Category Archives: Traveling Days

Daytona Brings To Mind

The first Nascar race of the 2019 season, the Daytona 500, took place yesterday. Motor Man and I went to that race a couple of times several years ago.

I shared this post in 2013, and since yesterday’s race, once again, brought to mind that fateful week in 2001, I thought I’d share it again (with just a few changes) today.

Motor Man and I were in Daytona for the entire week leading up to the 2001 Daytona 500.  A friend of ours with “connections” had given us passes to several media events being held that week.

One of those was the IROC (International Race Of Champions) luncheon on Wednesday. A brief background: the IROC race featured identical (except for the color) Chevy Camaros. Drivers from several racing divisions were selected to drive in the IROC race, and a luncheon was held to determine the color car each would drive, as well as his starting position. These were determined by the spin of a wheel.

Motor Man and I were seated at the table with Nascar driver, Jeff Burton, which was fitting, since he’s also a native Virginian.  The IROC race that year was sponsored by True Value, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation was also involved.  After lunch and all the wheel-spinning was complete, the emcee announced that there was a young man there (through Make-A-Wish) whose wish was to meet Dale Earnhardt, Sr.  He then asked Earnhardt to please come forward to meet and have his photo taken with this little boy; I think his name was Travis, although I can’t remember for sure.  But I’ll refer to him in this post as Travis.

Instead of just posing by himself with Travis for those from the media to take photos, Earnhardt asked all the drivers at the luncheon to come forward. He wanted Travis to meet and have his picture taken with all of them. Motor Man and I were impressed that Dale didn’t “hog” that spotlight for himself. I was blinking back tears to the point that Jeff Burton leaned over to us and asked if Travis were our child.

I wasn’t sure if we’d be allowed to take photos at the luncheon, so I only had a little disposable cameras in my purse. This isn’t a good picture, but I wanted to share it because it reminds me of the compassion “The Intimidator” showed when meeting that little boy. (That’s Dale in the yellow shirt.)

earnhardt-and-make-a-wish-bmp

I’ve blurred out Travis’s face, since, obviously, I don’t have permission to post his picture.  But I’ve always remembered what he said while the photos were being taken: “I’ve always wanted to meet Dale Earnardt, and now I have.”

Motor Man and I were in the stands that next Sunday for the Daytona 500. Since our seats weren’t very good, we left early. We decided that we could enjoy the race more by listening to it on the car radio as we started our trip back to Virginia.

We were in Savannah when Dale Earnhardt’s death was announced: 18 years ago today.

One of our first thoughts was of Travis and how his wish had come true.

~These Days Of Mine~

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Our Destination

Motor Man and I celebrated our anniversary in…… Snowshoe, West Virginia.  Most folks go there to ski or snowboard; we went there for a sleigh ride. That’s the way we’ve celebrated our anniversary several times in the past.

When we arrived at the stables, this was one of the first sights to greet us. Just look at that snowy muzzle.

You just know I was enjoying this scenery.

You may remember that I’m a fan of April, the giraffe. One of her little quirks is throwing hay over her back. We call it “April showers” or “hay showers”. Some of that hay usually ends up on her head.  I was immediately reminded of that when I spotted this sweetie.

And this is Flash, the gorgeous guy who pulled our vintage (1878) sleigh.

Flash is a 12-year old Friesian/Morgan mix.

And our driver was Skip, who, along with his wife, Peggy, owns Autumn Breeze Stables at Snowshoe.

The weather was probably the nicest we’ve had for any of our sleigh rides so far: 30 degrees and beautiful sunshine.

Such a fun experience. It’s obvious that Flash loves his job.

If you are on Facebook and would like to see Flash “kicking up his heels”, visit the Autumn Breeze Stables at Snowshoe’s page and check their video. It’s really fun to watch.

Oh, and here’s a short video from our sleigh ride. (There is sound. Skip is referring to a man-made lake on the left, the water from which is used to make snow for one of the ski areas.)

 

Thanks, Motor Man (and Autumn Breeze Stables) for a fun anniversary celebration.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

Scenery Along The Way To……

…our anniversary celebration! As mentioned in Friday’s post, Motor Man and I celebrated an anniversary Saturday.  So we took a little trip, and I’ll tell you where in Wednesday’s post.

But, today, I’m sharing some photos of the scenery along the way to our destination.

The fog at sunrise gave us many opportunities for photos. You may recall that I love old barns. I miss the old blog meme “Barn Charm”, where we shared a photo of a barn each week.

Growing up across the highway from a dairy farm makes cows somewhat special to me. (Whenever I’m taking a picture of cows and strangers are around, I laugh when I realize they’re probably thinking I’ve never seen cows before…)

Contrails at sunrise always add a little something extra to a picture.

The fog changed so quickly, we could almost see it happening right before our eyes.

The sun rising over an old barn: what’s not to love?

And later in the day, we drove by this sweet old church.  Can you imagine all that those walls have seen through the years:  the sound of those beautiful old hymns, the joy of weddings, baptisms and souls saved? And, sadly, the funerals, too.

And even later in the day, another gorgeous old barn, this one with a blue-sky background.

