Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chicamauga, Chattanooga, and Nashville

8715 - 8966

Friday morning I took blue highways north from Rome, Georgia towards Chattanooga, with the ultimate goal of reaching Nashville.

My route took me right through the Chickamauga Battlefield, an important battle in the Civil War. My focus in my history studies at Davidson was on the Civil War, so I stopped to soak in some of the almost palpable history. I had not problem picturing infantry charging out of the trees into the teeth of cannon fire.

I got a kick out of this historical marker, not because of what it said, but because it clearly had been under water recently with the flooding in the area. You can see grass hanging on one corner.

On to Chattanooga and the superb Tennessee Aquarium. I really enjoyed this visit, not only because of the well laid out exhibits and animals other than sea creatures, but because of the large number of staff and volunteers around that I got to chat with.

Here was my favorite staff person at the Aquarium, Anne. She has worked there five years -- started as a volunteer. She was pretty tired, telling crabby tourists that the otters were sleeping in the back.

I wonder if I should have been worried when I found buckets catching drips in the Aquarium.

Here we got to feed shrimp to sting rays. Very cool. Hard to believe one of these got the Crocodile Hunter.

On to Nashville, where I stayed with college friends Newton and Burkley Mann Allen. We went out to the home of Carolyn Watt Cantwell and Jeff Catwell for dinner. Carolyn served dessert on napkins instead of plates, and warned me not to include that in the blog. So I won't. That's Carolyn about to choke me, with Jeff on the left, and Burkley and Newton on the right.

We had a fabulous time catching up, trading barbs, and freely giving our opinions on how to make the world a better place. Carolyn and Jeff are deeply involved in a non-profit to help East African refugees in the area, and doing great, if frustrating, work. Newton is an internist and accomplished musican, and Burkley is a recently laid off engineer, so we commiserated on deciding on what to do when we grow up.

Carolyn was concerned that we did not spend enough time talking "life philosophies." I beg to differ... seeing and hearing how my friends and relatives live, react, and interact, as well as what makes them tick, is the kind of life philosophy collection I have richly enjoyed.

Carolyn was bound and determined to make the visit blog worthy. She said "I want you to write that this was the best stop in your whole adventure!" As requested, I have written those very words.


  1. I'm sure it was "the best stop" so far . . . but you haven't been to Houston yet!

  2. Sarah, Ted's saving the best visit for last (Texas). I'm using my husband Jeff's gmail account to post this comment...

    To quote Joe Wilson, Ted, "You lie!"

    Ted, we missed you today...where did you go in the driving rain? We thought that serving dessert on napkins was "all the rage," and that it would prompt you to return to Brentwood and see our town by the light of day. Sorry we didn't have any TaT to show you...