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Posts Tagged ‘nascar’

charlotte

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

photo by: eric guzik

When we first moved to Charlotte, we thought it was a place we’d live for three years and be out, like a layover, a situation to be endured.  We had no idea we’d fall in love with Charlotte.

We should have known.  We arrived in mid-September, one of the best times of the year for the Queen City.  Carolina blue sky welcomed us the day we drove in and remained a constant sight for weeks thereafter.  The weather was perfect, it felt like the perfect 75-degree day, everyday and that awesome weather lasted well into December.

photo by: eric guzik

I remember having lunch at the Fox and Hound on Tryon Street, Uptown.  We had picked up several free magazines on the walk over: Uptown Magazine, Creative Loafing, and Skirt.  The waitress immediately engaged us in conversation upon arriving at our table.  I thought she was just a friendly server but the same hospitality was extended at the grocery store and Starbucks next day.  No one behind me in line batted an eye when the barista asked how I was, and actually waited for a response.  I felt like I had been transported into a foreign land.

A co-worker introduced me to NASCAR.  Another taught me Southern terms like, “over yonder,” “might could,” “having your picture made,” “mashing a button,” and “right quick.”  I learned that “bless your heart” was not a compliment.  I embraced the word, “y’all.”  I found the best fried chicken place ever (Price’s Chicken Coop) and drank sweet tea like it was spring water.

Football season arrived and we met friends of friends.  They were serious tailgaters who opened up their home to friends for every home game.  They continued the tradition even when they had their daughter.

There were a core group of 10 of us.  We ate, drank, and played together.  You could often find one of us at Connolly’s on 5th.  One other friend called us a herd.  We thought of ourselves as a commune.  If we were without a car, someone else let us borrow theirs.  If a washer or dryer was out, we’d go to another’s home.  We looked out for each other’s pets, houses, and spouses.  Eventually, our commune grew into a community of friends.  We had holiday dinners, celebrated birthdays, and toast accomplishments.  We took joint vacations.  We collected toys for children during the holidays, tried to help build a home for Habitat for Humanities, spearheaded Mustaches for Kids, to raise money for supplies needed in local classrooms and collected clothes for homeless men.

Hubby and I settled into Charlotte.  It felt like home.

So it goes without saying, it was extremely difficult to leave.  The freelance job I took in Boston became permanent.

I have no doubt we’ll be back in Charlotte, it may be just for a visit, in three years when my current contract is up, or when we retire.  But we’ll be back because we love Charlotte.

In the meantime, I’m bringing y’all to Boston.  (The phrase and not the literal y’all, though if you’re in town… let me know!)

nascar 2010

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Like the NASCAR tailgate itself, I think I might have over done it with this blog post.  I’m constantly trying something new but this time it is possible I might have gone into over-kill mode.  Though I suspect, if there’s ever a time to do anything in excess, it’s when the situation involves NASCAR.

On Memorial Day weekend – I spent Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway with hubby and 17 friends.  We met at our friends’ Katie and Mike’s house at 10:00am sharp.  We loaded into our 15-passenger van, packed 2 SUVs with supplies, and headed up to Concord.  With my secret route in hand, we arrived at our lot at 10:30am.  Time roared passed us like a stockcar rounding its last turn and before we knew it, a crackling voice came over the loud speakers for the drivers to start their engines.  We didn’t make it into the race until sunset.  The video will illustrate what we did to kill time and contains the much-anticipated definition of the portmanteau: yupnecks.

The Need for Speed

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

This is what happened at the end of my Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE) where I got to drive a real stock car around Lowe’s Motor Speedway for eight laps – I wrecked!  (Besure to watch last video in this post… the commentary by my friend Mike is hilarious!)

But I think you need to know the back story before you can really appreciate what happened here.

I have a huge crush on NASCAR.  It started when we moved to Charlotte more than three years ago. (I rooted for Casey Mears for three years but switched to Danica Patrick this year!)  I can’t say I love it like a real fan but I’m definitely fascinated by everything NASCAR – the racing, drivers, and just the fanfare and experience surrounding the sport.  So when hubby got me the RPDE for Christmas, it’s fair to say my crush went into overdrive.

On Sunday, my friend Julie (she got the RPDE as a wedding gift) and I arrived at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and we were pumped!  Within 45 minutes, the crew had suited us up (in what I called our costumes), told us everything we needed to know in order to drive these high performance stock cars, how to escape in case of an emergency, what not to do, what to do, how to drive fast, and of course to be sure and have fun!

Julie was more subdued at the start.  She stalled but rest assured the minute she got out of pit row, she kicked it into overdrive, leaving everyone in the dust.  Her top speed was 140 miles per hour.  Let’s just say, don’t mess with Julie, she can drive!

I whole-heartedly believed I would excel.  I had visions of grandeur!  But in reality I was more like granny behind the wheel.  My driving instructor flashed his green light for me the entire ride – urging me to pick up the pace.  My knuckles were white and my usual jubilant self was silenced by how crazy it was that I was flying around the track.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a ton of fun and my top speed was 119 miles per hour.  But I did crash.  When everyone asked me what happened all I could say was, “I don’t know!  I was really overwhelmed!”  (BTW – I walked away unharmed!)

In retrospect, the Richard Petty Driving Experience was AWESOME!  It has also given me an even bigger crush on NASCAR!  I now think the drivers and pit crew are basically gods!