Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tennessee Weekend - Knoxville

One of the nice things about Holly's 50 States Challenge is getting to go to places we'd never imagine visiting. When we first talked about a race in Tennessee destinations included Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, maybe Lynchburg. Never did we imagine it would end up being in Knoxville. During the weekend we'd also visit Pigeon Forge, Gatinburg, and Smoky Mountain National Park. Today's post will cover a fun night out in Knoxville.We met up with Eddie and Ann McCoy Friday night at our hotel - The Holiday Inn World's Fair Park. They are friends we met through Team AllEars. Dave had mapped out a mini beer tour so our first stop was Barley's Taproom. It was located in Old Town which is an area full of college bars that cater to the U. of Tennessee student population. We walked in and faced a $10 each cover charge because the bar was participating in the city's music festival Rhythm and Blooms. The cover locked us in for two bands worth of music. We found a corner table a suitable distance from the stage and enjoyed really good food and a large selection of draft beer - lots on tap from Ashville, NC breweries. We made it through 2 of the 3 bands. Here's the line-up:

Humming House - Very good alternative folk (like Mumford and Sons)

this mountain - Also very good - mix of alternative and folk rock

LiL iFFy - Not even gonna give out the link. Just horrible rap. Chased us out.

When we left we found that the neighboring bars were getting into party mode. Lots of current dance hits and rap coming out of the bars up and down the street. We went to our next planned stop, The Crown & Goose. It's your typical English Pub theme. This caught Dave's radar because they had two of their own beers on tap. One was an oatmeal stout and the other an IPA. The oatmeal stout was too bitter for Holly and Dave and the IPA Eddie ordered was a wheat IPA (unfiltered). Eddie doesn't do wheat. Anna made a good choice sticking with wine - and getting into a debate with the barkeep over The Fresh Prince of BelAir.

It was after 1am - time for bed since some of us were actually here for races. As we approached the hotel we saw flashing lights in the Sunsphere - the tower from the 1982 World's Fair. Intrigued we asked the front desk about it. Turns out there's a bar up there open until 3am. No discussion was necessary - we all headed for the door. We crossed the street and took the rickety elevator (complete with "no jumping" warning) to the fifth floor. We were in a totally white room with Jetson-style chairs and some really good club music playing. Yes, this was more club than bar and we were under dressed. Fortunately it wasn't crowded and the staff made us feel right at home. The biggest shock was the drink prices - reasonable. 3 cocktails and a beer under $25. The view of the outside was obstructed by the lighting scheme inside that changed colors every so often.

We stayed for one for one round then decided it really was time to go to bed. Eddie and Anna had a fun-filled day planned for us in Pigeon's Forge and Gatlinburg.

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