Yes, it is the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
It was down the road for us today to the home of Rock City and Ruby Falls. Last week on “Kentucky Life” (one of our favorite TV shows), there was a short documentary about those old “SEE ROCK CITY” signs painted on the sides of barns. I remember dozens of them, as well as the “SEE ROCK CITY” birdhouses, while traveling through this part of the country as a small child. The TV show told us that there were only about twenty such barns left in Kentucky now; we were lucky enough to see one of them on the way down today (it was not far from the wigwam motel).
We arrived in Chattanooga and checked into our hotel, the “Chattanooga Choo Choo”. Built on the site of the old train station, which closed in 1970, the hotel’s entrepreneurs brought in a bunch of rusty old passenger rail cars, tore out the seats, and converted them into motel rooms. This allows you to recreate the romance of staying in…a rusty old passenger rail car that’s had all the seats torn out and converted into a motel room. Still, it’s a change from the usual box hotel room, and you do have natural light all along both sides of the car.
We met up with Justin and the grand kids there, spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool, and had dinner at the restaurant where the waitstaff take turns singing seventies tunes up on stage. Some of the staff are better singers than they are waiters. After dinner, I took the wife and granddaughters on a horse driven carriage ride around downtown. The girls seemed more interested in petting the Dalmatian than the ride itself, but later said it was their favorite part of the day. We wrapped up with a trip to the ice cream shop.