USA Road Trip - Day 9 (Wilmington, North Carolina to Charlotte, North Carolina)

Published: March 27th 2016
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Total Distance: 0 miles / 0 kmMouse: 0,0

Driving from Wilmington NC to Rock Hill NC via Charlotte NC

Let me start today by apologising for anyone who tried to view my YouTube clip from yesterdays blog. It has now been fixed so lease go back and try again. Breakfast served and prepared by our host Scott. We were joined by the other guests were one family of 2 young girls and their grandmas from Nth Carolina. They asked us I we would join them in saying grace which was a first for us. We had a good talk about politics. Scott served us fresh fruit being raspberries, rock melon and strawberries. This was followed by pancakes with a beautiful homemade syrup with diced apples. Washed down with homemade apple juice was excellent. Unlike the B & B in Savannah where it was all over in 30 minutes, here we kept talking for an hour and we started to see the lighter side of Scott our host who has a good sense of humour once you peel him back a little. We then headed off on the road again. It was mostly sunny with a few clouds and around 16 degrees when we left. We don’t have a very full schedule at all today. We are headed to Charlotte and because we left later than planned at around 10.30am we are keen to keep stops to a minimum so we stayed on I74 the whole way. We passed over the Lumber River and then through a town called Lumberton. It was no surprise to see numerous trucks carrying trees that had been harvested but we did not see anyone logrolling. We stopped for fuel where I managed to refill with only 1 visit to the store today so I am improving with this highly technical process they use here. We paid $1.99 a gallon which was a lot higher than the first refill. They had a subway at the gas station so Kerry bought a foot long tuna sub for $7.99 plus tax, but we decided to jump back in the car and head off again deciding to eat later. It was not easy to find a good spot along the interstate highway and when I thought I saw an area that looked OK I was glad I did not pull over as a mile down the road we saw signs about bail bonds everywhere, then the correctional centre (aka jail). We eventually stopped at a town called Wadesboro where there was mixed commercial area and lots of cars parked so we felt OK to stop here for lunch. Kerry knew it was going to be OK when we saw a guy driving out of the car park wearing a cowboy hat and smoking a cigar ! I was standing outside the car eating my tuna sandwich when disaster struck. Kerry said “what is that stain in your pants ?” I looked down to my left side pocket and when I put my hand in my pocket I instantly knew what to expect. I pulled my handkerchief out and it felt slimy, and I immediately threw it in the kerbside. I immediately recalled events about 3 hours earlier where I thought I would surprise Kerry by grabbing some nice soft chocolates as we left the Taylor House Inn B & B in Wilmington. I forgot all about them and unfortunately for me they melted some time ago. Oh well such is life. I have some extra hankies packed away so no harm done and the shorts are due for a wash anyway. After that we finished the subway sandwich and back off for the 45 minute drive to Charlotte. We were headed for the Nascar Hall of Fame in downtown and it was easy to locate as it was immediate off the exit and Mr. Tom Tom did a great job today. I have been following Nascar for a few years now and got really interested when Marcos Ambrose was racing in the series. The Hall of Fame building is an excellent place. We spent about 3 hours there, it is a mix of memorabilia, cars, historical aspects, some video theatres, and some interactive exhibits. They had a replica of Jimmie Johnson’s 48 car and storage truck and it was amazing to see what is actually inside these trucks they drive from track to track each week. They had a section where they demonstrate how steep the banked turns are for each track where some are 31 degrees which is amazing to see how steep that looks, and I had a go at being in the pits doing a service having to jack the car, refill the gas and change a tire(that is how they spell it here !). First go I had troubles refueling and took 1.03, second go and it was down to 0.25 but I forgot to let the car off the jack (see video for this gross error ). Third and final attempt I nailed at 0.22 which I doubt anyone else could be beat today. The third interactive section was a race simulator which cost $5- on top of the $19.99 general admission pass. You had to pass a test to get to do this to show you knew had to drive a car and then into a replica Nascar to test yourself on Charlotte Motor Speedway. My racing nickname was “Panthers” and there were 13 drivers in my race and as the photo shows I was leading Jilly by 0.19 when some idiot rammed me from behind causing me to hit the fence and I had to pit to fix an oil leak. Damn !! I got back out there and finished the race but only to fall back into 2nd spot behind Jilly (I might confront her later). It was fun and a great way to exhibit the sport. We left about 5.30pm and headed towards our hotel. We are staying at a Courtyard Marriott at Rock Hill which is about 30 minutes south of Charlotte. Well that is what it is supposed to be but traffic was horrendous around Charlotte and it took over an hour. We crossed back into South Carolina and went passed a theme park called Carowinds on the way. The young girls we had breakfast with this morning told us this place was awesome and we saw lots and lots of big roller-coasters. Check out the YouTube video of the ride called “Fury” It is not for the faint-heated. The weather has been warm today around 25 degrees. Check in was breeze and we have a deal here where dinner at the Bistro which was included as is breakfast so we don’t have to go anywhere. Food was excellent. Kerry had some Quesadillas and I had a 12” Pepperoni Pizza with a beautiful base. They even gave me a free Pepsi Max which is the first I have seen here in the USA since we arrived. Heaven ! About 350km travelled today and we are just staying here overnight and then off again tomorrow heading further south to a place called Aiken, South Carolina.


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