Funny stories... tales from the road... life with us.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Vacation! Part One: Gatlinburg and Chattanooga

Rob and I embarked on an 11-day trip to the hot, humid south two weeks ago today. We had such a great time, and this was our first road trip together. We managed not to get too fed up with one another in the car. ;)

Both Rob and I were feeling pretty crummy when we left. I'd been diagnosed with bronchitis and had been on the z-pack for two days, and Rob had been given a diagnosis of a viral infection. We were a fit pair.

Here's a run down of our adventures. I'll post some photos later.

Day 1: Gatlinburg, Tenn. -- This was our first stop, about 7 1/2 hours from home. We'd thought about driving the whole way to Chattanooga, but Gatlinburg is fun so we decided to stop there, and then take the long way the next day on to Chattanooga. If you haven't been there, Gatlinburg is a pretty honky-tonk town. After we checked in to our hotel, we just meandered up and down the strip, going in shops and looking around. Rob even found about five geocaches, right in the heart of the town!

We had dinner at the Smoky Mountain Brewery, which turned out to be yummy. We'd planned to go to a pancake place that had been on the Food Network, but they weren't open for dinner. We shared an appetizer of fried mushrooms with spicy brown mustard and a pizza. Rob enjoyed a sampler of five different beers (his only of the trip, since he started antibiotics the next day), and I had my first few glasses of what was an uncountable number of sweet teas.

After dinner, we rode the Sky Lift to the top of the mountain and enjoyed the view, although it was a bit weird at the top with an ice skating rink, rides, etc. We then headed back to the hotel so we could get up early and move on out towards Chattanooga.

Days 2-4: Chattanooga, Tenn. -- We headed out from Gatlinburg around 8:30 a.m. on Friday and decided to go the long way through the Smoky Mountains. The drive was beautiful!

We arrived in Chattanooga, checked in to our hotel and decided to head out on foot to see some of the downtown area. We went to the Chattanooga Choo Choo and were walking around when Rob decided to blow-out his ear. He did like people do when they are trying to get their ear to pop (hold your breath and blow out), but his ear made this tire-leaking sound that I heard about 10 feet away. Yikes! After walking around for a bit more, we decided to call his doctor. She finally called us back and called in a prescription for him at a pharmacy we'd found. So, there goes the end of Rob's great southern beer adventure. ;)

We met my college girlfriend Stephanie, her husband Eric and their two sweet little girls for dinner at Sticky Fingers. Yum! I love good bbq, and good company makes it even better.

The next day (Saturday), we headed out to Signal Mountain, which is where my Mom grew up. We drove all over the mountain, saw my grandparents' house, the church, the elementary school, etc. Then we went for a visit with my Aunt Pauline, my grandmother's dear friend who is 90 and still just as I remembered her. We stayed about an hour and loved talking with her! We made plans to meet her at church on Sunday.

After coming down off of the mountain via the very curvy W Road, we headed to Lookout Mountain. We'd planned to ride the incline, and just as I bought the tickets, the guy hung up a sign that said "Wait: 1 hour". What?!? Rob and I were standing there, debating what to do, when a security guard walked up and told us to come back after 6 p.m. He said there's hardly ever a line then, and it's open until 8 p.m., so we'd be fine. Good tip!

So we headed on to Rock City Gardens, where I hadn't been in ages, and meandered through the rocks. We saw a bird show called "Save Our American Raptors" and had giant birds flying all over the place around us.

After Rock City, we headed back downtown and walked across the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, then ate dinner in the Bluff View Arts District. It was so pretty up there, and we found a great restaurant to crash and enjoy dinner. We were wiped out!

We headed back to the incline, and the guard was right! The line was super short and we rode up and then back down. It was probably more fun when I was four, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. :)

Sunday, we went to church on Signal Mountain with Aunt Pauline and saw several other old family friends. After church, we headed out to Atlanta.

... more vacation posts coming soon!


Jenny said...

Seriously? Your Mom grew up on Signal Mountain? I did too!! I lived there until my senior year in high school when we finally moved into Chattanooga. Loved hearing about Chattanoogs and Gatlinburg. It was like a walk down memory lane for me. I hope you guys are feeling better now!!!