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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

The JK Road Trip - Day 3


Another day on the JK Road Trip and today we tackled two cities! We encountered a lot of independently owned coffee and tea shops, but due to the time constraints of parking meters (silly things, they are) we were not able to experience them all.

Knoxville, TN

Union Avenue Books – Bookstore #4 – This is a small store, but it holds a lot of cool things. The layout of the store is simple and clearly marked. It has it’s own Young Adult nook (mygenre of choice). The ladies who were working there were super nice. Once we told them about what we were doing they were full of suggestions of places we could go that fit what we were looking to do.

Time Warp Tea Room – Coffee Shop #3 – Now when you read the title of the place, it sounds like it might be Rocky Horror Picture Show themed, right? Well, if that is what you were hoping for you will be very disappointed. This place that has “Tea Room” in the title is actually biker themed. There are motorcycle themed things everywhere! This place just breaks a bunch of stereotypes and it’s awesome! As much as I don’t want to say anything negative, because the atmosphere was really great, I was not a fan of the tea I got – Gunpowder Green. In all honesty, it tasted like boiled grass.

Asheville, NC

The Spice & Tea Exchange – Tea Stop #2 – This is store that is filled with wonderful scents! You would think with all of the spices, teas, sugars, salts, and things they have that it would be overwhelming for your nose – it’s not! You can enjoy all of the scents that the store has to offer. Everything found in the store are blends that have been created by the owners. The corner of “Fine Teas” was excellent! I bought some of the “Mystic Dragon” tea, and I cannot wait to enjoy a few cups of it.

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe – Bookstore #5 – What makes this store so awesome, in my opinion, is the pure fact that they offer something I have only seen on tumblr – A BLIND DATE WITH A BOOK! They wrap different novels in brown butcher paper and write descriptive words all over it to give you an idea of what the book is about. You don’t know the title, the author, or even what the cover looks like (because believe it or not the cover sometimes determines whether or not a book sells). The shop does a good job of making sure you have no idea what novel you have chosen. When I had to sign my receipt (of course I participated in this) they folded over the part that had the title and held it while I signed it. They also folded my receipt and tucked in a loose section of the wrappings before putting it in the bag. They make sure you have no idea which novel you are receiving. They do say that if you happen to already own the novel you picked you can return it and swap it out for another Blind Date Book. As of writing this post, I still have no idea which book I chose. I intend to do a video about it. If it does happen that I already own the novel, I intend to gift it to someone. Other things about this place… I really like that they had a book case that highlighted banned books. Not everyone realizes which books have been banned. Having that case helps enlighten the public, which is awesome! The “/Cafe” part of the title – it’s similar to what you see at a Books-A-Million or Barns & Noble where there is a coffee shop inside it, essentially marrying the two things that naturally go together – books and coffee (well tea, in my case).

Downtown Books & News – Bookstore #6 – This is a used bookstore that also carries the current magazines and newspapers. Great assortment of everything, really. Very interestingly laid out. There were words that cluttered the walls. I know that cluttered sounds bad, but it was neat. The words somewhat went with the section of books they were hung over. Something that I thought was kind of funny was the fact that they had a cardboard cut out of Luke Skywalker in the middle of the Sci-Fi section. Works for me.

Double D’s Coffee & Deserts – Coffee Shop #4 – This is a cool idea and it was an experience worth having. I tried something new. Something they call a “Dirty Chai”. It’s a Chai tea latte with a shot of espresso and you have the option of hot or cold. I gave the cold version a try. It was good. Because it is on a double decker bus, there isn’t a lot of space for a lot of people, but they do have space outside of the bus where people can sit.

That wraps up the shop portion of Day 3. We took a break from all of the shops and went to see Insurgent. It fits. It was a book and now it’s a movie. Fits the theme of it all. haha. Just a reminder, you can follow my journey in real time by checking out the hashtag #JKRoadTrip on Twitter and Instagram.

Until next time… Kara

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