Karen and I took out first weekend getway since Max and Kate were born this weekend. Karen was so disappointed when we missed the Jimmy Buffett concert because of the flooding; I knew I had to do something to make it up to her. I immediately realized the only thing that would do that was a Jack Johnson concert.
I was able to get tickets to see Jack in Atlanta. I have a great friends down there and several of our friends from Nashville were headed down as well. We left on Friday morning as soon as Izzy went to school. My mom and dad came down from Hendersonville to stay with the kids Friday and Friday night. I had scoped out a couple of climbs along the way to ride, so i brought my bike. We stopped near Chattanooga where I rode Elder Mountain Road and Raccoon Mountain. Each climb was 3 miles long at an average gradient of 8+%. I didn’t preview the climbs, so I was shocked at how little shade was available. I suffered big time in the noon heat, but loved every minute of it. Karen snapped this pic at the gas station where I changed clothes. I looked much worse afterwards:
After my hour long ride we drove into Atlanta and checked into the Georgian Terrace. We were thrilled with the luxury of the hotel. We needed a getaway bad, so we spared no expense. After freshening up we went to dinner with my buddy Moebes at the Vortex:
Karen had some sort of Hawaiin chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries…with Marshallow dipping sauce! So good. I had the “Hell” Burger. It comes with a disclaimer stating “this is not for wussies. there are no returns.” It arrived covered in Habenerno relish, pepperjack cheese, and a grilled jalapeno. The tattoed waitress simply said “good luck with that” when she put it on the table. I love my hot stuff, but to simply call this creation “hot” would be an understatement. Half way through the burger I could feel the insides of my lips blistering from the habenero relish. As an act of defiance I went ahead and finished it. I rank it #2 or #3 on my list of favorite burgers now.
After dinner we headed to the show, in a downpour. I had brought along ponchos for us to wear just in case, so we were prepared. We met up with our friends from Nashville and had a great time singing along with Jack under the stars. Most importantly, Karen had a great time. She needed the break from the kids. Someone shot this video of “Taylor” at the show:
Saturday morning Karen and I had breakfast in the fancy Georgian Terrace Hotel restaurant. I won’t tell you what I paid for a single Belgian waffle. It was worth it though. I took Karen to IKEA to look around after that. We left with all this stuff (table included):
We had no plans after that so we debated going to Dahlonega, GA, Nantahala, NC, or Chattanooga. We ended up deciding on Chattanooga. I drove downtown and found a suite at the Marriott Residence Inn right on the riverfront. We decided to eat at Taco Mac. Sounds crazy, but their wings are the best! We walked around late into the evening in downtown Chattanooga – stopping by the river and Ben and Jerry’s. It was so nice to just have some quiet time for the two of us.
Sunday morning I rode my bike over to and up Lookout Mountain on Scenic Highway. The climb is nearly 4 miles at 7% grade, but the views along the way distract you from the pain. Here’s my view from the top that morning (above the clouds):
Karen picked me up at the top as the road was too wet to make a high speed descent down the twisty mountain road. After a nice breakfast we decided to drive up to Rock City, Point Park, and Ruby Falls. Here’s a pic I took from Point Park atop Lookout Mountain:
While at point park I learned some interesting stuff about the Battle of Chattanooga. Round numbers here, but 300-something confederate soldiers were killed, 2000-some wounded, and 4000-some “missing. Really? 4000 “missing” on Lookout Mountain. Where did they go? Interesting stuff.
It was a great weekend! We won’t wait 2 years to do it again!