Saturday, November 15, 2014

Georgia/Tennessee All Girls Weekend 2014

 Mike and I went to Fort Valley to spend some time with Mom and Dad.  We relaxed a lot. Here is a picture of Mike sleeping in front of the TV.  We did pick up pecans while there, and Mike and Dad were on their own for a few days while Mom, Donna and I traveled up to Tennessee for a little fun.
 Above.  The ONLY picture I got of all of us together!  After Sunday dinner. 

 Mike picking up pecans on the property.  He picked up a lot in the little bit of time he was there. And the trees are still dropping.  If you're in the neighborhood, drop on by and pick up a 5 gallon bucket or two from off the ground!  I know Dad would appreciate the help. They have really cool rolling basket pecan-picker-uppers.

Off to Tennessee on Monday, November 10.

Look Out Mountain Incline Railway.

 A view of Chattanooga above, and zoomed in (below) with views of the river and oh, so many gorgeous trees all over the place.  This day was a bit hazy, but it was so mild and pretty.
 Large, gorgeous homes on the top of Lookout Mountain just outside of Chattanooga.  Many of them hung right over the edge of the rocky bluffs on the top.  But if you do a google maps search, there are LOTS of streets and lots homes all over the mountain. We saw but a few.
 A colonial-style one is hiding behind the magnolia tree. It's back was on the cliff.

Civil War sites and history.
 Point Park gates at the end of the street. National Park service runs it, and I didn't have time to go in, but below are photos I snapped while standing at the gate area.  Large obelisk, lots of trees and pretty views.

 Can you see the Incline Railway train car parked at the station (below)?  I think they said it was a 76 degree angle, or some such large number. It's steep, that's for sure!

 Then on to Rock City. It was fun to wander through there, but the large amount of steps made it a little difficult for Mom.  Again, so very pretty.  Rocks, paths, trails, plants and trees.  And another spectacular overlook with a waterfall and more.  Very impressive site.

 I kept trying to get the perfect photo of the perfect leaves. One could traipse around in these woods and do it--if you had time and a good camera.  These are out the window or sun roof from a moving vehicle.
Entering the trails at  Rock City.
 Definitely not ADA compliant. But it was really pretty.

 Even the little trash receptacle behind Donna was decked out in rocks.
 I think that says "Gremlin Tunnel" on the sign.  Most people had to duck going through it.  And it wasn't too long. It afforded us a shortcut to the overlook, as the tunnel was under the road that was a more direct path.  We managed to avoid some extra walking.  Mom was really getting worn out!

That was the end of day one. 
We did the Incline Railway and Rock City, plus walked to dinner that evening.  We really did wear poor Mom out!

I'm not going to apologize for all the many, many pretty leave pictures.  The leaves WERE pretty!  My camera and personal photography skills didn't make for many pretty pictures OF them, unfortunately

On Tuesday, November 11 (Veteran's Day), it was a gorgeous, mild day and we went to the river for a lunch cruise.  We were there very early.  We had breakfast in the hotel first, then walked down to the dock.  The dock, or pier, was actually an old LARGE paddle wheel boat that's now the permanent pier.  Our actual river boat was moored behind it, but it was plenty large and roomy for the crowds of people that were on it.  It's the slow season, so there were no crowds.
 Above is the river view out our hotel room.  Donna enjoyed the balcony in the mornings.
 Waiting for our ship to come in. ha.
 "Southern Belle"
 Just a view from the dock/boat.  Other tour boats, a really nice river walk that runs for 8 miles along downtown Chattanooga, you can see the aquarium roof-lines.  They have a lot of bridges, too. One is a pedestrian bridge!
 See this little traffic sign (above)?  It's on one of the major bridges. It's a busy traffic bridge with interstate traffic on it. The sign was over on the far right, indicating that drivers should shift to the .... right? Um, that would lead right off the bridge, folks!  Ker-splash for the drivers who minded THAT lane-change sign. ha. It's well over 60 feet down to the water.
 Above.  That's where the traffic sign is waaaay up on the bridge.  We waited on our boat for food to be served and watched the practicing police men (it was their SWAT team, according to our MC) on their little boat doing maneuvers around the bridge supports and our boat. We watched a barge being unloaded ever-so-slowly, too.

 After eating below deck, we headed up to the top and stayed there the remainder of the cruise.  I did listen to a few of the civil war stories one of the guides was sharing.  And I learned neat facts about the boat, the river, the industry, real estate, etc.  All kinds of things!  Fun time. I'm so glad it wasn't crowded.

 "Hogwarts" of the Tennessee River.  I don't recall the name of this private school.
 Our captain said he was "very stressed" and very busy.  With is feet propped up on the control panel, and anyone is invited to come up and visit with him in the cabin.  Hmmm. Well, it was a calm day for sure.
 Cement plant. It's really really tall!

Hills, bluffs, trees, houses.  Turtles sunning on logs by the shore, great blue herons flying by, warm and mild day with no wind.  Perfect day for a river cruise!!
We had appetizers for dinner and ice cream for dessert that night.  Donna's nice to humor me that way. :-)

End of day two's activities.

Wednesday.  November 12.

Shuttle Ride (it's Electric!) to the Chattanooga Choo Choo and across the River to the North Shore shopping area. We were able to see lots of the town by just being on the free shuttle buses, but there is still plenty left to see and do that I would love to go back for!

Ruby Falls.  It's an underground waterfall.  They have it  displayed with lights and music.  Eh.  It's very deep underground--over a thousand feet in a cavern. It's supposedly IMMENSE; however, I've been to Marvel Cave and others in Missouri. It's not so big.  The elevator ride made my ears pop, and I'm so glad to not have to climb out via stairs.  Nice formations in the cave on the way to the waterfall, too.

 Chattanooga Choo Choo. this is where we had breakfast on Wednesday morning. We were practically the ONLY people around. There was a huge model train set up in one area,

 lots of Christmas displays, vaulted ceilings and lots of glass.

 There are several converted train cars that you can rent as hotel rooms. It was really cool to be able to see those!

 And there are gardens and gazebos and fountains and roses. It was so very cold that morning!  Brrrr. They were putting away the boston ferns from the courtyard area in anticipation of the coming freeze.

 Oh, and there was lots of shopping places,too, but nothing much was open. We were early, and it is not peak season.

 I did take a photo of this really pretty cotton boll wreath.  It was in the gift/antique shop that WAS open.  We went to the Choo Choo first, Walgreens next, and Ruby Falls on our way out of town. I think.

Ate Lunch at Kennessee University. Interesting. See Donna's blog for links for more information on that.

And then I was off to my conference in Atlanta.  Maybe I'll blog about that some other time.
Happy November!

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