Sunday, April 18, 2010

Exploring--Charming Chattanooga, Tennessee

We spent a delightful 10 days after Easter visiting dear friends in North Georgia and beloved family members in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In both places, we enjoyed some fascinating sight seeing as well as meaningful time together in conversation with people who mean a great deal to us. The whole region was showing off its spring bounty of bright green foliage, blossoming trees, bushes, and bright flowers in spectacular, warmer than average weather.
Today, I am showing a few photos from downtown Chattanooga, set on the lovely Tennessee River at the foot of both Lookout and Signal Mountains. If you visited Chattanooga 10 or more years ago or if you have a mental image of it as a decaying industrial city, you would be amazed at the transformation of the central city. The Aquarium (one wing of it pictured here) is the most interesting, educational, and just plain beautiful aquarium I have visited. When it was built, planners began to beautify the entire nearby riverfront area so that it gradually became a stunning destination. The grand brick, white columned art museum gained a sleek modern art companion next door. A wide walkway down to the Tennessee River from the Bluffs Art District, with galleries, restaurants, and specialty shops, commemorates the cruel resettlement of the local Cherokee tribe out west. Lined with inset Cherokee symbols (you see the first few in the photo), the walk incorporates a waterfall symbolizing the infamous Trail of Tears and ends in a fountain spraying into the river. The entire area is beautifully landscaped. One overlook in the Bluffs district houses a sculpture garden; a couple pieces are in the foreground of the river view photo.
Although we often wish we lived closer to our brothers and sisters (we have 3 siblings each), one advantage of being spread out in various states is that any visit to family allows us to explore a unique area of this wonderful land. Plus, we have free accommodations (!) and people we love in varied areas we enjoy exploring.
Question of the day: What destination would you suggest to other readers--a place that might surprise them and exceed their expectations?


  1. Oh an easy question to answer today, Mary. Downtown Chicago is veritable cultural feast! The Adler Planetariusm, the Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field much to do and see, so little time...then there is the lakefront itself, the stores on Michigan Avenue...And then let me go on about Seattle with its underground city, Pike's Market, Elliott Bay, gorgeous seaside cities...

    Love your photographs, but even more special is knowing that you had a great time with family and friends. Those times are so cherished, aren't they?

  2. Yes, time spent with family and friends is cherished, indeed, Sherry.

    I absolutely agree with you about Chicago. It's a terrific city with a variety of places to see, and you remind me that it has been a number of years since we have visited there. I grew up on Lake Michigan and love the lake shore! We have not visited Seattle, but it is on our (verrrrry Loooong) wish list :>).