The third day of our trip started smoothly. Before leaving Atlanta, Sheila and I stopped at The Varsity for a late breakfast. My meal of a grilled chicken salad sandwich and a fried apple pie covered all the food groups, or so I kept telling myself. The fried apple pie was as amazing as promised.
The Varsity is the largest drive-in restaurant in the country, but due to the rain we ate indoors. I'm glad we did because I had the chance to watch the servers behind the counters talking in a swift, clipped speech as they relayed orders. Shelia went back for a second cup of coffee and our original server called how she took her coffee to the new server "Four creams and three sugars, Honey!"
We stopped at a Shell station and left another Long Love Cars on the pump to show the Roadies had been through.
Heading north, I watched the red dirt and flat land of Georgia slowly become rolling hills that grew progressively bigger. By the time we reached the Tennessee border we were winding around sharp turns carved between wooded hills. Large lakes bordered by steep bluffs made for breathtaking views. Sheila began counting down the miles until we reached Nashville.
After crossing into Manchester, Tennessee poor Penny broke down. There was no warning except the RPM's shooting up. We pulled over, put her into park and tried driving again. Penny couldn't go past first gear.
We limped along to the next exit and parked at another drive-in diner to call for help. A few hours later and a music-loving cabbie later, we bid Penny a sad good-bye and left to get a new car.
Merle Status: No bulldog yet.
For more information on the Varsity visit www.thevarsity.com.