Why did I go to Tennessee?
My friend and I, somewhat randomly, chose Tennessee for a unique winter adventure.
I bought the bus tickets.
Two weeks before the trip, my friend got a job.
I decided to go alone.
I met lovely people, ate a ton of food, saw weird things, and took mostly ugly photos of said weird things.
I then visited friends in D.C. and NY, went to several parties and food shows, and had an all-around great week. Minus the many shots with friends and food, here’s a bit of it.
Photo captions below, by number:
(1) The Minister’s Treehouse! This, I admit, was a big part of wanting to go down to Tennessee. It’s the world’s biggest treehouse, built by a man who heard God tell him to build and build and build. By himself, and over more than a decade (reports differ on this), he constructed this multi-story building from odds ‘n’ ends. It’s an incredible structure, though daylight was fading when we got there. Still, it was a dream come true since I love crazy places like this! Best of all, we were the only folks there, so we got to explore the place in the dark, alone, with the doors creaking open and slamming shut in the wind…
(2) I found out what this was, but it looks…well, you know what it looks like. Cassie, since you’re so great with signs, any great interpretations of this one?
(3) Oh yes, I always use my metal detector outside random homes that just so happen to be adjacent to sketchy little bail bond palaces.
(4) Ahhh, a respite from the weirdness.
(5) Whaaaa? Weird again!
(6) Hopefully this is a joke, but…
(7) …Maybe nothing around here is a joke? I frequently see people walking possums on cute leashes in NY, too.
(8) Caves on the Tennessee river.
(9) The Tennessee river, where one can have random conversations with random old fishermen on boats in the middle of the river.
(10) I started going into that cave but realized that if anything happened to me, no one would know where I was (or care).
(11) A cool abandoned rock quarry–Ijam’s. Those moss-covered boulders are much bigger than I am. View from inside the cave.
(12) View from a safer place on the bottom of the mountain. Each rock level there is much taller than I am.
(13) This should give you a better idea of how tall this quarry was. I’m pointing out the vultures, but my finger seems quite a bit off.
(14) The vultures.
(15) Dusk at the Minister’s Treehouse…gosh I love it!
(16) One of my favorite “haunted” shots.
(17) Now it all makes sense, right? This is the view from the near-top of the bell tower.
(18) A stained glass Jesus with Wendy behind it. Strangely, it was not located near the actual hidden pulpit in the center of the treehouse, but was placed randomly near a staircase.
(19) The crazy bell tower.
(20) The crazy wood lattice work from the ground, back view. There’s an 8-story-tall swing that lulls you to sleep, too. You really just have to go.
(21) The aftermath of an amazing Southern lunch at Chandler’s. Thank you, Wendy! We’d already eaten two servings of fried okra, two of fried green tomatoes (melt-in-yo’-mouth tomatoes), collard greens, and more. I felt deliciously sick.
(22) My favorite (and the grand prize winner!) of the U.S. Pastry Arts Competition. Held at the New York Restaurant & Foodservice Show. The theme: Cirque du Soleil.
(23) A beautiful dancer from the (free) NY Times Travel Show. She was pretty, but the event itsel is so…touristy. As in, come pay for a tour to see the (fake part of our) wonderful country!