Road trip: Chattanooga, Tennessee

I've procrastinated long enough. It's time to tell some stories about driving across the country.

Our first night away from Clearwater, Florida was spent in Valdosta, Georgia -- not a place I recommend. But I most likely wouldn't recommend any town or city in Georgia, simply because it's the deep south and I'm not fond of deep south, deep fried food. And you must understand, everything is deep fried. Everything. Even your salad. We went to find some dinner and stopped at what looked like a real restaurant, you know, the kind with chefs and real food. The first tip-off that everything wasn't quite right was the distance between the booth seat and the table. Hmmm. I had to sit on the very edge of the seat to be near the table. I was at a loss until I looked around and realized that for most Valdostans, that huge space was necessary. Enough said. Our choice for an appetizer was stuffed mushrooms, because how difficult is that and it was one of the only things that didn't have the word fried in front of it. Guess what? The stuffed mushrooms ARE fried. Deep fried. In old oil. We gasped when we saw them and sent them back. The rest of the dinner was actually fabulous (nice fish with rice, simple food, not fried).

The next day we drove through Georgia and into Tennessee. (Refer to the map if your geography skills are as horrible as mine.) Crossing into TN from GA, we chose Chattanooga as a place that looked interesting and worthy of a bit of exploring. Consulting our trusty AAA guidebook, we find that the old Mayor's Mansion has been converted into a Bed and Breakfast, so off we went.

THIS is the Mansion. It has been lovingly restored and gently updated for the comfort of paying guests.

We arrived early enough in the day to take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. Of course, even though we were in a new place, never before seen, I only have eyes for the flowers. I've said it before and I'll say it again: flowers are the best.

I love big, old trees. I'm also fond of flowering trees. And I cannot resist napping cats.

The Mayor's Mansion has a first-class manager/chef and the breakfast was incredible. I was in too big a hurry to taste the second course (the baked eggs/cheese/asparagus) so I only got pictures of the first and third courses. Amazing, wonderful food, served in a lovely dining room.


Coffee Messiah said...

Nice flashback on the trip.

Although eating out is like playing the lottery most places these days, when you travel, sometimes you need to simply try the local food, and, take it for what it is.

My BBQ experience in NC was the same, it really did nothing for me, neither was the Sweet T, but I enjoyed it at the time.

Nice pics too! ; )

Anonymous said...

Yum. I've never been to the south, except Florida, and I have this very romantic notion of it. That notion is probably not true.

uncle said...

Love the images of Chattanooooga (like that name, too). Great place for a stop over, me thinks. Waiting for more...

Cathy said...

CM, hey, you are absolutely right. Thank goodness the meal that finally arrived was so tasty. And we had many good meals on this trip. Cheers!

Melissa, right, not true. The fried food and the spanish moss and the accents and the humidity/heat combo -- they got old for me in such a hurry.

Uncle, thanks. It WAS a great place. We decided ahead of time to avoid all the majorly huge cities and Chattanooga was just the right size. More photos forthcoming

Matt Davis said...

We're planning a road trip to Utah in the fall. It's my first road trip since moving to this country in April '06. We're even buying an iPod for the journey...

Perhaps we should continue on South, before gas prices make road trips a thing of the past. It's so evocative...

bekbek said...

The deep-fried-ness of it all is shocking, isn't it? (But I do admit to have become hooked, after one plate-ful, on fried pickles. Honestly!)

If you ever have to do it again, stop at Grits in Forsyth. Despite the name, it's fabulous. Alas, you would have had to drive a few more hours.

And you were so right about these lilies! WOW! Awesome!

p.s. Want me to forward anything stray and non-junkish that gets through the mail? Just let me know. becky.hendricks@cox.net will still work for a little bit.

Cathy said...

Matt, Utah is incredibly, amazingly beautiful and it changes from the top to the bottom -- you really must see all of it.

Becky, I've never enjoyed fried foods or salt. Two things that I haven't been able to "swallow." heh heh.
Yes, those are some great lilies.