Where We've Been...Where We Are!

Where We've Been...Where We Are!
On the Road Again Heading Northeast to Scarborough, Maine...Currently at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina for one more week.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte

So many years ago we purchased our brick but have never seen it and we said that the next time we would be in the area that we would go and see it and that is just what we did on Sunday when we left Darlington Raceway.

Our original plan was to stay at a RV Park nearby and bike the few miles to the Hall of Fame but when we arrived all of that changed.  First the neighborhood was sketchy and we would once again not feel safe riding our bikes into the downtown area and then the RV Park was so rundown and did not feel safe at all. 

We do not understand why they put this Hall of Fame in the downtown area instead of right by the track.  We know they had their reasons but for us it was really inconvenient.

So as usual we went to Plan B, actually we did not really have another plan but made it up as we went along. 

We took Maggie into the downtown area and parked her across the street from the Hall of Fame while we went in and visited.  It worked out great and only cost us an additional $15 to park for a few hours, but at least we felt safer than we would have riding our bikes through some pretty sketchy neighborhoods. 

Our brick was located in Section 12 and it didn’t take us long to find it. 

We then entered into the Hall of Fame and just took in all the ambiance.  It is still a work in progress and will be ever changing as time progresses along. 

The museum takes you through the old times as well as the current times...there is so much memorabilia from the drivers, the crews, and all the others that it takes to run this business.  They have a special area of the folks that are no longer with us and it shows the type of family that NASCAR becomes...

If you are ever in the area and love NASCAR like we do we would highly recommend checking it out.  It was a bit pricey at $19.95 each for just the museum but it was worth it for us.  They did offer other packages to include various items but we opted for the museum and skip all the hoopla offers.  They took photos on a green screen in front of a track but we have our own photos so we did not purchase them.  The gift shop had some really great items but for us it was just a pin since we could not find any magnets or stickers that we liked.

We took hundreds of photos, to check them all out go to our Google + Web Albums.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Darlington Raceway Makes Twelve

Track number 12 out of 23 Sprint Cup tracks, more than half way to our goal.  It may be taking much more time than we imagined that it would but once we made the decision that we no longer wanted to work them we then needed to purchase the tickets and be able to make it to the location which takes money. 

We are just so happy because a few years back we would not have been able to afford being on the infield for most of these races but when the recession hit a few years ago they lowered the prices and it is now affordable for everyday folks like us.

We spent a few days checking out the merchandise trailers, got our pin, flag and sticker and we also got all sorts of freebies...love it!

We had so much fun, even with the many knuckleheads drinking way too much and being way too belligerent.  The second night we were sitting in our chairs just enjoying the ambiance and waiting for the Nationwide race to begin when out of nowhere I got hit with a football right on the top of my head.  Really took a huge jolt on my neck but I will survive.  Jerry on the other hand went right over to our neighbors of 2 busloads of guys and expressed his concern and they all came over and apologized and they were more careful after that incident.

I was so tired and slept so hard that I did not hear any noise once my head hit the pillow at about 10:30pm.  Jerry said the noise level was high until around midnight when it all just seemed to stop.  I heard nothing and slept hard all night.

We love being on the infield at these races but we have had better spots for viewing.  It makes it a bit different too since our roof has turned a bit spongy so Jerry does not go on top any more but the neighbors had offered their platform for him to enjoy the race.  He did not take them up on their offer and instead we watched it on TV with the roar of the engines live and it was marvelous.  Since the taping is on a 12 second delay it was strange to hear the roar start or stop and then see it on the screen but it was interesting and we enjoyed it.

Whenever we decide to be at one of the tracks we thoroughly look through the rules for what is allowed into the track.  We were a bit concerned because absolutely no bikes, motorized or not are allowed in the infield, also golf carts, skates, and just about anything with wheels.  So we prepared ourselves to either sign a waiver for us to confirm that we will not remove them from our carrier or store them in a designated area chosen by the track.  Both of these arrangements have happened at other tracks but we were not prepared for what really did happen.

Going through all the inspections of dogs sniffing, mirrors and them entering our rigs we thought we were fine when they waved us on but then just as we were driving away they motioned for us to stop.  Oh, no here we go!  But instead of them saying anything about our bikes they said our new 6’ ladder that was bungeed on our RV ladder could not go into the infield.  Oh, ok even though we had not seen any sort of rule stating this we just asked where we could keep it.  They all replied they had no idea or that we could just leave it along the fence and hope for the best.  REALLY?

