After we finished our shopping, we headed off to visit some of the Civil War battlefields that are in the area. There are four battlefields in and around Chattanooga - Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and Orchard Knob. Bryce will be studying the 1800s this year and I figured it would be beneficial for him to visit some of the areas where the battles were fought. Our first stop was Chickamauga. We visited the museum and watched their video depicting the battle. My favorite monument is the Wilder Tower built by an Indiana battalion. It is built like a castle turret that is three stories high. You can walk right up to the top and get a great view of the area. Chickamauga has a lot of great memories for me. When I was little we would go there and fly our kites or shoot off model rockets. In the summers the symphony would play there and we would lay on our blankets and listen. Even my ecology class in college did a study on the deer population living in the park. The next day we went to the top of Signal Mountain where the Confederate soldiers stationed themselves to keep an eye on the Tennessee River to watch for any ships that were coming in to supply the Union soldiers who had stationed themselves in Chattanooga after their "defeat" at Chickamauga.
Once we came off the mountain we went to Aunt Bea's Restaurant for dinner. Aunt Bea's made the news recently. When President Obama came to visit Chattanooga last month, his Secret Service called Aunt Bea's to see if they were open. Aunt Bea's was closed. Now if the SS agent had notified the owners that he was asking for the President they may have opened but the agent didn't identify himself. But the main thing is that the President wanted to eat at Aunt Bea's. In fact, when Bush was President and visited Chattanooga he too wanted to eat at Bea's but he had asked the restaurant to close down and serve only his group and they wouldn't do that.
The next day we took the boys to Lake Winne - an amusement park that started in 1925. Its most popular ride is an old school wooden roller coaster - The Cannonball.
After Lake Winnie we cleaned up and headed back up Signal Mountain to hear my dad play his saxophone in the Uptown Big Band. I love big band/swing/jazz music. It was such a treat to hear dad play.