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  • Chuck and Megan Marra

Day 6 - Like Family That We Had Not Yet Met - August 25, 2020

Updated: Jun 6, 2021

We had to direct some VoiceOver pieces and do a few classes so we stayed put in Knoxville for one extra night. Too bad we didn't get to explore the city but everything was closed down. It was the first time we had been able to get wine and beer to go with our "to go", dinner which was a new and unusual change with the Covid shutdown. We think we like iT

We were supposed to get a tropical storm overnight and continue all through the morning, so that evening we battened Sophia down in her car cover, which reminds me of silver spacesuit the Robinson family wore on Lost In Space in the 60's. When we drew back the curtains in the morning, we saw a cool, clear air and soft sunny skies. So we decided to leave the city early in the morning and get on the road.

I had learned that there was an Alfa Romeo dealership somewhere nearby, and I thought it would be fun to see it. I thought it might be like 'visiting family that you haven't met yet'. However, I wasn't sure where it was. The map made it look far off, and we didn't want to go too far out of the way. Plus, because we were leaving early, who knew if they'd even be open.

We decided to make another stop on our "Biscuit tour" before leaving Knoxville, so we headed over to Maple Street Biscuits to get our breakfast. What a fun surprise. We were warmly welcomed and went inside to order (still everyone was eating outside due to Covid). It was beautiful weather so we sat outside near the Alfa. They have a fun way of ordering where instead of giving them your name, they ask for the name of your favorite band, or movie or Actor....whatever they want to know that day.

So, our order was under" Jimmy Stewart" and when called, we got our amazing breakfast. Megan had grits topped with bacon and a sunny side up egg cheddar cheese and hot sauce and I had a gorgeous spinach and strawberry salad. They came with biscuits of course and home made jam. As we were finishing up or breakfast they dropped off two frosted biscuits... gratis, just for coming in. We highly recommend the place... Check it our when you are in Knoxville next.

We pulled out of the parking lot

and into a gas station right next to the I-40 onramp.

In California, a gas station located right next to a highway onramp almost always means higher prices, but we are not in California. (we are still shocked at the prices).

We headed down a small road that lead to the I-40.

At the end of the street, close to the highway, we looked up to our right and saw the big red and white building that houses Harper Alfa Romeo; It just appeared out of now where, just like it was supposed to do. We didn't have to go looking at all, we just drove right to it.

We pulled Sofia up to a parking space right in front of the big glass windows and just like visiting family that you haven't met yet, people came to the big glass window to stare at us, then came out to meet us. Salespeople, mechanics and receptionists and even customers all came out to greet us and check Sophia out.

They circled Sophia looking at her from every angle. Her hood was opened to view the engine and they wanted to hear her purr when we started her up.

I asked one of the friendly salesmen if they might have a keyring with the Alfa logo on it for sale. What happened next was fun. He took it up as a personal quest, and enthusiastically looked in drawers and merchandise windows but found none. He did give me a Harper Alfa Romeo key ring, but he didn't stop there. He questioned his fellow workers and then went into the parts department. The head of the department joined him in the quest. Now, there were books that must be poured through, and computers to power up and search and search, and search... and the found one.. just one.

The excitement was palpable. The went into a forest of tall shelves and returned with the very last Quatrofoglio Keyring. For $9.95, it was ours.

They were all great people. If you are in the market for a modern Alfa, I'd give them a visit.

We pulled out of the driveway after waving goodbye to the 'family that we just met' and were off down the I-40 to Nashville.

The drive was easy and fun with the top down. Megan kept calling out ‘Waffle House!”, every time she saw a sign for one. We'd eventually would have to stop and visit one, but for now, we drove on. Drivers would pass us and wave to us and we'd wave back. Alfas attract friends.

As the morning went on, it went from cool to crazy hot and humid. Even at eighty miles per hour, we were dripping from sweat and soaking wet, as we drove on to Nashville and Parthenon, yes.. the Parthenon.

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