When last I left you, I was out the door and on my way to Chattanooga, to participate in the Chatty Crafty market. The drive turned out to be closer to 10 hours than 8 by the time we made a couple of pit-stops, ate a late lunch in Asheville (at Tupelo Honey, super yum) and hit traffic near Knoxville.
We arrived at the Chattanooga Choo Choo around 9 p.m. The hotel is a sprawling collection of buildings surrounding Chattanooga’s former train station, which now houses the lobby, bar, restaurant and gift shop. For a premium one can even book a room in one of the Victorian-style train cars which form two rows in the garden next to the station.
We stayed in a nondescript but large and perfectly serviceable room in ‘Building 2’, who’s heyday was, by the looks of it, the 1980’s, quietly acknowledged by a sign which read ‘please excuse our appearance while we work to better our hotel’.
We got an early start Saturday morning, joining the pre-market bustle, with vendors’ tents popping up all over the field like so many toadstool mushrooms.
Browsers started appearing well before the 10 a.m. start time, and the long day went by quickly, despite it being so hot and sticky that I lost a couple of potential customers who didn’t want to sweat in my clothes!
Liz and I took turns checking out the other booths. Folks had come from as far afield as Boston and Chicago, and I had to exert great power of will to refrain from shopping as there were some really beautiful products on display.
The ever adorable Anita of Little Paper Crane was there selling her sweet line of jewelry, and Erin of Forget Me Knot who makes great summer frocks and is super fun to boot. I think I would have faltered in my resolve and purchased one of these sweet mini gardens by Ophelia Terrariums,
except that on Sunday a couple of hours before closing time, after a much cooler and more prosperous day, heavy gun-metal grey clouds rolled in causing all of us to hurriedly pack our products away and get booths disassembled before the rain arrived.
Alas we were caught in the downpour and after a few minutes of truly torrential rain and wind Liz and I gave up on trying to stay dry and threw our sodden gear and sopping selves in the car and took off for the hotel.
Despite this ungraceful end to the event, Chattanooga left a pretty good impression on me. I liked the downtown, which had a sort of gently gritty urban feeling mixed with aging brick beauty and a dash of bright & shiny optimistic new growth.
And what was K doing with his weekend, back at the ol’ homestead? Grouting! Remember way back in May when we began our big DIY sunroom remodel project? That was supposed to take us one weekend? K put in not one, not two but THREE weekends getting the tile laid down (with more help from Mike!).
I had promised to complete the last step, the grouting, upon my return from Chattanooga, but I think he just wanted to be done with the damn thing, and knocked it out.
So it’s finished. Well, almost finished, I still have a lot (a lot) of touch up painting to do. But I’m not going to wait, I’m going to give you those before and after photos I know you’ve been waiting for:
So far all that hard work scraping up the carpet glue is paying off, and nothing is popping up or coming loose.
So that’s me for today folks, I’m off to cuddle with Stella on the couch and watch a silly movie.