Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chattanooga Day 6 - Rock City

Our final day in Chattanooga, we headed back to the Terminal Brewhouse because I had to have one more awesome root beer float.  Then we hit up some antique stores and the habitat for humanity re-store where we found some random house stuff and a very cool frame that I'm sure will show up in a future post.  After that we headed on to Rock City.  Rock City is one of Tim's clients and they comped us some tickets - THANK YOU ROCK CITY!  We had so much fun.

Rocky the Gnome - their mascot

This was one of the neatest places I've been.  Even though it was outside, I was so comfortable because it was shady and cool.  It was so serene.  It felt like a different world.

Gnome Valley

There are gnomes everywhere at Rock City.  It is quite entertaining.  While in Chattanooga, we found a coupon for 75% off of the gnome of the month.  So OF COURSE we had to get one.

Us in front of Mushroom Rock

Flowers growing in the rocks

They had signs with quotes all throughout the park

View from the top

You can see seven different states from the top of Rock City

You can't read the sign above my head, but it reads "Fat Man Squeeze".  Yes, the pregnant lady made it through.

More gnomes :)
After lunch at Tony's, we headed home.  The trip was awesome!  I highly recommend Chattanooga for a vacation spot.  And the 2 or so hour ride home was a perk as well.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chattanooga Day 5 - Cloudland Canyon

We headed back into Georgia for part of the trip because we have always wanted to go to Cloudland Canyon and since we were so close, we just had to go.  I had planned a full day of hiking, fishing, disc golf, etc.  I woke up that morning feeling pretty icky.  And after the drive through the mountains (a drive that would make anyone nauseous but especially a pregnant lady), I was feeling extra icky.  So we found the only Asian restaurant around for miles (Asian food is my comfort food when I'm sick), and nursed my queasy tummy back to almost normal, and headed on.  We finally made it to Cloudland Canyon and ventured out to the disc golf course.  We had anticipated the course to go through the woods and therefore be very shady... but unfortunately it went beside the woods and was very much in the blazing sun.

Several holes in, we had a little bit of a set-back...that I managed to capture on my phone :D  That is Tim, staring at his frisbee...stuck way up in the tree.

"Oh frisbee, please come down"

Bright green frisbee, top right of the picture, stuck really well

Solution: throw another frisbee at frisbee stuck in the tree

It felt like a good 30 mins (but probably wasn't) and took several exhausting attempts at throwing sticks, rocks, and a frisbee at the frisbee stuck in the tree, but he did finally get it down.  However, one strong throw on the very next hole... sent the same green (a.k.a. same color as everything around us) frisbee into the very, very dense woods... and despite our searching...was gone forever.  

At this point, about half way through the course, the blazing sun got the better of me, and we just had to quit.  We got cooled off in the little park store where we replaced our frisbee - with a brightly colored on that was NOT green.  We found a very short hike on the map that lead to an overlook, and headed out there... only to find that the scenic overlook that was advertised to be simply fabulous...

...was not that much different from the bog behind our apartments in college.  I laughed because of the ridiculousness of it all.  On the hike back UP the hill from the "scenic overlook", I came up with several names for it including "the most disappointing overlook ever" and "beautiful overlook - psych!" just to amuse myself.

Even though we were completely worn out, we did manage to get to this...

...now isn't this more like it?...

The pictures really don't do it justice.  We have plans to go back one day and do some serious hiking and camping... when I'm not pregnant.  

We headed back to Chattanooga for dinner at 212 Market Restaurant and finished the day at Rembrandt's (the coffee/dessert place we frequented several times and would be the cause of me gaining some major poundage if we had one near us at home).

212 Market Restaurant - courtesy of google images

Rembrandt's - courtesy of google images

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chattanooga Day 4 - Aquarium

We started Day 4 off with mass at the Minor Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.  This picture, courtesy of google images, does not do it justice.  It was beautiful.  Although, in my humble opinion, not as beautiful as the cathedral in Savannah where we got married, but I might be biased.  Both churches remind you of God's glory and that's the point.  

The Minor Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Chattanooga

For lunch, we ventured over to Tony's in the Art District (the art district quickly became one of my favorite parts of Chattanooga.  Highly recommend for the food and the view).

Tony's Pasta Shop & Trattoria - picture courtesy of google images
We spent most of the rest of the day exploring the Tennessee Aquarium and attended an IMAX movie.  Here a just a few of the awesome pictures Tim took.

Me and the crab were down - yo

Jelly fish

Sea horse


And penguins of course!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chattanooga Day 3 - Kayaking

We started Day 3 off with kayaking... for those of you who just panicked a little thinking I lost my mind kayaking while pregnant...I did a lot of research, and the car ride up there was bumpier than the river we were on.  There were no rapids.  

I had called around to a few places and finally landed on .... I'm not mentioning the company's name because I don't recommend using them, and I'm about to tell you a less than flattering story about them.  A lot of places were closed for Memorial Day weekend.  Long story coming, skip ahead if you just want to look at pictures.  Sorry, no pictures of kayaking, didn't figure it would be a good idea to bring our camera or iPhone to take pictures while in a kayak.

I got the impression that this kayaking business was "informal" while I was on the phone with Mr. Ray, the head of the operation.  He said just call and let them know an hour before we were headed out there and there would be a college student waiting for us.  

