Category Archives: Trips

I’ve Been to the MountainTop!

And it was gorgeous!

What an amazing day we had on our day trip to Chattanooga today.  In 13 years of living in Nashville, we have done little to explore our surrounding areas. I’m determined to change that and today we started with Chattanooga; I’ve been wanting to go to Lookout Mountain for awhile.  So go we did.

I took many pictures, but here are some highlights.

Lookout Mountain – was our first destination. It is literally a small town up there, with churches, schools, and more. We drove up to the top to Point Park to look around.  We went to the Eastern Overlook and looked out upon Chattanooga. It was really chilly up there so we didn’t stay long; didn’t even go over to Umbrella Rock, but next time. The National Park Service’s Visitor Center has a nice mural depicting the “Battle of the Clouds” that happened there, so it was informational.

a sign to go up the mountain
kids in front of Point Park gate
view from the Eastern Overlook

Lunchtime at Hill City Pizza – it was time for lunch by the time we finished looking around Point Park, so we found our way over to Hill Street Pizza. Lunch was GOOD!!!

Hill City Pizza
my lunch - burger and baked potato salad

Covenant College – I’d done some reading prior to our visit and learned of this campus on the mountain, so I wanted to drive and see it. So glad we did. It was absolutely idyllic.  I could only imagine going to school in a setting like this – literally, perched on the mountaintop and tucked away.  It is the beginning of Spring Break so there was hardly anyone on campus.  The chapel was beautiful and the views amazing. What was really neat was that the main hall can be seen from the interstate below.  Go to the picture album (link below) to see.

Carter Hall at Covenant College
the boys wave
beautiful scenery at the college
Covenant College chapel

Hunter Museum of American Art – after Covenant College, we descended the mountain. Since the weather was chilly, we thought it best to save Rock City & Ruby Falls for another day.  The Incline Railway isn’t open for the season yet, so we couldn’t do that either. So down the mountain we went.

We were making our way to the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge and saw the museum was right next door. Free admission the 1st Sunday of each month meant we were going! It was 4:20 when we got there, so we only had about 30 minutes, but we made the most of it! The art we did see was nice; they had a great kids book for Kaleya, and I was even impressed by her interpretation of a piece of art (Elizabeth Murray’s “Rollin’ Stone” – while not what the artist says it is, I could see Kaleya’s point in that she thought it had something to do with the heart and the human body.)

the glass bridge
Kaleya's museum book
i don't think they wanted to take this picture

Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge – longest pedestrian bridge in the world. We walked across it and enjoyed the views. Afterwards, we had ice cream at a shop next to it, the Ice Cream Show.  They offered more than 17,000 flavors of ice cream – what?!? I had the Winter Wonderland – vanilla with oreos and peppermint.

view from the pedestrian bridge
on the pedestrian bridge
view from bridge of Lookout Mountain

Then, we made our way back home. Incredible day!! I checked in so many times on FourSquare that I became #1 of all my FourSquare friends – a first for me!

my FourSquare status - oh yeah!

All of the pictures are online here, but here is a slideshow.

Not Your Average Friday Night

I’m visiting Augusta, GA this weekend for the conference of the Southern Chapter of the Medical Library Association.  I came to deliver a presentation on one of our projects at work and I’m glad to say that it went well!

Then, last night, my colleagues and I had a FABULOUS dinner at Boll Weevil Cafe and Sweetery.

Boll Weevil Cafe'  On the Levee in Augusta Ga

Despite the name, the food was delicious! But you know what was even better than the food? THE CAKE!  omg. we split up three different types of cakes between us and they all tasted good. We were told even Paula Dean has given her stamp of approval so you know it must be good (and must be really bad for you – have you seen how much butter she adds to her food???!)  LOL

After dinner, one of my colleagues and I decided to walk around historic Downtown Augusta. The first Friday of each month they do an Art Walk and so we knew there would be stuff to see.  Augusta’s Art Walk was quite different than Nashville’s.   As one of my coworkers pointed it, it has an almost Nawlins feel to it – just how there are so many people hanging out in the streets.  I was not expecting however to encounter zombies.

