Well, we never saw the Chattanooga Choo Choo. In fact we didn’t even get to the train “museum” on our recent visit to the lovely little city of Chattanooga, for online research revealed the museum was not your typical garden variety museum. No, it is only a participatory museum, meaning that if you aren’t prepared to pay for one of the scheduled train journeys, you will be missing the history lesson.
I will admit the various train adventures look fun, but I was disappointed there was no museum, historically, to speak of. But…I digress.
If you want to schedule a rolling tour or just a really fun day of seeing some of the beautiful countryside, see the schedules and details Here
We did, however, find a great hotel room with a terrific view of downtown Chattanooga with easy access to the venues there, including everything from the AT&T stadium to the Tennessee Aquarium and much more.
The first thing we did was to drop off our bags and go out for food. We weren’t disappointed choosing Big River Grille and Brewing Pub. The menu is quite extensive, which can be a caution signal in many cases; but in this instance both of us were very pleased with our choices. Hubby loved his Mango Habanero Chicken, and I finally found a pizza I could sink my teeth into. The craft beers were great and well worth the very reasonable prices. We would definitely recommend this restaurant and hope to return there on our next trip.
The Aquarium is to the right
This room was perfectly located
Craft beers. Mine was a Stout Porter, aged in whiskey barrels. It was a roller coaster od wonderful flavors!
Simple but delicious Pepperoni Pizza. So hard to get a good pie these days
View from our balcony
View downhill from the Bluff Art district
Ahhhhhh….away from home
Mango Habanero Chicken was a hit for Hubby
And then there was coffee and dessert. The ‘short walk’ turned out to be a bit farther than we thought, braced against a 30 degree temperature with intermittent drizzle; but Rembrandt’s was the most recommended coffee house in the area, so we did our part as brave tourists and made the uphill climb to the Bluff Art District to check it out. Except for mediocre service, we loved the place. The coffee and Hubby’s eclair were really good. We were so ready for something hot once we finally made it. On the way up we stopped to walk onto the infamous walking bridge. It has a sad history causing many Chattanooga residents to avoid it altogether, but the view is beautiful.
The walking bridge
View downhill from the Bluff Art district
Mocha cafe and a walnut brownie were my choices. Above top photo is hubby’s Chocolate Chocolate eclair.
We actually spent the rest of our evening curled up in the room, warm and cozy, enjoying the view and staying dry. My original hope was to get to Lookout Mountain/Ruby Falls or to Rock City on the way home.
Sadly, the sun on Monday arrived late, leaving things damp and cold still, so we settled on a visit to the Aquarium, just across the street from our hotel. First, though, we went in search of breakfast. That led us to a nice venue called Pucket’s, a bar and grill that, when not serving up dinner and music, makes a pretty decent breakfast and nice cup of coffee. We loved the coffee cup so much we had to buy one to bring home! The restaurant has a train theme and great doors, so look out Thursday, here I come!
It was defenitely tasty!
And I found a buddy outside the Mellow Mushroom on our walk.
Okay, okay, the main event! The Tennessee Aquarium, though not as extensive as one might think, was well put together, with a friendly staff and all the habitats very beautiful and well kept. I particularly liked that the local freshwater wildlife was well represented. My favorites? Oh, besides the turtles, of course! The butterfly garden and the penguins are wonderful! So adorable. Here are a few shots from our visit.
Why do I feel I’m just getting nowhere?
Oh dear, maybe we should have spiffed up for guests..
Hellooooo….wanna come in for a little swim?
I also wanted to visit the Hunter museum but it was just a bit late for the three building adventure. Maybe next time. Meanwhile, we enjoyed the beautiful sculptures that are in front of the museum which is located high above the Tennessee River and houses works from key American artists. I’m already eager to go back! Thanks Chattanooga!
The Hunter Museum
This sculpture dating back to the early 1900’s was one of half a dozen placed around the museum.
This? Oh just a gratuitous crane (of sorts) for my friend Dan. Happy Wednesday!
Well, it turned out to be a productive and fine #Free48 with some good food, a mini adventure, a new business prospect and even tequila shots! Rather than explain it all in boring narrative, why don’t I just share some photos with you? For details, hold your finger on the photo or tap for captions.
We managed to find a parking space after driving around in the garage for thirty minutes
I love the Atlanta skyline from any direction
This one is for you, Dan.
This is a cool old power control panel they left i side the Ponce Market. It used to be the Sears distribution center.
This building intrigues me. There is some amazing architecture in the city!
