Living a balanced life with lots of creative food, exercise and exploration!

Knoxville Trip and Caroline Can! – Weekend Part 1

on May 7, 2012

Whew, what an exhausting but wonderful weekend.  This weekend I reclaimed my role as stellar spectator, rather than race participant.  The Boy and I departed early Friday morning for the 500 mile journey down to Knoxville, TN for the Rev 3 Triathlon Series.

 After arriving in Knoxville, we quickly changed and hit the road to attend Moonpies and Moonshine, an event benefiting Caroline Can! I cannot begin to describe how wonderful this event was.  We arrived at a beautiful Southern home, on a balmy Spring night.  Everyone was in good spirits, and incredibly warm and welcoming.  We dined on traditional eats: coleslaw, potato salad, and some pork BBQ for the meat inclined, then topped dinner off with some key lime pie and warm peach cobbler.  OMG yum.  We ate our dinner on the dock as the sun set over the river.  Could not possibly ask for a more serene and peaceful environment.

After dinner we headed up to the house to watch a video and learn more about Caroline Can.  This organization and story are nothing short of inspirational.  The namesake, Caroline, suffered a traumatic brain injury 5 years ago.  She began her treatment at the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, and through the strength of her will, the support of her family, and the amazing care and support from the Rehab Center, Caroline has been able to progress and inspire others.  Her family is probably the most supportive, positive and selfless bunch I have ever encountered.  They set up the campaign in order to raise money for the Rehab Center, to give back to the organization, and help others who have suffered similar injuries.

The video was beautiful.  It was emotional and raw, while uplifting, touching and exciting.  Caroline’s exuberance was contagious, and the atmosphere was so positive and warm.  The video was followed by a performance by Us Two and Him, a Bluegrass group whose lead singer just so happens to be Caroline’s Uncle Phil, the “him” in the title.  Their performance was fun and humorous, and really just capped off an unbelievable evening.

In addition to the event, Caroline and her brothers continue to inspire by actually competing in the Rev 3 OLYMPIC distance triathlon.  That’s 1500m swim, 26ish mile bike, and a 10K.  In the water, Caroline is pulled by her brothers, Reid and Jay, in a canoe-like apparatus.

This race, the bike wasn’t in working condition, so the boys rode on together.  Here’s what it looks like normally (top middle):


Caroline rejoined them for the run, and they finished strong!

Family Support 🙂


Rewinding just a bit to earlier in the day…

Conveniently, Blacksburg, Virginia, home of the Virginia Tech Hokies, was due to be passed riiiiiight around lunchtime, perfect!  A bunch of my high school friends went to college there, but I had never been so I was really excited to check it out.

The campus was lovely.  It had unique architecture, which gave the whole campus a unified feel.  There were tons of students out and about, probably celebrating their last few days on campus, since it was Graduation Weekend.  We travelled to the main strip on campus, where there were local restaurants and shops.  It was a super cute college town, and it was really nice to just be able to walk around and enjoy it.

We sought gastronomical guidance from a VT grad who gave us two perfect options:  1. Cabo’s Fish Taco’s (described as “the best fish taco’s” our recommender had ever had, so who could resist!), and 2. Gillies, a vegetarian friendly restaurant down the block.  While the Boy enjoyed his fish taco delight, I pondered the options at Gillie’s.  It’s certainly not often I have too many options as a vegetarian, and I was rather excited by it.

I decided to go bold: Tofu Reuben.  Whoa.  I figured, when in Blacksburg…get a veg New York specialty??  Okay, perhaps that logic doesn’t quite make sense to some, but it was a perfect choice.  The tofu with the sauerkraut and melted cheese with the Russian dressing and marbled rye danced over my taste buds and formed a perfectly delicious and balanced sandwich.  Win.


Stay tuned for a running tour of Knoxville and a Race Recap!


One response to “Knoxville Trip and Caroline Can! – Weekend Part 1

  1. Conor says:

    Awesome post! love the writing! stoked to see some more pics. And yum per the sandwich.

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