Rocky Top Tennessee

Thursday, March 21, 2013

When we were looking for a place to celebrate our one year anniversary, we kept saying, "it needs to be close" and "somewhere that we've never explored." Well, while doing some research, we decided that Chattanooga, TN was the place for us. It's two hours away, and both of us had only passed through there on the interstate, we had never really spent time in the "Scenic City." So, Chattanooga it was!

Friday, we both left work around lunch to go home to pack, and get on the road. The weekend before, we had made reservations at The Chattanoogan Hotel for our accommodations. It's in the heart of downtown, and it was perfect for walking to area restaurants and taking in the beautiful mountains from our room. The hotel also had a surprise waiting on us after dinner Friday night... chocolate covered strawberries and jelly beans!

OH, and we chose to valet park. And watching those guys literally break out in a full run to go get our vehicle both days was priceless. And, they also had great recommendations for places to eat around the hotel.

Our first night there, we decided to take one of the valet guys suggestion and try out a local burger joint, Urban Stack. It was just two blocks from the hotel, and the weather was perfect for a stroll with the Mr. Urban Stack is known for their "Killer Burgers & Manly Drinks" so we both decided to try both out! Of course, I think the Mr's burgers was the one they really considered a "killer." It was basically two burgers in one. I think they called it the Big Mike?! And y'all, he almost finished it. It was hilarious to watch. Overall, we enjoyed everything. I had the sweet potato fries with my burger, and the Mr had regular fries with chipotle ketchup, and it definitely had a kick.

The next morning, we got up moving. And just let me say... there's nothing like YOUR bed. And that's all I'll say about that. =) We had the breakfast buffet at the hotel before we left headed to the Tennessee Aquarium. It was only about a mile from our hotel, but we chose to drive because we knew we would want to go other places after our first stop. And wouldn't you know there was a wreck at the road we needed to turn on to get to the aquarium. So over the bridge we went. And y'all we ended up on top of the mountain over looking the river and downtown Chattanooga. It was a beautiful site!

Once we got to the aquarium and paid $9 to park, yep... that was a shocker, we got our tickets. And I had seen online that you could get backstage passes to see different parts of the aquarium and view the animals up close and personal. But when we tried to get them online, the date we wanted wasn't clickable. So while we were getting our tickets that morning, I asked the lady and she said, well... it's free today due to Spring Break. #score So we headed over to sign up to see the penguins. And the lady proceeded to tell us that it was for ages 6 and up. Well, hello, we are definitely over 6! Ha! So she said, okay, y'all have fun. Let's just say, I love me some penguins!! I think their walk is hilarious. Plus, we got to learn a lot about them that we didn't already know from Mr Poppers Penguins. =)

And, because I couldn't bare to not share these with y'all too! Here are the videos I took on vine...

Did I mention just how much I love penguins?! 

And, yes, there were plenty of others that we saw, and some reptiles that I freaked out about. Maybe I can get the Mr to blog about that one day soon. But without going into my panic attack, here are some more of the things we saw...

For lunch, we took one of my co-workers suggestions and ate at The Boathouse. It's on the river, and the food was delicious!

The rest of the afternoon, we went shopping. Yes, shopping!! It was nice to stroll around without a place to be, just enjoying the time together. We even saw a local animal adoption agency having a big adoption day, so we went over to love on some of the babies. 

That evening, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We took one of the valet guys suggestions, and walked a few blocks to Public House for dinner. The weather was perfect to sit outside and enjoy the view. And, I might add that this was the best meal of our trip. Everything was perfect, except that the portions were rather large. The Mr and I could have shared a meal, but we were both wanting to try an assortment of items on the menu. He ordered the filet with mashed potatoes and beans, and I ordered their fried chicken, with their homemade two cheese mac and cheese. Y'all, the chicken was soaked in sweet tea overnight before it was fried, and dear heavens, it was DIVINE!! And his steak was incredible. Possibly the best steak I've ever eaten.

We woke up early on Sunday morning, and decided to come on home (wearing green of course). The two hour trip was a quick one, and we ended up back in the Ham around 11:30. So we stopped by The Summit and enjoyed one of our favorite restaurants... The Cheesecake Factory. We tried something different this time though — their loaded baked potato soup and grilled chicken salad, and y'all we didn't even have cheesecake! #wemusthavebeensickorsomething And, we even stopped by one of my favorite stores for a little purchase!

Chattanooga was the perfect place to visit for our one year anniversary trip. And, we've decided we will be going back soon. It was so relaxing, and enjoyable... plus there are a lot more restaurants we were told about that we didn't even get a chance to try! And, I must give credit where credit is due... a huge thank you to the Mr for making this anniversary one we will never forget! Anniversary Year Two... here we come! 


  1. Where is my penguin, Joy? You were supposed to smuggle one back for me! I am so glad that you guys had such a good time on your anniversary trip! Chattanooga is such a fun place to visit.

  2. I'm glad you guys had a great trip!

    Sweet tea soaked chicken? Oh my.

  3. Looks like a wonderful trip with amazing food & what a bonus seeing those precious penguins!!

  4. So glad y'all had a great time! I was in Birmingham two weekends ago! I would like to visit there one weekend!

  5. It sounds so perfect! Glad you had a great celebration.

  6. Maybe it's just me but that wreak where you had to go around is so symbolic of this year. No? You all had some bumps, but look at the beautiful spot you're at now?! (Maybe I'm a huge sap, ugh don't tell anyone lol)

    I have never been here either, but clearly I need to. Something y'all clearly learned: trust the valet boys! They know how to eat ;-) I love this idea of going to a new place for your anniversary. Is that something you all will continue to do with each anniversary?

  7. How awesome! I love that it was close, but still a getaway. And penguins. I love penguins, but mainly because the male watches the egg! Haha The food looked amazing! Chicken soaked overnight in sweet tea...only in the south. I can't get over that. I'm drooling!

    Glad y'all had a great time! Happy 1 year! Can't wait to see your next adventure!

  8. What a fun way to celebrate your 1st year of wedded bliss. I'm the same way about a trip. I don't want to be in the car for a long time! Chattanooga is a fun place. Love that you scored on the aquarium tickets. That is one of my favorite places! Hope you are having a great day!

  9. Hello Joy!
    I'm stopping by from the I Love My Post Blog Hop, thanks for co-hosting! I'm now following you via GFC. Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! I used to have a pen pal from Chattanooga so great to see some of the sights of where he lived.

    Here is my blog link if you wish to take a look -

    Peace & love from Ireland! :)

  10. Happy Anniversary! It sounds like you had a fantastic time.

    I found you through the I love my post weekend hop and now following you :D

    I'd love it if you checked out my blog:


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