After seeing my sister-in-law off and taking a nap, I talk Pat into walking over to the Aquarium. We had just been there the day before, but we learned that we could buy an annual membership and they would apply the cost of our tickets if we bought a membership soon. I also wanted to go back to shoot since I’d gone without my camera. However, I couldn’t talk Pat into walking through again and waiting for me to take pictures. We walked back over the Walnut St bridge around 1PM. It’s about 95 degrees and with the sun high in the sky, not even the wind off the river feels cool. We walk slowly in the heat, but with a focus and determination to get to our destination that precludes standing around on the bridge lolly-gagging.
At the aquarium, we are credited for all three of the tickets we bought yesterday and the annual membership costs only $10 additional. I feel like I just won the lottery. I try to talk Pat into taking the Tennessee River gorge boat tour or going to an IMAX movie since we now get a discount as aquarium members, but he’s not up for either. I see him wavering on the movie and, realizing that he doesn’t like the whole 3D thing, suggest we go to the regular movie theater down the street instead. We decide to see Crazy Stupid Love, but it isn’t playing until 4:30 and it’s now not quite 2PM.
We walk across the street to the Blue Water Grill and have brunch. They are serving mimosas and bloody mary’s. I opt for a mimosa and order the grand marnier brulee french toast. In the background, a trio of jazz musicians play random assortments of sounds. I am not a big jazz fan. I like music I can catch, pick up, and run with. Jazz always seems to run away from me instead. I quickly tire of chasing it. Fortunately, the trio takes a break about 10 minutes after we arrive.
I await my french toast with anticipation. The first time I had creme brulee french toast was only a couple of years ago when we were out in Oregon visiting my father and his wife. The four of us were taking a trip to the coast and I was obsessed with Urbanspoon when it came time to eat. I found serveral amazing restaurants that way, but the breakfast place on the way to the coast was the best. I can’t remember what town we were near, but Dad was suggesting we stop at McDonald’s for breakfast when I found a family-owned place in a tiny town along the way on my iPhone app. We stopped and the restaurant was located in a former house old enough to be historical, but with simple decor that maximized space for patrons. That was, hands down, the best breakfast I ever had. The french toast was truly brulee with the sugar candied to a crunch on the outside and the egg batter still slightly soft underneath without being soggy. This memory is dangerous. Once you’ve had the best of something, you just can’t ever eat it again without being disappointed. Today, I am disappointed. The french toast is not brulee at all. It is simply soaked in something overly sweet to the point of mushiness and fried. Perhaps the cook here doesn’t know what brulee means. I get down half of the toast before giving up. I do not like soggy bread, so this seems like torture. I don’t know why I eat it. I suppose it’s because of the eager waitress who recommended it. I don’t want to hurt her feelings. About the time I feel like I will gag if I eat another bite, the jazz group comes out of remission.
We had planned to take our time and hang out at the Blue Water Grill since we had 2 1/2 hours to kill before our movie. But we end up moving along after an hour, done with jazz and done with french toast.
It’s even hotter out when we return outdoors. We decide to walk around the corner to check out the Ecotour place we’d passed on our way to the aquarium. We learned that that was where we could rent paddleboards if we wanted to take on the river. They also offer yoga classes on the paddleboards. The owner shows us a slideshow of a yoga class. I am not really sure I want to try yoga on a paddleboard. I cannot imagine trying to breathe into a balancing half moon while worrying about falling into the river. The good news is that they have just added 2 kayaks to their vehicle list. We have been looking for opportunities to go kayaking, but had missed out on the the last kayaking tour of the year with Outdoor Chattanooga and discovered that Rock/Creek doesn’t rent kayaks although they do have a couple that can be demoed. We’re happy to know that there is another option. However, since we don’t have time to go kayaking now, we head back down the street to see what we can find.
We walk Broad St South, with our backs to the river, hoping to discover something new. We walk past many shops and an interesting rib place with a live music venue, but we are painfully full and sluggish in the hot sun. We find it difficult to take enough interest to even notice what we are passing. We quickly reach a dead part of town–no one is around. The stark contrast to the riverfront makes us feel suddenly vulnerable. We turn back and head back towards the busy part of town, seeking shade whenever possible.
We end up in the theatre at 4PM, tickets in hand, sitting in the lobby because they aren’t seating our movie yet. It’s cold in the lobby, which feels good when we first stepped in, but after 20 minutes of waiting, I’m getting goose bumps. In the theatre, the hallway feels like a refrigerator and I am alarmed that I will be so cold I won’t be able to stay through the movie. Fortunately, once we get inside our screen room, the temperature rises to something tolerable as long as I cuddle up to Pat as much as possible. In spite of liking the movie, being cold, and having had a nap in the morning, I still nod off during the movie. It’s a problem. I get so little sleep that I cannot stay awake through a movie or in a car, particularly not in the afternoon when I’ve been out in the sun. At least I miss only a few small parts of the movie and it isn’t so disjointed that I can’t follow along. It’s the first movie I can remember that looks at long-term relationships in both a loving and funny way. I really enjoyed it and Steve Carell was somehow better than his stereotyped character while still being the same guy.
After the movie, we walk on home. The sun is getting lower once again. The intensity of the heat has abated and we walk slowly over the bridge not because we are suffering but because we are enjoying the breeze and the view. When we get home, even though we drank a giant Coke at the theater, I am ready for another nap. I think about all the things I should do, but then I remember that the thing I’ve done the least of lately is sleep. I decide to give in and allow myself to doze off on the couch for the second time in one day.