It is so good to be back home. Back to the tumbling squirrels, baby bunnies and birds. It is great to be back in cooler temps. I had a wonderful quick trip to Chattanooga but so happy to be back here. I left on Thursday with a slight sore throat which is either the precursor to a cold or I have done too much and my body is giving me a preliminary warning sign. Sore throat with my immune system is always the first sign of overdoing for me and it has been a while since experiencing this. So, I will take it easy today and see how it goes. The combination of doing a lot with very little sound sleep is not good.
So if people call Atlanta, Hotlanta, someone needs to come up with a name like that for Chattanooga because it can be one hot city. And the funny thing is people seem to be in denial about the heat. When Peggy and I did our girl's trip in 1999, we found that out then and now in 2016, it doesn't seem like that fact has changed. Many stores were under air conditioned as well as understaffed. The appeal just wasn't there to stand in long lines, sweating.
I left Thursday around 10:45 and as always the drive, beautiful. Light traffic and good music kept me company. In fact I arrived at the hotel before check in. My room on the first floor wasn't finished yet so I opted for a room on the second floor. Great A/C, cold and quiet. I headed over to the Hamilton Place Mall starting with a late lunch at Abuelo's. Loved the three salsas and the shrimp tacos. Strengthened for the journey I started out shopping for dress slacks for Roy. Hit pay dirt! Sometimes 36x34 pants are hard to find and I was a tad discouraged at first but I kept at it, going through all the racks and found Roy four pairs of dress slacks. All in gray or blue which is what he needs. I shopped at a few more places in the mall before calling a wrap on that portion and headed over to the shopping area where the Hobby Lobby and Fresh Market are located. Both stores hotter than Hades and both had long lines at the checkout counters. I decided nothing in either store was worth the time in the heat, so I headed back to the hotel but made a quick stop for refreshments at Sonic. I slept so well that night.
Since I wasn't meeting Erin until 11:30, I was able to take my time Friday morning. Grabbed a quick bite to eat around 9:00 at the hotel which was a fabulous stage for people watching. I also know I was probably somebodies fodder for people watching. The nice thing about staying around Ooltewah is it is far from all the touristy things of Chattanooga, Civil War battlefields, Rock City, downtown Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain. When Roy and I first started staying in this area there were a few gas stations, a Cracker Barrel and the Hampton Inn and then built Holiday Inn Express in this vast area of openness and nothing. Not the case today but you're not dealing with fussy kids and addled parents from all the excitement of vacation. Yesterday it was senior adults, a few business people and a group of adults doing volunteer work in the area. The volunteer group became the main attraction at people watching. After breakfast I checked out and went back over to the mall area beginning at Home Goods. This Home Goods is like the one in Katy in that the whole store is Home Goods and not mixed with clothes. I had a good time ambling throughout the store and found a few things to buy. It was in Home Goods, the warm store with no lines, that I began to wonder if I was having a heart attack. I could not stop sweating or perspiring. There was a general lack of energy and when I got back to the truck I wondered if I should call off lunch with Erin...but as I made my way on my list of things to accomplish before lunch Academy reassured me that I was just not used to the intense heat and humidity, coupled with the possibility of my immune system on alert for overdoing, making these shopping trips almost undoable. In Academy they had the A/C cranked up and opened up check out lanes once they realized how long the lines were. I felt great! I was doing fine!
I met Erin for lunch, had a wonderful time and then headed back out to the road for my trip back home. On many trips in the past couple of years I have wavered on doing a little side trip to Mercier Orchards right before you get to Blue Ridge. I always talk myself out of it but this time I did not. They have a great store with fruits, veggies, jams, kitchen goods and a bakery. I got some Georgia peaches and a small container of local strawberries and then I saw the Apple Cider Donuts. Yum! I also got a few fried fruit pies. The people working there are so nice and helpful. I loaded my car and then went back in for a DC for the road. I enjoyed seeing all the white water rafters on the river. So colorful. GPS said I would arrive home about 6:19 so it was my bound duty to beat that estimate and I arrived home at 5:53 pm, thank you very much.
Buddy was at the door to welcome me home but mama had to wee wee like a wild woman, so our greetings took place a minute or so later. She was happy to see me and didn't want to leave my lap which worked out well because Lisa P and I were on the phone for about an hour. I was so tired I would have unloaded the truck today but I had put my suitcase in the back, so I needed to get it out. So this will be an unrushed Saturday. Better go take some more elderberry mixture to help my sore throat. This is feeling like an immune issue. Good thing I have lots here to occupy me like some good books, magazines and a few apple cider donuts for breakfast.
Just got the news that Erin is officially a Registered Nurse! So excited for her and her new adventures ahead. She makes her aunty proud!