London to Knoxville, Tennessee
It began with a ride in the back of an Uber to London Heathrow after three hours sleep the night before sorting out last minute things for work, and hastily packing bags. Vacations always seem to start like this for me but given this trip had been planned many months ago I’d expected to be better organised. I now know it has nothing to do with available time and everything to do with time management, or being deadline motivated as I like to call it. However, there was no running through the airport to catch the British Airways flight to Nashville (the only direct UK flight to Tennessee). If I hadn’t stopped the Uber driver wanting to take the most direct route through central London I can almost guarantee there would have been some running.
Arriving in Nashville airport, the person behind the desk at Hertz looked puzzled when we told her we were off on a big road trip – this was a one day rental. The first drive of this road trip is not in the Porsche, it starts in a humble hire car. And our luck was in as ours had just five miles on the clock. No need clean this one down with antibacterial wipes like a murderer leaving a crime scene as no one had ever been in it.
Mas Tacos Por Favor
A short 10 minute drive from the airport is Mas Tacos Por Favour in Nashville’s East End district, a favourite of ours. It is part hole in the wall, part dive bar with a lot of charm and great tacos. I have a friend in London who writes music for famous people, he’s in Nashville all the time and I keep telling him to go but he never does. It must be too low rent for showbiz folk, which is a shame as I think it is one of the best places in Music City. Where else can you buy dinner for two and beers for $20?
Biting off more than we can chew?
By the time we were back in the car it was 8pm. A two and a half hour drive lay ahead, with the clocks also moving forward an hour as we crossed time zones. The excitement of going away can fool the brain into thinking it doesn’t need sleep but at some point it always realises. Pointing the car in the direction of Knoxville along the I-40, my body decided almost two days awake was more than enough and the drive became tough. Eventually it became too much, we pulled into a gas station for a 12 minute power nap. The theory behind power napping is to take between 10 and 30 minutes, any more and you are in deep sleep territory and neither of us wanted to spend the night there.
The miles felt a lot longer than they actually were. I began to wonder if we had bitten off far more than is physically possible for this road trip. So many of the days ahead are over 10 hours driving, and here we were on day one struggling in a brand new car. A car with great air conditioning, a decent sound system, alerts that tell the driver when it is safe to change lane and Apple car play showing Waze maps. If it was so hard in this car how would we cope in the very basic Porsche 993?