Chattanooga Vacation: Part One

A recent trip to Chattanooga (31 July to 2 August 2008) was dominated by modes of transportation. The most exciting for Ian was the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. He just about lost his mind when a genuine antique steam engine (which Ian much favors over diesel engines) pulled up to the depot.

We rode it six miles down the track to a turntable where we got to see the big locomotive turn around.

The next day we moved on to river transportation and hopped on the Southern Belle river boat. Ian spent most of the time with the captain, learning how to steer the boat (note hat from the Tennesse Valley Railroad Museum.

Ian’s FIFTH Birthday

On 27 September 2008, Ian celebrated his fifth birthday.

The celebration began on the Friday before the actual date. At school he treated his classmates to donuts and chocolate milk. His teachers, Ms. Allison and Ms. Gail, managed to stick a lit candle in Ian’s donut.

Saturday was the actual birthday and we elected to take a relatively low-key approach. Ian invited three of his best buds to meet at Chuck E. Cheese’s. And so Penelope, Haven, and Marko assembled at that anarchic locale that is C. E. Cheese’s. The parents suffered through the din, but the kids had a great time.

But we didn’t go for the birthday package provided by Mr. Cheese, because we figured we could get better cake from Mary’s Cakes and Pastries. And we did (see above)!

Ian received some swell presents from generous friends and family (and has written about half of his thank-you notes). Many pictures were taken–too many for Blog Ian. You’ll have to browse over to

to see them!

Sorry for the loooong URL, but this is not a fully public online album.

Ian in a Big Polish Head

While in Poland, Ian was able to experience many local artworks. In the Rynek Główny (market square) in Kraków he particularly enjoyed Eros spętany (Eros Bound) a piece of sculpture by Igor Mitoraj.

According to Wikipedia, “Mitoraj’s sculptural style is rooted in the classical tradition with its focus on the well modelled torso. However, Mitoraj introduces a post-modern twist with ostentatiously truncated limbs, emphasising the damage sustained by most genuine classical sculptures.”

Ian at the Mayor’s Cup 5K

Recently, the City of Tuscaloosa sponsored the “Mayor’s Cup 5K Race.” Marysia ran and had a very good race — third overall woman and a time that almost beat her personal best. Plus, as this photo shows, she was this close to edging out the mayor, Walt Maddox. He’s the young guy in black. She’s a couple of runners behind him, in blue.

Ian and I were there, too, urging Marysia on. A Tuscaloosa News photographer caught him. He didn’t make the print edition, but the online slideshow features him. The caption reads:

04-26-08 — Tuscaloosa, Ala — Ian Butler, 4, waits with his father, not pictured, in the rain as his mother runs in the Mayor’s Cup 5K race in downtown Tuscaloosa Saturday, April 26, 2008. (Dusty Compton / Tuscaloosa News)

So, I’m the only one in our family who is “not pictured”! Well, at least my legs made the cut.

(Please note the Brown crest on the umbrella. In deo speramus, man! Ian is also wearing a “Bama” t-shirt so he’s also representing for UA.)