Bailey played the role of fearless leader and led us on a two hour hike through the woods. Occasionally we came upon obstacles which tested our balance and coordination. Mom opted to be the photographer while Dad and I had a bit of fun.
The weather couldn't have been any more perfect. The only problem we encountered were HUNDREDS for cankerworms which hung from tree branches and were instantly all over our heads, arms, and shirts. You can read all about the infestation in Charlotte here, but suffice it to say, no one wants these critters crawling on them!
By the end of the afternoon, we were officially feeling one with nature (literally thanks to the covering of worms) and ready for showers and dinner. The Charlotte staycation featured lots of great eats, so I'll save all of the food pictures for a separate post coming soon.
Dad's birthday happen to coincide with my vacation, so on Friday I gifted him with an afternoon spent at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. After years of Mom and I teasing him about watching endless hours of cars driving circles around the track, he has remained a die-hard NASCAR fan. Most recently, much to my embarrassment, he even acquired a Dale Earnhardt Jr t-shirt. I'm pretty sure there is a rule that he is only allowed to wear it inside on race day, otherwise never being seen in public with such a travesty.
As expected, Dad seemed to have a fantastic time immersing himself in the history, memorabilia, and simulations. I actually enjoyed the experience quite a bit too. Did you know NASCAR originated from men trying to build cars to outrace police when they were being chased for producing/buying/selling moonshine?
The simulators were our favorite part. You begin with practice sessions to perfect handling, shifting gears, and cornering, and then ultimately progress to a five minute in-car simulator. As expected, Dad put all of his years of knowledge on the line and came across the finish in first place among the ten drivers. Thanks to my competitive nature, I seized my race-car driver talents and came in a respectable second.
Judging by the big grin on his face, I'd say the NASCAR Hall of Fame was a perfect birthday gift for this guy. And just to add a bit more excitement, Mom splurged and bought him another shirt to add to his collection!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!