We had a nice time walking around and just people watching. We passed members of the local roller girls team, the Soul City Sirens.  They have an upcoming bout so even though I won’t be here I’ll root for them since they’re not playing against Nashville. 🙂

We wandered in and out of stores and saw a neat honeycomb structure made of rolled up book pages at the Book Tavern.

On the streets we went by a local music group that was being showcased by the Augusta Public Library. Props to the library for interesting programming.

The best part of the evening was at Club Tropicabana though.   As we were walking by earlier in the evening they told us about free Salsa lessons at 9.  Apparently, they do this every Friday.  So, we went, and it was so much fun!  Towards the end the steps/moves started to get a little tricky, but maybe next time I’ll pick it up better. Now, I must find some place in Nashville to do it. 🙂

Do you think I’d be good enough one day to do Salsa like this? 🙂

Visit to Cheekwood

Today, my sister and I took Kaleya on a trip to visit Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. We had a wonderful time! Neither of us had ever been there before so I can now check that off of my list of Nashville places to go. Of course, now that I have been there, I will keep my eye out for new exhibits and events.

We started off by seeing some of the scarecrows they have around the gardens.  They were scattered about everywhere,  so I tried to take a picture of them all. One of my favorites was not a scarecrow at all, but a scareowl.

Penny Joy the Scare Owl

The Train Exhibit was fun to look at and all the kids loved it. Shoot – this adult loved it too!  The structures erected were taller than we were, and the trains weaved in and out of the setup.

random train pic

There was even a Thomas the Train one! I of course had to stalk it down until I captured a good pic. My nephew Keon loves Thomas the Train, so this one’s for you Keon 🙂

Thomas the Train

Throughout the train exhibit, there were miniature reproductions of several historical Tennessee landmarks. The genealogist in me loved that! They had Union Station, the Alex Haley House, John Sevier’s cabin and many more, including Cheekwood itself.

Miniature of the Cheekwood House. Cute one car Ladybug train stopped in front of it.

In two places (that we saw) there were picture frames set up so you could take a picture against the beautiful backdrop. Of course we had to do that.

aren't Kaleya and I cool?

We then made our way up to the house which serves as a museum. We learned the history of the house and it’s family and were able to see the current art exhibits. The house is beautiful and the outside gardens next to it were gorgeous too with beautiful scenery. I could live here.

Kelli on the veranda
Me, Kaleya & Kelli
Kaleya and Kelli are oh so happy!

Thank you Cheekwood for a wonderful visit!

Of course, I took many more pictures than those in this post. See below for a slideshow:

Visit to the TN State Museum

We stay fairly busy in our household and I’m behind in my blog posts. The next several posts will have information on activities we’ve done so far this month of September.

On September 3rd we took the kids to the TN State Museum to see the exhibit, Egyptian Relics, Replicas, and Revivals

Jihad in front of the museum.

Before going to that part of the building though, we of course took a moment to look around at the standing exhibits. We’ve seen them before since we visited back in 2008. Of all the things we saw, I was particularly captivated yet again by paintings of the Shackleford Family.  The intensity of the colors were just amazing.

James O. Shackleford
Sabina Metcalf Shackleford
James O. Shackleford Jr. & Gertrude Shackleford

And this one of the Turner Children.

The Turner Children

Then, we were off to the Egyptian part.  Jihad had been through it before with school, so we let him and Kaleya stay in the play area.

Kaleya is blurry, but I love Jihad's expression

Of all the items in the exhibit, I did have some favorites – they included some sandals, a ritual couch, a treasure box, and for fun, and Egyptian Lego set.

a ritual couch
treasure box
Egyptian legos

We had an good time visiting and I’ll have to keep my eye out for their upcoming exhibits.  Additional pictures from our visit are here.


Family Florida Vacation Synopsis

This post is to collect the posts I’ve done for our family vacation:

Day 1 & 2 – travel to Florida & detour through campus of the University of Florida, visit to Heritage Village, St. Petersburg Pier & climbing in a Kapok tree

Day 3 – Science Center of Pinellas, International Plaza

Day 4 – Florida Aquarium, Honeymoon Island Beach

Day 5 – Adventure Mini-Golf, visiting a Seabird Sanctuary, and Indian Rocks Beach


Here is the slideshow of all the pictures

or, you can view them all here.