Last night I picked my mom up from the airport very late. This morning we are driving her halfway to Chattanooga, where we will meet up with my sister and my niece. My mom will stay with them in Chattanooga for a few weeks, and then come back up here to Nashville to stay with us.
For those of you unfamiliar with the landscape between Nashville and Chattanooga, it is pretty much farms, mountains, and year-round 24-hr fireworks stores. There are a few fast food restaurants and gas stations too. Nowhere I would want to stop at for any long period of time. There are places off the beaten path, cool campgrounds, etc., but we didn’t have time to journey far from the freeway.
As I’ve been studying sustainability and involved with A Rocha, I’ve become interested in Sewanee–a university in Tennessee with great farming, agrarian, and biology and ecology programs. I couldn’t figure out how to make it work for me to attend–it is a little too far from Nashville to make it feasible–but I have always wanted to visit.
It turns out, Sewanee is only about 10 minutes off of the freeway and nearly halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga. Sewanee (the town) is also a very unique little college town. I found several great reviews for cafes and restaurants, so my sister and I agreed to meet there.
The town was even cuter than I imagined. I felt like I was back in California. We ate at Julia’s, where the girls and I shared fish tacos and goat cheese enchiladas. Definitely better than O’Charleys (or whatever other chain restaurant food is available everywhere else along our route) and it was SO delicious.
After we ate, we left town by driving through the campus grounds. Sewanee is AMAZING. And so inspiring for my own little budding biologists.
I explained to the girls that if either of them decided to go to Sewanee, they would live on campus. They exclaimed, “Just like Hogwarts!!” Nestled like a castle in the mountains, Sewanee looks just as magical:
Because of my conservation work with A Rocha, I’ve made some connections with some really sweet students at Sewanee as well as some of the faculty. We have been invited to bring the girls back to hike along the mountain side and to visit the waterfalls when the weather is nice again. We can’t wait!
Once we were back home, we did our reading together and practiced multiplication, but the girls talked on and on about the beautiful campus. What an exciting time for them–to be able to be a million things and imagine a thousand directions their lives might go. I’m glad Sewanee is in their imagination. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be visiting my girls on campus someday.