Travel

Southern Road Trip: Chattanooga

Our second stop on this road trip was the Atlanta area, where my aunt, uncle, and cousins live. We did less exploring, and more relaxing. I didn’t even take any pictures! We spent time playing Topgolf for the second year in a row, floating around the pool, and helping them pack a few boxes for their upcoming move. We had such a good time, but I don’t feel that I need to write a blog post about it because our time was personal. Instead, let’s fast forward to our last stop, Chattanooga.

Day One – We left for Chattanooga after breakfast on Friday morning, and as it was the shortest leg of the drive, we were there in about two hours. We checked into our Airbnb located in the North Shore part of town, which has a little bit of a hipster vibe to it. By the time we unloaded our stuff, we were starving for lunch. We made a bee line to Taco Mamacita, which we had read about both in Runner’s World, and in online reviews. When I eat at local restaurants on vacation I want to try something unique, even if the cuisine isn’t native to the area. I decided on the vegetarian jerk tacos, which had sweet plantains, refried black beans, cabbage, a seriously delicious mango salsa, and a jerk sauce. I loved the combination of spicy and sweet, and was really happy to learn that Taco Mamacita also has a location in nearby Nashvegas Nashville. Nick ordered the veggie enchiladas, and we split an order of their chips and roasted tomato salsa. After lunch, we walked off our food babies and wandered through some of the shops along the main street, including Blue Skies, my favorite that we visited. We then headed across the pedestrian bridge (the same from the RW article, if you clicked the link above) and found our way to the Tennessee Aquarium. It lived up to the recommendations we had gotten; my favorite were the otters, but I have a feeling that Nick preferred the alligators or sharks. With a pretty full day behind us, we stayed in after dinner that night.

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Vegetarian jerk tacos and sweet potato fries

Day Two – This was our only full day in Chattanooga. I wanted to start it with a run across the bridge and around the downtown riverwalk, but the low back issues I’d been experiencing were still plaguing me. Instead, a little desperate, I walked into the nearby chiropractic office that I remembered seeing, North Shore Chiropractic & Rehab. They were nice enough to fit me in and I got a much needed adjustment. Rather than risk messing up my treatment, Nick and I decided to forgo the kayaking we had planned. When I called L2 Outside to cancel, they told us the Tennessee River was too low to kayak at the moment anyway. Back to the drawing board, we chose to walk around Stringers Ridge, where we did a quick hike up to “Old Baldy” for a view of downtown. We then again headed downtown and stumbled upon the Chattanooga River Market, where we found birthday gifts for our mothers, who both have mid-August birthdays. After all that, it was time for some ice cream from Clumpie’s; I savored a scoop of espresso chocolate chunk, while Nick had his favorite chocolate peanut butter. Revived with a little bit of sugar, we were up for one last adventure. We hopped in the car and drove up Lookout Mountain, accidentally crossing the Georgia state line before heading back down. The views up there are great, and I remember having a great time at Ruby Falls as a kid. After that, we cleaned up and went to Mass at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. I’ll admit that we then headed back home and took full advantage of the Netflix that came with our Airbnb rental.

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Apparently even iPhone cameras aren’t immune to invading fingers

Day Three – So, speaking of Netflix…we may or may not have woken up early on the last morning of our trip to finish watching the season of White Collar which we had started the day we arrived. We never binge watch anything, so this was a treat, and a relaxing part of our vacation. After that, we headed north, stopping for lunch outside Nashville, and using our favorite route to avoid downtown’s traffic. (Shhhh…you might already know about it, but if you don’t, I can’t say it here or it’ll become congested!) Once near Bowling Green, we left I-65 for the Bluegrass Parkway, and made our way to Nick’s parents house to gather Catniss and Nora before heading home.

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The girls messing around among the luggage

Phew! We packed a lot into one week. I think that’s why, for once, I was ready to be home and get into my normal routine. Don’t worry, though, old habits die hard and already I’m not only planning our trip to California at Christmas, but next summer’s potential vacation as well.

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