Monday, July 4, 2011

Vacation!!!!- Thursday and Friday

The hubs and I just came back from a short little out of town trip. It kinda developed in a peculiar fashion. We knew his parents were going down to Holden Beach, NC, for a week, and we wanted to go down there for part of it. Due to our summer jobs, we knew an entire week was out of the question. The rental was Saturday-Saturday, and since we both had off for Independence Day, we thought we could get more time in by going down this weekend. Then I had a stroke of genius. The hubs is a huuuuuuge NASCAR fan...why don't we take a (long) detour and go to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. So we left in my little Chevy HHR Thursday at lunch time and began our pilgrimage.

We started our vacation with lunch at the Virginia Diner in Wakefield, VA. The hubs first fell in love with this place after seeing it on "Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives." We ate there a few years ago, and he was thrilled to go again. I was excited to embrace my Virginia heritage with ham biscuits, macaroni and cheese, and sweet tea.

From there, we began the sojourn out of Virginia. We were truckin' along, and suddenly, a dead stop. Along I-85 outside of Greensboro, we came to a crawl. Actually a dead stop. Some drivers around us were using an entrance ramp as an exit ramp. It was a mess. We were finally able to get off the interstate an hour later, after traveling only 3 miles. Come to find out, it was quite an unfortunate accident involving a death.

We finally got into to Charlotte about 9PM that evening. The hubs was super excited by the location of our hotel-directly across the street from the hall of fame. Unfortunately, there wasn't much else around the hotel, so we opted to head to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. It was convenient and we were hungry.

The next morning we awoke early with eagerness and excitement to head to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Ok, that's a lie. I awoke early because that's what I do, and when the hubs rolled out of bed, he was excited. We toured the facility, and, as a non-NASCAR person, I will have to say that it had it's educational and informative moments. The package deal we got included a ride in a simulator. The hubs thoroughly enjoyed that. I got motion sick and wanted to die. Oh well, we'll know next time that isn't for me. Oh yes, and we certainly stuck out like a sore thumb...I was the prissy girl in a sundress and he was the only redneck Asian they'd ever seen.

(BTW, I hate that this pic makes me look pregnant. I promise, the belly is only slightly me and more the dress.) Oh yeah, and I did find some friends there....

We had lunch at the Hall of Fame, perused the gift shop, and then headed out for the rest of the day. We first ventured out to Mooresville, NC, to visit the D. E. I. shop. For those of you not in the NASCAR know, that's Dale Earnheardt Incorporated. While this is still a functioning company, the shop we went to is no longer functioning. It is essentially a memorial shrine to the late driver. It was moving to see what an impact this person had on so many people. There were some cars there and memorabilia from his racing days, but most of what was on display were different memorials people had sent. It was sad, and a little morbid, but strangely serene, too.

From there, weventured on to JR Motorsports, Dale Earnheardt, Jr's, Nationwide Series shop. There was a little gift shop, and you could see into the car shop as well. Jr was there in the form of a wax figure, and I forced the hubs to take a picture with him. He was not pleased with me. (I need to teach him how to pose for pictures.) 
From there we ventured on to Michael Waltrip Racing. They actually had a tour. You could pay and be able to walk around the upstairs, overlooking where all the cars were assembled, and on the hour there was a guided tour around the outside of the facility. That was interesting and educational. The hubs found out that he does not fit well in NASCAR seats.
 He also decided to buy part of a fender and a splitter, whatever that is. I was worried how they were going to fit in the car.

From there, we ventured on to my favorite part of the trip: IKEA!!!! It was a record though...we only spent about $40 and an hour in there. I've never spent so little time or money in Ikea.

At this point, I was getting quite grumpy and hungry from driving around all day, so we ventured to off to dinner. The hubs had heard of this place called Barbeque King (once again from "Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives") so we ventured there for dinner. He had barbeque for the second time that day, while I enjoyed a fish sandwich and a chocolate milkshake. It was soooo good, and a pretty good ending to the day.

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