day trip: chattanooga.

Lisa, Lyle, and Nate at the Tennessee Aquarium
Yesterday was Nate's birthday! The big 3-0. Nate and I both took the day off, and we day-tripped it down to Chattanooga with Nate's parents. We actually drove down Tuesday night so we could have a full day Wednesday; that was way better than driving down and back in the same day.

We did a whole lot of walking! First stop: the Tennessee Aquarium. Nate and I first visited Chattanooga and the aquarium two years ago for my birthday. You'd think it wouldn't be too busy in the middle of the week, but there were 15 different groups of school kids there on field trips. So, a little chaotic and noisy but they moved through pretty fast so we lingered and enjoyed ourselves.

After the aquarium, we walked to find some lunch. We stopped a local who was walking her dog, and she recommended checking out the Bluffview Art District. We came across a place called Tony's Pasta Shop and it was amazing. I had Chicken Parmesan. Mmm. Their bread is baked fresh next door every day.

Next, we went to the Hunter American Museum of Art. They had a special exhibit from the Smithsonian on African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond. I think my favorite type of art is photography—especially black and whites. To get from the museum back to the aquarium and pedestrian bridge (which we crossed after parking on the North Shore), you cross the Holmberg glass pedestrian bridge over the interstate. It's kind of nerve-wracking because you can see through the bridge and several of the glass panels had red tape around them because they had started to crack. I walked directly over a big supporting I-beam just in case.

To avoid having to pay for parking, we parked in a neighborhood on the North Shore. We walked back to the car because we wanted to check out Lookout Mountain before it got dark. We intended to go in the morning, but heavy fog covered the top of the mountain. Unfortunately when we got up to Point Park, the fog was still too heavy and you couldn't see the city at all.

We drove back down the mountain to have dinner at the Terminal Brewhouse. Nate and I wanted to go there last time we were in town, but it was a Friday night and the wait was too long. No wait this time. Next door was the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, so we went in to look around. We were not impressed. It looks like it might have been a happenin' place in the '90s, but it wasn't super clean and could definitely use some updating.

We hit the road back toward Nashville, thankful to gain back an hour with the change into Central Time. A fun day! We packed a lot in and still left plenty on the list of things Lyle and Lisa want to see their next trip back, like the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park.

I headed back to work today, but Nate has two more days off. We are looking forward to watching lots of basketball this weekend. :)

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