Today I tried a few more foods – grits (no thank you), fried apples (yes please!) – which came about as our second visit to Cracker Barrel for our breakfast. I really like this chain but still haven’t been able to talk Warren into putting one of the rocking chairs into the back of Ursula… but the trip isn’t over yet.
After breakfast we went shopping at the outlet mall. In the U.S. there are a chain of outlet malls called Premium Outlet Malls that have some pretty good high end stores. Warren and I went in search of shoes and were not disappointed – we did some damage to the credit card at Sketchers and I did pop in for some deals in a clothing store. I managed to avoid the Coach store, but it was tempting. It was a good shopping spree.
Then we jumped back into Ursula and headed East from Lebanon towards Knoxville. Driving through the state, holding my sweetie’s hand and listening to the radio is a pretty wonderful way to see the world. We meandered through the rolling hills of Tennessee on highway 70 which wound back and forth like a snake. The lush green of the hills and the beautiful blossoms on the trees made it hard to believe that it’s only March. The poverty that we encountered though was pretty sad, especially when contrasted with the wealth that was evident as soon as we reached Knoxville.
Knoxville is a big city which is home to the University of Tennessee. Because of the University there are tons of restaurants, shops and services. Everywhere we went we heard that Tennessee drawl and Warren pointed out that y’all is used in two ways. There is the singular – Would y’all like a coffee? or Plural – Where’r all y’all from? There is also a contraction of ‘right here’ that sounds like ‘richeer’ (rye – Cheer) but said as one word. So far it’s been pretty interesting – there are times when I don’t know what people are saying and have to let Warren interpret.
Tomorrow if the weather holds we’re headed to Dollywood! I mean really, you can’t come this far without seeing the Smoky Mountains… 🙂