Chatt in the Nooga

ruby fallsFor some reason, that was the lame way I used to think about how to pronounce the town where my Dad grew up (after leaving Poland at the age of 9). Chattanooga, Tennessee – the perfect place for folks straight from the shtetl to land, right? Anyway, after living here in Atlanta for ten years, I thought it was high time to find a place for a quick retreat – especially considering it was our fifth anniversary weekend. So for the first time in probably twenty-five years, I returned to spots my dad had dragged me as a kid – Rock City, Ruby Falls, etc. And we had a great time! The waterfront area is really a jewel with great hospitality, walking distance to tons of attractions, lots of restaurants – although next time, we’ll know better than to expect to find a table at 7pm on Saturday night w/out a reservation with a grumpy Sam in tow. 

The legendary Ruby Falls, (pictured at left) a subterranean cave complex discovered in the 1930s by a businessman who was drilling a shaft to reach another known (and less spectacular cave) which had been cut off by a railway tunnel a few years earlier, was just as stunning as I remembered. Despite the annoying guide pushing us along at a pace faster than I’d prefer, the place was magical. I hope Sam remembers a good chunk of this – I’m sure we’ll be back. 


We also had to ‘See Rock City’ as the barn-side paintings from across the country tell us – and that was equally fascinating. Sort of a pre-Disneyworld theme park with a gnome instead of a mouse, the paths through the rock formations there are great fun, and the side attractions like the raptor show and the bygone-era ‘Mother Goose’ exhibit under black-light were big hits with the kids. 

We also took in some Civil War history atop Lookout Mountain, driving the same roads that I recall my dad scaring the heck out of my mom (and by association, my brother and I) cruising around with not-very-significant guard rails along the outer edge. They didn’t seem so bad this time around, and hopefully no children were scarred. We’ll have to see!

Family #2

On the last days, we checked out the Tennessee Aquarium, which I have to say was a very enjoyable change of pace from the over-packed Georgia version here at home in Atlanta. 


Full photo gallery is here.

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