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.