Royalty Tours USA

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Royalty goes to Knoxville, Tennessee to see a college football game at legendary Neyland Stadium!

My Name in Lights at Hertz in Atlanta #338
On Saturday morning October 5th I got up early so I could catch a 7AM flight on Delta Airlines to Atlanta, Georgia. I arrived there a half hour early than scheduled. As a result, I was able to go to Knoxville, Tennessee which was 220 miles was the airport. Upon arrival, I took the new ATL Sky Train from the airport to the car rental center. When I got there, I went to Hertz to pick up my car rental for the long weekend I had. When I got to the car they initially gave me as a #1 Club Gold member I was disappointed. It was a Chevy Aveo. When I turned it on, I saw the odometer said the car had 59,000 miles. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I've never rented a car with more than 35,000 miles. So I walked back to the area where I saw my name in lights. Shortly thereafter, I saw a customer service agent. I told her I can't take this car because it has too many miles. She proceeded to an exchange for me. She gave me a Ford C which was a hybrid car that I never heard of before. I walked over to the car & I saw it was a hatchback without a trunk so I went back again to get another car. This time she gave me a Hyundai Elantra. I was almost ready to drive off with it but when I went to adjust the rear view mirror it fell off. After trying to fix it myself, the manager came over to me. I told her what happened. She told me to pick out a car that was nearby. I decided to take a Chevy Cruze that she was kind enough to drive over to me. Finally after four tries, I got a car that met my standards. This car had only 4,397 miles on it & it was equipped with XM radio. Even though I wasted the time I made up thanks to Delta, I still decided to go to Knoxville so I could see Neyland Stadium which is located in downtown. The game between the Tennessee Volunteers & the visiting Georgia Bulldogs was kicking off at 3:30PM Eastern Time. I wound up leaving Hertz shortly after 10 AM.

First car space I was given
I wound up getting to Knoxville at 1:36PM that afternoon. I had to dodge some pockets of game traffic as I got closer. When I got off the interstate, I drove around the downtown vicinity looking for a parking spot. I noticed parking for $25, $20 & $10 before I came across a lot for $5 which I pulled into. I couldn't park at a meter since there was a two hour time limit. With that being said, I got a real bargain. Once I got myself situated, I walked over towards the stadium.

Since I didn't know for sure I was going there I didn't buy a ticket in advance. They did have tickets at the box office for $80 though. I didn't want to pay that much for the game. So I walked around until I found an area where people were trying to sell their extra tickets. I decided to pass up tickets for $60, $50, $40 & $30. I offered a guy $20 & he said he would take $30. I insisted on $20. He decided to settle for $25 for a seat in the end zone that was 32 rows up. I told him you got a deal. I proceeded to walk inside the stadium. When I got to see the field, I was in awe. I've always heard great things about it. When I finally got to see it for my own eyes, I wasn't disappointed. What a venue it was. It sits over 100,000 people. I savored the moment long before the game even started. I got my money's worth & then some. After I took in the different views on the lower level, I walked along the concourse before I decided to go to my seat so I could get ready for the game. I also got to enjoy the band who were performing on the field especially when they played Rocky Top, the unofficial school fight song. They finished their routine by forming the Power T. Seats in general appeared to be few & far between but I lucked out as I had an extra seat on the bench I was sitting on. I did have a nice young lady sitting next to me. She told me she went to school there. I told her about some of the different college venues I've been to since she asked me who I was rooting for. She was very knowledgeable & I enjoyed her company. During the first half, a guy who was all the way down low in the section got her attention & he told her to come down. It wound up being her husband. She decided to wait until half time before she joined him. When she left I had more space for myself. During the intermission, I turned around & I started talking to some more friendly people who were behind me. They were also fans of the Volunteers. We wound up chatting the rest of the game.

View from my seat at Neyland Stadium
Tennessee Band in the Power T formation
As for the game we saw, the Volunteers fell behind 17-3 in the first half. In the second half, they staged a comeback. They even took the lead late in the game but the Georgia Bulldogs were able to tie it up late as they were able to force overtime. The game was tied at 31. The Volunteers got the ball first in overtime. They appeared to be on their way to a possible touchdown but they wound up losing the ball as they fumbled. The ball went out of bounds in the end zone which resulted in a touchback for the Bulldogs. They took over & they kicked a field goal that gave them a 34-31 victory. It was an exciting game that the Volunteers should have won but they wound up giving it away.

After the game, I walked back to the car. I had to deal with some game traffic as I made my way towards Cookeville where I was spending the night at Knights Inn. I wound up driving 10 miles from Knoxville so I could have my post game dinner at Sonny's Bar-B-Q which I had mapped out in advance. I was so hungry. I wound up getting the all you could eat ribs that they were offering. Luckily I got there just in time to do so. Shortly after I placed my order, other people came in but they were told that deal was no longer in effect.

I took full advantage as I filled up my empty stomach. I came hungry & I left very happy. You can't beat southern hospitality. When I finally finished eating, I got back in the car & I drove 90 miles to the hotel where I called it a night.

Stay tuned for another special post that will go into detail about my latest visit to Nashville.

Thank you for reading & following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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