Remember now we have worked these tracks and totally understand that is the reply we are to give when it is clearly posted in the rules but it was not so Jerry was a bit upset and got out and took off our ladder and then proceeded to chain it to the fence with our chain.  One of the workers said the chain would probably be cut off and then about this time a supervisor David Sanders came onto the scene.  By this time the line is going around us and Jerry is looking very upset chaining it to the fence.  As for me, it was my turn to be reasonable since Jerry was not.  So I explained to David Sanders that we were anal about looking into all the rules since we travel full time and have certain things with us that may not be allowed and that we went over all of them and did not see one that stated anything about a ladder.  So he was attempting to contact someone and this was taking a long time. 

First let me back up a moment to when we first arrived and why by now we were a bit agitated.  We always keep our tickets at Will Call and were informed that we could pick them up at Gate 39A, we also know this since we have worked plenty of these tracks before and know that once the event begins that they send them to the gate you are to go into for camping.  So as instructed by phone we showed up at Gate 39A but were told we could not even turn into the area and that we are to go into Gate 40.  Traffic was so heavy we were unable to turn back to Gate 40 and had to go the long way around to get back to Gate 40 where our tickets unfortunately were not there.  The guy on the gate told us to turn around and go to Gate 39A which is a direct gate right into the tunnel and if they are not there we would need to go to the Will Call Ticket Office.  We turned around and went back to Gate 39A where we were then instructed that if we were not associated with NASCAR that we were at the wrong gate and I then asked him to humor me and to please look to see if our tickets were there and lo and behold they were, but instead of them allowing us to enter into the same tunnel but from a different direction they asked us to turn around and go back to Gate 40…OMG!

Now back to finally having our tickets and being in line, oh by the way they forgot to put our Pit Passes in our package so after making a few calls we were instructed we would need to go to Will Call and they would handle it.  But first since we were already in line we were going to get into the infield and set up and then walk back to Will Call but in the meantime we needed to wait for some decision on our ladder.

David Sanders finally came to us and asked what site we were in and that he would come there and let us know what the final decision would be about our ladder and I then made him aware of our Pit Passes and he told us that he would escort us back to Will Call to get them when he came to our site.  A short time later while we were still setting up he showed up with our Pit Passes and asked for the key to the lock for our ladder.  He explained that apparently a few years prior some fool fell off their own ladder on the infield and sued the track and won so they put it in the rules but then this year they omitted to put it in the rules so he apologized and told us if we needed anything to let him know.  He also stopped by several times over the weekend to see if we needed anything and of course we did not.  We really feel that he went above and beyond his call of duty and helped to make our stay memorable and we surely do appreciate it.

The race was a good one and then we stayed up until almost 1am watching the transporters leave the track and then sleep was difficult due to the loud noises throughout the night.  Not just partiers but the track people cleaning up and more transporters leaving honking and hollering.  Life at a NASCAR event is not always fun but somebody’s got to do it and it might as well be us.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Splish Splash We Were Taking a Ride

We only had about 20 miles to travel since our reservations at the Charlotte Motor Speedway did not begin until Sunday and our 14 days in Myrtle Beach were over.  We made reservations at Carrollwoods Coastal Campground located in Tabor City, North Carolina adjacent to Grapefull Sisters Vineyard through our Coast to Coast membership for one night. 

Any other time we would have looked forward to this part of our plan, if not for the weather.  It rained most of the prior day and all through the night and it looked as if it would be raining most of our travel day as well.  Not looking forward to the drive but we had to find that window of opportunity to head out and get settled into our next site.

We did get a bit wet at the bottom of our bed again with this rain, Jerry will need to do more caulking once the weather clears and the temperatures are not frigid any longer.  Love it when we find things to be grateful for…

As for the drive, we found the window where we hardly had any rain.  All along the drive though we could see flooding everywhere, including at the campground which concerned us a bit and we hoped it would not rain any more.  The sites were located under some huge, tall trees and throughout the night the warnings continued, wind and even a few tornado watches.  Needless to say we did not get a good night’s sleep.

When we arrived we did check out the winery and have created another post with the review of the tasting and the campground.

