Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chattanooga, TN

We were in Chattanooga, TN this past weekend. All I knew about the city was what I learned from that song about the choo choo. There is one, a Chattanooga Choo Choo that is.

Part of the reason we were there was to visit the model train display (more to come in a future post) at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel. The hotel, located in the converted Terminal Station in downtown Chattanooga, is on the list of America's historic hotels. We didn't stay there but I really want to now because hello! Some of the rooms are inside restored railcars. There are more traditional rooms available as well but let's be honest, why stay in a regular room when you can stay in a restored RAILCAR.

Our visit to Chattanooga happened to coincide with what is billed as a 24 hour block party being held on Main Street and the surrounding Southside. We walked over to Main Street from the station and strolled around the street fair. There were tree planting events, parades, specials at the local shops, horse and carriage rides and a whole section dedicated to all things mutt. Lots of cute dogs visiting and looking for homes. A nice event run by people that seemed to really enjoy what they were doing. If I happen to be in the area next time this event is scheduled I'd like to check it out more thoroughly.

Another thing I wanted to do was eat at my favorite MN barbecue chain. I've eaten all kinds of barbecue all over the place but there is something about this place that has me seeking it out whenever I get within distance of one. Maybe it's the consistency, the Devil's Spit sauce or something else. I like Famous Dave's. However, there is one thing that always irritates me when I dine there. If I order a burger, and I often do, the wait-person can be heard spouting the following foolishness "How would you like your burger, medium-well done or well done? Medium well done? There's no such thing as medium-well done Famous Dave. Well done is well done. Why perpetuate this charade? The servers should just say your burger will arrive well done. There is no other option, deal with it. Inevitably I order it, eat it and enjoy it all the while being mildly disappointed that I can't get it cooked to the temperature I enjoy. They need to fix this.

The day we were in town we took advantage of free electric bus rides around the downtown area. We hopped on and took the half hour ride around town. I saw a nice city. Lots of outdoor art, local non chain coffee shops and retail stores, just a nice looking city. All that aside, let me say here and now that I tend to draw crazy like moths to a flame. It seemed inevitable that one of the local "characters" would board the bus and sit right by me. And he did. I was regaled with tales of conspiracy, government underhandedness and various other ramblings. When my friend exited the bus the driver said that he "seemed good today, like he had gotten his meds." I told him not to worry, that we have crazy people where we from too. In hindsight I shouldn't have said crazy, I should have said colorful characters, but, dude was full on cray cray so there you have it.

All in all we really enjoyed our time in Chattanooga. You have to like a city where roses are blooming in December right? We had fun and ended our trip sitting at the bar at Red Lobster (I know, don't ask) drinking beers and rum drinks and watching the Georgia Bulldogs take a heartbreak of a loss to Alabama. If we're in this part of the country a bit longer I definitely want to go back and check out the local Chattanooga food scene. If we do you can read about it here.

Happy travels!

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