Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tennis Rackets Falling from the Sky

Yesterday, we left Asheville for Athens, Georgia, to see one of my oldest and dearest friends, Sam. It was a little sentimental leaving Asheville. We'd grown attached, but I'm sure it won't be the last time we see Asheville. 

We took the scenic route, mostly on the Smokey Mountain Expressway. It was a foggy and overcast day, and the mountains looked like something out of a Greek epic, rising into the fog and appearing to continue beyond the clouds. Despite the dreary day, we had a blast stopping at several thrift and antique stores. Poor Sam. We realized how out of touch we are with having a schedule or a set place to be. It took us over 4 hours to make a drive that should have taken us only 2 and a half. 

Our detour turned out to be productive, though. A few days ago, we blogged about playing tennis without rackets because we had found some tennis balls, but I had given away our tennis rackets in the yard sale before our trip. We enjoyed our made-up tennis/handball game, and joked that rackets would have to fall out of the sky for us if we were ever going to play the real game. Somewhere along the Smokey Mountain Expressway, between Asheville and Athens, two tennis rackets fell out of the sky. 

We had stopped at a community thrift store in the middle of nowhere and were browsing around. We found a few issues of old Life magazines, which we collect, and some cheap clothing. While we were browsing, the lady who owned the store, dressed in grey sweatpants, approached us with her excitable, high pitched voice. 

"Excuse me, Sir? Could I trouble you to help me move a couch? This gentleman has brought it in, but he's older, and everyone else in the store is a woman. No one can move the couch. I'll be more than happy to give you a good deal on your purchase." 

Of course, Dave was happy to help move the couch, and, it turned out, a fridge, off the rental truck and into the community thrift. As they were moving the couch, I poked my nose around the back room, and found a stack of tennis rackets that looked nearly identical to the ones I had given away. They weren't marked with a price. 

"We're ready to check out. We were wondering, though, how much are these tennis rackets?" 

"Oh, those? You can just have them. Thank you for your help." 

So, along with the vase, vintage Life magazines, and clothing we got for $6, we got free tennis rackets. We can't wait to play a few games of tennis! 

Once we finally made it to Athens, several antique stores and scenic overlooks later, we had a blast hanging out with Sam. She is temporarily living in Athens for a Pharmacy School rotation, and hadn't had any opportunities to explore the downtown area yet. Downtown Athens turned out to be way cooler than we would have expected. We browsed through consignment stores, ate delicious food at the Thai Spoon, and caught up over coffee at one of the coolest coffee shop/bar/art display spots we've found. We spent the night at her place and had a relaxing morning today cooking some pretty kick-ass breakfast sandwiches and relaxing on the couch, something that's even nicer when you haven't had a couch to relax on for the past month. 

I'm writing this from Augusta, Georgia, where we've made a temporary stop on our way to visit Dave's grandparents, who live in coastal North Carolina. Following more back roads on the way here, we passed through miles more of rolling pastures and gorgeous farm country. 

These trees are marvelous. The further towards Athens we drove, the more spectacular their blossoms. 


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