Moonville Mae loves traveling

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Moonville, Piedmont, Fork Shoals, Nature

October 11, 2021 by Moonville Mae - Views: 116

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Moonville Mae loves traveling

These cooler days have turned me to thinking of autumn and enjoying my screened porch.  I love to see the fields full of fox-tail grasses and tickle weed and acorns being stored by the blue jays.  Even the garden cats are lying still as leaves cover them.  I can now reminisce about the busy, busy summer of car trips with cousin Nancy and our granddaughters traveling to towns new to the girls.  In June we traveled to Chattanooga, a Tennessee city north of Atlanta, and in August we went to Macon, GA.  I’m focusing on Chattanooga today.  I knew that the aquarium there was overlooking the Tennessee River and it was supposed to be a great one.  Both the girls are excited by aquariums, so we started looking for other activities close by.  Ruby Falls and Rock City are old standbys and the inclined railway has been there for years too.  We found a railroad museum with train rides and Nancy booked us into a hotel downtown so we could walk some.

Chattanooga Aquarium

Chattanooga Aquarium 

The Chattanooga Aquarium is really fine.  We’ve been to aquariums in Charleston, Atlanta, and Baltimore, so Sarah had a number of experiences to base her evaluation on.  Chattanooga is one of the best.  It has a whole building of ocean species that Charleston lacks and has a whole building of riverine fish as well.  With the two separate buildings the sections didn’t seem as crowded as the SC, GA, and Maryland ones.  Tennessee’s aquarium has outside water features for the children to play in and bridges shading the pools that are decorated with flowers and shrubs to enhance the beauty of the large, surrounding courtyard.  Food shops and ice cream parlors were in walking distance as well.  It was a full day of fun for all of us.  We all recommend it highly!  Much more of a total pleasure that the others.

Chattanooga Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls and Rock City

Then the next day we took off to See Ruby Falls and Rock City.  Reservations needed for all.  The Falls in case you aren’t familiar is a large stream of water falling from the top of a cavern inside a nearby mountain.  It and Rock City have been tourist draws for decades.  I remember going in the 50s.  The hike to the falls is not terribly long and there are knowledgeable guides to steer you along the route.  Rotating lights shine on the water as it comes into the almost bottomless pool below.  It is worth a trip.  Also, take on Rock City which has many interesting man-made rock formations as well as natural ones.  It is up and down, but you get to the high point to see 7 States.  I cut out about half way through, but Nancy and the girls make it to the top and lucked up to see a young man propose to his girlfriend there.  Both of their families surprised her by being there for the exciting moment.  The girls were in awe.

Railroad Museum 

The railroad museum was one of the highlights for my granddaughter.  She is in love with trains.  This museum is at least 3 times as large as the SC one in Winnsboro.  They have a turntable and a large barn for restorations as well as the small station museum.  Of course, there was a train ride with a conductor/guide and a tour of the trains being restored.  

Food was a big deal when evening came each day.  We were all tired and hungry, but we had found that the Main Street was full of restaurants we could easily walk to and that we did each night.  The girls wanted sushi the first night and Nancy and I had a ramen noodle dish, new experience for us, but it was like soup.  Then another night we were enticed to a very nice Mexican fare, and another fine grill was South American were gauchos come to your table with different meats, and there was an amazing salad bar too.  Well known Pucketts is near the aquarium, but I would stick to Main Street for the best fare.

I must mention a book store we visited the first day as we were waiting for our appointed times at the aquarium.  It was on the Main Street near the great food, but it was quite a surprise.  This bookstore was very unlike any I have perused that I can remember.  Anyway, this store was in a turn of the century building, 1900, and it looked like the store had been there since then.  The antique lady owner was at first amenable to two grandmothers and two granddaughters wondering in.  The girls quickly went to the small dog perched in a chair along the entrance walkway.  As Nancy and I wondered down the aisle we began to notice the ragtag books of a used book venue.  Lots of dust laden books all askew and of unusual topics.  Finding some history topics, I was interested in I attempted to choose something with less dust coating.  But that was problematic.  So, I walked around to speak to the proprietor, and mentioned some of the Civil War books I had seen.  Well, she assured me that the most important ones were behind her on those shelves I couldn’t get to.  Then cousin Nancy found something she wanted for her husband, a how-to book.  When she brought the text to the lady, she laughed about something that was said, and the owner didn’t understand her.  The conversation went down hill from there.  The girls and I stood near the dog hoping to be able to move to the door quickly.  This ninety something lady who had owned and run this store for over 30 years in this same building was hard of hearing and was as short-tempered.  She scolded Nancy several times before we were able to exit.  She kept saying, “Don’t laugh, don’t laugh!”  We for sure weren’t laughing at the end.

Driving a Duck on the Tennessee River

Tennessee River Duck Boat ride! 

Our time in Chattanooga closed with one of the most exciting activities.  We road a Duck, a WWII amphibious vehicle!  Into the Tennessee River!  I had ridden one twice in years traveling across the country, once in Boston onto the Charles River, and once at Wisconsin Dells into a lovely, bucolic, small river and through the woods.  I knew the girls would love it and I was right.  The Captain took us down the main streets of town first and then down a ramp into the Tennessee River fast enough to splash most everyone.  Then the trip down the river was when he told us all the history, showed us the art museum on the cliff, and turning back to the ramp, he surprised the kids by allowing them to all drive the Duck.  Oh, my, were they all excited.  Sarah went first and the Captain nudged her faster, then slow down!  Kidding the children one minute and praising them the next.  He was wonderful!  This topped off our tine in Chattanooga.  We recommend it highly!  I didn’t even mention the winery or the zipline!■


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