After driving around the parking garage for thirty minutes at Ponce City Market I was ready to throw in the towel when suddenly a spot opened up and we were in! Sadly, the market was so crowded that we headed right out to get onto the BeltLine…..buuuut….we couldn’t. There was a wine festival going on at the entrance and we didn’t want to attend. It was crazy. We went back inside the market to find a beer and maybe a bite of food but there was just so much chaos. We agreed to head home and grab something closer to our neck of the woods. The drive was very cool though, allowing me to get some more shots of the city. There is some fantastically original grafitti around Atlanta. These are just a couple of the random murals I saw during our drive.
We agreed on Zama Mexican, one of our favorite local spots and were both ready for a cold one and some food!
A chilly guava frozen margarita for me (only because the server misunderstood my ordering a margarita with a beer topper. This was so yummy though. Hubs had a Fos Equis.
Triple emanadas with cilantro lime dressing and that soicy sauce were perfect for me!
Yeah, we had Heradura shots which were the evening’s special. Twice. 😏
I couldn’t let the evening go by without dessert. So I whipped up this brownie for two. Delish!
I loved this painting on the wall.
I couldn’t resist giving a “tickle” to one of the restaurant’s door sentries. I liked his necklace!
I will someday write about my nightmares dreams last night but right now they are too fresh. No more Heradura shots for Cheryl. Have you ever been attacked by a spider riding a cricket!? 😱
Today hubby firmed up the details for our spot in the antique store. Now I am praying my jewelry is recieved well and that the things we put there wll sell. There is a festival coming up in two weeks. Wish me luck! I have been working pretty much non stop getting things ready.
What do you think of the collection? These aren’t all the best possible shots but you can get the idea what I will be presenting. And I am still working.
There’s a lot of hours opin there
One of my custom hammered metal designs
No two pieces are ever alike!
My son saupys this one is very Game of Thrones-ish
These are some of my favorites. I actually have a few of my own that I love wearing!
And the cherry on top of it all? I made homemade strawberry ice cream. It turned out so delicious. But, sadly, there were only strawberries to go on top. 🙊And drizzled chocolate. And whipped cream! The best part about being the cook? I get to scrape the Cuisinart freezer bucket. What a preview.
Let’s get out there and make it a great week. Remember, we can all use a little help from our friends, no matter how little they seem.
Many of you may recognize the phrase in my title, especially if you are an avid hiker, jogger or cyclist, like my blogging friend Mary.
It makes a lot of sense, especially considering many people are lost in their thoughts, listening to music or perhaps even enamoured of the beautiful world around them as they walk or run…or push strollers, wheelchairs and try to reign in pets.
It was a beautiful trail
We had to stand and wait about ten minutes to get a shot without half a dozen people. I love people. I work with them every day. But people out of doors can be, well, very non civilized at times.
The thing I take issue with is that, in my recent experiences, these cyclists often shout this phrase more like a command than an alert, they never are prepared to stop on a dime, nor do they make any attempt to ever slow down. It is as if the world might stop and spin the other way if anyone or anything broke their cycling stride.
I’m sorry. That is just rude. To make matters worse they fly by within a hair’s breath of you. (I swear I can smell their breath too). Seriously, what if one of them should be coming up “on the left” of a seriously deaf person.
This was rare
We recently hiked a beautiful paved trail near where we live, but I doubt we will go back. There was not a five minute stretch that we weren’t having to climb to the grassy curb due to convoys of cyclists, all shouting,
“On your left!”
It’s kind of hard to stay in a Zen Zone when you fear for your safety. What say you about this dilemma, Mary?
I had a stellar weekend. Really, it was all I wanted and came right on the heels of a great week. Was work perfect? Hardly. But I realize the things that mean the most to me are those little gold flecks that show up while I am sifting through life’s dirt and rock to make a living, with or without striking it rich. Things like friends that pass through town and spend an evening relaxing and laughing over some great food. Things like meals I neither have to cook nor clean up after. Things like preparing a simple, tasty lunch with my hubby and enjoying it outdoors.
I‘ve made my mind up about one thing since returning to full time work after our brief ‘retirement’ in Costa Rica.
I cannot go back to living for the weekend.
My time in paradise taught me that each day is meant to be lived entirely-whether brilliant, beautiful, boring or back breaking. When we power through our days with blinders on working toward those precious moments we feel belong to us alone, shining like a trophy on a folding table at the finish line, several things happen.
Number one, we rush through our moments, trying to ignore the difficult ones while our eyes are glued to the checkered flag waiting to mark the end of another gruelling race.
