Okay… I’m about to juggle around my blog posts again…

I’m typing this from a bit of a dodgy motel in the small town of Sherburne, New York.  We’ve just finished eating in-room pizza from a local restaurant and the kids are watching Stuart Little on TV while Nick catches up on some sleep.

We’re on our way back to Washington DC from Indian Lake – and it’s a beautiful drive.  We’re hoping to pass through Amish country tomorrow… but I’ll write about that at a later stage…

Right now,  I’m just going to catch you up with our road-trip news…  where did I leave off?

Oh yes – the last part was our visit to White Springs in Northern Florida…

Here’s what happened next:

We drove non-stop through the state of Georgia.

After we’d passed through Georgia – we drove into Tennessee and decided to stop over in Chattanooga for the night.

After I’d popped in to 3 hotels and asked for their prices, we decided that – for just a little bit extra – we could enjoy the uniqueness of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel – which is located in Chattanooga’s old train station.

If you’ve ever listened to any big band music – you’ve probably heard the Chattanooga Choo-Choo song.  Even if you don’t think you know the song…  if you google it, you’ll recognise it.  The song – about the train (nicknamed the Chattanooga Choo-Choo by a newspaper reporter) offered the first non-stop service from Cincinnati, Ohio – all the way to Chattanooga, Tennessee.  One of the original, wood-burning, steam locomotives… remains parked at the old station and is now part of the hotel.

And… as someone who is fascinated by stuff like this… I utterly LOVED the old train station (built in 1908)… and, of course, the beautiful old trains… still standing on the original tracks (some of the cabooses are now used as unique hotel rooms).

The historic building is… absolutely gorgeous!!

Here’s some pics:

The exterior of the hotel...

The exterior of the hotel…

From the inside...

From the inside…

… and, if you stand in the middle of the lobby and look up, this is what you see…

… and, if you stand in the middle of the lobby and look up, this is what you see…

We arrived pretty late at night (the photos above were taken the next morning)…  and, after checking in to our spacious room, the kids and I went for a swim in the hotel’s heated pool.

The heated pool in this hotel was… almost eerily… deep!

The heated pool in this hotel was… almost eerily… deep!

After our swim, we went to have some supper at The Station House restaurant.  The food was pretty average – but the entertainment was unique:  the waiters and waitresses took turns, hopping up on to the stage (with a live band) and singing songs like “Santa Baby” and “Mustang Sally”.

Some of them (including our waitress) had really great singing voices.  Others… uh… not so much.

I think it was all a bit too “awkward moment” for Nick – who couldn’t wait to swallow his food and leave…

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The following morning, we had breakfast at The Bluegrass Cafe… (which came highly recommended by one of the locals).

BEST cinnamon bun… EVER!!  Great coffee too!

Morgan enjoying her hot, freshly baked bun!

Morgan enjoying her hot, freshly baked bun!




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After a yummy breakfast, we went to visit the model train display (the old train station – aptly – is home to a local model train society) – and they had a lovely train display.  I just LOVE mini cities… mini towns… model trains… and that kind of thing…

So… it was a real treat to take in the lovely display at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel…

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After we had explored all the little shops, nooks, crannies and trains in the hotel… we packed George-the-car and, as we were leaving, we decided to pop in quickly at a stationer and scrapbooking supply place (so Morgan could pick up a few goodies for her scrapbook).

The owner of the store was super-friendly… and gave us freebies – including stickers for Morgan and a stamp-pad for me.

We thought she had been so sweet, and – since she had expressed an interest in international currency – when we got back to the car, we found some South African Rands and sent Morgan back to the stationery store to give them to the lady as a thank-you for the freebies.

Morgan was in the store for a while… and just as Nick was about to go in and retrieve her, she came bursting out the door – with a huge grin on her face – loaded with even MORE freebies!  The lady had given her a lovely new scrapbook, new pens, more stickers, postcards – and even a toy for Joah!

Some people are so generous – you just can’t out-give them!

After a short – but eventful – visit… we drove out of Chattanooga and pressed on Northwards… towards Indianna!  🙂