Thursday, September 8, 2011

Travels: Knoxville Road Trip

I love to travel. Anywhere and anyway. But road trips are definitely a favorite of mine. I can’t say I have had too much experience, at least compared to my road trip Obi-Wan Kenobi, but I’ve done a few, and have been itching to take more.
I’ve taken a road trip with a group of friends, and a few with my family, and while I think everyone should take at least one road trip with a group of people (lots of laughing, story time, bonding time, and you can split up driving), there is just something about taking a long road trip by yourself.

I’m not going to lie, driving for several hours on end without much of a break, is kind of painful. But it is well worth it when you consider the fact that you get to drive through new places with new sights to see, getting lost in music you forgot you had, with just your own thoughts.

So, I decided to take advantage of this past holiday weekend and take a road trip to go visit my brother in Knoxville, TN for a few days. The drive down there is about 9-10 hours, and one I have done before, so nothing too outrageous, but still great. If you have never been there, I highly recommend it.


A few highlights of the trip were watching the Boomsday fireworks (which were then cut short by a small fire breaking out), seeing the orange-mania that took over the city for the season’s first football game, and simply getting to just spend time and relax with my bro for a bit.

But within my trip was another trip. While I was there, I took a mini road trip to Nashville to watch my brother race, also by myself since he had to travel with his team. However, the only thing I had to get me from Point A to Point B was Google Maps on my phone, which we all know is not always very reliable. Lucky for me though, my temperamental little helper provided me with some nice surprises.

The race was in Percy Warner Park on the outskirts of Nashville. I was a little distracted driving through what was clearly music-executive-mansion-row to realize that Percy Warner Park is huge…with many many entrances. I ended up driving all over the park; through golf courses, up a mountain, down a mountain, around horse farms, until I finally found it. At least I made some friends along the way!

 View photo.JPG in slide show

Then, after the race was over and it was time to drive back, my phone decided it didn’t know where it was either. So, I drive along looking for the on-ramp that I need, with no clue where the heck I am, when I come over a bridge and…

View photo.JPG in slide show
Oh, hi Nashville

Seeing the entirety of the Nashville skyline, at night no less, when completely unexpected, was definitely a terrific shock. That single moment makes me want to jump back in my car and go straight to Nashville to explore the music city (stopping in Knoxville to pick up someone first of course).

Therefore, as a result of this and some past adventures, I present to you:

Road Trip Lesson #1: Do no be afraid to get lost. You will never know who (or what) you might meet and what you will find. In fact, it is highly likely that you will find some incredible things. Just ask Christopher Columbus. Or maybe not, I hear he wasn’t very nice.

And Road Trip Lesson #2: If you are in a strange city where you do not know anyone, are far away from home, by yourself, parked on a side street (bonus points if it’s called Lucky Street!), on a holiday, in the middle of winter, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, lock your keys in your car. Not that I would know…that is just a for instance.

Take a road trip, take several, solo and ensemble. Just follow my two rules!

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