Chattanooga, Tennessee 2013
During the second week of July, Dylan and I joined my mother, stepfather, nieces, and a friend of my eldest niece to take a trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee. My aunt, cousins, uncles, and grandmother all live in the area. My mother and stepfather had asked not only our family but his family to join them in celebrating their nuptials. They had chosen the Chattanooga area because my grandmother’s health prevents her from being able to travel on long trips.
Because I was to ride with my mother, stepfather, and the kids, I had to travel from Abilene, Texas to Santa Fe, Texas a couple of days earlier. Dyl and I stopped in Clyde to gather my youngest niece, and we went on our way. Dyl is currently driving with a permit, and this trip was the perfect opportunity for him to get in some driving time and gain much needed driving experience. I am proud to say that he did very well, and all of us made it to Santa Fe safely. The day after arriving in the Santa Fe/Galveston area, we moved on toward Galveston to catch up with my sister and nephew and to take pictures.
On July 11th, we all piled up in the minivan and headed east. The trip was wild, as it rained all the way to Tennessee, and we found ourselves lost in Birmingham, Alabama. The wrong turn was quickly corrected, and we arrived at the hotel late in the evening. Throughout the night several more family members arrived at the hotel.
Saturday, several of us met in an effort to plan the excursion we would be making the next day. One of my stepfather’s sisters suggested that we all meet up at The Terminal, a brewhouse next to the Chattanooga train station. Here we met up with my cousin and his children. The staff was patient with the large group, half of which were children. The food at The Terminal was wonderful, and the decor was extraordinary.
After the nuptials in Ringgold, Georgia, the wedding party and family met up at Mom’s Italian Villa for the reception dinner. While waiting for our scheduled time to eat, we all relaxed on the corner, and I took this opportunity to fire off a few shots of the family.
After dinner and cake, we all walked a block down to the Chattanooga Train Station. This place is absolutely amazing. Outdoors, there is a beautiful rose garden and the famous Chattanooga Choo-Choo which I did not have time to photograph, but inside the terminal was absolutely beautiful.
While we waited for the group to meet back up together, I took this opportunity to snap even more pictures of the family.
Once we saw the sites in around the train station, we took a bus over to the Art District of Chattanooga. Here, I was able to grab a perfect shot of the Mellow Mushroom and I photographed the fountain before trekking off toward the fine arts museum, which was closed for the day.
Although the Art museum was closed, there was still plenty for us to see and do. During our visit, we were able to view many of the arts created by local artists, as there was an arts festival. While waiting for the bus to arrive, we were serenaded by a local musician. He sang “Zoey Jane,” a Staind cover. He was actually quite good. Soon after the bus ride back to the other side of Chattanooga, we were all exhausted and ready to call it a night.
The next day, we traveled to Georgia where we visited the Chickamauga Battlefield. It is hard to believe that such a horrific battle took place in this lush green and serene battlefield. Due to the rainy weather and my lack of waterproof equipment for my digital camera, I was not able to fire off many shots of the terrain and museum.
From there, we went back to Chattanooga and drove up the twisting road curving around Lookout Mountain. Atop the mountain, we found Point Park. The view was absolutely amazing, and the kids had a blast hanging over the edge of the cliffs. Their antics did nothing to slow the quickening of my heart each time the children moved close to the edge.
The storm clouds rolled in, and we were all drenched with rain. We all grabbed a bite to eat at Mojo Burrito, which was delicious, but definitely not Mexican food. My stepfather’s children went their separate ways, and the rest of us went on to Cleveland, Tennessee, where my grandmother lives. I enjoyed visiting my grandmother and wish that I could spend more time with her. Grandma and Baby David got to meet one another, and he was quite content in her arms. Dyl was very excited to see Grandma again, as he has grown close to her over the last several years.
The next day, we traveled back to Santa Fe, and Dyl and I made our way back home.