On Sunday, we headed out at daybreak since they were calling for wind all the way into Charlotte beginning at 10am and they were not kidding but they actually started much sooner.  Wind gusts were at least 40 to 50 mph and steady at 20 to 25 mph.  It was a stressful drive which took us over 5 hours that should have only been about 3 hours, but we made it and the wind continued to rock us until 7pm but the great news is that work will begin in a few days and this has been the part of our journey we anticipated because now we will be rolling in the dough.  Life is GRAND!!!!!!!

Check out our photos at  Google + Web Albums.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Carrollwoods Coastal Campground at Grapefull Sisters Vineyard

95 Dots Drive
Tabor City, NC  28463

We paid $10 per night using our Coast to Coast membership with no additional charges for a pull through electric, water and sewer on fairly level packed sand and gravel site that included cable and WiFi. Our Verizon was slow but usable and was told it was better than the other providers.

Due to the tremendous downpours for the few days prior in the area we did not check out the restrooms, the laundry facilities or the pool since there was mud and little lakes everywhere.

This is a very isolated area that takes a few fairly decent back roads to get to but is a gem in the rough that is very dark and quiet at night.  The campground is located behind the vineyards and winery under some very tall trees which made our night uncomfortable due to the very wet grounds and then the winds came up.

The entire place is very quant, including the winery where we tasted some of the nicest, sweetest wines that are made right on the property.

It really is a unique haven to which we highly recommend if you want to stay in the campground to make a reservation since they only have around 20 sites but for a nice drive and a little wine tasting, this muscadine vineyard is the place to go.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Briarcliffe RV Resort, Inc.

10495 N Kings Highway
Myrtle Beach, SC  29572

We paid $11.20 per night using our Coast to Coast Membership for a long, back in site on fairly flat concrete with water, 30amp electric, sewer and includes cable and WiFi.  Our Verizon MiFi and phones worked perfectly. 

We had looked forward to this stay for months and we were impressed when we pulled in but then the rain began and we thought it would never stop.  It rained day and night for over 3 days, no storms, just rain and more rain!

We were located under a few trees that even when it was not raining it was thumping our roof with loud clunks of water so once the rain stopped we rode our bikes around the park to find another site without any trees.  That was not an easy task but we finally got one that would be available for the rest of our stay and the office was wonderful about accommodating us.

This is a top-notch resort with all the amenities that is also a nice community that we would highly recommend and would definitely stay again.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

More Rain and Frigid Temperatures

It seems every other day it rains, and not just a passing rain, an all-day rain, but this time it brought the frigid temps.  As for where we are headed…still snow and frigid temperatures forecasted.  This has definitely been a strange winter/spring time for us, we just got so spoiled being out west that we forgot what real weather is all about.

With all that rain, how badly did we get wet inside you ask…wait for it…nothing, nada, zilch…so far! 

It rained most of the day and night, steady and a bit harder at times and we are dry inside.  During our no rain days not only did we do some sight-seeing but Jerry caulked the windows inside and out and we just hoped it was enough and thus far it is.

We have a few honey do’s to take care of before we head out on Saturday and they are predicting more rain on Friday and Saturday.  Thank goodness it will just be a short drive since we will be staying two days in Tabor City, North Carolina before we head into Charlotte Motor SpeedwayCarrollwoods Coastal Campground is adjacent to Grapefull SistersVineyard and are part of our Coast to Coast membership and since we could only stay in Myrtle Beach for 14 days and we needed a few more days somewhere we found this one to be well suited for our needs.

We took advantage of the sunny day and took a bike ride to the Outdoor World Pro Bass Shop, our first time ever in one of these stores.  It was huge and so many items but we were disappointed that even in the camping department they did not have anything for RV’s.

We then walked through the Mall and took a ride on the massage chairs…wow, what a great massage they give.  They squeeze the legs so tight and massage the back and neck with such force that we wanted to take our beds out of the rig and put these in its place but decided against it after all.

Our time here is winding down, it has been a nice vacation but we really look forward to get back to work and more excited about all the other fun things we have planned once we get our funds back on track.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What a Difference a Few Days of NO Rain Can Do…

Finally after being cooped up in the RV for the entire time we have been in the Myrtle Beach area we were able to get out and see the area.  We had to take full advantage of it for these few days since they are once again forecasting rain for the next 4 to 5 days.

Our first day of no rain we chose to take a short bike ride to the beach and then along the beach to the nearest Pier which was about 20 miles round trip.  We have been having issues with our bike batteries and chargers so we did not want to push it and it was a good thing since Jerry’s bike limped back home and he barely made it.

