Monday, July 17, 2006

Pardon me, boy?

Is that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo? Roadchick would not know because although she spent the weekend in Chattanooga, she did not indulge in any touristy activities.

Roadchick and Best Friend had been talking about getting out of town for several weeks. Roadchick needed to go because she was starting to feel burned out and she wasn't feelin' the love for Nashville anymore. Best Friend because she needed some time away from being a "Smug Married".

The original plan was to take a long weekend and go to the beach. Finances were checked and there was a serious lack of the necessary funds to get to the beach (what with gas being $84,000 a gallon) let alone stay for a couple of days or even eat once there.

Then Roadchick and Best Friend thought they would go to Memphis, because Memphis! is a fun place to go. Beale Street is not to be missed. But, discussions revealed that if a major body of water was not involved, neither Roadchick nor Best Friend wanted to drive that far.

What to do? Go to Chattanooga, of course!

On Saturday morning, Roadchick and Best Friend headed out with swimsuits, towels, and enough clothes to last a week but nary a plan in mind. The drive down was pleasant with much discussion about the men in their respective lives and what to do about them. No conclusions were reached although Roadchick did mention a fantastic entry on Crazy Aunt Purl about the state of boys and dating these days. (If you haven't read it - check it out!)

Roadchick and Best Friend made it to Chattanooga and began looking for a place to stay. There were two requirements - it MUST have a pool, and it must be reasonably priced. As they left the interstate at the Lookout Mountain exit, they were hopeful. There were several motels to choose from. Upon closer inspection - none of these had pools, or if they did, they were indoor pools which was not the point. Getting some sun was the point. Onward.

Best Friend drove to the mountain and started up and part way up, there was a little motel straight from Roadchick's wildest dreams. Straight out of the 1950s. Quick discussion took place and the travelers pulled in and made their way to the office. The office, Patient Reader, was a sliding window on the side of the property owner's house. Cuteness!

Roadchick and Best Friend asked if a room was available for the night and there was. Their hearts sang (SANG!) with joy. The lady broke the news - the only room left was the Honeymoon Suite. Roadchick and Best Friend looked at each other and consulted in whispers.

"Could the room be seen?" And, the answer was yes and they were treated to the grand tour. The room had a queen sized bed, a hot tub, a kitchenette, and a private balcony overlooking the river with a fantastic view of downtown. (Also included, at no extra charge, was a stunning view of the local mental hospital, where Roadchick may check in if her life doesn't calm down some. At least the walls would be soft and Thorazine darts would be abundant.) More whispered consultations.

"Ok, we'll take it."

The nice lady checked Roadchick and Best Friend in and handed over the key. A real key. On a plastic tag. From 1960. No digital security procedures here. No computers either. Or online credit card machines. But, truth be told, none were needed. There was no motel crime in the 1950s and that is precisely where Roadchick and Best Friend were. They were not on a weekend getaway - they had fallen into a time warp. Complete with pointed glances from the owners after Roadchick and Best Friend checked in and headed out for some lunch.

The whispers were almost audible:
"There are lesbians in the Honeymoon Suite!"

Which was absolutely untrue. But funny, nevertheless.

The pool was amazing although a little warm for Roadchick's taste but a pool is a pool and it was almost cool after laying (lying?) out in the sun. Roadchick relaxed and read and enjoyed herself completely.

If you, Patient Reader, would like to step back in time, by all means, plan a stay at the Sky Harbor Bavarian Inn on Lookout Mountain.

Roadchick's potential new Man was called as the sun started sinking in the western sky. Now, new Man had taken Roadchick out the night before and performed admirably - thought was put into the evening and a good time was had by all.

Roadchick, in a playful mood, called new Man to see what he was doing. "Nothing much" was the reply. So Roadchick suggested he get himself to Chattanooga to bring dinner to Roadchick and Best Friend. Y'all - he did. He came to Chattanooga, swam for a little while and then took Roadchick and Best Friend to dinner!
Needless to say, Roadchick was impressed by this show of good sportsmanship. The new Man won points for this behavior.

Dinner was at a little place at the bottom of the mountain and the neon out front bragged about BBQ and catfish. It was also full of Little Leaguers in town for a tournament. Roadchick, Best Friend and new Man found a booth, and prepared to order. The catfish was amazingly good, the ribs were passable, and the cheeseburger Roadchick ordered was pretty good but definitely needed a tomato on it. Roadchick was amused that the salad came in a plastic hospital bowl like you get on your tray when you're having something removed from your internal structure. There was discussion about which hospital had a going out of business sale with their dishware. It was determined that it was probably the mental hospital that featured prominently in the view from the private balcony. The good thing about the salad got your own squeeze bottle of dressing so you could use as much as you wanted without having to pester for more little packets. Also, bravo for bringing an entire PITCHER of sweet tea and another of ice to the table so Roadchick would not have to suffer being thirsty and cursing the waitress for not bringing tea faster.

The downside to the Sky Harbor Bavarian Inn was that the pool hours were posted as 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. And, they MEAN it. The pool was padlocked at the witching hour and that was that. And not reopened until the precise moment of 10:00 a.m. which bummed Roadchick out because she woke up early and thought about doing a few laps before packing up and heading out. Alas, it was not to be.

Still, the weekend was an absolute success and Roadchick returned to Nashville rejuvinated and feeling much better about life in general.

Oh, and new Man? His fate is yet to be determined. Although he performed admirably in Good Sportsmanship by driving to Chattanooga and taking Roadchick and Best Friend to dinner, he is failing miserably at Good Manners by not answering Roadchick's email, thanking him for a lovely time. Oh, and no phone call, either. Roadchick is big on Good Manners, moreso than Good Sportsmanship. Because sometimes, in the immortal words of Vivi Walker, you have to "forget love and try good manners instead." Stay tuned, y' never know what might happen next.