9 Jun 2011

After a morning at the hotel eating breakfast, showering, etc., we headed to downtown Chattanooga to meet Betty at 11:30 a.m. for a day at the Tennessee Aquarium.  We toured the River Journey building first.  We went to the basement to see the sea horses, then to the top floor to work our way down.  The exhibits were very nice.  Around 1:00 p.m., we left the aquarium for lunch at a nearby deli, then returned to tour the Ocean Journey building.  We went to the top floor for the tropical forest exhibit.  The air conditioning was not working on that floor, so the forest felt way too tropical.  The butterfly exhibit, fortunately, had working air conditioning, so that was more enjoyable.  We continued down to the penguin area.  They were very lively.  The was a huge tank of Gulf of Mexico fish that was very nice.  Near the bottom was an exhibit of jelly fish.  There were several types in several tanks.  It was entertaining just to watch them propel themselves around.

We left the aquarium building around 3:10 p.m. to head to the cruise boat.  We left the dock right on time at 3:30 p.m.  Once we cleared the downtown area, the boat go up to around 50 mph.  The $3 million catamaran has the ability to come up out of the water and draft only about 8 inches through some hydrofoil magic.  Because it is mostly out of the water, it is also very maneuverable.  The trip went downstream on Tennessee around Moccasin Bend, past Williams Island and Brown’s Ferry.  Raccoon Mountain was on the left and Signal Mountain on the right for a lot of the trip.  After an hour, the boat turned around and headed back to the dock.  Once near the dock, the captain demonstrated, using a remote control helm, how maneuverable the boat was by spinning in circles.

After we docked, we returned to the aquarium gift shop, then to the van.  Teagan met a college friend for supper and Betty and I went to Qdobo.  Around 9:00 p.m., Teagan and I returned to the motel.

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