We woke up in our big, soft, cozy bed over in Lawson and Beth's carriage house, yawned, and said, "Ew..what's that smell?".
And then we realized...it was our shoes. They were soaked with rain, so we had turned them upside down and set them over the heater vents on the floor to dry out last night. What we hadn't thought of was that now every time the heater came on, it would blow up into our wet, nasty, sweaty, years-old shoes that we've biked who-knows-how-many thousands of miles in, and THEN it would blow out into the carriage house! Ew! After an entire night with the heater on, the place smelled pretty rank.
We jumped out of bed, moved the shoes off the vents, and opened every window we could find hoping the smell would go away! On the bright side, our shoes were dry. :-)
After scrambling around the carriage house, we made it downstairs and were going over to the main house for breakfast when Lawson pulled out of the garage with their two kids. He said he was taking them to FCA and that Beth could get us breakfast in the kitchen. Then they all waved bye and took off. I was sad that we never got a picture of them. Probably if the carriage house hadn't been so smelly, we would've gotten down there sooner and could've taken one. Crum.
In the kitchen, Beth was waiting for us just like Lawson had said. She cooked us eggs, toast and bacon, and also gave us cereal, for breakfast. Breakfast was great, and spending more time with Beth was great. She's one of those Southern Belle types, really sweet and loving and kind, full of wisdom and good advice, makes you feel like you're part of the family, and she has a southern accent to boot!
After breakfast, Nathan went to go pack up, and I stayed in the kitchen to talk some more with Beth. We talked about Christianity, kids, friends, biking, money management, etc.. It was great, and I was sad to pull myself away to go pack up, but I knew I had to.
Before we left, Nathan found a warmshowers.org host for us to stay with tonight that lives really close to Dave Ramsey's office. I am so totally excited to be almost at Dave Ramsey's headquarters!!
Also exciting was that by the time we were ready to leave, the smell was gone in the carriage house! Woo-hoo! So we closed the windows, took some pictures and headed out. Here's one of the carriage house and one of me and Beth:
As we were heading out of town and towards Nashville, we saw a bike store that was OPEN!! If you recall, we've been looking for a bike store for like...ever. For states. For maybe almost a thousand miles (a THOUSAND miles!!). Every bike store we've come to has been closed either for the day or permanently, and we have NEVER found one that's open since Keystone, Colorado (Colorado!!). I was so excited to finally find an open bike store that I could've danced in the street!
We had just pulled up outside when Don (I think he's the owner?) came out to talk with us. He was excited to see us and our loaded bikes. We told him that I wanted chamois cream and asked if he had any. He said yes!! I could've hugged him!
Nathan held my bike, and I went in to buy some of that liquid gold I'd been looking for. Inside, Don started talking to one of the employees about our trip. It went something like this:
Don - Hey, these guys have biked all the way from Oregon!
Other Guy - *blank stare, no reaction*
Don - They're going all the way to the Atlantic Ocean!!
Other Guy - *blank stare, no reaction*
Don - They paid off all their debts and that's why they're taking the trip. It's like a big celebration!!
Other Guy - *blank stare, no reaction*
At this point, I was starting to feel kind-of awkward. It was cool that Don was so excited for us, but the other guy was just staring at Don and me not saying anything or even showing a reaction. I thought that maybe he was annoyed or thought our trip was dumb or something. And then...
Don - They're currently on their way to see Dave Ramsey's headquarters in Nashville!
Other Guy - ......That's......so.........AAAAWWWWEEEEESSSSOOOOMMMMEEEEE!!!!!!
It was like someone had just flipped an "on" switch or something and he suddenly came alive! After his initial outburst, he headed outside to talk to Nathan while I paid for my precious chamois cream. While I was paying, Don asked me if Nathan and I had stayed with Lawson last night. I was like "What?! Yes we did.. How'd you know that?!". He said he and Lawson are friends and he told us how Lawson was a great guy, the kind of guy who would host out-of-towners and treat them really well. I told him he had Lawson pegged, he was a great host and seemed to be a really great guy. We had really enjoyed our time at his house.
Then we went outside, and when we got there, the other guy was still talking to Nathan. We gave him and Don our website address, and I took a picture with Don. Then they gave us a big wave goodbye and wished us luck as we left. It was really cool!
