As I headed East on 40, I noticed signs marking the route as the Music Highway. Indeed, I was going from Memphis, the roots of Rock N Roll and the Blues, through Nashville (an appealing skyline for later exploration), home of the Game Ole Opry, to Asheville, the Bluegrass scene. Unfortunately, I did not realize that Asheville was a music town in time to take in a show. Instead, I checked into the Sweet Peas Hostel (a cute name, right?). Then went a block over to Lexington Avenue to look for sushi. I found a sweet little place called Heiwa Shokudo. I liked my waiter, who wore big dangly earrings and easedropped on the conversation at the next table. Was that an interview for a housemate or a first date?! I learned something about the rolls: if it comes uncut, it looks like a cone, the cut rolls are called negiri. Complicated breakdown but definitely delicious! Some mochi and ice cream to finish off the meal and then a stroll around the block that revealed a trendy market.
At the Sweet Peas, the sound was full on: an action movie blaring on the TV, music pulsing from the brewery below, and bombastic snoring from the men’s bunk. My three bunkmates stumbled into bed quite late, one of them even fell out, giggling all the way! I got up around 7am, retrieved my stuff from the locker and ripped the sheets off the bed. Any noise I created I considered to be payback. Ha ha! The Smoky Mountains looked mystical in the floating low clouds as I sailed out of town, ahead of traffic.