Pardon Me Boy…

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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!

Meanwhile….

 

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It was defenitely tasty!

And I found a buddy outside the Mellow Mushroom on our walk.

 

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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.

 

 

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Why do I feel I’m just getting nowhere?

 

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Oh dear, maybe we should have spiffed up for guests..

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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!

 

 

 

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This? Oh just a gratuitous crane (of sorts) for my friend Dan.  Happy Wednesday!

 

 

Around Dusk/#SoCs

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Roundup went well. Nothin’ left but the numbing. Wish there was someone soft and sweet to keep me company, to erase the red dirt and sweaty leather from my senses. Whiskey, Ole girl, let’s dance the night away.

 

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“How much longer, Mother? I want to see Grandfather. It’s so cold here!”

”Get back inside and wrap yourself in a blanket. Tomorrow, child. Perhaps tomorrow we find them. I’ll make a fire to warm you, but you must stay off the ground!”

This post inspired by Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt, ‘round’. For details and more great posts, visit Linda’s site. These images were taken at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA

Happy #Free48 everyone!

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Culture in Cartersville/#Free48

Well, it’s been a couple of weekends since we had a real adventure, so I bribed the Navigator with a bacon and eggs breakfast to go with me to Cartersville to the Booth Western Art Museum located in Cartersville, Georgia.  Someone who works there recently told me about it and kindly gave me a complimentary pass. If you go to the link, there is a nice virtual video that is a perfect short version walk through of most of the interior.

From the official website:

Open since 2003 and located just north of Atlanta along I-75, the Booth is the largest museum of its kind in the Southeast and an Affiliate to the Smithsonian Institution. At 120,000 square feet, the Booth is an architectural wonder – designed to resemble a modern pueblo and constructed from Bulgarian limestone. The Booth’s permanent collection of Western art, Presidential portraits and letters, and Civil War art allows visitors to “See America’s Story” – the land, people, struggles, dreams, and legends – in paintings, sculpture, photography and artifacts. Sagebrush Ranch is an award-winning, hands-on experience and interactive children’s gallery.

Booth Museum was started by a family who call Cartersville home and have been Western art collectors for many years. It was their wish to share their art with the community, particularly young people who might not otherwise be exposed to art. The Museum was named for Sam Booth, a good friend and mentor to the founders of the Museum. Booth Western Art Museum is operated under the umbrella of Georgia Museums, Inc., which also includes Tellus Science Museum, Bartow History Museum and, coming soon, Savoy Automobile Museum.

While the affiliate museums are in close proximity to the Booth, we spent so much time enjoying the exhibits there, visiting another would not have been possible in one day for us.  There simply is so much within the museum walls to appreciate, from traditional Western lore, historical rendition and education, to contemporary interpretation and photography of nature, blues and country legends and fans. There is a wonderful collection of Indigenous Sculptures, most based on famous paintings by George Caitlin.

 

 

The very first thing we saw was this, Dan Antion.

The paintings were truly amazing in all forms of expression, from those that looked like photographs to the modern art interpretations.  There are too many to share individually here but below I will post a slide show of my favorites, most of which are sculptures.  This giant sculpture was perhaps my favorite in the museum.  From the front it is moving and impressive….

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But when I stepped behind the sculpture and saw the back of the figure, I was overcome with emotion.

Later, when we stepped outside to view the panorama of sculptures in the rear of the museum, I looked up and was struck by the stark symbiotic nature of the image I saw.

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I will also feature separately my second favorite sculpture, The Eagle Catcher.  The detail is amazing and the effect of living action is perfect.

 

 

I have very mixed emotions when viewing the history of the Civil War.  I value the dedication of the human beings who fight for what they believe in while also feeling it is the greatest shame of our country to have fought amongst ourselves so much as to go to war, often killing their own neighbors’ children and one another.  That we valued controlling lives more than preserving life is our greatest shame. I fear the same sentiment rising within the people again and it breaks my heart.  History can’t be erased but it should be learned from.

I did find these paintings to be amusing, being from Louisiana.  Leave it to those guys to add flair to the fight.

 

 

 

I loved this museum and recommend to add it to your list if you have the time.  Your children should experience it as well. There is an interactive ranch room on the ground floor designed just for the little ones.  No adult is allowed in it without having a child in accompaniment as well. I hope you enjoy the slide show and the music.  Clicking on any photo will produce the full size render and holding over any photo will show any captions I added.  Hope you are all enjoying your #Free48! See something new, have a happy thought, be free.

 

 

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Then we headed to Acworth for some seafood at Henry’s Lousisiana Grill. More on that excursion later.

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The Messengers/#Free48

Today was such a beautiful day I had the urge to get out and explore, take photos and just get lost in history.  At first I thought of a church tour but there are just too many here.  The Georgia skyline is literally dotted with steeples. So, I began checking historic churches, which led to historic buildings, then narrowing it down to nearby cities and finally I hit a winner.

 

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This visit was not about patriotism or politics but about my love of cemeteries.  There is so much history written on grave stones and in the case today, much more that was left unsaid on the unmarked stones of the soldiers who fell in the battles around the cemetery.  So many were never identified and lay in graves there, acknowledged in the only way humanly possible without the  modern science techniques we use today.

Another thing that I love to see when I visit a cemetery is the birds that live there, so often lighting on the head stones and posing there or squawking until I take a photo. Many indigenous peoples have beliefs that include birds being messengers from the Spirit world. I like to feel this is true.  If it is, then there were a lot of messages coming at me today.  Here are the best of the images I got while we walked around.

 

 

If you hold your finger on the bottom of the photo you may find a caption!

It was getting late, so we headed over to the second stop on our excursion.  This one should catch your eye, Dan. I think it was your kind of place.  😉

 

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I have more photos but not enough time to edit and put them in this post. I also feel this might be one of the best put together museums that I have ever visited.  It truly warrants its own post when I have the chance.  Meanwhile, here are a few of the highlights.  If you are ever in Kennesaw, and if you love trains or history, be sure to stop by.

 

 

Then we were hungry so headed in search of food. We found a new little place called The Nest and grabbed some cold beer and Barbecue.  I had mine in tacos.  I hope your Free48 was beautiful.  Got a busy week ahead so you may not hear from me for a bit.  Have a great week and stay cool, in all ways. 😎

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