While we were riding, Nathan said something about "that really talkative guy" to me. I was like, "what really talkative guy?", and Nathan said, "the guy at the bike shop who came out to talk to me while you were paying." Apparently, even though he had been mostly quiet in the store when I met him, by the time he got outside to talk with Nathan he had gotten really excited about our trip and was a chatterbox! He said he was working on being debt free too, and that he was using Dave Ramsey's classes, and he wanted us to say hi to Dave for him, and he was really pumped about our bike ride, and he thought it was an awesome way to celebrate being debt free, and again it was SO cool that we had paid off our debt, and he just went on and on. I had to laugh - it was so funny because while Don was talking to him in the store, he had no reaction at first, and then he just seemed to explode! Haha! It was great, and we were really happy to have stopped at the bike store, and now we were even MORE pumped to go to Dave Ramsey's headquarters!
We rode along a nice, low-traffic road to get to Nashville, and we came up over this one hill and all of the sudden, the downtown skyline of Nashville all came into view. It was cool. We stopped at an empty parking lot with a picnic table on top of the hill and had lunch looking at the Nashville skyline.
After lunch, we excitedly got back on our bikes. We had to ride through Nashville to get to the lady's house we were staying at tonight. Our excitement soon turned to frustration though, because riding through the city was horrible. There was no shoulder, it was REALLY crowded, there were lots of steep hills (big, steep hills), and there were lots of stoplights which are no fun for anyone. It took a long time to get through the city and the crowded streets. Nathan's knee started hurting him a lot too, so he had to stop a few times to rest, stretch, or take some medicine. That was a little tough because of all the traffic, but eventually we made it to Sherry's house - yay!
She let us park our bikes in her garage, and while we were pulling them in, we met her two little girls. Lauren came out in a blue checkered dress with a white shirt underneath and bright red, sparkley shoes. Ashley came out in a white leotard with white tights. A little later, Lauren added a small basket with a toy dog, and Ashley added a skirt, a magic wand, and butterfly wings to her outfit, and we found out they were getting ready to go to Aiwana and were all dressed up in their Halloween costumes: Dorothy and a fairy! They were super cute!
Before they left, Ashley told me very proudly that she was 4 and a half today! I told her that was really big stuff, and that MY half birthday was just yesterday! As we were talking about half-birthdays, Nathan wasn't quite sure when his was. His real birthday is on 7/11, so I told him his half-birthday was in January. He thought for a minute, and then said, "I think it's January 5th...or 6th....?". I told him, "It's January 11th..Duh", and he said, "Ooohhhhhh!". He thought you had to divide the days in half too, not just the month! Haha :-)
Then we took showers (two days in a row, now!) while Sherry dropped the girls off and came back with dinner...and a friend! Her friend's name was Piroh, and he lives nearby Sherry and just stopped over to talk. Piroh and Sherry both like to bike and we talked with them about riding around Nashville. Piroh said Nashville has one hill that's 18% grade! Yuck!
We also talked about Dave Ramsey and the reason we were in Nashville. We told them that we had gotten an email saying Dave Ramsey was out of town right now, and we were bummed we wouldn't get to meet him, but we were still excited to see his headquarters. Then they said that they go to church with Dave Ramsey! I was like, "Really?! You know Dave Ramsey?! Wow!". I was excited just to meet someone that really actually knows him - that was cool. They said that in real life, he's actually kind of quiet and reserved. That stunned me, because he definitely doesn't seem "reserved" in his books, or his financial class videos, or on his radio show, or anything. In those, he's always super energetic...like he just had a CASE of RedBull or something.
After dinner was over and we said goodbye to Piroh, Sherry went to go get the girls, and before they went to bed, they sang songs for us. They have a whole bunch of songs they do, but everyone's favorite by far was a song called "Shake Your Sillies Out". It involves wiggling, giggling, jumping, and LOTS of silliness. :-)
After the girls went to bed, Nathan and I talked with Sherry for hours! You know how sometimes, you just click with someone and then suddenly HOURS are gone because you were talking and didn't realize what time it was? Well that's what happened. By the time we went to bed, it was 11pm! Eek! Sherry is really awesome though, and I really liked spending time with her.
We are going to be sleeping in a king-sized bed in the guest room. The bed belongs to Sherry's 18yr old son who is currently in Texas spending time with some relatives. She adopted him from the Ukraine when he was 11 and she was doing mission work there. (Like I said, Sherry is great.) His bed is super comfy, and I am excited to sleep on it!
Before bed, Nathan and I talked about how great it was that we actually made it to Nashville! We were right on track to be able to visit Dave's headquarters and get back to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky in time to see Nathan's family this weekend. We didn't know if our plan to detour to Nashville would work out or not, but everything was looking great! Our plan was WORKING! Horray!
So goodnight, everyone. :-) And thanks for the great evening, Sherry, Lauren and Ashley!