Lady and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines! (Daytona 500 Part 1)

Fast cars.
Loud engines.
Jean shorts.

Lady and gentlemen, start… your… engines! Last week, my sister and I went to our first NASCAR race, the Daytona 500. There was fun, there were games, but it wasn’t all fun and games. I’ll get to some of that later, but the story starts back in November on my sister’s birthday.

Then next few months flew by and before I knew it, the Great American Race was only a couple of days away. The plan was to drive from Nashville, where I live, to meet my sister and parents in Tallahassee, where they live. The morning of the race my parents would drop us off then pop over to Orlando to see my brother and his family till the race was over. And it all went according to plan until, oh I don’t know, about an hour outside of Nashville. I was so sleepy I had to pull over at a rest stop. I swear I set my watch for a 15 minute countdown thinking that would be enough of a power nap to get me back in the game. Only thing is, I accidentally set my watch for a 15 hour countdown. So I woke up and, after discovering the disaster, was  soon passing through…

Alabama the Beautiful.
Alabama the Beautiful.

If you’ve ever driven I-65 through Alabama, you know there are a few landmarks you can’t miss. The most obvious is the huge rocket at the Alabama welcome center. And of course, if you need any sort of shoe wear or clothing, it’s hard to pass up a pit stop at Sikes and Kohn’s Country Mall.
sikes3sikes2And then there’s this…
Go_to_churchIt’s actually a pretty nice drive down 65 then east on 231 over to Interstate 10. Along the way, you’ll notice great example of life in the south. Everything from roadside vegetable carts to giant American flag eagles to peach water towers, as seen in this gallery.

I finally made it to Tallahassee around 2:30pm on Saturday, just in time to meet my dad for his church’s annual “Manly Man” lunch. There were venison burgers, barbecue, hushpuppies, fried fish, pork… so much good meat. And looking back, I’m so thankful I’m not a vegan. I even had the chance to take part in archery because when you think about it, what’s more manly than shooting something with a bow and arrow, am I right Maid Marian? Robin Hood has nothing on me! And if the 3 people who actually saw me shoot wildly out of control would feel free to not chime in on this, my off-off-off-so-far-off-Broadway-it’s-in-Nashville role as Legolas in the stage adaptation of Lord of the Round Shiny Things (what? New Line Cinema can be very litigious with “Lord of the Rings”) should stay in tact.

The afternoon continued with an inspirational talk from a guy who can boast a National Championship ring and a Super Bowl ring… Peter Boulware.
Peter BoulwareLater that night, we talked about plans for the next day. Yes, the day I was sure Jimmie Johnson would repeat as the winner of the Daytona 500! Here’s part 2 >>>

Published by Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes a 13-year-old beagle and an 11-year-old blue heeler mix. My days include writing, video editing, and other fun activities. Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

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