Travelogue: Chattanooga, Tennessee. Day One.

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The alarm clock in my hotel room is eighteen minutes slow.

I find it so endearingly southern that I can’t bring myself to fix it. Plus I’m staying in a converted train car from the 1900s and convinced myself I’ll break something hugely important and expensive…and they have my credit card number on file. “For incidentals,” they say. I blame all my incidents on ghosts. The building is old enough that it is bound to have them. I’m sure things here always move as if guided by an invisible hand.

It’s my second travel writing trip to Tennessee but my first time in Chattanooga. For the first leg of the journey we’re lodged in the Chattanooga Choo Choo, a hotel housed in an old train depot dating back to 1909. Walking inside I could hear my mother’s voice in my head, “Look up, Lizzie.”

Right as always, Mom. What is it about old architecture and being so–for lack of a better term–totally boss at ceilings? When did ceilings get boring? When did we stop looking up?

 

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After a nap, it was time for dinner. We checked out Big River Grille & Brewing Works in downtown Chattanooga.

I still don’t know why the word grille needs an “e,” but to each his/her own.

The photos, despite being captured on an iPhone, can speak for themselves. We ate well. The dishes in order: crab dip, loaded chicken nachos, shrimp and grits, carrot cake and “chocolate ecstasy” cake.

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To get around town, the group took a free shuttle service that runs daily until 11 p.m. I think I’ll take a few more spins on the shuttle during my down time. It’s a great way to meet the locals.

When we boarded, there was a gentleman who conveyed the charming conviviality of the American south on has come to expect. Then the men folk started talking about college football conferences and I tuned them out.

I’m fluctuating between a feeling of being overly satiated and having a mild case of travel anxiety. Goodnight.

 


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