I left Bloom Bloom at 4:45 am CST and arrived in the Chatt at 2:05 pm EST. Chattanooga is 1 hour ahead of Bloomington. Google Maps said it was going to take 8 hours and 45 minutes...BAH Google Maps, I beat you!
My first adventure on the road was for coffee. For those of you who don't know, caffeine and and I do not get along very well. My reaction to caffeine is very similar to that of a crack/coke head. I cease to make sense during conversation, can't eat, sweat profusely, and have a hard time "coming down." So at 5 am I thought, "Whoo Hoo! I get to have a huge cup of coffee and all of my crackiness will come out on an 8.5 hour drive and no one will be the wiser." Well, not knowing too much about coffee, I got the biggest cup of coffee Huck's gas station had and put in what I thought was a reasonable amount of sugar and cream. By the time I got to Leroy, I realized I had not put enough sugar into my gigantic cup of joe and needed to pull off to get more. Payton thought this was our final destination and literally jumped over me and crashed into the side window. Poor pup. I then went into the scariest gas station ever, and quickly filled my ginormous cup and skedaddled out of there. After our Leroy fiasco I got us back on the road and whoo hoo-ed our way into Kentucky for our first gas fill up (Paducha, KY). Then onto Nashville and finally into our beloved Chattanooga. Ahhhhh. I was able to talk to my parents and Elaine while on the road too. They got me through most of TN. Not a bad road trip. It was the longest I had ever driven, and longest I had ever driven by myself. I will now take my big girl pants, thank you.
Tyler Klein and his wife Lacey, invited us over for a Thanksgiving dinner. I thought it was going to be at 6/7 pm, but come to find out...it was at 2 pm. So we were an hour late once I got showered and changed, no worries. Tyler and Lacey were great. They got us heaping plates of food and handed us each an adult beverage. Great people! Being that we are all "northerners" (Tyler and Lacey are from Madison, WI) we didn't partake in a traditional southern Thanksgiving. We had all the regular stuff. There was turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. Maybe next year I will know what collared greens are and how to make them ;-)
Now that Andy is enmeshed in the retail world, he is fortunate enough to "work" on traditional "off work" holidays. Black Friday in the Northshore shopping district was the open house for all businesses housed there. Well, TREK Chattanooga was no exception. Granted they just got paint on the walls, and display cases delivered 1 week ago...but who cares! Tyler (Owner), Andy (Sales Manager) and Mike Teff (Parts Manager) worked long hours this week to get things up and going by black Friday. In the process, Andy got really worn down and very sick. So when I showed up he was pretty much a NyQuil zombie. Yeah :( Despite being a NyQuil zombie, the soft open went amazing! They only had 60-70% of their product (bikes, clothes, shoes, parts, etc.) in by yesterday, but still managed to completely WOW the Chattanooga residents. Some people drove from Atlanta to come and see it! The cash registers were open and they actually had more in the cash register at the end of the day than when they started! I am so proud of Andy and all that he has done in the short period of time he has been down here.
What did I do on black Friday? Good question. I've got answers. I woke up and said to myself, "Self, let's be productive and get this rental house looking more like the Sweets live here." So I cleaned and organized and felt amazing. I know, I am nutty--cleaning makes me happy. Then I went downtown to the store and visited with Andy, did some window shopping in Northshore, and then headed home to get a run in before it got dark. Running in southeast Tennessee...well, this is a very very interesting experience. I plotted a 5 mile run on USA Track and Field's web-site.
First thing to note about running in TN, there are hills. Not Jersey Ave. hills. I am talking about hills similar to Germantown/Metamora hills; and you don't have to go looking for them! The biggest one I tackled was less than .5 mile from our front door. My butt is going to look amazing!
Second, residents of TN think it is perfectly alright to let their rabid Cujo crazy dogs loose on their property.
After my first of four encounters with these southern dogs, I found 2 perfectly sized sharp rocks that I held onto for the duration of my run. I never had to throw either of these rocks, but I did feel safer nonetheless. I got home, knowing I will never be able to run with any of our pooches. I was pretty bummed about that, but then thought...I am going to be the toughest hill running rock launching southern gal out there! I told Andy he had to keep my rocks here so when I return I will have them as soon as I walk out the door ;-)
After my run, Andy came home, we had dinner and headed back to the shop to close down and watch the fire works display from the Grand Illumination. It is sorta like Festival of Lights in East Peoria. One difference the lighted floats are boats on the TN river and there are killer fireworks after the boat parade. Andy and I will try to embed a video later today. (found one on YouTube)...
All in all, a good weekend in the Chatt. Looking forward to coming back for Christmas.
Not too bad for my first blog, right? Hopefully, I will get better at this and it will be entertaining. Take care all.