It was nice to walk out on the Cherry Grove Pier and take in all the ambiance of the Atlantic Ocean.  They do charge $2 per person for an all-day pass to either just walk or fish on the pier but it was something we wanted to do.

We found an advertised bike route but soon found out there really isn’t one.  We were either on a major highway with only sidewalks, very narrow ones with obstacles everywhere, poles in the middle of them and sidewalks abruptly ending into a sandy path which bikes do not travel very well in them.  So we were cautious.  Along the so called path next to the beach was just us riding on the road which was alright because the speed limit was 25 to 30 and we could go that fast, plus the traffic was light but we would not recommend it during busy season. 

During one of the attempts to avoid an obstacle I did not quite maneuver correctly to get out of the way, or should I say my flip-flop did not make it without scraping along the cement block next to the pole.  It got my attention and I have to admit…I cried but it will heal and even though I left a few layers of skin on that block I will survive.

Since the weather was going to cooperate again the next day but the bikes and paths were not, we decided to take a much shorter trip. 

Directly next to the Briarcliffe RV Resort, Inc. where we are staying is the Barefoot Landing.  It is a unique place where you can find Dining, Attractions, Night Life and Shopping or just sort of hang out as we did and find some neat things to do.

We parked our bikes and just wandered around checking out the stores, many had souvenirs and lots of unique gifts and we checked most of them out.

The Carolina Vineyards Winery was one of our stops that we were looking forward to since we have noticed that many of the local wines are much sweeter than they are in the west and even though many wines in the grocery stores are more expensive the tastings are not.  We paid $3 for 7 tastes which is unheard of in the west.

They offered the dry and semi-dry Merlot’s, Syrah’s, Cabernet’s, Chardonnay’s, and Pinot Grigio’s but we stayed clear of them as we usually do but being east we may try them at the next winery we visit since we immediately noticed how much sweeter the wines were in this area and they offered a much bigger variety of them.

We tasted Riesling’s and Gew├╝rztraminer’s that were sweeter than any others we had tasted.  We tasted a few of their own such as the Southern Belle, Tropical Escape, Wanda’s Fruitcake and our favorite of all, Ocean Breeze.

Most of the wines were sweet, so sweet that we actually began going to the medium sweets since we had 14 tastes to do between the two of us.  We tasted Raspberry Rieslings, Pomegranate, Cherry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and even Mango.  Some were great, while others were not, but all were interesting and different which is what we always look for in any wine we taste.  We had a great time and would highly recommend others to check them out whenever you are in the area.

After our wine tasting, we found The Olive Shoppe where tasters are welcome so we did just that.  They have a website that once we arrive in Maine we will order and have them delivered because we tasted some awesome oils and vinegars that would work perfectly on Lobster and we look forward to trying them.  The host was superb and had us taste some great combinations.

We wandered around more stores and finally arrived at MaggieMoo’s for ice cream where we had a 2 for 1 coupon.  It’s like a Stone Cold Creamery but better as our wonderful ice cream creator pointed out to us.  She had an infectious smile that was so inviting that we appreciated and told her so, and she makes a mean ice cream creation too.

All in all this was a perfect time out and it’s amazing what you can do without spending a whole lot of money.  We usually do not purchase many things since we live full time in our RV but we would have liked to eat at one of the many restaurants they have and possibly bought a few bottles of the goodness at the Winery or the Olive Shoppe but it's okay because soon we will be rolling in the dough once again and continue having the time of our lives.

This entire area would be highly congested during season and we would not enjoy it as much as we have during this time of the year and if we ever plan to visit again it would be during off season. 

We have one week left here and there are only a few days where they are not predicting any rain at all so we may venture out again.  Otherwise we will be staying close to home catching up on a few things and soaking in some rest since once we leave we have a very busy April planned.
·        Work the Auto Fair at the Charlotte MotorSpeedway for a week
·        Attend the NASCAR race as fans at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina (tickets purchased back in December)
·        Work the Ford Mustang 50th birthday celebration at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for a week
·        Work the Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet in Carlisle, Pennsylvania for a week
·        Work the summer in Scarborough, Maine as a cook and baker
·        Work the winter in Florida working a Kiosk in a Mall selling Sports Memorabilia

As you can see we will be very busy going forward so a few days of rest is definitely in our plans and since we took so many photos of the area, please check them all out at our Google + Web Albums.