I had most of the day off on Friday so I did some exploring in the Knoxville area, but it was so cold that I spent the entire morning goofing off in a coffee shop in downtown Knoxville before heading out in my car to check out the rest of the downtown area and some sections south of town. I attempted to go for a walk by a lake. It was a pretty lake but too cold for me so I finished the day back at the coffee shop.
One thing I noticed while hanging out there was that a lot of the customers had nose piercings, which is fine, but they weren't the usual single stud or loop on the side of the nose - instead a lot of them had a piercing through the middle that looped down and ended in two balls, with one coming out of each nostril. Maybe it was the weather, but I started thinking that it looked like they all had silver snot hanging out of their noses. Now that's a whole lot more attractive than real snot so I'm actually kind of glad it was silver. But ewww, what if you had a piercing like that and suddenly had to blow your nose?
When I went to pick up Doug I got to see the amazing restoration and remodeling work that Vance and Emily are doing on their house way up on a hill overlooking the Tennessee River and downtown Knoxville. The style of the inside of their house is exactly how I want mine to look if we ever get to that point. Emily has done most of the molding work herself and has even built a few couches! Now I almost feel like trying that. Almost. Anyway it was very inspiring, and cool to see how good some of the things I had been envisioning actually look in a real house.
(A real house, as opposed to a Foam Core Fantasy).
We drove about an hour east to the Sevierville area to spend the night at Tom's house which is on top of a ridge way out in the woods in the Great Smoky Mountains. His driveway was about a half mile of this:
Kind of exciting in a Deliverance sort of way!
Tom's house reminded me of a ski lodge - very rustic but very nice. Doug said it was sort of log cabin style construction. If so, it was the most luxurious log cabin I've ever been in. The weather was appropriately cold - it got down to 17 degrees that night. Tom's girlfriend Teresa made an incredibly delicious dinner for us and also breakfast the next morning. Then we caravaned up to the gig in West Virginia.
Tom was nice enough to find an orchard store that we could stop at on the way that had Doug's favorite apple, the Arkansas Black, in stock so we bought an entire bushel of them.
They got quite a bit of snow down there in southeastern West Virginia, but the roads were fine.
This mountain didn't photograph very well because of the glare of the sun - be sure to shield your eyes!