Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day 4

After a wonderful breakfast buffet at the Gardens Restaurant, which included "on demand" Waffles with "choo-choo" printed in the middle, we said good-bye to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel. Clark took this great shot of the lobby dome. According to the history information, this is the highest free standing dome in the world. The entire lobby was beautiful!
We made a quick stop at the Mini Model Railroad Museum on the hotel property. It was one long room with trains and track as far as the eye could see.

We all checked out and caught the electric tram to downtown again. This time we headed to the Riverboat called "Southern Belle." It was a relaxing ride down the Tennessee River.

We saw hawks..........
interesting bridges.....
and movie stars like Leo DeCaprio (King of the World)!
We said our good-bye to Jenny, Myra, and Don. They were headed to do some more shopping while we headed back to our car.

We stopped for lunch in Cleveland, TN. Our very friendly server suggested we take the scenic route into North Carolina instead of the major highway route we had planned. She boasted that the scenic route was 50 miles shorter making it a more direct route. She was right, the route was very scenic.

Ocoee Notional Forest and Ocoee River
We drove pass white water rapids, through the Ocoee National Forest, through a section of the Smoky Mountains, and through the peaks and valleys of the mountains. But it wasn't faster!!!!!!!!!!! When there were sections of the road that were hair pin curves with 10 and 20 mph speed limits, fast was not in the equation! It really was beautiful and so very different from Texas. We are glad we drove the route despite the time issues.

We crossed the North Carolina state line about 4:30 EST. Since we were not on a major road, we didn't have a place to take our "state line" picture. Sorry!

We stopped for dinner then found our hotel around 10:00pm. Spoiler Alert: Here comes the first bad spot of the trip. This hotel, online, looked so wonderful. It had stayed true to it's origins with antique furniture, old photos, and a grand staircase. What we found was a building in need of updating in the most basic ways. Our room was on the third floor. No elevator on site, we lugged up our suitcases and ice chest to find the third floor with no air and very little light... no light on the last section of the stairs itself... no light on the landing...... one dull light to illuminate the long hallway! It gets worse! We opened the door to a room that was like an oven blast! There was one little tiny window unit that was suppose to cool a large room. NOT! The little unit was barely blowing! For someone with asthma- ME- this was not acceptable. Ed knew I couldn't stay in those conditions so he went down to check us out. (BTW no telephones in the room either. Ed couldn't have called 911, when I stopped breathing, if we had stayed! :-))

We ended up 5 miles away at a Comfort Inn. It was the only one out of 5 hotels that had non-smoking, double bed, rooms available for 2 nights. Hallelujah!

With all the hotel switch-a-roo going on, we missed the Karaoke party that was the wedding activity for Friday. I hate that! But today is a new day! Today is the wedding day! Can't wait to see Denise and Rob tie the knot!

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