Sunday, January 24, 2010

Vacation- Day Five

On Monday we took a day trip out to Concord, North Carolina to visit some NASCAR themed things. Sam really enjoys NASCAR and we were in the heart of NASCAR country, so why not! We first went to the Lowes Motor Speedway, which we learned is no longer the Lowes Motor Speedway, but the Charolette Motor Speedway. We strolled through the gift shop and purchased tickets for the guided tour. The guide thought the girls would be excited about riding in a fifteen passenger van! Until we explained that we own one and drive in it all the time.

The tour took nearly an hour and the guide showed all kinds of neat insider things about the race track. As we were about to get a ride around the actual race track, I noticed that a trailer with the #18 car on it had driven in. The #18 car is Samantha's favorite, not because the driver is good, but because the sponsor is M&M's! Samantha was thrilled to see it!

The guide took us up onto the 26 degree banking in one of the turns and parked the van! He then (while we were clinging to our seats!) went on to explain that the other NASCAR tracks are even steeper! He then took us around the track at 80 miles per hour! The girls were having so much fun, he gave us another lap! Then he drove us to the Winner's Circle so we could take pictures. He then drove us right up to the #18 car! Samantha was so happy!

After our tour, we ate lunch at a Chik-fil-A; only because it's in a Tim Hawkins song and we don't have any around here! By then the temperature had soared to a balmy 68 degrees and we changed some of our indoor plans for a more outdoors-y thing: The Lazy 5 Ranch!

At the ranch, we drove around a long dirt road where ostriches, emus, goats, elk, cebu, waterbuffalo, giraffes, zebra, wild pigs, sitka deer, white tailed deer, and several other unidentifiable camelids, all stuck their heads in our windows for the girls to feed them from buckets of feed that were provided. The Bison was pretty funny as he would simply open his mouth and wait for you to pour in the feed! The ostriches were rather aggressive and I really didn't like the look in their eyes; like they would do just about anything to get to the feed! The girls would laugh as I yelled, "Ostrich!" and rolled up the window as fast as I could!

They had a neat little walking path with various gardens and ponds with ducks and koi. There were several cages with a variety of fancy birds in them, a pasture fenced for kangaroos, and many, many draft horses in a field. A horse drawn wagon ride was available and went off the road and into several of the fields, but we had arrived too late in the day for it. The girls had fun playing on the HUGE wooden pirate ship swingset, while Sam and I sat on the tree swing and relaxed.

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