Leaving Knoxville we headed up to Gatlinburg as a gateway to the Smoky Mountains. The leaves were just starting to change so not at their full color but still pretty.
Cades Cove drive is always lovely even when a bit overcast. We saw lots of roped off areas warning not to stop as there were active bears but we didn’t see any. Turkeys and horses were it.
Great picnic and hike plus play on the river.
Complete with laughing so hard, Max couldn’t get up without help!
The next couple of days were spent in Tennessee. We used to visit Chattanooga quite often because of the amazing aquarium and children’s museum in downtown. Getting too old now for the museum but the aquarium was just as good as we remembered. It really is one of the best we have been to and we like it better than Monterey and others.
A great evening in Knoxville. The downtown has grown and there are some nice restaurants in Market Square.
It was fun revisiting some places we used to spend time at too such as Ijams Nature Center. We hung out at McKays used book store (actually we had taken a big load up to sell as well) and of course drove by our house.
We’ve all been wanting to hit the road since we came back from Dubai but with surgeries it has put things on hold. With Jake’s birthday happening we decided to head up to Atlanta to see him. It took about 8 hours to get there from St Pete but it was a fun drive with a stop for dinner at Cracker Barrel – it’s a tradition!
A little wobbly start trying to find a hotel in downtown Atlanta at 10:30 pm but we did eventually (I know better but somehow just assumed it would be less scary) and then spent a really fun day with Jake as city host.
First breakfast in the restaurant he works at – Home Grown. Incredibly good food with a Southern flair.
Then off to Martin Luther King Jr National Park which was very interesting. We toured his childhood home and freedom center etc. We all learned a lot and were impressed at the place (plus it’s free). Really recommend visiting.
Next was the Margaret Mitchell house – author of Gone With the Wind. Grandma’s favorite and we thought it would be interesting to find out more about the author. Sadly disappointing museum. Very expensive, nothing original, and quite a stretch to call it a “museum.” Don’t bother.
Then it was off to the kid’s choice of World of Coca Cola. I was a bit skeptical at first as it was so corny and over the top plus I don’t really like soda or encourage the kids to drink it. But actually the history of a major US company turned out to be quite interesting and the information was well presented. An expensive venture but good and of course the all-you-can-drink sodas from around the world were met with excitement. It was actually fun to try so many.
We ended the day at a great restaurant then headed off to Chattanooga to stay.
Love my kids. They all rallied around Max as did all his family members. His healing has gone so well.