Chattanooga Part 2: Rock City

After Ruby Falls, we drove westward along the mountain range to another Chattanooga attraction called Rock City. Located atop Lookout Mountain, just 6 miles from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City is a true marvel of nature featuring massive ancient rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species, and breathtaking “See 7 States” panoramic views.

Our stroll through the Rock City garden was a quite an interesting experience.  There were narrow rocky crevaces we had to squeeze through.


There was a long wooden rope bridge similar to those in the Indiana Jones Movies which swung dangerously as if it was about to snap.


There were rocks and boulder which you could jump and climb.


All along the way there was signs pointing to the next attraction.  I followed behind Bean and Ash taking pictures of our expidition.


The grand finale was the Look Out “Lover’s Leep”.  A outward cliff which gave the panoramic views of 7 states.  The view was to die for!


We all had a great time.  It was really nice to take a road trip together and see some natural beauty.  We had a lot of laughs and plenty of fooling around through the caverns, gardens and rickety bridges.



Chattanooga Day Trip: Ruby Falls

Today we took a day trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Ash and I have alway wanted to check it out being that it’s been talked about as an up and coming city.  So with Bean visiting we thought Chattanooga would be a good candidate for a day trip.  We headed out around 9:30 am.  Of course before we left, Bean had to pose a picture with the local mid town princess.


The drive from Atlanta was short, only about 1 hr 45 min.  Our first stop was Ruby Falls, a subterrainean mile-long caveren that lead to a 145 underground waterfall.


Ruby Falls is named after the wife of the explorer who found this underground cavern.  The caveren sits bellow the Look Out Mountain which overlooks the city of Cattanooga.  Above the cavern is the castle which was built out of the rock displaced by the dig to the cavern.


The walk through the underground cavern (above) was a very cool experience.  Almost a mile long, the tunnel is about two person shoulder width wide.  The climate is always a cool 60 degrees and we had to take a elevator deep into the heart of the mountain to access the cavern.


We walked with a guide and saw numerous crevaces and undergroound pools of water giving us the feeling like we were ouselves exploring this underground world.  At te end of the mile trek, we entered a large domed open area all natrually ocurring.  The guide purposely dimmed the lights and all we could see what was the dim glow of green flood lights and the  louding crashing of water.  The feeling was similar to Lord of the Rings when the fellowship walked into the city of the dwarves.  In fact, Bean and I made a few jokes about it as we walked through the cavern.


Then with a creshendow of music, the lights illuminated showing a vast catheral like area with a huge water fall.  The site was very awesome to see and the crowd gasped and clapped!  I tried my best to capture the waterfall but the two below the about the best I could do.


The water hollowed out the dome area that Ruby Falls is located; this area is sometimes referred to as “Solomon’s Temple”. By way of erosion the waterfall carved out this area. The progress of this natural process can be observed by studying the smooth sides of the limestone walls.


Before we left Ruby falls, I took a nice pic of a Christmas tree ornament in the lobby of the castle.  I am quite pleased with how it came out! 🙂


Atlanta Tour

For our third day of Bean’s stay he started out with the traditional morning XBOX therapy. Sounds of machine guns and virtual people dying filled the air as usual when Bean stays with us. Mom and Dad, here’s why Bean loves coming over oh so much. 🙂 Notice the zombie look…


Today we stayed in Atlanta, taking the urban tour. We took a stroll through the Atlanta Underground, a shopping mall underneath the downtown area of Atlanta. The concept is very cool but unfortunately the area needs some revitalization. The walk there was quite sketchy and the whole underground mall wasn’t any better. We snapped a few pics and Ash bought a small trinket.


Ash also had to buy some books at the local Nerd erh…Engineer’s Bookstore near Georgia Tech. Man are those books expensive!


Our next stop was Martin Luther King’s birthplace on Auburn street in the Edgewood district near downtown Atlanta. The whole street was very well preserved. Here’s Bean and I outside the house where Martin Luther King Jr. was born. I look really sleepy in this photo and does Bean know how to smile?


Before we went to Buckhead, we stopped by the famous Fat Matt’s Rib Shack. Bean had been looking forward to eating there ever since Ash and I raved about it.

Here’s some juicy pics! Ash had the BBQ Chicken below!


Bean and I had the ribs whoohoo!


And now Bean’s happy and can smile for the camera.


Water World

Today Ashley and I took Bean to the World of Coca Cola museum and the Georgia Aquarium.  Ash and I have gone to the Coke museum before but the aquarium was one I have been personally waiting to see ever since coming to Atlanta.

We had a great water themed day from carbonated water to giant fish swimming in large tanks of water.  Bean had a great time as well and really enjoyed the Coke museum.  I warned him to be thirsty before he got there and he only half listened…yup now he knows why…

Here are some pictures from our day.


Of course the best part of the Coke museum is the tasting room.  This time I was able to take down our favorites.  Here they are!


Ash loved the bitter sour taste of Kinley.  Bean loved the sugary sweet bubbley drink from South Africa called Bibo.  I really like the sweet sour apple soda from China-back to my roots!  Interestingly, when we mixed our favorite drinks together it produced something even tastier.  Here’s a pic of us inside the tasting room.  The floor was so sticky!


Our next stop after coke was the aquarium.  Ash and Bean love verbally abusing each other and I had a great time insitgating and laughing at their smack talk.  Here’s a great pic of Ashley being cheeky with Bean outside the aquarium.


The Georgia Aquarium is the newest aquarium in the country and is home to the 6.5 billion gallon tank which houses the whale shark.  The sharks were brought over from Taiwan at the age of 15 and can grow to the size of a school bus.  There are four of them in this huge tank and the sight is simply amazing.


I think my favorite type of museum are aquariums.  So far I’ve only been to three, New England, Monterey and now the Georgia Aqauarium.  Bean says the new aquarium in Da Liang or Ching Dao is spectacular too!


Here’s a picture of Ash and Bean looking at Jellyfish.  I like this photo a lot, the blue glow and the reflection of Ashley’s face in the glass is especially cool.


No visit to an Aquarium would be complete without a petting zoo.  Here’s Ash and Bean daring each other to touch sting rays and baby hammerhead sharks.  I had to call them chicken before they got the courage to do it!  Meanwhile 5 year olds are trying to jump into the pool.


What a great time we all had!

Bean arrives for a Christmas visit!

At last Bean is here to visit us.  He came in on the evening of Christmas and brought with him many gifts from my parents mostly in the form of delicious Mrs. Peng’s food!  He had a long flight from Boston taking him to Chicago first before arriving in Atlanta.  These plane routes are ridiculous!  Bean freaked out when he arrived because the airline lost his luggage but things turned out ok in the end as the next morning they found it.  Here some photos of the first night and morning with Bean.


Of course no visit from Bean would be complete without a ton of video games.  The sound of guns blazing from the xbox 360 fills the air as I even right this.  The photo below is rare instance of when Bean is not playing and myself and Kumar, a friend from Sapient is. 🙂


Bean brought numerous treats made by my parents.  This morning, we cooked a few of them and I had to snap some photos.  Here’s one of Bean and I enjoying the wonderful food my parents made for us.


The pic below is a pan fried bun.  The bun is original steamed and is made with corn meal, flower and some other ingredients I am not aware of.  We then pan fry it to create a crispy outside with a very soft inside.  This puts the best bagels to shame or toast.


Mrs. Peng’s delicious scallion pancakes.  Very thick and with lots of fresh scallions and a touch of salt.


Since we’re on food photos.  This evening we also had some kal-bi short ribs.  Ash and I bought them from H-Mart and she marinated them.  They are awesome!