Finding that my Baby Boy Still Needs Me While Visiting Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a 145 foot high underground waterfall.  To get to Ruby Falls, you take an elevator  below ground and walk through the caves with a tour guide.  Doesn’t sound too bad, right?  If you don’t like enclosed spaces, definitely avoid this attraction.  It isn’t very tight, except in one or two spots, but you are definitely underground.  In a cave.

My seven year old son would be the first to tell you how awful it is.

He would know because as soon as we got out of the elevator he had what most therapists would call a full-blown panic attack.

Seriously.

After you get out of the elevator, you take a tourist picture with the cave structures in the background and then continue on to wait for the guide and the rest of the group.  He was distracted by the fun elevator ride and the picture taking process but when we were waiting for the guide, he had time to look around and realize that we were underground.

In a dark and creepy cave.

The panic set in and he was not to be consoled.  Luckily, we were able to calm him down before the rest of the group was finished with the photo extravaganza.  We also had a wonderful guide that was a complete goofball and got Big S to laugh and forget (sort of) that we were in a cave.  I used his signals to decide that he could make it through the tour so we decided to go spelunking on.

It wasn’t quite the cave tour I was expecting and I can’t really tell you much about the visit because I was trying to make sure that my son was doing well.  I do remember the feeling I had when I realized that this was the same boy who recently told me that I could stop checking on him when he is playing in the backyard.  At the beginning of the summer, this same boy told me that he wanted to make his own lunch while he is home for the summer because “he knows what he likes and can make it himself.”  This is the same boy who argued with me at a rest stop because he didn’t think he needed to go in the women’s restroom anymore.  He is seven after all and will be fine using the men’s room according to him.  I relented then but as I wandered through the cave with his still small hand gripping mine like a vice, I was reminded that this boy still needs me even though he is starting to show more and more signs of his own independence.

Once we got to Ruby Falls, he was acting like we do this sort of thing all the time but he never let go of my hand.

When you get to the waterfall, you are warned that it will be dark.  They have the lights set on a timer so that each group moves on in a timely manner.  When the lights come on (complete with a clap on, clap off motion from our tour guide) so does some soothing new age type music.  There is a short show of lights that change color behind the waterfall.  It has a cheesy and glitzy quality about it but there is something awe-inspiring the first moment the lights go on and this is what you see…

In case you were wondering, we made it out of the cave in one piece and my son declared the adventure a success.

Broad Street Grille Champagne Brunch – Chattanooga, TN

When we travel, breakfast is usually a simple box of cereal or a free complimentary breakfast in the hotel (the kind with the make your own waffles!). Occasionally we will go out for breakfast, but most of the time we make lunch or dinner our big meal.

We were invited to eat brunch at Broad Street Grille,  The Chattanoogan’s restaurant.

This is not your typical Sunday brunch, my friends.

This award-winning Champagne Brunch has everything from the waffles and bacon that you would expect at most Sunday brunches to stuffed French toast, Southern Eggs Benedict with Fried Green Tomatoes, and hashbrown casserole. In addition to a myriad of delicious breakfast foods, there was also a fully stocked salad bar, braised pork shoulder, potatoes, salmon, chicken and more. There are fruits and an array of different cheeses.

There is also a dessert bar with cakes, bars, and the most delicious banana pudding I have ever had. Seriously. And of course no brunch would be complete without mimosas, which are unlimited!

If you have a gluten issue, everything is clearly marked if it is gluten free. My husband adheres to a strict gluten free (and beyond) regimen and often has a problem finding something to eat that fits within his dietary restrictions when we are at a restaurant. This brunch had plenty of options for him.

If you are in Chattanooga, I highly recommend the Champagne Brunch even if you aren’t staying at The Chattanoogan. The Chattanoogan is one of the last stops on the electric trolley if you are coming from Downtown Chattanooga.

The Champagne Brunch is offered Sundays from 11am to 2pm. Reservations are recommended. Adults can brunch for $21.95 and children can brunch for $11.95. Children under 6 eat free off of the kid’s menu.

Stop by Wanderlust and Lipstick for Wanderfood Wednesday. Have a snack ready though…the pictures of food will make your mouth water.

Disclosure: Thank you to The Chattanoogan for hosting us and inviting us to brunch.