. I just wanted to wash off the chlorine and get warm, but I never expected to meet my friend, Nasty Hair, in the shower. After the shower, the kids begged for money for the vending machines so I obliged. "No sugar," I called out, which they obviously didn't hear when Luke proudly walked back in a few minutes later with a Dr. Pepper. Not worth the fight. We watched a little TV and settled in for bed, or so I thought. We had two full size beds and I had obviously forgotten that my children turn into crazed ninjas during bed time. Between getting kicked all night, the lovely children who ran up and down the halls and knocked on the doors, and Isaac and Luke constantly asking if they could go to the bathroom (don't ask, I don't know why they asked), I literally slept about 12 minutes Tuesday night.
When JuJu woke us up Wednesday morning, all three kids were laying on the floor (again, I don't know) and I felt like I had been run over by a truck.
So, here's my advice on the Choo Choo. If you REALLY want to stay there, get a train car. They are only $40 more per night and look pretty cool. If you just want to throw money out the window, grab a room in buildings two or three. You would have to pay me to stay in building one. I think you could probably get the "experience" by just dropping by for a few minutes and taking some pics with the trains. It's honestly not that great.
If you're going to Chattanooga, take the $150 and stay somewhere else downtown. Like a Marriott or the Hyatt. Maybe you'll get some sleep there and won't meet my friend, Nasty Hair.
Sorry that there are no pics on this post, I was too tired to take any!