Monday, August 24, 2009

Bristol Bound Baby: Part II*

* So here's what I really wanted to call this post: I Went to Bristol and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt - Oh Wait - I Didn't Even Fucking Get A Fucking T-Shirt Because Bruton Smith Has Bullshit Fucking Stupid Rules About Selling T-Shirts.

But I didn't title the post that because it seemed a wee bit long. And also, a little bit hostile. But I still mean it. And more on my issues with Bruton Smith later.

So Lilsaej picked me up at 9:15am on Saturday morning. We got into her Land Cruiser laden with snacks and beer and race bags and suitcases and raincoats and beer and diet soda and chicken salad and water and scanners and beer and headed off for Bristol. I thought I would be clever and photo-chronicle our journey. Here are some early road-trip pictures:

Lilsaej's Diet Mountain Dew Ultra Violet. This crap is literally purple and is supposed to taste like berries. Berries that have undergone radiation maybe.

A picture of Wendy in front of Wendy's. Look - see how she smiled and waved?

There was a giant cow in the parking lot. We thought this was awesome even though that ambulance is totally blocking the shot.

I know - exciting shit - right?

Anyways, the drive to Bristol was not too bad...unless you count the 2 20-mile treacherous stretches through the mountains with lots of switchbacks, sharp turns, steep banks and signs that looked like this:

It wasn't easy, but Lilsaej was up to the task and we rolled into Bristol without any problems. And without any traffic! Seriously y'all - it was like we were the only ones in town for the race. I mean, we saw a few cars following signs for Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) but in general, traffic was light. Although it was weird because we went from NC to TN to VA back to TN. Apparently Bristol straddles the TN/VA border which I thought was weird and I swear one day I will look at a map to understand how it all works but for now I accept it as fact and am moving on. Anyways, we got to our hotel at around 1, checked in, topped off the coolers with more ice and then headed to BMS ourselves.

So here's the thing - sometimes it's good to have OCD be utterly neurotic. While I was in planning mode on Friday night, I went to the BMS website where they have TONS of information including parking tips, traffic tips and in general what NOT TO DO during a race weekend. Y'all? It was overwhelming because apparently you can't make any left turns at places and it could take 4 hours to leave BMS and you might be detoured 3 hours out of your way and I sort of panicked. So I emailed David N. Metzger, Traffic Engineer, City of Bristol Tennessee (his contact info was on the BMS website) and basically told him where the hotel was, where our seats were and asked how the hell we should get to the Speedway and where to park. This was at around 7pm on "THE" Friday night BEFORE "THE" race and a few minutes before the Nationwide race. Surprise, surprise, I got an automatic reply saying that he was out of the office but to address any race related traffic questions to a ktripplet. So I emailed ktripplet and HOLY CRAP Y'ALL - less than 10 minutes later there was a reply in my in-box from Kevin Tripplet, VP of Public Affairs for BMS typed from his Blackberry giving me TURN BY TURN BACK WAY IN directions from the hotel to BMS including where to park (one of the numerous fields on Old Carden Road)and what road NOT to cross over in order to be able to back track to the hotel the exact same way after the race was over. SCORE!!! Who knew I was this charming simply over email?

So yeah. Lilsaej and I made it from the hotel to Old Carden Road in about 10 minutes. Seriously - we had factored in about 90 minutes to cover the 7.1 miles to the track. Instead - it took us 10 minutes and I don't think we saw but 3 cars. Maybe. And sure enough, just as ktripplet promised, as we drove along Old Carden heading towards BMS - folks were standing on the side of the road waving us into their fields/pastures/yards to park for the race. The first bunch we hit were $5. Then $10. We thought about pulling in but we weren't sure how far we were from the track and we decided to inch closer. As long as we didn't go past Exide Road we would be ok. And sure enough, just past the $10 fields/pastures/yards, we turned a corner and there loomed BMS in front of us in all of its majestic glory. Also, $20 parking. But who cared because OMG y'all - WE MADE IT TO FUCKING BRISTOL WITHOUT ANY TRAFFIC. AND NOW WE WERE PARKED IN SOMEBODY'S YARD (literally - their yard) FOR $20. AND THEY HAD A PORT-O-POTTY WHICH WAS CRITICAL SINCE WE HAD A LOT OF BEER AND PLANNED TO DRINK IT. AND OH YEAH WE'RE GIRLS AND WE USE TOILET PAPER.

Ok...clearly my trip to Bristol has to be a 3-parter because Holy Crap y'all - it's late, I am tired, and there's still so much more to address. Like why Bruton Smith has bullshit t-shirt selling policies I don't have a t-shirt and telling you about this dude:

Oh. And the race. Some of you might actually want to know about the race.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...


Nancy said...

OMG I can't wait for the next installment - Seriously! Hurry up and write.

Eve said...

So the whole Bristol borders VA and TENN? I had to check it out myself because a month ago I was in Bristol, VA at a Kroger with Obama and it made no sense to me either! It's like a little triangle between NC, TENN and VA and apparently, if you ever go back, has great antiquing, or so says my friend from the White House who was there for a week.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

Please tell me you asked that dude for HIS t-shirt. You know, since you couldn't buy one yourself and needed SOME SORT of souvenir.

Karen from Mentor said...

"There was a giant cow in the parking lot. We thought this was awesome even though that ambulance is totally blocking the shot."

This image in and of itself was worth the trip.
What says PARTY TO EXCESS better than an ambulance and a giant cow?

Shelly Overlook said...

If you use your imagination, the ambulance has a flatbed on the back and is carting Ginormous Cow off to the hospital. Too funny.