Road Trip

 

Sunday August 31, 2014 Road Trip — NASCAR

4:38 am: I wake up and notice it’s still dark outside. I roll over to squint at the clock and see that I need to sleep a little longer and fluff up my pillow to get comfortable. My eyes are heavy but I’m excited. I can’t sleep. We’re going to Atlanta today for the NASCAR race. I just lay in the bed waiting for it to get light outside.

5:47 am: The two cats bounce on the bed. It’s time to get up! They want breakfast. Yeah… I can’t wait. I’m very excited. Tall Cool ☺ne has been to NASCAR before. I have not. We are half-packed. We’ll have breakfast, load up the truck and be on our way. It is 77º already, but no rain in sight.

7:36 am: Yellow grits, over-easy eggs, Italian sausage, whole wheat toast. A big breakfast for a big day ahead. Let’s go.

11:10 am: Finally on the road, headed south. I keep track of road kill to occupy my mind.
• 4 possums
• 2 skunks
• 8 armadillo’s (not counting the one outside our drive-way)
• 1 turkey
• 1 big black bird
• 2 raccoons
• 4 un-identifiable

12:16 pm: There are sprinkles on the windshield. I thought there was no sign of rain. Oh, but wait, it’s just a clearing off shower. A few minutes later we roll over the state line into Georgia. Yippy.

3:30 pm: We arrive at the hotel and get settled. We go to the ice machine to fill up the cooler. It will be good to have an ice-cold adult beverage at the track. We meet a woman filling up her ice bucket too. She and her husband are also headed to the race.

4:10 pm: We find a neat little restaurant named Hamburger Mikes for some chow before the race. Fried fish sandwich with onion rings for my hubby and I have a chicken Caesar salad that’s actually very tasty. But the fish sandwich was so much better. Wish I got that instead. Oh well. We each had a Bud Lite to wash down supper which was very smooth with the meal.. Not a bad meal for $32 bucks and that’s including the 25% tip. The service was excellent, very friendly people (even the chef came over to ask how everything was…twice). The bathrooms were spotless, and the food was delicious. Can’t get much better than that.

5:50 pm: We arrived at the track and after driving past row after row after row of vehicles to find an empty parking spot, we walked for what seemed like three or thirteen miles. Poor Tall Cool ☺ne carrying the cooler full of beer. It had to have weighed 50 pounds or more. We made it to the gate and after our coolers were inspected we found out we were on the wrong side of the track. Imagine that. Fun though. We got to get on a school bus and ride all the way around the track with a whole bunch of hot sweaty people. Thank goodness we were in the front seat with the fan blowing on us.

6:30 pm: Finally made it to our seats on the bleachers. Really good seats. It was still about 90º or more outside, but there was a warm breeze.  The band was really good, kind of funny because they were singing Rosanna by TOTO and they pretty much faked the lyrics. Comical to watch. Their dance routine was pretty cool too. Our seats are good because we aren’t sharing with stinky-drunk-fat-ugly people (you know the type).

8:10 pm: Lap 31 — the sounds are loud but we have ear plugs. The scent of the track and the fuel waifs up as the cars go whipping by and it is so cool. I L♥ve it. I’m hooked.

8:30 pm: Lap 52 — a donation bucket came around for some children’s charity (I didn’t catch the name… maybe there wasn’t a name). I noticed the hole in the bucket was the exact same size as a can of beer. Hmm, I wonder if anyone has ever done that. I did not notice anyone putting money in the bucket, but it being as big as it was, they must get a lot of donations.

I have noticed that there are no damn crashes yet. Kind of a boring race. People watching has been hilarious. I’ve got a bunch of new characters I can’t wait to use. A dude carrying a stick that has cotton candy and popcorn attached to it is strolling up and down the bleachers. On the back of his tee-shirt it reads POPCORN $4.00 and COTTON CANDY $5.00. Too bad they didn’t do that with ice-cold beer or water, not that we needed to buy any. A lot of the characters around us were running for beer, quite often too. We have a full cooler. We probably should have sold some of the beers and made a few extra bucks.

11:15 pm: Lap 298 — A yellow flag is out to clean up some kind of debris on the track, I think? Not sure, I didn’t see a crash. I have noticed that the cars, like in pictures, look so much better on television than they do for real. Kind of like the track… it’s so much bigger when watching it on tv than sitting in the bleachers.

12:25 am: The end has arrived, the… Kasey Kahne wins, does burn outs as the fireworks are displayed.  Now it’s time for us to find our way back to the truck, which, oh yeah, is parked 80 miles away from the track. (Just kidding). The people pour out in droves, but it goes quite smoothly. Impressive. Even the port-o-john wasn’t a bad place to stop to pee on the way out.

 

It was such a great experience. Seeing all of the people in the parking area doing tailgating, and everyone seemed to be quite friendly. There were no crashes, which meant no one got hurt. It was fun. Exhausting, and I can say I don’t think we could do it every weekend or even once a month, but once a year, yeah! I’d go for that.

If you’ve never experienced a NASCAR race, go do it. It’s so very COOL!

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