So, obviously, we went somewhere COLD for our anniversary. Some of my readers already know where, and others are probably able to guess how we celebrated.

Tune in Wednesday!

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Horse Country

Our trip last week to Indianapolis took us through the beautiful horse country of Kentucky.  It’s always my favorite part of the trip.

This beautiful water “tank” is located in the Lexington area.

This year, we arranged a tour of one of the farms: Coolmore at Ashford Stud.

On the afternoon of our visit, we had light snow flurries as we drove up the lane.

Although we didn’t have the best day for photos, the flurries added even more charm to our outing.

Now, this little country girl knows absolutely NOTHING about race horses (or everyday horses for that matter). But I do think they’re all beautiful and love taking pictures of them.

Our guide was a wonderful young lady named Bailey, who will be graduating in May from the University of Kentucky with a degree in equine science and management. We were fortunate to be on one of her final tours at Coolmore.

In the first stable we toured, we met “Munnings”.  Isn’t he so handsome?

I thought it was interesting that he seemed to be agreeing with what Bailey was saying regarding stud fees. (Guess that’s a guy for you.)  And I regret that I stopped the video in the middle of Bailey’s information.

 

But, then,  we met a celebrity…..this is “Justify”, the 2018 Triple Crown winner.  That’s impressive even to those of us who know little about the horse racing world. It was exciting to be so close to such a famous horse.

Later, on the tour, we met “Air Force Blue”.  He also showed off a bit for us.

 

You can hear Bailey in that video mention the race horse “Cigar” and say that he was an interesting case. Cigar was a successful race horse, but was quickly retired from his stud duties when it was determined that he was completely infertile. Uh oh. (Had I not stopped the video short, you would have heard that from Bailey.)

We stayed overnight in Louisville and went for a carriage ride after dinner. Our horse was a Percheron/Friesian mix named “Joey”. Those blue lights in the background were on our carriage. It was cold, but as you can see, we went prepared. AND, our high-tech carriage not only had blankets, but also heated seats.

Before leaving Louisville the following morning, we rode out to see Churchill Downs.  Although we’ve driven through Louisville many times, and stayed overnight there a few times, we’d never driven by the track.

Very impressive.  But, then, most everything about Kentucky Horse Country IS.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

Embracing Our Inner Hillbilly

As you may have guessed when I announced my blogging break last week, Motor Man and I went out of town for a few days.

Our destination was Indianapolis, so he could attend the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show.  He takes a right off the skywalk to the convention center, and I take a left to the mall. Convenient.

We left home a few days early, so we could make a couple of stops along the way. One of those stops was for lunch on Tuesday.  This is your first  glimpse of Hillbilly Hot Dogs in Lesage, West Virginia.

As you drive a little further along the highway…

…you get the feeling that whenever anyone in the area needs to dispose of junk anything, they bring it to Hillbilly Hot Dogs. Including….. unmentionables. What a scary thought.

“Hillbilly Gas Station”, yes, right by the highway.

This is the entrance to the restaurant indoor eatin place.

The dining area is inside an old school bus. This is the table beside ours.

We shared a hot dog and a hamburger, both were really good.  Then we couldn’t resist a picture at the “kissin cuzins maryin booth”.

And next door, at the weddin chapel.

Google tells me that Hillbilly Hot Dogs has been in business for 19 years, and is owned by Sonny (a self-proclaimed West Virginia hillbilly) and his wife, Sharie, a former California girl. It’s also been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

Oh, and when you leave a tip, you get a song. (Sorry we didn’t get Sonny and Sharie’s son in the video.)

Sonny’s the Weenie Man
He owns a weenie stand
He sells the best weenies around
Ding Ding Ding
Sharie’s his Weenie Wife
She adds the spice that’s right
Hillbilly Hot Dogs day or night
Ding Ding Ding
YEEHAW!!!

So, if you ever find yourself anywhere near Lesage, West Virginia, we would definitely recommend a stop at Hillbilly Hot Dogs.  It is quite the experience.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny Trike, Tiny Horses

As usual, Motor Man and I had a busy weekend. Our travels included another visit to Cape Charles Friday to attend the first “Festive Friday” event of this holiday season.

We arrived a bit early, so Motor Man treated me to a visit to a nearby antique mall, where I found this tiny, adorable OLD tricycle:

I think it will be a cute addition to the hearth, especially at Christmas, perhaps with a vintage teddy bear atop the seat.

Speaking of Christmas, I managed to get this short video of the little “lighted horse parade” that was part of Festive Friday. Oh, the charm of a small town.

And let me just say that I need a miniature pony in my life.

(Just kidding, Motor Man….)

~These Days Of Mine~

Fly-Away Friday

On Wednesday, I posted pictures of the wild horses from our most recent trip to the Outer Banks. And they certainly provided us with many photo ops that day.

But, wait….there’s more!

Although we often see pelicans flying along the shoreline, it wasn’t until a few months ago that we saw them actually on the beach.

When we spotted these two on Sunday,  Motor Man stopped, my window came down, and I started taking pics. This one is my favorite.

I still marvel at the fact that they can actually get those huge beaks and wings off the ground.

Where will this weekend take you?

~These Days Of Mine~