Maybe I was a little rash in my former life plan, but until Nashville, Knoxville was the place that had made the best impression on me. But I have to say I did love Nashville as well, I could definitely live there too, so it'd be a pretty close call to choose my favourite. Though this is probably more due to the hostel and the people we met, rather than the city. I mean don't get me wrong, it was a pretty cool place to visit but we found that there wasn't much to do there if you are under 21, as the majority of the entertainment is bars that we had to leave before 7pm because we're not 21... I feel like a child again!
For the main part of tuesday we wandered around the shops (if anyone is visiting Nashville I'd recommend the shop Earthbound, SO cool) and visited the Country Music Hall of Fame. Which I'm sure would have been extremely interesting if we were into country music. But we know very little so the only exhibits we could really relate to were about Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and Taylor Swift (and I'm not 100% sure that I'd class her genre as country...)
Lunch was a bit of a disaster, as we got cheesy chips to share without really thinking about what state the cheese would come in. It was MINGING. Definitely had nothing on the cheesy chips from college. Aimée decided to be a daredevil and try hot sauce, but it turns out that it's just very similar to ketchup and americans call it 'Mexican Hot Sauce' so that people feel dead hardcore when they eat it.
We met up with a swiss guy we met at the hostel called Peter for tea. It seemed that everywhere that sold ribs seemed to be 21+ (I have no idea why) so we settled for burgers and spent a few hours there chilling and playing cards. Unfortunately for me he was a quick learner, so as usual I lost at any game to do with being fast.
In the evening Peter went to meet Dennis and Lars (from Thailand and Germany, two more Music City Hostelers) for some important Nashville ice-hockey game whilst we went to see ED SHEERAN AND SNOW PATROL at the Ryman Auditorium and it was AMAZING. Ed Sheeran did his full version of 'You need me, I don't need you' which was really cool and Snow Patrol did 'Set Fire to the Third Bar' and it was SOOOOOO good. I can't believe that I finally got to see them live :D Ed only got four songs which was a little disappointing but that was more than made up for by the fact that WE GOT TO MEET HIM after the show. We accidentally ended up at the front of the queue - hopefully not upsetting too many of the crazed mega squealy fans - which was a little embarrassing as we were almost definitely the oldest there by a fair amount :P It's the first time I've actually been properly star struck I think (except maybe when I met Mr. Blobby, but that was like 16 years ago now), I went all jelloid legs and flustered. I did manage to force out a few words that somehow formed a conversation about our travels, whilst Aimée lost her ability to speak all together. But yer, that made for a pretty AWESOME day/slash highlight of the trip. Also he smelled really nice.
When we got back to the hostel we had planned to pack our bags and have an early night, since we were getting up at 6 this morning, but we were on such a high that we ended up playing cards until rather late and then the other girls in our dorm went to bed without letting us know so we couldn't go in without waking them up... However some of the lads at the hostel agreed to stay up with us and play chinese snap, hospitals, poker and apples to apples until about 5am. It was actually really fun, 7 of us in all (the three guys a mentioned before plus Que who works at the hostel, Ray from Minneapolis and Tiago from Portugal. Ray had the most awesome idea ever, of setting up a food exchange thingy. So when we get home we send him Jammy Dodgers and he ends us Pop Tarts, Pizza Pringles and Iced Tea. Everyone's a winner.
After fumbling around in the pitch black trying to pack our cases and be as quiet as possible, we checked out of the hostel at 6am and set off to Atlanta. Not much had happened between now and then, I slept a fair amount of the journey, waking only to hear a woman talking so loudly on the phone that the whole bus now knows her life story. There were also some pretty impressive views of lakes just before Chattanooga, which made the ride a little more interesting. The new hostel isn't too bad, considering it used to be a brothel.
I am a little sad to leave Tennessee behind, I really enjoyed my time there and so far it is definitely my favourite state. I will have to go back and do some more exploring in the future :)