Time to hit the road Jack! (That is my father-in-laws name and boy do I miss him).
First thing was breakfast! Our first visit to a Waffle House. The coffee was just ok and I won’t write a review. It filled us up until we get where we are going and find REAL food. 🍽
We left our boat safely covered at Aqua Yacht Harbor, rented a car and started a road trip. We have 5 towns and 5 hotels and are making a circle through Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina and back to Tennessee and Mississippi. It also happens to be our anniversary Oct 12th, so we are calling this our anniversary trip. We actually wanted to explore the Smoky Mountains and see Nashville and need to kill some time. Perfect opportunity to hit the road. It’s so nice to change up our travels. Since we have a car we loaded it up with all the comforts we will need. This is going to be cool!!!
Our first stop is Chattanooga. We planned on bringing our boat up the Tennessee river to Chattanooga. We realized that we could be here in a car in 4 hours verses 4 days cruising up the river. We had already booked a trip to the Smoky Mountains from Chattanooga so we just added a hotel here and took off.
We pulled up to The Read Hotel (Andy’s the king of google searches) to the coolest old brick building. The moment I walked into the dark interior I could feel this was a special place. There was a brass key in a box labeled room 313. You could buy one for $10. So I asked “what’s the deal with room 313?” She replied with “Its haunted! Do you want a tour? We do that. But you cannot sleep in there. Al Capone slept in there and said it was truly haunted.” Thank you but NO!
The elevator has a dial that still works.
The original key holders that were behind the desk are here as well as the phone booths.
The hotel rooms are ultra modern and all updated. The juxtaposition is appreciated as a designer but I would have loved to see them before. I am sure they have changed many times over their life. It was a very nice room and comfortable. Here is the hallway. There is a theme of elegance with silver and pearls.
The story about how 313 room is haunted is conflicting but they say that Annalisa was murdered in that room by a confederate soldier. Other stories are that she was a prostitution that was murdered by a jealous lover. Some say it was suicide from a broken heart. People who go into the room say hear spirit is very present. Creepy. Especially being here in October!! 🎎
The hotel was built in 1847 across from the railroad. It burnt to the ground in 1867 and was left abandoned with the owners not wanting to rebuild. It was purchased by Dr. John Read and was built to 10 stories of Georgian grandeur. Prior to its completion it turned into a civil war hospital because it was close to the railway system. They brought the soldiers by train to this location and made it a hospital.
What does one do while off the boat, in a cool city, hotel in it??? We eat!! And boy do we know how to do it! I’ll spared you a whole blog just on the amazing food we have eaten everyday. We make a sport out of finding the next meal. It makes up for all the traveling days with coffee for breakfast and a P&J lunch and whatever I come up with that night. No suffering here. Cheese plates are our gig!!
When in Chattanooga you have to find the ChooChoo! We did. Its a poor excuse for a hotel and really needs a hip renovation but just walking around this very old train station and terminal was cool. So much original fixtures and I could just feel all the lives that had walked those sidewalks waiting for trains in and out of here.
Chattanooga has rolling hills that are really pretty. We wanted to come here for fall colors. Being from California, we don’t get seasons. This year this area has had a record heat wave and the trees are not turning. Just our luck. Instead of turning they are just dying and falling off. Regardless, its pretty.
We went up to Lookout Mountain for the view of the city and to Ruby Falls. That ended up being a very long walk through a cave to an underground waterfall. Who knew. It was cool but touristy. We marched into the tunnel with a guide telling us silly stories with a group of about 30 of our closest tourist friends. When in Rome…….
They light up the falls with a light show. Ok but seriously! We had exactly 7 minutes to say ohhh, awwww and take pictures. The cave was pretty cool with stalagmites and stalagtites.
Next up on the tour of Chattanooga was the Rock City. The coolest part of this was the view. It was a nice walk through these boulders up onto of this mountain. We walked and walked and my feet were saying “you are not on the boat today sweetie!” The view was incredible. We even saw 7 states from up here.
I HATED that bridge. Almost puked. Honestly I hate heights and a little kid ran down behind me and started jumping. I started yelling STOP STOP like a freak. She just laughed and I almost had a heart attack.
One of the high lights in Chattanooga is their aquarium. I have been to a lot of aquariums, and frankly Andy and I have an issue with them, but we decided to go because we heard it was really awesome. It was. A really good show of rivers and wildlife. I had to admit that if I knew some of these fish existed in these rivers I might not have gotten in the water. I’m being dramatic. Most of the crazy, scary fish exist in places like the amazon, not the Tennessee! But my imagination is wild and now I am scared!
We noticed the side streets were starting to get barricaded around the hotel. We of course asked someone what was happening and found out there was a historical car show and race around the downtown town of Chattanooga. Mr. Aquaman/Ex-race car driver himself was excited and on Friday morning he got to see the famous Wayne Carini from Chasing Classic Cars and Donald Osborne from Jay Leno’s garage. I walked along with him like a good wife.
We are leaving Chattanooga for the next stop in the Smoky Mountains.
Road trippin continues……….Beep Beep!🏎