As of this past June 21st Andrea and I have been married for two years!!! I wanted to do something that reminded her of our honeymoon and at the same time do something a little different. Our honeymoon was in Hilton Head SC at one of the Hilton Hotels and some of the things we did was cruise the town, check out the scenes and we did a dinner cruise. One night this we were watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Guy was at a restaurant named The Pizza Palace in Knoxville. Something about the way he described the restaurant peaked my curiosity and I told Andrea we should visit that one. She said, “Let’s do it!!”
Like I said I wanted to do something from the past as well as do something different so I did some research and found out that there is a dinner cruise on the Tennessee River. I thought this would be perfect. Water really is a serene place for Andrea and it would take us back to our honeymoon with the fine dining and amazing views. I thought about Andrea and her camera’s. She can pull out the cameras and get some shots so I asked Andrea what she thought and again she was all in. I booked an executive suite at the Hilton similar to the Hilton we stayed at in Hilton Head SC and then booked the cruise.
We both are foodies, car enthusiasts and cruisers. I decided to mimic the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives road trip. I checked in with rental car companies. No one could get me a 68 Camaro so I had to go with what I could find on short notice, a 2016, 6 spd manual, Hemi Challenger in grabber blue!! HECK YEAH!!!
We drive to Knoxville. First off, that Hemi is a freakin beast!!! The Tremec 6 spd has short throws and the gears are evenly spaced. I’m rowing that thing from 1st to 3rd to 6th that’s how fast it was getting up to speed. I had to set the cruise control because at times we were hitting 90 mph without even looking. WOW!! We get from Atlanta to K-ville in just under two hours….kidding, it was about 3 ½ hours for real. We check in at the Hilton. They give us complimentary Starbucks, Andrea’s FAVORITE coffee. She likes the mocha lahka, leaky something or other. We kick back in the Executive lounge eating snacks and watching a movie before we head out to dinner.
We check in at the Tennessee Riverboat Company and the lady that I spoke to on the phone was just as sweet in person. She asked if we had difficulty getting there and I told her how Andrea would tell me which way to turn. NOOO, I knew where I was going. Andrea said, “Ya think he would listen to me. I am a truck driver.” The lady responded, “I’ve had my CDL’s for forty years!!!” We all laughed. We board a huge paddle ship and are seated. The food was excellent. They had prime rib, chicken and potatoes, two types of veggies and a dessert. The staff was very attentive and super friendly. We cruise up the Tennessee River and Andrea is taking tons of pictures. We are talking about the honeymoon, our amazing wedding, the family and friends. It was simply….awesome.
The next day we drive over to The Pizza Palace and it was exactly as Guy described. We tell the staff we drove here just because Guy said it was the place to be. We ordered a pizza, hamburger and the colossal stack of onion rings. This guy comes over and hands me the rings. He says, they are fresh out of the grease so if you burn your mouth, “don’t say I didn’t warn you.” He tells us he’s been at the restaurant since he was 9 years old. He then hands us a bowl of their famous spaghetti sauce. It is unbelievable. I actually dip the onion rings in it. The spices in the sauce combined with the sweetness of the onion are creating dance moves on my tongue.
Unfortunately we have to leave so the people thank us for coming and we promise to come back with Syd. We jump in the Challenger and the guy says WOW!! I tell him we are literally recreating the episode, minus the Camaro. We head back home and we are discussing anniversary number three. What are we going to do next year?? Stay tuned.