Tony had some morning convos at ORNL, so after collecting Jack at the adorable Knoxville airport we stopped at a diner-type place for a quick breakfast. Afterwards these two resumed their longest-running sibling rivalry: the race to ride shot gun. Anna Grace edged out her brother for the first time ever!

A quick detour to the hotel to collect the four-pawed, and then it was an exploration of Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area. Who knew dogs in Tennessee could obtain hunting permits? 🤣

The area is noted for its sunflowers. Indeed!  So pretty.

This is not the first (or even third or fourth) time that Jack has attracted butterflies. Maybe this is a Speckled Wood?

We had time for a quick whirl through the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. More interesting than I was expecting.  The World’s Largest Basketball, right here in Knoxville.

Anna Grace and Sendra Berenson (Smith College), considered the “Mother of College Basketball.”

#OlympicTeamGirlPower

Time to catch up with Tony, who met us for lunch in Knoxville’s Market Square at Myrtle’s Chicken and Beer, an institution noted for its comfort food and craft beers.

Fried Pickles. Oh, yes.

Knoxville’s Main Street is charming; we spent quite some time in the Mast General Store, finding all sorts of things we never knew we needed.

Tony’s friends from the previous evening highly recommended we enjoy Tennessee barbecue at a place named, “Dead End.” The restaurant began as the result of a neighborhood’s routine summer barbecues at the, well, dead end of their road.

The four of us began with the Starter for One of the barbecue nachos. Good heavens, American portion sizes are hard to swallow. Pun intended.

Various trays of thankfully normal-sized portions of barbecue were then delivered to our table. Everything from the ribs to the pulled pork to the CRISPY PORK BELLY BITES was amazing. And let me just give a shout-out to the creamed corn and pickled onion sides. Mmm. Mmm.

Could we do this every evening? Goodness, of course not. But for this weekend a real barbecue evening was just what we all needed.