One of the great ongoing benefits of having the book out in the world, has been the wonderful opportunities it has afforded me and my sweet family to travel to new places, and meet new people. The weekend before Thanksgiving we had the chance to travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee so that I could lead an Advent Workshop at a local church there, and while we were there we managed to squeeze in a little #greercation fun. This is a little scrapbook of our trip.
When we decided to drive to Chattanooga, and Sweet Man, always up for a road-trip adventure and master of maps, made sure we to plan out routes that allowed us to see as much as possible there and back.
Including a quick visit to Helen Keller’s birthplace, Ivy Green
When I was in third grade I developed a bit of an obsession with Helen Keller, reading everything I could get my hands on about her and her amazing life. Sadly, I have lost many, many, many, brain cells in the few (dozen-ish) years since, and I had forgotten that Helen was a Southern gal originally.
We arrived only minutes before they closed, and after 6 hours in the car we were anxious to stretch our legs and then hit the road again. So we skipped the official tour, and just walked the grounds (well the ones we were allowed to walk – mostly…)
We may have peaked in the back a little closer than we should have, but can you blame me?
That is Helen Keller’s backyard! Where the well pump was, where she and Teacher first communicated the word Water!
The 8 year old in me may have geeked out about it.
Our hotel was in Downtown Chattanooga – and was very family friendly, and in walking distance of lots of great family activities. In addition to the fun indoor/outdoor pool that had lots of waterfalls, Miles’ favorite feature was the all-included breakfast each morning. A breakfast that allowed him to choose ALL THE FOODS. I love his face in this picture. I think it sums up how fun it is to be a kid in a great hotel with unlimited waffles and sugar cereal for breakfast.
After breakfast, the boys set off for Lookout Mountain while I met up with Carl, the pastor of St. Mark’s, for a segment on a local television program. Once upon a time, a long time ago, I used to do crafts on a local morning show in Little Rock, so it was great to stretch those muscles again and have some fun.
Chattanooga has a similar vibe to the SOMA/Hillcrest/River Market/Argenta neighborhoods in the Little Rock area, in that it is very creative and there is a great focus on locally sourced ingredients and local artisans. We had fun trying different local restaurants from Indian to Italian.
We also got to check out this great Craft market they have 9 months a year in the Southside area. (Don’t you love, love those stools? I think I need them… Somewhere…)
I really have to give this town their props – there is so much to do, even just in the City Center/Northshore/Southside areas where we where, and most of it family friendly. We never even made it to the ‘burbs and still we never ran out of places to check out – in fact we hope to get to go back one day and do more when we have more time.
Hello old school!
I think this picture was taken somewhere in Alabama.
We always stop for potty-breaks at Micky D’s no matter where we are, and every now and then you find some fun uniquely decorated one, like this retro-mural.
We managed to name 4 of the characters in the mural, but I couldn’t remember all of them.
Does anyone else remember this era of MacDonald’s or am I just that old?
Going to Ikea around Christmas has become a bit of a tradition for me, and silly as it might be, it is one that I really look forward to, but this year I just didn’t think it was going happen.
But remember how I said Sweet Man likes to find us unique routes on our trips? And remember how I said he loves me SO MUCH? Ok, maybe I didn’t say that last part, but it is true. So very true.
And this proves it.
Sweet Man remembered that there was an Ikea in Atalanta, and because he knows things that I don’t (like his American geography, I know, it’s shameful what I didn’t think to pay attention to in school…) he also knew that Atlanta wasn’t far from Chattanooga. So he booked us a hotel room and set our course for my material version of mecca on our way home.
Oh happy day.
We spent the last night and the morning of the trip in downtown Atlanta, right where we could see the CNN building and the giant ferris wheel from our hotel window.
It was a great ending to such a lovely mini-#greercation and a great way to start Thanksgiving week – filled to the brim with thankfulness for all that we have, for all that we have the opportunity to do, and most of all for each other.
Hope your weekend is lovely friends!