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Seriously--is there anything cuter?

Seriously–is there anything cuter?

Having spent the morning assisting at a birds of prey program at the Little Owl Festival at Audubon Acres, next on the agenda was lunch.  There are certain places that people who come to visit Chattanooga want to go.

Pat’s sister wanted to check out the Hair of the Dog Pub downtown.  My original sister-in-law came with a recommendation for Sugar’s Barbecue.  We decided on the “Q with a View” location of Sugar’s.  Not only does it offer great food and scenery, but there are also goats.  It’s a place we like to take visitors.

Mama was unperturbed by my presence and concentrated on what she was chewing

Mama was unperturbed by my presence and concentrated on what she was chewing

In case you are worried, no goat meat appears on the menu at Sugar’s.  I don’t know exactly why they have goats, but I like to think it’s for keeping the grass on the hillside trim.

Sugar’s has good barbecue.  We particularly like their brisket.  It’s extremely tender, falling apart when we pick at it.  I also love their macaroni and cheese.  And their mayonnaise-based coleslaw, which barely seems like it has mayo in it at all.  And their banana pudding is hard to resist.  I suppose it will come as no surprise if I mention I gained a pound or two in the day and a half my brother and sister-in-law visited?

Frolicking kids on the patio

Frolicking kids on the patio

After ordering and getting a tutorial on the various sauces Sugar’s offers (something I can never keep track of, except that there are 3 that are tomato based and 3 that are vinegar based), I slipped out to see the goats while we waited on the food.

The goats are divided into two areas.  One is along the hillside and has a series of footpaths that only goats could possibly navigate.  It’s like goat heaven.  Except perhaps for the poop.

Kids or puppies?

Kids or puppies?

The other area is in the middle of a lovely patio with picnic tables that are undoubtedly occupied during the months when it’s dry, sunny, and pleasantly warm without being too hot.  We have never been to Sugar’s during the kind of weather conditions that would encourage people to sit out on the patio.

The center of the patio is fenced in, forming a good-sized yard where several goats are usually hanging out, hoping for a handout.  On this day, three kids were hanging out with two moms.  They were irresistible.

Naw . . . they're not related

Naw . . . they’re not related

There really aren’t many things cuter than baby <fill in the blank>.  Baby birds, baby people, baby dogs, baby sheep . . . you name it.  They’re cute.  Goats are particularly cute babies.  Perhaps it’s their giant, floppy ears that seem so disproportional to their tiny heads.  Or maybe it’s that they look so innocent while their elders always seem to look like they’re up to something.

Front and back

Front and back

Whatever it is, I enjoyed getting some shots of the goats.  So much so, I couldn’t resist taking a few shots with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone, too.  Funny how quickly a modern goat can be transported back in time.

Looking historical

Looking historical

Getting the Goat

The Grand Marshall Float

The Grand Marshall Goat

The Grand Marshall Float

The Grand Marshall Float

 

There was a very special grand marshall at the Mainx24 Parade:  Oreo, the goat.  Oreo, a pygmy goat, is a pet.  He belongs to a family who lives in a suburb on the boundary of Chattanooga called East Ridge.

As the story goes, Oreo is more like a dog than a goat.  Unfortunately for Oreo and his family, East Ridge doesn’t allow goats.  The East Ridge City Council took issue with Oreo and, after months of hearings, ruled that Oreo is not an exception.

The struggle for the family to stay together made the local news and really got the goat of many, creating a bit of a local media stir.  The organizers of the Mainx24 event on the South Side invited Oreo to be the grand marshall for the parade.

Ironically, when I googled “chattanooga south side goat,” about half way down the results, Niko’s South Side Grill came up as having goat on the menu.  Fortunately for Oreo, it turned out to be goat cheese.  🙂

By the way, Oreo’s family has said that they will move before they give up the goat.

I think it made the media because writers secretly love opportunities for bad puns.

A Woody

A Woody

Lookouts

Lookouts

Following Oreo, a series of vintage cars went by, including one advertising the local minor league baseball team, the Lookouts.  While there didn’t appear to actually be any Lookout team members in the car (it’s off season), it still reminded me to add getting to one of their games to my list of things to do.

Santa 2x

Santa 2x

Santa came along several times during the parade.  I’m beginning to develop a theory about how he manages to get to all the houses in a single night.  In this series of photos, he was riding a Harley.  I don’t actually see the Harley as contributing to his success at criss-crossing the planet so quickly.

Little Sisters Stalking Santa

Little Sisters Stalking Santa

Santa was wisely followed by a float full of young girls from the Big Sisters program–they were smart to stay close to Santa.

The Duck

The Duck

Next, two of my favorite Chattanoogan vehicles came by.  The first, a genuine WWII Duck.  I’ve had the great pleasure of riding in one of these when the Chattanooga Audubon Society made arrangements with them to transport a group to McClellan Island for a bird walk.  We got the full tour in the process and it was quite fun.

Big City Tour Bus

Big City Tour Bus

The second is the double-decker bus that frequently goes by our place with a tour guide chattering away with the loud speaker echoing in our building.  I like the double-decker bus, none-the-less.  It’s become symbolic of Chattanooga’s character:  big city in a small package with a lot more smiling.

Stroller Brigade

Stroller Brigade

Immediately behind the double-decker bus, there was a brigade of women and the occasional man pushing baby strollers, mostly with babies in them.  I wasn’t sure if they were representing something, but it sure was cute.

It also makes my point:  big city followed by small town, smiles all around.