Thursday, July 27, 2017

our first anniversary trip (photo heavy)

 Since Chattanooga is a pretty far drive for us and the route took us through Atlanta, we decided to stop at The Varsity downtown. I had no clue about this place, since it was my first time in the city, but Austin suggested it and I am so glad he did. Such great food (with awesome views). 

I found out later that my grandfather (mom's dad) use to visit this place all the time when he attended Georgia Tech. I never knew my grandfather (he died 2 years or so before I was born) so having this place to "share" was really an amazing experience!
 Our hotel, The Read House, was absolutely gorgeous! It looked like it was out of the 1920's. Of course the first night we were there, we came back from dinner and heard a ghost tour going on. Austin and I refused to look up anything until we left, but the last night we (okay, really it was me) caved and looked up the haunted stories. Turns out our floor (the 4th floor) was haunted, as is the room 311 (where Al Capone once stayed while awaiting federal trial). 
 As we toured downtown, we noticed a lot of decorated and art decor in alleys. Turns out there was a competition.... and this one above was also one of the winners. We didn't find/explore any others but this one. 

The second day (first full day) we were there, we decided to go up to Lookout Mountain by way of the incline train. The photo of me above is from the top, where you can see 7 states!!!! I still can't get over the impressive views. 
 Okay, so you can't really tell here, but if you look straight up (middle of the photo) to where the mountain meets the horizon, you can see a building. That's where the cable car for the incline train takes you. It looks awesome until you notice the almost straight upward incline it makes at the very end. I'm not going to lie, it was intense.
 The views from the incline train as it takes you up are pretty breath taking. Of course, nothing beats the views from the top......

Later in the day (after my legs stopped feeling like jelly) we headed over to Ruby Falls. The whole experience in those caves were incredible. 

Then, because we still hadn't done enough in our day, we went to the Tennessee Aquarium.  This place is huge!!! There's a massive building for river animals and then another for ocean animals. Of course my phone died and my camera battery was also on it's last leg, so I didn't get as many photos as I wanted. However, Austin and I took the time just to enjoy being out of the heat and seeing all the amazing animals. I have to admit, one thing I love about us as a couple (and especially as a partner in Austin) is that we love doing tours and learning. Even on our honeymoon we tried to do the same thing. We are such nerds (and I absolutely love that)!!!
 This is a horrible photo of me, but I had to capture it. So as soon as I walked into the butterfly area, one landed right on my shoulder. I wasn't entirely sure how to get it off either, so it just stayed there and hung out for awhile. 
 These above photos are really the best in honor of shark week (one of my favorites)!!!

The little sea creature above is now one of my favorites. It's called a sea walnut and it is by far one of the coolest organisms I have ever seen. You can see the entire organism (inside and out) and it lights up rainbow colors as well. I can't explain it in great enough detail, so just go visit the link and see all about it for yourself (you can thank me later).

A friend of mine suggested this amazing coffee house, Rembrandt's. It was seriously amazing- the coffee, the food- everything. I wanted to go back every single day (so we went back twice).

 #jeeplife baby
 Our last full day we went to Rock City. Of course silly me not only didn't bring my camera but I also wore sandals. How do I always manage to wear sandals on the days we walk the most??!?! So be forewarned, if you plan to go to Rock City, yes it has shops, but it is mainly trails. Wear sneakers (ha!)

 The swinging bridge above is one of the scariest things I've ever done. This is probably in part to the dad in front of me walking on the outside of the planks instead of the middle..... if I could've turned back I might have....
Such an amazing trip! I loved every minute of it!!!
So now we're trying to figure out where to go next year!!!!! Any suggestions??

xoxo, kel

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