The craziness started before we got there...I misread the directions, and got us incredibly lost (have you seen the title of our blog yet?)...like an hour late lost...oh, but!  The kayaking place is 100 yards (literally) from the time zone change...so we actually arrived on time, in spite of being an hour late...you get it?  They didn't care either way.  

We drove past the place a couple times before we realized that they were working out of a shabby apartment complex office....with no signs anywhere to be found to help the people driving out into the middle of nowhere to find their operation.

Mr. Ray came out as we pulled up and directed us to drive down the little driveway where we ended up on a river front lawn with a college kid sitting behind a folding table with a few kayaks beside him.  Realizing that there was no one going with us (the places I've been before had guides, or at least a big enough operation where you could just follow other groups down the river to the end point), I tried to question the kid about how long the trip was, and what would be at the end as the indicator for us to pull out.  He mumbled something about a rope swing, and to call when we get there and they'll come get us.  Luckily Mr. Ray had waterproof bags for us to bring one of our phones with us.  They plopped us in the water and off we went.  We saw a rope swing but considering we had been on the river for about 5 minutes, I was pretty sure that wasn't the end.  

The river and surrounding mountains were beautiful.  It was so peaceful, just the two of us, and made us feel very small.  Again, sorry no pictures.  There were very few people out on boats.  Just about the time I was ready to be done, we saw a sandbar which a volleyball net (which Mr. Ray had mentioned to Tim), and pulled up there and gave them a call.  I heard mumbling about "be there in 3 hours" and I was going to lose it (pregnant + tired  exhausted + hungry = grumpy lady), but then I heard we'll see you in 15 minutes.  

Mr. Ray pulled up in a boat that I'd typically seen used for water skiing with a posse of two other men and a woman.  I was thinking they were coming in a vehicle on the road where we pulled out that would accommodate us and the kayaks.  We crammed into the front of the boat while they tied the kayaks to the back of the boat.  I was feeling kind of woozy at this point, having been out in the sun for a few hours and had gone through all of my snacks.  I just kept telling myself that it was only 15 or so minutes back.  Mr. Ray takes off with the kayaks flying behind the boat over the rapids and his posse yelling at him to take it easy cause I'm pregnant, and within 5 minutes, a kayak broke loose.  The force from the rapids yanked the handle clean out of the kayak.  So we turn around several times to catch the kayak, because Mr. Ray is not a patient man and instead of going by carefully the first time so they can grab the kayak, he blazes by it several times, with his friends trying to catch the darn thing.  They finally got it tied back on and we proceeded...

...for two more minutes...before the handle snapped off again...I was thinking "duh, what made you think it would hold this time".  And again after swinging around a few times they pulled the kayak onto the boat so that one of his poor friends looked like he was being crushed by the kayak in his seat.  Meanwhile, I stuck my shirt in the water and put it back on to try to keep cool, and was feeling incredibly sunburned at this point.  And on we went...until...

...SNAP!...the rope snapped and the other kayak was left behind...circle, circle, circle...grab kayak...take off... rope gets caught in the engine...several more minutes of them trying to get it out of the engine...take off again...guy almost falls out of the boat...kayak comes off again...now both kayaks have been pulled into the boat...oh wait...there is a piece of cushion from one of the kayaks that came out and is floating...circle, circle, circle around...grabbed cushion piece...Mr. Ray made some comment about the boat they usually bring to pick people up (so why didn't you bring THAT boat this time).  We finally made it back to shore, and scrambled off to find the hungry pregnant lady some food.

Thanks to the Urbanspoon app on my iPhone, we found Petunia's Silver Jalapeño.  The name alone makes you want to check it out doesn't it?

Petunia's Silver Jalapeño 

After some BBQ and fish tacos, we were much perkier and ventured into the little market next to the Silver Jalapeño. 

We bought some strawberries to munch on and chatted with some colorful locals.  

After some much need rest at the hotel, we headed back out for dinner and ended up at FoodWorks

Shrimp and Grits...yum
We ventured to the art district and walked around the outside of the Hunter Museum of 'Merican Art (the "A" was missing from the sign).  

Me in front of one of the bridges in Chattanooga

I don't know what he's doing but it made me laugh

This strip is in the art district and holds one of my favorite restaurants and coffee/dessert places we went to.
The cookie is almost as big as my hand

The cookie was a very good finish to a long but fun day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chattanooga Day 2 - Food and Music

Day two was a very low key day of bumming around Chattanooga and partaking of local cuisine.  We hit up "Fresh On Fridays" in downtown, which "highlights fresh made offerings from local restaurants, food trucks, artisans and farmers".  Despite the great food available, there was a line out the door at Subway...silly people.  We ended up with asian tacos and homemade soda. 

Food truck - picture courtesy of google images

There is lots of cool art sprinkled throughout Chattanooga.  

The only remaining part of the First Methodist Church building. 

30 weeks and resting by the church steeple while the Hubs plays with the camera.

The Chattanoogan hotel was featuring a low country boil dinner special for Memorial Day.  After eating Sprout's weight in crab legs we headed back to Market Street to see a free concert that is part of Chattanooga's Nightfall Concert Series.  We saw the band Elliott Brood, a bluegrass rock band from Toronto.

This was the best picture I could get.  We need a zoom lens.
I was playing with the camera and said "smile for me" and this was the face I got :)

We headed toward the baseball stadium with the promise of fireworks after the game, but when we got over there, the game was not close to being done and we were worn out.  No fireworks for us.  :(  But it was a great day of food and free stuff.