Day 3: September 15, 2010
Aquarium Day
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Finding Aretha Frankenstein's was a well rewarded challenge. The pointy end of the triangular lot touches Tremont Street and gives it its address but the place is really a bit up the hill. Inside there are beer taps in a diving helmet, guys like the Ramones on the wall, and guys like Del McCoury & the Stanley Brothers coming from the speakers. There is a Ms Pacman game, a sincerely cool ceiling fan and, above the kitchen door, an array of masks from horror movie folks. Alfred Hitchcock is on the left, Linda Blair's in the middle next to Bela Lugosi. The food -- I had my first ever shrimp & cheese omelet -- is excellent.

Then it was off to see the next item on my Chattanooga "to do list": the Tennessee Aquarium. It fills two huge buildings and actually lived up to its hype. I did the River Journey building, with a nice view of the Chief John Ross Bridge, first.

Electric hair dryers have warnings about sharing a bathtub with them and I guess the same sort of thinking produces "Don't help your kids join the 'gators" signs at reproduction Louisiana bayous.

Part of the River Journey is seeing many Rivers of the World and their inhabitants. There are fish of all sizes though I seem to have mostly picked out the larger species. Too bad I can't name any of those species.

The second building is Ocean Journey and it has its own view of the Tennessee River. Those rockers are made from milk jugs. I'm not sure how a butterfly garden connects with an Ocean Journey but it's a very nice thing to walk through.

There are some very pretty critters here. The first two photos are of Japanese Sea Nettles; The second two of West Coast Sea Nettles. They are beautiful but I suspect that things called "nettles" aren't exactly huggable.

These guys aren't very huggable, either. The second picture was taken looking up through a walk-under window.

I left town on US-41 then, semi-accidentally, branched off with US-41A. I've driven US-41 before but not, as I recall, US-41A. The table and stairs are just east of a pair of stone pillars marking the "Domain of the University of the South". Climbing the steps yields a great view from the graffiti covered rock.

This restored station prompted a stop in Cowan, TN. There are displays inside but it wasn't open today. Nor was the railroad museum on the far side of the park and log cabin. Cowan was happily getting read for the Polly Crockett Festival which starts Friday.

As soon as I checked into the Midway Motel, I checked into the schedule at the Bluebird Cafe and discovered I had just enough time to make an "in the round" show starting at 6:00. I dashed out and made it in time to snag one of the eleven bar seats. There were two lovely ladies -- one blonde, one brunette -- performing along with a guy in a cowboy hat, another with a baseball cap facing backwards, and a third fellow with Sammy Hagar's hair. Sort of an Abba meets a detuned Village People looking arrangement. The four performing songwriters were Jara Johnson, Paul Sikes, Mersaidee Soules, and Dillon Dixon. The cowboy was a guitarist whose name I got then lost. He often accompanies the two women and tonight worked with everybody. Paul & Dillon are both quite good guitarists themselves and there were times when all three were blending together rather nicely. Good songs, good voices, good playing; Another talent filled evening at the Bluebird.

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