Chillin’ in Chattanooga

Chillin' in ChattanoogaToday was a SNOW DAY (!), which means it is the second 3-day weekend in a row <3 <3 <3. While I anticipate this weekend to be filled with relaxing, yoga, reading, bullet journaling, etc., the past 3-day weekend was more adventurous. My boyfriend and I went to Chattanooga for one main reason: to see the otters! (Some things of note: a. I am obsessed with otters. b. There are otters in the Memphis zoo but they are often hiding.)

We embarked on the five-ish hour drive early Saturday afternoon. Once we got to Chattanooga, it was dark and pretty late because of the time change. After checking into our hotel, we decided to get dinner at a nice restaurant downtown. Our hotel (Holiday Inn) was in a great location– walking distance from everything downtown, including the aquarium. The restaurant had yummy food, but the best part was that I could see a sign with a river otter that seemed to be looking at me from my seat!

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I see you, otter. 

We spent the rest of the night being classic millennials and playing Words with Friends on our phones with each other while sitting just a few feet apart.

The next morning, it was time to see the otters! We walked to the aquarium and started off in the Ocean Journey section. I thought they had sea and river otters, but I was wrong. While we saw fluorescent jellyfish, scary sharks, and a crazy octopus, there were no otters to be found in this building.

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The butterfly room. 

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Croc discrimination. 

We made our way over to the River Journey building. There was an otter talk coming up at 2 PM, so we had to get there fast! We finally found the cute river otters right in time for the talk. I learned that I have more in common with otters than I thought. We all like to nap and eat fish, fruits, and veggies. They brought some new otters out during the talk, and one did tricks for some fish. It was so cute! Then they scattered bits of food around the area for the otters to come in and find. They call this “enrichment.” I learned that I could have provided extra enrichment by wearing a sparkly top… next time! We sat for about 30-45 minutes after the talk just watching the otters swim and play. Once it seemed like they were ready for their naps, we said farewell and moved on to the rest of the river exhibits.

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Pure joy in the form of an otter-ly amazing selfie. 

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The otter clearly wanted me to come play. 

Initially, we had planned to leave that evening, but we were having so much fun in Chattanooga and it seemed cool, so we decided to stay an extra evening. After a nap, we headed to a well-advertised spot: Ruby Falls. This is a cave that has a beautiful waterfall in it. Our tour was just us and one other family, which was nice and intimate compared to the rather large group that went before us. The total walk was about a mile, and the waterfall was amazing! It was a bit strange that we were in a cave down in a mountain. I don’t think it exactly registered for me. The bf kept making jokes about The Descent— a scary movie we watched together about crazy cave monster people. Luckily, we reached our cars at the end unscathed.

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The changing lights and music made the waterfall seem even more spectacular. 

We then had dinner in a Brazilian restaurant located in our hotel. I’ve never had Brazilian before, but it was delicious! I especially loved the pineapple, my favorite food :). (And the pineapple juice.)

On Monday morning, we knew it was time to make the drive back home. I had been to Chattanooga years before with two of my friends, and I wanted to visit the places we went on our day trip. So, W. and I went to the north side of the river and ate at Good Dog, a hot dog place, and looked in some cute shops, where I replenished my card and stationary supply.

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Goofy boy at Good Dog. 

The drive home was nice. I finished one book (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell) the night before, and I started reading The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). W. asked me to read it out loud, so we both enjoyed the story for most of the ride home. (Now we each have our own copy and are reading it simultaneously. It’s quite fun.) I love reading out loud, so it was really fun! We still have about 150 pages in the book to go, and then you can expect my review. So far we both like the story.

Spending my long weekend in Chattanooga was great in a lot of ways. I love traveling and seeing new places, and I had a perfect time. While I’m looking forward to my relaxation this weekend, I can’t wait to see what the next adventure will bring!

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