This photo makes my heart sink. Our formerly trusty companion, who has been with us through 14 states and over 6,000 miles on this trip alone, gave up on us last Wednesday. It has now sat in an auto mechanic shop for a full week and we have been left to feel that we are hemorrhaging money with no way to stop the bleeding. The car needs a new throttle body and it has been beyond difficult to try to get one and get it fixed. Of course the fortunate part of our breakdown was that it occurred in a parking lot in a city with a choice of mechanics, rental car companies, and lodging options.
While the car has sat, we have kept moving. In a rental car, we headed to Nashville Tennessee to visit Sharon’s parents who were on a Road Scholar trip there. They spoiled us with a stay at their hotel, the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. We also got to ride along on their tour bus visiting Andrew Jackson’s home and the Belle Meade Plantation. On our own we toured the Yazoo Brewery and had dinner with our friend Brendan O’Connor who attends Vanderbilt. After finding out that the car would not be fixed by the end of the week, we kept moving, all the way to northern Virginia where Sharon will be hooded on Friday at her grad school commencement. We will also attend wedding #3 in Front Royal before heading back to Alabama as long as the car has been fixed.
Hours volunteered: 0
States: 4 (in a rental car)
Alabama – Athens, Huntsville
Tennessee – Cleveland, Cherokee National Forest
North Carolina – Weaverville, Asheville
Virginia – Harrisonburg, Fairfax
Budget: over — we are piling up the costs with a rental car and car repairs
People Visited: Brendan O’Connor, Melinda Bloom & John Tewksbury, Carmelita & Julius Lewis, Kim Durand, Greg Castano, Ileana Mayorga, and Tiffany Kudravetz
Best meal: 5 Star steak with creamed spinach and mashed potatoes at the Old Hickory Steakhouse inside the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville
The Well-Bred Bakery and Cafe in Weaverville North Carolina also deserves a shout out for their delicious baked goods. The Po Boy Factory is a local hot spot in Huntsville Alabama that we hope to visit again when we go back for the car. And, The Spot in Cleveland Tennessee is worth a visit if you ever happen to be in that town. They have been around since the ’30s and are still in business for good reason.
Best beer: Yazoo‘s Dos Perros — they have a great brewery tour every Saturday that is worth the visit.
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