The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of RaisingKaine.com

Monday, May 30, 2005

River City, USA

We spent an enjoyable day traveling in and around Chattanooga. From the mountains to the river, I just love this part of the country.

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My son really loved cows. These may have been the first ones he ever got up close and personal with. When the mom decided to pee the look of wonder on his face at all the "pee pee" was priceless.

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The Southern Belle cruises the Tennessee River. This shot is from the river walk looking back at Chattanooga. That's Lookout Mountain in the distance.

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Chattanooga has really made an effort at turning itself around over the last 25 years. Perhaps the only other city in the entire country that has seen as dramatic of an urban renewal is New York City - and while I hate what New York has become, Chattanooga is one of the most family friendly and walkable cities around.

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This is the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge from the downtown/aquarium area over the Tennessee River to Coolidge Park, the Carousel and River Street Arts District.

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The Hunter Museum of American Art has just reopened after the lengthy construction of its new West Wing which houses special exhibits. Right now they have a tremendous Georgia O'Keeffe show complete with Alfred Steiglitz prints. This picture was taken from the pedestrian bridge.

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Coolidge Park has a historic carousel as well as nice grass areas, a fun fountain, lots of family friendly restaurants, and a bunch of kayak launches.

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The carousel cost $1 a ride for adults. My son rides for free. We dropped about $20 and spent a ton of time on it today.

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Driving back home, we went up Missionary Ridge for the sunset. The entire ridge is a national park, part of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park - established in 1890 as the Nation's first military park. While Gettysburg is more famous - the battle of Chickamauga was perhaps even more bloody and while it was the Confederacy's last great victory, in hindsight, it spelled their eventual doom by sending the Union back to Chattanooga to replenish its troops over winter and allowing for Sherman's arrival and his eventual march to the sea the next spring.

It has stunning views, and the idea that someone had the idea of fighting a battle on its slopes is bewildering.

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If you get a chance to come on down, you really should. We are heading over to the Tennessee Aquarium later this week - the new Ocean Journey salt water wing just opened - as well as the Creative Discovery Museum. We'll probably also check out my son's favorite museum, the International Tow Truck Hall of Fame. I'll post pictures then.

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