Monday, January 21, 2013

Kid Free Weekend

This past weekend was a kid free weekend for us. An awesome friend of ours agreed to keep my son for the weekend and of course I jumped at that offer with bells on. We don't get time away from the boy child often so when little moments like this come up we are very pleasantly surprised.

This left us in a conundrum. What to do with our free time? We don't go out often enough to know what people in our age group do. I thought about it all day on Thursday and Friday and we chatted back and forth via text trying to figure out something to do on Saturday that would be fun. We decided to go to the Hunter Museum. I've lived in Chattanooga for 7 years or so and have never been inside the museum. I was going to have a new adventure to add to my list and I was looking forward to it.

We dropped the boy child off on Friday night and decided to grab dinner. It was a late dinner for us since we got a late start getting up to our friend's house. First we tried Olive Garden, when we drove through the parking lot and couldn't find a parking space we decided to go elsewhere. We drove up the highway and I couldn't decided what I wanted to eat. I have to be really careful with my gluten sensitivity with where I go out to eat at. I get so darned tired of salads. My food options in restaurants is so limited that it frustrates me to no end sometimes just to go out and have a good time. We decided to go to Red Robin. I recently discovered that they have a Simply Fit menu that offers different types of healthy burgers with either fries or a fruit salad as the side dish. I always have the garden burger (veggie patty) on a gluten free bun. This time I opted to get the fries because I was feeling a little hungrier than usual. I always get water to drink at restaurants because it's free and it has no calories. I happily ate my burger and fries and then we decided to make a trip to Walmart and pick up some things that I hadn't had time to pick up during the week.
gluten free garden burger with fries

Saturday morning we woke up and decided to go to breakfast at Shoney's. I haven't been able to enjoy a breakfast buffet at many places because they are usually loaded with gluten options that just are not going onto my plate. Biscuits, breads, donuts, cinnamon rolls (is your mouth watering yet?) these are just a few of the morning time foods that I no longer get to enjoy (unless I make the gluten free versions of them at home). Shoney's however has a broader spectrum of foods for breakfast and I can easily avoid the gluten-tastic items. I had scrambled eggs, some fried potatoes and a plate of fruit. I had hot cocoa to drink because it was chilly out and I was craving cocoa. I ate my food and was proud of my choices (with the exception of getting to much ketchup on my fried potatoes, yuck!) We left there and headed downtown to the museum.

We spent two hours exploring the Hunter Museum. There was art in there so beautiful it made me want to cry. I loved walking around in the Old Mansion portion of the museum. I was imagining the balls and parties they threw there. The entertaining that the family did. The structure and design of the mansion is beautiful. As I walked up the stairway I ran my hand along the banister and wondered how many people before me had done the same thing. The master and mistress of the house, the children, guests and visitors. It brought a smile to my face. In the middle of what was once the dining room/kitchen area there was a statue. It was a statue of a kneeling woman done in white pristine marble. I was in awe of such a beautiful piece. The detail was so lifelike. How could somebody be the precise with marble? She had fingernails and her hair had waves in it. The gathers in her robes were amazing. Her feet were even pretty! Breathtaking is an understatement. The marble was so white and untouched, virginal marble. Not a flaw or speck of discoloration on it at all from what I could see. I loved it! We continued on through the museum and I saw so many other pieces that I would have loved to have taken home with me. Beautifully crafted with just the right focus on color or position. I was in a world that I felt so comfortable in. Surrounded by beautiful creations that someone put there heart and soul into, to share a piece of themselves with the world. If I could live in a museum I think I would, definitely!

There was another exhibit there by artist Paul Stankard. He is an absolutely amazing glass artist. His glass globes were something that I just couldn't wrap my mind around. All those tiny sculptures in those globes and paper weights were also made of glass. How? How could be make such tiny worlds in there and not break the glass? I couldn't get enough of them and I wanted to take all those beautiful globes home with me to display for all my friends and family to see. So I could wake up every morning and look at such beautiful designs. However that would take these treasures away from the public eye and that would be tragic. Everyone should have the chance to see such wonderment and beauty. There was one particular piece, a paper weight from his early years that I wanted. It was purple glass and had a single white flower inside of it. It was simple yet beautiful to me. (It was purple and that being my favorite color caught my attention right away). I didn't want to leave that exhibit but I knew that there was more to see.
similar to the piece that I wanted

We finished our tour of the museum and decided to go walking across that walking bridge that goes over the Tennessee River. It was chilly but it was sunny and such a nice day to go walking. We walked across and went to lunch at one of my favorite new lunch spots, Poblanos. This little restaurant is amazing and serves authentic Mexican cuisine. Most Mexican food is not something I can eat as they use flour tortillas in a lot of the recipes. However Polano's has a gordita that is made with corn masa (what they use to wrap tamales). It's gluten free and delicious. I have my gordita stuffed with pork. It also comes stuffed with refried beans and with a green salad on the side that you can also put into the pocket to enjoy. I have fallen in love with corn masa based products and am so excited to eat something other than a crunchy taco (ouch).
walking bridge spanning the river

On the walk across the bridge I stopped at a little coffee shop and grabbed some hot tea. It was called "Rain Forest Mate" and was an awesome blend of herbal bliss. I love hot teas, the more exotic the better and I love experiencing the different blends of herbs and fruits that can be used in various ways to please your palate. I almost wanted to skip across the bridge back but I would have spilled my tea and that would have made me a very sad panda.

We decided to go do some window shopping once we got back to the car. We drove to Pier One Imports and I had a blast looking at all the items that I would love to decorate our new house with. I was getting some fantastic ideas and I made mental note of all the designs I was to incorporate into our new home once we move and have funds available to do so. It's looking more and more like Ikea and Pier One are going to be my "go to" places for home decor. I have so many ideas, I can't wait to try them all!

We ended our day with frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog and came home to relax awhile. We ended up napping on the couch while watching a marathon of season 3 of NCIS. Overall it was a fantastic day and I was glad to have experienced such beautiful and wonderful things!

Sunday we drove up to pick up the boy child and play a little bit of D&D. I am definitely a nerd when it comes to the things I like to do in my spare time. We had a good time and soon it was time to come home and go to bed. I was exhausted after such a full weekend! Today is going to be spent catching up on laundry and doing some chores around the house. Nothing too strenuous but things need to be done. So it's back to reality and all the responsibilities that come with it, yay for being a grown up!

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