Saturday, July 03, 2010

::Chattanooga Days::

::AY SIX::

Many, many emotions were involved in shaping the next few days. The plan was to pack up and head over to Chattanooga to stay with Aunty B. for a few days before heading to the coast. However, two little girls had their hearts set on staying together. I considered putting my foot down and insisted on dragging Caelah along, but daughter-tears are weighty things. And so we left Caelah with Anna, exchanging her for Josh. It saddened me that Aunty B. would not get a chance to chat with my eldest, but it would have been sadder still to inhibit the cousin-bonding taking place.

Grace & Cora were waiting for us at Aunty B's, as I had hoped they would be. I have wanted to get my hands on Cora for awhile because she reminds me so much of Caelah as a baby. She is just as scrumptious as her pictures promised. Cora was very interested in Annorah, who was not nearly as interested in her. Norah kept looking up at me-- help? It was funny to watch.
The boys spent all of their time on the front lawn playing with water or watching the freight train as it passed again and again. At dinner time we finally saw the husbands: Justin and Uncle John home from work. We had great plans to travel into town that evening for a music festival, but we were rained out. It did give me a chance to chat with my long-missed Aunt and Uncle before bed though.


We had only a brief visit with Uncle John in the morning before he had to leave for a two-day job in Atlanta. Considering we only see him once every few years, I was sad to see him go. Shortly after breakfast Aunty B. and I took the boys into town to play at a newly renovated water feature. Beside the Aquarium a wide set of steps now cascaded with water down to a shallow pool near the river. Instant hit with the kids. I liked it because it was entirely in the shade and I could wade alongside them without wetting my skirt. Good thing because Isaiah had me climb up and down with him about twenty times!

At my insistence we walked to a local coffee shop afterwards called Greyfriars because I had a stubborn memory of it being remarkably good. They had this chocolate fudge brownie that I still remember. Aunty B. warned that new ownership had changed the quality of the desserts. She was right, but the cakes we had were not bad and the coffee was still tasty. It also happened to be that right behind our little cafe table was a suspicious mountain of old books by the curb. Free?After inquiring at the bookshop next door we were told that, yes, the books could go home with us if we wanted them. After one glance I knew they of a genre and era that were entirely unfamiliar to me. Unsurprisingly, Aunty B. sifted through them expertly and we came away with well over a dozen books that were tucked under every arm and stuffed in every available crevice of the umbrella stroller which was then sat upon by Isaiah. He was not thrilled to be placed in such a precarious position.

That evening we were unexpectedly gifted with a night off. Aunty B. did not feel up to heading to Riverbend Festival, so she offered to stay in with our sleeping brood, including Cora. So, Justin, Grace, Andrew, Aidan & I seized the opportunity.

WE strolled across the beautiful pedestrian bridge that sans the Chattanooga river and heard an eerie fusion of music drifting up from various stages. It was very hard to make out a single group or musician. Because of this we decided to fore go any hope pf actually listening to music and we explored some of Grace and Justin's favourite places. They took us up to the Art Gallery and showed us some amazing sculptures. We wandered through winding vine-covered stone alleyways and saw a beautiful Boccie Ball court shaded by a leafy arbour. Trees had actually snaked their trunks around the structure to form the canopy. We settled at a coffee shop for a latte-- (not skinny please.)

We continued to search out some worthwhile music for awhile afterwards but were unsuccessful. However we had entertainment in Justin who Yankified himself until Grace was sufficiently embarrassed. We were also accosted by a street preacher who warned us all to beware our pride. At 10:00 P.M Grace and I were ready to call lit a night but the boys had other ideas. When we ladies conceded to going to a local pub Justin yipped; "This is the best night of the year!"
It truly was a fantastic place. It was called The Terminal. A completely green building: reclaimed wood, low-water toilets, rainwater cisterns, and local farm connections. We'll drink to that! And the food was remarkably good. Aidan says the nachos were the best he's ever had, and I would say the same for my crab cakes. It was a very later night in the end. But it was such a good one.