Tennessee

Chattanooga Ducks

Wednesday started out with a walk over the Walnut Street Walking Bridge. Jerry and I so enjoyed it the last time we were in Chattanooga but it was in the spring, not in hot June. It was a long walk although Emma saw a guy jogging and decided she could beat him so she took off running. She would have beat him except she had to stop at the end of the bridge and he kept running. It exhausted her though and she just plodded down the streets. We finally realized after seeing every store closed that nothing opened until 11:00 and we were too early. We walked over to Coolidge Park and there was lot of people there with children running in and out of the sprinkling water fountain. We couldn’t talk Emma into it though. Unfortunately the carousel didn’t begin operation until 11:00 either so that was a bust! We lumbered back over the bridge and saw a little ice cream shop that sold WATER! Oh, sweet relief.

Emma driving the duck boat
Our next stop was the Chattanooga Ducks, which is a tour aboard an authentic renovated WWII amphibious landing craft. We had to wait for quite a while so we went into the Cupcake Shop which I had remembered being on the corner. We walked around the street and there is was and the showcase was full of delicious looking cupcakes of all kinds. Of course each of us had to try a different one. What a way to start a day! Afterward we went back to the loading area and when we got on we were lucky enough to get the very front seat! After a very interesting tour through the city we hit the waters of the Tennessee River. It’s an amazing feeling to be riding in a vehicle on land and then suddenly be floating on the water. On our return trip up the river the tour guide let the children “drive” the boat and since we were at the front Emma was the first. Since she is comfortable on our jet ski she was pretty comfortable steering that large boat and did a grand job!

By the time we were really hungry so we began the quest to find a good restaurant. We found a nearby restaurant that had good food and cool drinks. What more could we ask for?

Sharks – On my!
Our next stop for the day for the Tennessee Aquarium. It is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon for both adults and children. We got to put our hands in the water to fill a sturgeon and then later some stingrays. Of course we could have petted a snake too but elected not to! They have both a saltwater and a freshwater building in addition to an entire room dedicated to butterflies. Emma tried her best to get one to light on her but no such luck. We had to be checked when we exited that room to be sure that there were no butterflies on us. There were lots of interesting animals to see in addition to the many species of fish. Of course we ended up in the gift shop but Emma’s only purchase was some candy.

As we headed out we had planned to stop at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo. It took us a while to find it and by that time we were all just too tired for another tour so we headed on back to the campground.

Another full day!

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Home Away From Home

Chattanooga Ducks

Wow – what a night and what a day. Jerry woke me up last night snoring and I could not fall back asleep so I had to wake him up. He moved to the sofa. I woke up about 6:15 freezing! I didn’t want to go into the den to turn on the heat because I knew Jerry had had a bad night and I didn’t want to wake him up so I stayed in bed cuddled up until nearly 7:00. I finally couldn’t stand it any longer so I got up and quietly went in the den. It was dark but I tried to turn on the heat only to turn on the air condition. I finally got a flashlight out of the cabinet and then – Jerry asked if I needed help!

After a cup of coffee I got back in bed trying to get warm and listened to a podcast and fell asleep again. Finally got back up about 8:30. We sat around and talked about future trips, saving money, what we were going to do today, etc. We finally decided we would go downtown Chattanooga and take the Chattanooga Ducks Tour. I called about 10:45 and they said they only had vacancies on two trips today, one at 11:30 and one at 3:30. I asked him if we could get there by 11:30 and he said sure but to take an alternate route because of the parade. I explained that I would be using a GPS so he told me how to get there.

We left immediately and had no trouble getting to downtown but then had to find a parking spot in the midst of a lot of traffic. We finally found one near the waterfront and very quickly began walking to the tour. He had told me that he was behind a cupcake store so we found it fairly easily but it was a hike.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe ride was great. It was an authentic renovated WWII amphibious landing craft that could go on land and water. The guide was very knowledgeable and knew a lot of history about Chattanooga. He recommended walking the Walnut Street Bridge, Coolidge Park and the aquarium. We rode along Ross Landing and on to McClellan Island all the while hearing a lot of history. To go from the street to the Tennessee River and then back to the street was fascinating. It was windy and a little cold but a great experience.

By this time we were hungry and the guide had recommended several restaurants which we passed right by as we walked today the car to get our Adkins bar and water. One of our topics of discussion this morning was saving money on our trips and we admitted that we were eating out too much. However, if it had been left up to me today we’d have gotten something better than an Atkins bar for lunch!

Coolidge Park Carousel
Coolidge Park Carousel
After our “lunch” we walked over the Walnut Street Bridge. The 2,376 foot span is one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges and connects Chattanooga to the North Shore. On the other side was Coolidge Park and a beautiful carousel that was donated to Chattanooga from Atlanta after Atlanta got a new one. Atlanta however didn’t send any horses, etc. so a master carver, Bud Ellis instructed a team on how to create all of the rides.

We walked back across the bridge and then went to the Tennessee Aquarium first to the salt water side. The first thing we saw were the penguins and they were so cute. They were all banded so that the handlers could tell them apart. After a tour of the salt water we went to another building to the fresh water side. It was much larger and had many fish of all sizes and descriptions and from all parts of the world.

Returned to the RV a little after 5:00 exhausted. Fortunately we were eating meatballs and leftover veggies. I cut up a cucumber and we ate about 7:00. Although really tired Jerry bagged up the trash and we took it to the container. As we were walking back we ran into our neighbors from Durham, Jim and Barbara Hastings and ended up standing outside and chatting until 9:00.

Inside now and Jerry is continuing to watch the football draft and I’m off to bed.