We had showered the night before so we just packed up our stuff when she woke up, and went down to breakfast. The complimentary breakfast buffet was excellent. I was very happy to see so many good options for me! My daughter indulged in a waffle and grabbed a blueberry muffin for the road. I had some eggs, a Dannon Light & Fit yogurt, and a cup of fruit, along with a cup of skim milk and some good coffee. I grabbed an English muffin for my snacks throughout the day and also an apple from the front desk as we left. as well as a "to go" cup of coffee. We felt sad that we hadn't explored Columbus, but Chattanooga awaited us!
|I was so happy to be able to make good choices on my first morning on vacation!|
So we left Columbus at about 9:30 a.m. and took mostly back roads to Chattanooga. That added another hour to our trip, but we didn't mind as the scenery was very pretty and we drove leisurely through the Georgia countryside instead of rushing on an interstate (and going through Atlanta, which I didn't want to do).
|First view of the mountains, so exciting for us Floridians!|
|A pretty house. I love those wide wrap-around porches.|
|On a smaller road now, still no traffic and another mountain. Life was good :)|
|We didn't stop there but it made me think of my honey :)|
|And that too because he'd have definitely stopped there but my daughter had no interest in Civil War battlefields. Sheesh, good thing she changed her mind from majoring in History in college...|
|Some monument... I needed some photos for the blog!|
The only stops we made were to gas up and stretch our legs and we once again took turns driving. One of our stops took us to an Ingles Supermarket so I could use the restroom, and we purchase some fresh veggies to munch on, sugar free fruit spread for me, and some milk for my daughter. I asked for the Ingles customer loyalty card, since I could save $1 on the fruit spread with the card! Also Greg will be able to use it when he visits his daughter. I didn't have much to purchase or I would have tried to get some coupons doubled! How exciting was it for me to take that picture, since we don't have double coupons in Florida :)
|I've always wondered if their stores' marquees specify "American owned" because their name could be pronounced as the Spanish word "ingles", which means "English"... honestly, I think that's why. Does anyone know?|
|How exciting but all the rules made my head hurt! Maybe I won't be so envious of Alison anymore!|
I didn't have any coupons to redeem so I didn't have to worry about that.
My morning snack was 1/2 the English muffin from the breakfast bar, with a tablespoon of the sugar-free apricot spread that I had just bought. Yum.
Once again we stopped at Subway for lunch. We decided we would do that as much as possible, as eating a Veggie Delight allows me to have a dinner-size portion of proteins at night, and my daughter loves the chicken breast sub. For dessert, I had the apple I had grabbed at the hotel.
Once we reached Chattanooga, my daughter was driving and I was navigating, since Ruby Falls didn't have an address for the GPS, I had to read the directions from the website. She handled it like a pro, despite feeling a little uncertain, once we got to climbing up the mountain road and especially down the narrow and steep (for us Floridians!) access roads to the parking lot! I won't lie, I was so happy to get the SUV parked safely because I had white knuckles next to her :)
|I didn't take any pictures during the drive up the mountain, I was too nervous since it was her first time driving up a mountain on a tiny road, in my large SUV with loads of other traffic zipping down the mountain!|
|The narrow, downhill road to the parking lot. It doesn't look bad in the picture but again, once she was at the top of the road,|
we couldn't see anything ahead of us (downhill, and large hood) and weren't sure that the SUV would fit on the tiny road!
|Part of the building containing the ticket booths and the line to get in the elevator going down to the cave.|
Meanwhile, my daughter and I visited Ruby Falls. She liked it, I thought it was OK. We went down several hundred feet into the mountain via an elevator, and then took a guided tour that was cheesy and not very informational through the caves to the waterfall at the end. It was very busy so it was like being in a long line, like a Disney World, the whole time.
|Most of my pictures didn't turn out, but it wasn't all that impressive anyway, IMO.|
When we came back up, we decided to go check out Rock City. I didn't really want to pay another $50 in entrance fees for a lame attraction, especially since it was 5:00 p.m. already and they closed at 8 p.m., but we decided that we might as well and we actually loved it.
|But first, walking back to our SUV, we came across this guy...|
I drove up the mountain this time. It was far less stressful :) There were lots of pretty houses, very expensive I'm quite sure.
Of course, when we got to our destination, there was one of those across the street!
|My daughter at Rock City Gardens|
|There were no goblins inside, though.|
|I was nervous about her looking over the railing so she took this weird position to reassure me|
that she wouldn't fall over the railing!
|The weather was lovely and there was a music festival going on. I would have loved to sit on the terrace, have a cup of coffee, and listened to them, they were very talented and it was so relaxing. But my daughter was eager to move on.|
|This state that the singer, Amber Carrington, was a semi-finalist on Season 4 of "The Voice" (I don't watch that show) and performed at the Grand Ole Opry 3 times already.|
|I love hortensias!|
|Well, this fat woman did squeeze in and was able to go down. It was deceptively narrow. The bottom|
of the passage was actually wider and the narrow part was where your head would go. So it wasn't
|Lord of the Rings?!|
|I took this picture with the flash to show the whole decor made with shells and corals.|
|Another scene where this gnome is fishing. Once again, it reminded me of Greg.|
|The hallway to our room. The carpets were badly stained, the walls were just bare drywall. It was|
almost like a low-rent horror movie... I know you don't spend the night in the hall but still!
|The entrance to our bedroom. I'm not a fan of the style and that couch was VERY uncomfortable and brand new so it had a chemical odor to it.|
|The very garish bathroom. It was like a high schooler decorated it. But even my daughter hated it.|
|We had to share a king-size bed that night.|
Once there, I found out that despite having asked the cashier who had sold me the gift cards last month, back home, to make sure that the $10 complimentary gift cards had been activated indeed were because I wasn't going to be using those in Florida, one of them had NOT been activated. Arrrgh. I'll have to deal with it when I get home. I had the strawberry poppyseed salad with chicken and a piece of bread. It was so good!
My daughter was tired and getting a little cranky, so I offered to get her ice cream and she was happy because she had been pondering whether to ask me if I could take her to get ice cream, since she knows I'm on a diet. However, I don't really care for ice cream all that much so it didn't bother me. We found a Bruster's, though, and I do love Bruster's ice cream, but I just took a tiny bite of hers and was satisfied.
We saw a hobby store that I would have liked to visit to see if I could find anything interesting for Youngest Son, but alas it was already closed :(
We spent the rest of the evening planning our day tomorrow, and took showers before turning in at about midnight. It was another successful day!