Secondly, we build ourseleves up for something stupendous to serve as our reward for a job well done, for putting up with so much nonsense for yet another week and for perservering through life’s muck and mire to get to that place in the sun we call our weekend. And then it rains. 🙄
Thirdly, we age while we live our lives in chunks of time. Week to weekend, holiday to holiday. Vacation to vacation. Another year closer to retirement. Talk about a hamster wheel!
While I can’t always (though I try like hell) improve the quality of a nightmarish work day, I can at least step outside of myself to be objective.
This too shall pass
I can’t change the attitudes of anyone around me, so I must be content to do what I feel is healthy for me and hope that someone else might find value in my outlook, might learn to laugh instead of complain about the small stuff, and so a ripple effect is begun.
Sooooo. I have made the decision to no longer live for the weekend; and the first step in this new mental directive is to change the way I view the mini repreive I get every 120 hours.
Henceforth the afore mentioned ‘weekend’ will be now be referred to as the Free 48. The Glorious 48 hours that are blank pages in my book of days. What do you think?
I am celebrating this new outlook by sharing my very first Free 48 with you here. It was relaxing, exhilarating, creative, fun, rewarding, loving….did I mention it was really good? Here are a few of the simple, fantastic details.
It started Friday afternoon by grilling shrimp with the hubby and enjoying our meal on the deck under some welcome sunshine.
Then, my ‘book-that-never-came’ from Amazon finally arrived! Yaaaay!! (Yeah, it was sent again with actual shipping info too!) Miracles do happen. This little book is a real treasure. If you haven’t read it I recommend it highly. The simple truth of the Tao spoken through the heart of a lovable bear.
Then, Saturday we got out for an early morning hike. Well, early is relative since my one rule of the Free 48 is no alarm clocks. But we did make it out of the house by ten am. Hubby is in charge of adventure time, finding us new trails, parks and places of interest. This time we hit the Silver Comet Trail, a very scenic and easy to walk paved hiking trail that goes on for miles. We did about three. It was beautiful but had a bit too many bikers for my comfort. (More on this subject on One Liner Wednesday. I’m working to keep my ohhhhmmmmm on here.)LOL.
After our hike we rewarded ourselves with a great Mexican meal and margaritas at our new favorite Mexican place in town. (More on that for Thursday Doors)
Now on to my favorite moment….
Sunday brunch with my youngest at the place we tried to go before. You know….where the awesome bar Eleanor is?
Yes! We finally ate at Muss and Turner’s. And it waaaas good. From the Tropicalia on draft to the pulled smoked pork andwich on an H &F bun, it was all I hoped it would be.
Dusty’s special pork sandwich. Yeah.
But the real gift was the company. Food, no food, we all had a great time catching up!
Oh yeahhhhh…I actually spent an evening working on my latest creative exploration. I have wanted to try my hand at paper bead making for quite awhile. It was such fun! I am only just getting started. 👏🏻🙈
Sooooo…..there you have it. My first Free 48. Can’t wait to gear up again in about….well…..who’s counting anyway? 😉Have a great week friends!
Since I rarely find myself walking among buildings in interesting big cities like our friend Dan , or remember to snap photos when I do, I am often left without new doors to share on Thursday. Still, even when out exploring in nature I come across amazing entrances and natural doorways that I consider worthy submissions. What do you think?
On our most recent adventure in the Chatahoochie River National Recreation Park area, we enjoyed a beautiful hike along the river and into the surrounding hills. This little Eastern Bluebird was in the entrance field to greet us as we began our hike. It was a total surprise and treasure for me since I thought it was a little robin when I took the photo. Hubby said he saw blue and sure enough….
The trail was amazing. I even got some photos of a hawk that was hunting in the woods but have not edited them completely yet. I consider this part of Winter to be our doorway to Spring and it is pretty magnificent!
But, since we need a legitimate ‘door’ for this post I will give you the closest thing I found.
I loved the effect the perspective gave to the bridge supports, like a pathway to the unknown. Beyond the opening one can imagine anything from Gorgon to hidden city of gold. Or just underground city waterworks operations…
I will leave that to your imagination. Mine is already working overtime. 😉 It was a beautiful walk, a wonderful park and someplace we will visit again!
It was the perfect way to end my working weekend, allowing me to slip into another mindset, to let go of critical thinking and drift on the wind that whistled quietly through the trees….
I can’t wait until next time!
This post was brought to you by Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors event.. Stop by his blog for more great doors and follow the little blue amphibian for a link to more doors posts and talented bloggers.