Thursday, October 4, 2007

Life-changing pancakes

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...have you ever seen pancakes like these??

This picture was taken last Sunday at Aretha Frankensteins in Chattanooga. Aparently, Rachel Ray visited there, so maybe you have, but I don't have cable, so I was unaware. I now realize that what I thought were pancakes all my life were actually some pathetically flat, sadly underdeveloped "pancrepes" or something. We asked the waiter what was good on the menu (always trust your server, people), and he said that he had pancakes somewhere else for the first time in a while last month, and when they came out he went, "Oh, no." His waitress was all concerned, like, "What's wrong, honey?" and he told her, "No, it's fine; you don't understand." With a pitch like that, we had to try them, but we were completely unprepared for the culinary awesomeness that subsequently descended on our table. Oh, and, um, the Italian sausage, ricotta, spinach and red pepper omelette was also great.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I picked DH up from his office after work on Friday, and when he asked, "So, are we going straight home?" I replied, "Nope." He was very excited. =)

Saturday we got up and walked down to the river, watched some kayakers (is that a word?) and headed for the Hunter Museum (not a museum about hunting, as I've been asked already), which was a really good museum (aside from the pretentious exhibit of local artists). In addition to lots of great fine arts and decorative arts, it has a very hypnotic wall mirror piece that is difficult to looking at yourself through a kaleidoscope. We had lunch, served by the least attentive waiter ever, but that was a good thing, since we weren't tempted to order dessert and instead went to Rembrandt's nearby. The highlight was the dark chocolate-covered amaretto macaroon. OHMIGOSH!!!

Leftovers in hand, we headed to the Aquarium. This pedestrian bridge, as you might be able to tell from the previous picture, connects the Bluff View Art District with the Aquarium. I was very excited to see their new penguin exhibit, and the entire new Ocean wing they had added. The new wing was cool, but a little strange. The first thing you encountered upon entry was a pair of Hyacinth Macaws. Okay.... I mean, I love Hyacinth Macaws, but what do they have to do with the ocean? Then, there was a touch pool with rays, bamboo sharks and guitar fish. That was cool; our guitarfish at the GA Aquarium are in the big tank and are about six feet long. Following the touch pool, there were...butterflies.

Pretty, but again, schwunh?? Not very ocean-ey. And I prefer the butterfly exhibit at Callaway Gardens, anyway.
But the penguin exhibit was awesome. They were really putting on a show, swimming so fast and leaping out of the water. I utterly failed to photograph one in mid-flight; the best I did was get a pair of webbed feet sticking out of the water upon reentry. DH had a slight problem with them at the beginning.

But they made up in the end.

The frogs commiserated with him, too.

I show you this next ugly guy just so you can understand how unnecessary I thought the sign in the picture following...

I mean, really, if you need this sign, your children may be in greater danger than from the 4 foot alligator.

We ended the day with sushi and an IMAX. Deep Sea coral reefs are teeming with awesome fish. But they're in DANGER!! Danger, I tell you! Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp wouldn't lie to me. The Foley editors had a blast with this one...we laughed ourselves silly as the scallops escaped from the nasty starfish.

The next day we went to First Pres, which is, amazingly, a PCA church. The message was given by an Anglican bishop from Uganda (I love it when I get to hear someone speak whose title is "The Right Reverend".) Also cool was the fact that an Anglican congregation came and worshipped with us.
After that, we headed out to See Rock City. If you don't understand why I capitalized "See", then you've never driven around in the South. The ubiquitous "See Rock City" signs are as plentiful as kudzu. We took some pictures that have been taken probably a million times...

But all cheesiness aside, it really is a very beautiful, restful place.

And speaking of cheesiness...I leave you with a squirrel. They had a store there that I am almost certain had to be run by an Alpha Gam, due to the immense amount of squirrel merchandise. But this piece took the's solar-powered!!

What's he saying here?? I think it's,
"Mah tummee...itz too brite!!!1!"

C'mon, there are pictures in this one!! OK, we had a blast in Chattanooga and saw rocks, played with penguins, scorned art, hung with Anglicans and had The. Best. Pancakes. Ever.


Susan @ Real Girl Designs said...

Whenever I've been to Florida, we've driven (from NW Indiana), and the "See Rock City" signs are everywhere, so I know what you're talking about (you don't even have to be from the south!).

It sounds like you had a great trip! Those pancakes look awesome!

Jean in Georgia said...

Sounds like a tres fabboo weekend!!

TeresaB said...

The pictures are awesome. Those pancakes are amazing! I feel like I've been robbed my whole life now.

Old Geek-outs