Sonali's brother, Gauti, transferred to a job in the United States in March of 2015. After a few plans that fell through, we were finally able to meet up in the States when they flew east to visit us over the Christmas break.

As is typical out of town family visits most of the time was spent playing with Mira and visiting the Atlanta families. However, we did get a little time to visit a few local(ish) highlights: the Atlanta Botanical Garden's Christmas Light show and Chattanooga, TN.

Mira and Sonali at the lighted tree

The Garden's light show is one of the best attractions during the holiday season. It's just about cold enough to feel like winter, but since it's Atlanta, it's not really winter. Then beyond the light installations, you have the lights of the city forming the backdrop.

Gauti and Aparna with the musical lightshow and the Atlanta Skyline

This is the second year we went to this event. Mira is old enough to run through the park, but not old enough to go the whole way without getting tired. This year, we tackled it from the opposite direction. I can't believe we missed the bioluminescence installation in the green house. It took everyone's breath away.

Bioluminescence in the greenhouse

One of Mira's favorites this year was the flying bugs.

Grasshopper light fixture

We were traveling with tourists, so we had to do the corny tourist thing and pose for pictures in front of the "Kiss Me" sign. We were starting to reach the end of the night for Mira and she really wasn't having any of it, though we did manage to sneak one in.

Sonali and I sneaking a kiss with Mira

The still-pretty-newly-weds had no such issue.

Gauti and Aparna in front of the kiss sign

Gauti and Aparna in the main walkway

We were operating on a strict time-limit, so we were rushed but we did get to see the rest of the park. The Earth Goddess is still one of my favorite installations.

The Earth Goddess lit up in blue

One tired baby in front of the main entrance

Our other outing was a day trip to Chattanooga, TN which is about an hour and a half north of Atlanta. One of the big attractions is their aquarium. Unlike the Georgia Aquarium, the Chattanooga one focuses more on river ecology and fish. It's also super kid friendly. They had a lot of exhibits at the height of little children. Mira loved that she was able to see things without having to be held.

Mira in front of a fish tank at the aquarium

We did have one accident. Mira, deciding to be her usual far to exuberant self, decided to run into a revolving door as it was closing and took a blow to the head. She was fine a few minutes later (further re-enforcing the theory that she doesn't feel pain), but was far more cautious around the doors the rest of the day.

We capped off the day by visiting the Brewhaus, a cute little German Restaurant on the river.

Enjoying a meal at the Brewhaus