We spent Christmas in Tennessee this year at my parent’s home near Chattanooga and it was so lovely there.
To a place where people ask you how are you and really want to know.
Not just to be nice.
Where the views so amazing that you want to cry.
And make you become a believer if you never were.
And to where my mama and dad live.
Welcome to Tennessee.
Geraniums on my mama’s screened porch.
Still in full bloom.
Did I mention this is outside?
Lunch at a favorite Smoky Mountain restaurant.
In the mountains!
This was amazing because just a half-mile down the road there was no snow to be found.
The higher up you went, the colder it got, and the snow appeared.
Every one of us in the car (6 of us) all oohed and ahhed.
And we all grew up with snow.
Can you imagine what it was like for those who had never seen snow or rarely get it?
We drove around a curve and came upon this view.
It really felt like what Heaven would look like.
And everyone was stopping to look at it, take pictures.
I felt honored to get to see this view.
Thank you, God, for this.
Ice and snow.
And people getting so excited about it.
I love this.
See the snowman someone made and left?
Speaking of snowmen, we saw tons of these snowmen on cars coming down from the mountain. Made us laugh, everyone was having fun.
A rare tornado hit the Chattanooga area last year and this was one road affected.
Look at all the trees knocked down.
My youngest was really worried about the trees.
I called it a tree cemetery.
The entire two-mile road was covered in dead trees.
A cool pizza restaurant in downtown Chattanooga.
See the coke bottle caps as awnings?
Having a burger and fries at Cheeburger Cheeburger.
The burger was pretty good, but the service and the shakes were amazing.
This is a huge tourist attraction for Chattanooga, as is Ruby Falls.
Check out Rock City here and Ruby Falls here.
We went to their Christmas light show for a date night.
You walk around outside, through the rocks, and on the edge of Lookout Mountain, all while looking at the lights.
This was the gift shop.
Doesn’t it look so cozy?
I should say, the week we were there was the coldest they had seen in a long time.
So the great Tennessee/Georgia people we saw there were walking around all bundled in their cute hats, mittens, scarves, even North Face jackets.
The two Chicago people who were there?
I was wearing an Old Navy fall coat.
No scarf, no mittens, no hat.
Mike was wearing a spring golf jacket.
We were freezing.
I thought it was gonna be warmer in the South??
Of course, it got warmer after we left.
Of course it did.
Sorry for the bad picture, but I wanted you to get a feel of the place.
Squeezing through the rocks.
And don’t worry if you are a little claustrophobic, Mike is, and he was fine.
Although I heard him whimper softly.
Nativity in the rocks.
Looking down to the walkway we just came in on.
The lights of Chattanooga below.
The lights of Chattanooga from the top of Lookout Mountain.
Took our breath away.
We finally know how the above expression got its name.
They lit the steps everywhere.
So you don’t fall off the mountain.
At the top of the mountain, they had these bonfires set up, so we sat around warming our hands and talking to some amazing Southern people.
And again, we were the only ones without mittens.
Yes. I know we live where it’s cold.
Don’t think the irony wasn’t lost on us.
Also at the top of the mountain was a barn where you could make your own caramel apples with a fireplace inside.
A cave filled with gnomes.
Cuter than it sounds, although some of them were a little creepy.
The ceiling in the caverns.
Glow in the dark.
This was the view from the car on the way down the mountain.
Goodbye pretty views.
Flying over the Midwest, we could only gather could be Indiana.
It was fun to see the landscape below change after descending from the clouds.
Of course by the time we got to Chicago, brown not white waited for us.
We got missed by the snowstorm.
I have lived here 20+ years, and the skyline is still so amazing.
Everyone in the plane stared out the window and most of us were from the Chicago area.
It’s not mountains, but it is pretty cool.
So we had a great week in Southern Tennessee.
If you ever have time to visit, please do.
I know many people drive down 75 en route to Florida, but make Chattanooga a stop.
Totally worth it.
Oh, and honk your horn when you get near the scenic pullover just north of the first Chattanooga exit.