Day #6- Chattanooga!!

On Day #6 we left Manchester and drove about an hour and a half to Chattanooga, Tennessee. This very quickly became our most favorite day and destination of our entire "cross-country" road trip. Our primary sub-destination inside of Chattanooga was actually Lookout Mountain. A very large mountain that rises up in the corner of the Chattanooga Valley, half of the mountain is in Georgia and the other half of the mountain is in Tennessee. On this mountain were several different things to do and see, and we wanted to try just about all of them. Our first stop was Ruby Falls,

A 145ft. tall waterfall that is 1,120ft. underground. I know! Cool, huh?! An underground waterfall?! That is just awesome. So, we went there and got a military discount, (yay!) and took about a mile long tour inside these underground cave systems that led to, finally, the beautiful Ruby Falls. This was so much fun to explore and we really loved it. Grace seemed to really enjoy everything as well, until we got to the waterfall and the way it works is that the lights are off around the waterfall and then they turn them on for 7 minutes per tour group. They also turn on some loud, but pretty, music as the lights are on. I guess this thoroughly creeped her out so she screamed and cried for the whole walk around the path surrounding the actual waterfall.

After the cave tour and pretty Ruby Falls, the tour spit you out at their Gift Shop of course, to get you to spend even MORE money! haha. So, we bypassed the gift shop, but did head out to the exclusive and very large playground that is only accessible to those who go on the tour. :) To say the least, Grace LOVED it. It didn't hurt that a sweet little southern belle named Kaylee took it upon herself to play with and take care of Grace either. She adopted Grace for about 35-45 minutes and just played with her all over the playground. Carried her, held her, spun her in circles, lifted her up to the top of the slides and then caught her at the bottom, scooping her up and talking to her. How adorable, right?! Grace loved it, because hey, any mommy other than her own is top notch in her book! This sweet little girl couldn't have been older than about 9 or 10 and she was just such a sweetie! Grace STILL talks about her. I went and told the mom what a sweet daughter she had, and that whatever she was doing, she was doing it right, because she had one sweet, maternal and friendly daughter on her hands. She was shocked, because I guess Kaylee is the 'bossy one' in their family. Well, this made me feel slightly better. If that is how bossy little girls turn out, then maybe I can stop worrying about Grace. :) Maybe someday she will make a great big sister.

After Ruby Falls, we continued up the Mountain to a Civil War sight. In the Civil war there were several battles fought in the Chattanooga area, and so there is now a National town park, and a little museum and gift shop all teaching about the battles fought for Chattanooga. This, obviously was Topher's favorite thing on our entire trip. Watching the little mini diorama drama was thrilling for him, don't ask me why, but it was. They had a little mini theater with pictures displayed on a projector screen, and then narrated description of the battles fought, and where they were and how they plotted their strategies and all the battle outcomes. All the while, you are looking at the diorama that has all the miniature men in uniform and the rivers, and mountains, horses, camps, and everything is lighting up with miniature light bulbs as they become part of the narrative.

I don't know if that makes any sense at all. But, it was Topher's favorite! He even bought himself a Navy Sailor hat back from the Civil War era and authentic Civil War bullets found in the Chattanooga Valley.

When we left the Battles for Chattanooga we thought it was only about 2:00 or 3:00. Well, little did we know that we had lost an hour, and then to top it off, it was Daylight Savings! So, we lost 2 HOURS!! This was not cool!! So when we got in the car to head to Rock City, (also on Lookout Mountain) It was 5:30! We got to Rock City, they informed us that they sell the last ticket at 6:00 and that the park is only open until dark. So, Topher and I proceeded to try and race through it as quickly as possible! After a while, we realized that really we had plenty of time to just enjoy the scenery, and luckily, it had started sprinkling before we got there, so everyone left!! We had the whole park/garden to ourselves!!! Boo-yah!
Rock City is just like a giant landscaped rock garden. It starts on one walking path and continues through a huge maze of rocks, little cliffs, bridges that overlap one another and then just beautiful trees, flowers, fountains, ponds. It was a lot of fun, and ended up being my favorite of the whole trip.

There is a spot in Rock City, where they have 7 state flags displayed. The reason for this is that they have found a spot where you can see 7 states at once. There is a plaque pointing in each of the 7 directions and telling you how many miles to that state border. This was our first view of South Carolina!

Like I said, it had sprinkled a little bit just before we got there, and a little bit while we were there, so were probably 3 of the 10 total people visiting the garden. So, no lines for Funnel Cake! yay!!!! (Dacia, I missed you! You needed to be there to eat funnel cake with me.)

There is one spot at Rock City that I had seen pictures of and was the most excited to see and that was Lovers Leap. Legend has it that 2 enemy Indian Tribes lived close by. The daughter of one and the son of another fell in love, and when they were forbidden to be together, the boy was put to death on this cliff, and then the girl jumped to her death to be with him. Not a very happy story. But romantic, in that sick sort of way. Haha. Anyway, this is the supposed cliff, and its really beautiful. If you are wondering why the water is green...they dyed it for St. Patrick's day. Lol.

We left Rock City around 7:30 or 8:00 and drove to Augusta, Georgia. The plan had been to actually make it to Goose Creek, but because we had such a fun day, and we lost 2 hours, we didn't think we'd make it there at a reasonable time, so we instead just drove to Augusta and got there at about midnight. :)
Stay tuned! Day #7 we close on our house!
Miles today: 392 miles
Total Mileage: 2,176 miles
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Kandi said...

Sounds like you guys had an awesome road trip! Tennessee has always been on my list of places to go, but I'm also a big country music fan, so I'd have to hit up Nashville. :)

Thoughtful Runner said...

All those years I lived in the South - we would see the billboards for Ruby Falls and even Rock City - which we considered the biggest tourist traps around. You didn't mention ticket prices on these blogs, but I think I'll do these by proxy, as well, even though it sounds like you probably enjoyed them. As for Chattanooga - the Civil War battle fought there was actually pretty important - and it is another site I don't ever remember visiting. Happy Travels!

Alan J. said...

Wow, sounds like a super fun day! Jealous of all the cool stuff you guys got too see and do. All of those places sounded really neat. Glad you guys are having such an awesome time! Miss ya!

Super Daysh said...

I'm glad you got a good day after your disappointing one. The pictures are pretty (but again, since you used blog press, I can't click on them to enlarge them...) and I'm so jealous that you got such a long road trip with just the three of you! Fun sights and I'm excited for day 7!! :)