It’s rare that I’m writing a Mondaly Memo post after dinner, but the truth is I find it hard to get back into my usual routines after we’ve been away for over two weeks. In January, it took several weeks until I felt I had things under control again. This time it seems a bit better, but I’m still not quite “on it.” I hope you’ll forgive a longer than usual post, as I thought I’d do a recap of our trip home, even though most of it happened before the weekend.
When we left Florida, we headed to Macon, Georgia. Tracy had long wanted to visit the Indian mounds there at the Ocmulgee National Monument.
It was a beautiful day for a visit, and I was much more interested in it than I expected. The park is a prehistoric Indian site, having been occupied for over 17,000 years. The Earth Lodge is a reconstructed ceremonial building, but the floor has been carbon dated to nearly 1,000 years old.
The Temple Mound is the highest, and largest Mississippian mound. If you look closely, you can see people climbing the stairs as well as some people on top of the mound which gives you some perspective. The original mounds were, needless to say, constructed basket by basket of dirt carried by individuals. It must have taken a very long time.
From Macon, we drove to Atlanta to have brunch at our favorite restaurant, Canoe. We discovered it when Sarah was in seminary, and it never disappoints. It’s a beautiful place, with impeccable service, and outstanding food. It sits on the bank of the Chattahoochee River.
I needed a self-portrait for my CY365 project that day, but I cheated and let Tracy take on. It’s not often I’m willing to share photos of myself, but the setting was pretty wonderful.
Our next stop was Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was a good distance between Atlanta and Nashville, so we planned an afternoon and evening there. Good choice. There was a wonderful art museum,
and an even more wonderful aquarium.
It housed a butterfly/bird garden on the roof,
a touchstation, “Stingray Bay,” where you can touch stingrays as they swim by,
and two buildings of exhibits, one the Ocean Journey, and the other The River Journey. Both are excellent. The exhibit of seahorses was absolutely fascinating although I have no photos from it.
There’s a wonderful pedestrian bridge that crosses the Tennessee River that links the downtown art district with a delightful area of restaurants and shops on the other side. After dinner at The Brewhaus, we walked across half the bridge, and then down to the park below. Chattanooga has done a wonderful job of revitalizing the river district. I wish Rochester would come up with a good plan.
Our primary destination for the trip home was Nashville. My main reason for wanting to visit was a bookstore, Parnassus Books, co-owned by Ann Patchett, one of my favorite authors. I was so engrossed in looking at books and reading the review cards, I never took one photo. I always try to buy one book whenever I visit an independent book store in order to support them. This time, both Tracy and I left with our own bag of books. I’m all set for reading material for the next several months! I did stick to my self-inflicted rule: you may only buy books you've never heard of (based, of course, on those marvelous little review cards taped to the shelves.)
But, I must admit that the highlight of our visit was not books, after all, but music. Thanks to the B&B owners we had tickets to see the Time Jumpers the first night. We ended up sitting with a couple who drive 1 ½ hours every week to hear the Time Jumpers. (Donny has seen them over 90 times!) It’s a 10 man “country swing” band, but I only have photos of a few of them since we were sitting right in front. Watching the band members interact with one another was such a treat, and the music was great!
The next night, we went to the Grand Ole Opry, and it was much better than I expected. It’s in a lovely auditorium, built specifically for the Opry, and it was a lot of fun.
That’s Charlie Daniels, if you’re a country music fan.
So that’s a long recap for a Monday. What about the mail? As you might imagine, we had a big stack of it. There were a couple great packages. One from California which I can’t share until later this month, and a package from Papertrey Ink. I spent most of yesterday, working on cards for April. Most of those I can’t share either, since the recipients do read the blog. This one, however, is for a friend who doesn’t read my blog.
Everything on this card came in my box of goodies. The diecuts, preprinted flowers and pot, and patterned paper are all from a mini kit, “Bloom and Grow.” The open frame die is one of three pieces in a new die set called “Mix and Mat: Flourishes.”
The flowers pull out to include a message, but there's another sentiment inside as well.
I'm entering this in the NBUS Challenge #11, for "never before used stuff."
Waving to Sian and the Monday Memo crew! It’s good to be back, and hopefully next week, I’ll be on track again.