What do you do when you have a week off of work and your dad looks at you and says, "let's go on a road trip?" You say an immediate yes and you have the best time ever. My dad is originally from Indiana and Michigan and we decided to take a 7 day trip to visit a few of the towns he lived in growing up. We kicked off our trip and headed straight up to Chattanooga, Tennessee. We arrived in the evening, checked into the hotel and headed out on foot in search of dinner.
We were able to grab a table at Public House, where I ordered up the house salad with shrimp and my dad had the steak & fries. I am fairly certain my dad licked his plate clean he loved it so much. I wish that I had been able to take a photo of the interior, it was really beautiful and they had the coolest lamps in there that swung out several feet from the walls...but sadly no photo to show you. You'll have to stop by and see for yourself sometime!
The next morning, we woke up early and headed out for a walk over the Walnut Street Bridge to take in a bit of the city before breakfast. There was a triathlon that morning and we stopped for a minute to take a look at the swimmers as they swam under the bridge. Once we made it to the other side we had breakfast at Milk & Honey. My dad ordered the french toast and I tried the oatmeal with blueberries and fresh cream. The oatmeal was amazing! A few years ago when I went to London, I tried porridge at a small local restaurant and ever since then I've been looking for an oatmeal recipe that would compare, and sure enough I had not yet found one...until Milk & Honey answered all of my prayers. It was so delicious I could not stop thinking about it for the rest of the trip.
Back over the bridge we went and onto the next Chattanooga adventure, to see Rock City! We drove up to the top of the mountain and decided to pay the hefty entrance fee for the self guided tour; it was worth it though. They have three different trails that you can take, essentially you see all the major sights regardless which one you take. The best was the gnome and fairy tale caverns that were filled with miniature gnomes and fairy tale settings such as Hansel and Gretel, The Three Little Pigs, Snow White, Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, and so many more. The husband and wife team that originally built Rock City, had a love for fairy tales and German folk lore. At one point in the 1940's. they hired Jesse Sanders, a sculptor from Atlanta, to build out the cave and many of the fairy tale scenes. You can see some of the original work that he did still on display when you stop by for a visit.
This above bridge is a swinging rope bridge! They have two options for crossing between the two rocks, one was via this bridge and the second was via a stationary bridge. This way was a lot of fun until some guy started purposefully jumping up and down and swaying trying to get the rope bridge to swing back and forth. I practically ran back to the edges as quickly as possible while my dad stood on the stationary side laughing at me.
One of my favorite parts about the tour were these incredibly tight crevices that you had to squeeze through in order to get to the other side. This passage way specifically was called "fat man's squeeze." There were definitely points that I thought there was no way I would be able to fit through. You had to turn to the side and shuffle through. I let my dad go through first to make sure he'd fit ;) The second passageway shown below was called "the eye of the needle" I believe. That one you had to duck through at multiple points, it was so tiny!
After seeing Rock City, we packed ourselves back up into the car and headed north to Nashville. We didn't have time to stay overnight, but my dad agreed to stopping at two places for food. First up: Five Daughters Bakery. I had seen their photos on instagram and boy did they look delicious. My dad is a big fan of donuts, so it hardly took any convincing to get him to stop here. We picked up four donuts, two of them were maple (my dad's favorite.) We both agreed that they were pretty good, but they were more like cronuts than anything else. They were VERY sweet; so sweet, I think we each could only handle about three bites before we were done.
Our lunch spot was a no brainer, hot dogs in a VW bus- YES! This amazing little gem is called "I Dream of Weenie" and as soon as we saw it's existence online, we knew we had to go. On the weekends they do a weenie brunch with hotdogs topped with all sorts of amazing toppings such as: an eggs benedict, hashbrown casserole, and french toast weenies. They also have simple hotdogs that you can pick your own toppings. But if you're really hungry, you should always check out their daily specials on Facebook. I saw earlier that they have pizza and mac n' cheese weenies. This place was amazing and so much fun, I would highly recommend it if you ever stop in Nashville or plan a visit. I only wish I could have driven away with it!
That was all for our time in Tennessee that day! Next stop: Indiana!