Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 8 into the rainy mountains

Green Sage in Asheville, organic lovers dream
A rainy Day 8 began in Asheville, NC with coffee from the Green Sage, a organic lovers dream: would you like soy, rice, or almond milk?  Organic regular milk?  Stevia or organic agave syrup in your coffee?  Organic sugar?  Recycled cups, only sustainable local food from the Appalachian Mountain region . . . .etc etc.  These guys practice what they preach and organic and local is the way they operate.  The locals seem to love it too and the place is constantly packed.  And yes that locally roasted, fair trade, shade grown organic coffee was just delightful. .. . LOL
 The rain just kept coming down as we made our way to Knoxville, Tennessee on our way to Nashville.  Our road food book heartily recommended Litton's as the place to eat in Knoxville and we arrived right at lunchtime for this favourite hamburger joint.  The place is huge but that doesn't mean you don't have to wait, write you name on the board and then take a seat in benches that were so uncomfortable they must have been recycled from church pews!
get on the list!

James went for the "thunderroad" with pimento cheese and fried onions, I went traditional with a cheeseburger
 Yes it was worth the few minute wait!  Delicious burgers served medium, hand cut fries and ice tea till you can't drink anymore.  This places reputation is correct and there is a reason it has been in business for over 40 years!  They are also famous for their homemade deserts which I had to take to go as there was no more room when we finished the meal!

Red Velvet cake for the road and I never did get through it!
 The roads continued to be crap, this is the first bad weather we have had since the beginning of the trip so we really can't complain.  We did take a detour in Lebanon, TN about an hour outside Nashville to stop at the outlet mall and we were glad we did!  Coach had an extra 30% off the already reduced price and I got a purse, sunglasses, and gloves for $200!  The clerk pointed out I saved $700!  LOVE IT!  We also got a mega deal at Guess for James: 4 woven shirts and a jacket for $80 . . . they also had scratch and save and I scored with a 30% off extra card!  Being in the business it is hard for me to pay for anything above wholesale but these prices were well below my cost and worth it!  James had mentioned earlier in the day that he loves the fact that I can get in a car and just drive and explore with him. . . well it balances out as I love the fact that he'll shop outlets with me!  LOL.
 We came into Nashville about 4:30 and hit rush hour but it wasn't too bad, the first view was the AT&T building which my guidebook says the locals call the "batman" building. . I get it!!  I had been able to read most of the guidebook on the drive (James was driving of course) and we were excited to check out some of the local blues and bluegrass and honky tonk's we had read about.
 Dinner had to come first, I just couldn't sit in another smokey bbq, so we headed to Joe's Crab Shack. . . OOPS we broke our no chain rule. . . BUT we didn't know it was a chain before we went so. . . I going to have to let us off the hook!  I went for the crab legs of course but since I don't eat crab hardly ever I really wasn't prepared for how much work it really is to get the meat out of the crab.  I mean I wore the bib and everything. . . and that didn't even work as I found crab down my shirt later. .. James had a good laugh over the whole thing as he smartly chose a salad you can eat with a simple knife and fork!  I was having a really tough time getting to that crab until James put the tools I had at my disposal into fashion terms I could understand. .. "Meg, the yellow thing is like a seam ripper, slide up the leg to get at the meat" . . . OHHH  I get it now, it went much faster after that!

the "seam ripper" tool once I knew how to use it made the whole eating process much faster!

Batman building a night
Artistic shot of PBR and the band
 We then headed to Layla's Bluegrass Hillbilly and country Inn on Broadway where our new favourite entertainers "Slim Chance and the Can't Hardly Playboys" were rocking the stage with bluegrass and rockabilly hits as well as a few of their own like "Hillbilly Psycho Blues."  It is tradition at this place on Broadway that the bands play for tips only as there is no cover and after figuring out which tip jars were for the bartender and which for the band, we made sure to show our love for this super energetic group.  The band is a combination of bands it seems, with one member, the upright bass play, plays with Hank Williams the Third as well and others also a part of "The Howling Brothers."  They took requests from the crow and loved "requests" with $ attached!  LOL.  The bar filled up after the Nashville Predators game got out and the Chicago fans loved the band too.  They were of course also happy with their win!  Just like Calgary, Chicago fans can see a game cheaper here and they do when in town.

We ended our night at Layla's and it was good we stayed in one place. . high high winds and torrential rain storms had everyone and the news all talking about tornadoes. . . WHAT in February??  Well, with the great music we couldn't even tell and despite the fact that we got soaked getting back to our car the night was well worth it!  We had a blast and since we didn't know anyone. . . James even danced! 
Slim Chance and the Can't Hardly Playboys:  BUT they can play!! Check them out online!
Upright bassist, also a part of the Hank Williams III band

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