Monday, September 23, 2013

Tennessee Girl's Trip: Day 5

Day five was our last day in Tennessee together. We had to get the house in order to leave everything in good standing for check-out, and then head to the airport in Knoxville. Jennifer, Shannon, and Dylanie were all flying out of Knoxville that day but not until much later in the afternoon, and I had to road trip it back to Indianapolis. As we were cleaning up, Shannon came running down the stairs yelling "there's a bear! there's a bear!" We had read online on the cabin's website that sometimes you could spot bears off the balcony but so far we hadn't seen any. We were beyond excited to finally spot one in the wild!
Bears don't like bananas. We were throwing fruit at him so he wouldn't wander off. Don't judge.
We called a cab service to give us a ride to Knoxville, and in doing so we put our lives in the hands of a crazy, cursing, rap-music loving driver with very little respect for the driving rules of the road. Every time we drove down the mountain to go into town it took us 15/20 minutes. I'm pretty sure he had us down in 5/6 minutes tops. He didn't even bother with low gear - that would have just slowed him down. He preferred the roller coaster method and we had quite a ride, let me tell you. All this while listening to extremely loud, extremely vulgar music that we repeatedly asked him to turn down and he repeatedly turned back up every time a song came on that he liked. He even stopped in the middle of Gatlinburg, announced that he had to pee, and ran inside to relieve himself. It was quite classy. So that hour was spent in some prayer for sure because I wasn't quite sure we would make it out of that minivan alive. I was already writing the headlines for our accident.
 Once we got into Knoxville I went down to pick up my rental car for the next 24 hours. Allen, a very fun and sweet guy who worked the Avis counter, determined that we girls needed something fun and rented me a Mini Cooper.
Hindsight - due to the incident from the day before, I felt like I had lost my ride back to Indianapolis. I wasn't thinking quite clearly because I was upset at the time, so I had tunnel vision on Indy in my head. I had a pre-paid hotel reservation for that night and a flight out the next morning. In hindsight, I should have just let the room be a wash in Indy, called and had my flight the next day changed to Knoxville, and got a room in Knoxville that night. It would have been cheaper than renting a car and driving to Indianapolis, which is what I did, but I was not thinking clearly at that point because of everything that had gone down. Girl drama is not cool.

At any rate, may I just add that I was pretty much BORN TO DRIVE ONE OF THESE????  I texted Nick because I was so excited about the car and his reply was "nice - stop lusting". It's like he knows me. We got the stretch version because we had decided since the girls weren't flying out until later afternoon that we would drive into downtown Knoxville, have some lunch and do some exploring as long as we could. So on one hand I spent way more money than I needed to on this car, and on the other hand we had quite a lovely day because I had the car. I don't think you can put a price on a lovely day.
We decided on The French Market for lunch, and each had some french sandwich creations (which mean we had a sandwich on a croissant or baguette instead of regular bread). We shared some macaroons and when we were finished we walked next door and had some gelato. The we walked around and began exploring. We weren't far from an area called Market Square, so we headed over there and looked at some street art and in a couple of shops. We ended up finding a really cool alley full of graffiti - and when I say full, I mean it! There was a ton of artwork, drawings, paintings, some down in spray paint and others done with art paints and some Sharpie drawings. It was a neat find, so we walked the length of it taking pictures the whole way.
 After about 3 hours it was time to head back to drop them off at the airport. We said our good-byes, hugged and wiped away some tears, and I headed west for Indianapolis. Six hours later I was at my hotel and beyond ready to go to bed.

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