Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Autumn leaves in Tennessee

Who would have thought I'd see autumn leaves at the end of November! Our Canadian Thanksgiving came and went more than a month ago, but I was able to celebrate this holiday over five whole days with our American friends who like to be extra festive. A friend and fellow staff member was very kind and invited me to spend time with her family in Knoxsville, Tennessee, and I graciously accepted. So into a car we got and off we went to see the Smoky Mountains to eat a delicious turkey meal.

As part of our vacation, Callie and I made a visit to the Tennesse Aquarium in Chattanooga. Callie and I worked our way through the facilities two buildings, which housed maccaroni penguins, seahorses, jelly fish, octupus, zillions of butterflies, sharks, stingrays and more. I took some pictures (see below) and would love to show you the rest of them when I see you. This aquarium was pretty impressive with all its hands-on displays and numerous exhibits. Chattanooga itself is a beautiful city with an impressive arts and culture vibe. I think I'll have to come back to this place and spend more time here.

Another thing that was interesting about the American Thanksgiving that I had not yet experienced is "Black Friday." Get this - people actually get up at 3 a.m. to go to the stores for 4 a.m. in hopes of buying some of their Christmas gifts on sale. And they come out in hoards... yikes! So the big meal usually happens on Thursday and then the families pile into cars, drink coffee to offset the turkey, and get ready to be jolly for the next holiday spectacular. Oi. Er, but I did end up going shopping.

The weather is still getting cooler here, but no snow on the ground. I was covered from head to toe in mud today wearing but a t-shirt and shorts. There is talk that some of the staff might go ice skating this weekend. Don't worry, I'll show them what great skaters we Canadians are ;) 'Til next time!