Our two week adventure is coming to an end. Today, Bob played score keeper and I spent that time checking in with friends back home. Tomorrow, we reverse roles and on Saturday we will both be score keepers for the finals.
Bob ended his competition on Wednesday night. He finished tenth in his class. I think it was a great showing considering this is his first world tournament.
After Bob finished his score keeping duties we decided to take the free Knoxville trolley to Market Square for lunch. This is our third visit to the Downtown Brewery http://www.downtownbrewery.com/index.html and it hasn't disappointed us. Just as we were leaving the restaurant the sky opened and the rain came pouring down. It wasn't a gentle rain, but a true deluge. Umbrella in hand, we tried to make it to the trolley stop, but it was apparent that the only thing we accomplished was getting very, very wet. The stop is in front of Mast General Store, so the obvious thing was to step inside the store until the trolley arrived.
Mast General Store http://mastgeneralstore.com is a story unto itself. It has everything one could imagine, including a bulk candy section that boasts over 500 varieties, We were there yesterday. I found my licorice and Bob found his chocolate. A sugar high for both of us. We were too wet to think of going back to the candy department again. What we did do was abandon any plans we had for the afternoon. We went back to the motel, changed into dry clothes and then out and out crashed. We finally decided to order out for dinner. I think we both needed time to rest and regroup.
In the scope of things the world of horseshoes is very small Yet, 1200 pitchers and their family and friends still make an economic impact on the host city. It seemed that no matter where we went, we ran into people from the tournament. Restaurants, stores, gas stations and even at the local laundromat. There were times when I would forget I was seven hundred miles away from home when I ran into people we see at every local tournament.
Something that makes me smile is the genuine appreciation from the people for whom I kept score. I'd run into them and I'd hear, “Hey, Miss Bea”. How often would I expect to be called by name in a city as large as Knoxville?
I really wish we had another week just to explore the area, but it is time to get back to the reality of everyday life. The day planner for the week we arrive home is already filling up.