Blues Travels

The Driving Enthusiasts Web Site

Robbinsville and Charlotte NC; Two Great Towns

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Some of you may be familiar with my friend Woody. Woody and I met in Fancy Gap nearly two months ago, early on in my travels. Well, about a week ago Woody emailed me about a VW event happening in Charlotte NC. The event was being sponsored by GMP Performance of Charlotte NC. Since I was staying in Robbinsville NC (a few short hours away from Charlotte), it seemed the logical thing to do. Plus, it sounded fun. It would be my first VW event, and hopefully the first of many to come. Problem was that Woody let me know a good 5 days in advance, and that meant I had to stay in Robbinsville for almost a week. So, I stayed. I didn’t mind, really, because Robbinsville is such a fantastic little town with lovely people. Granted, there is not a lot to do in Robbinsville, but I was able to relax and that is worth the price of gold if you ask me. Yet, another fabulous reason to live in a small town!

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As an aside, Robbinsville is famous for being close to Tail Of The Dragon more than anything else. Many people use Robbinsville as a lay-over, before darting off the next day in the direction of The Dragon. It is only 17 miles south of TOTD, so it is very convenient.

If you end up in Robbinsville, you MUST east at El Pacifico, an authentic Mexican place to dine. Their food is simply excellent. Try the Sopa Da Pollo (Chicken Soup). It is delicious. Tell Hector you heard it first from Blues Travels. Yet again, I digress.

Anyway, where was I before I so rudely interrupted myself? Oh yes, Charlotte.

So, I left Robbinsville for Charlotte, NC on a Friday. The VW event was the next day. What I have to say about Charlotte is that I have always wanted to go there, and have never been. And let me just say that Charlotte is a GREAT city. But make no mistake about it, it is a CITY in every sense of the word.

There is an energy about Charlotte that is unnerving if you are not use to the hustle and bustle of big city life. And since most of my travels have taken me to small town America, and since I come from small town America, I have to admit to being a tad scared of Charlotte.

Charlotte has so many things to do. Especially in the city. I have never been in a city so big, except for New York, and it was really exciting. What I regret is that I did not stay there longer. I really didn’t think I would like it there, but as the hours passed and as I walked around the downtown area, I began to adjust to the rhythm of big city life. It actually started to feel like a place of potential. Could I live there? If you had asked me when I first pulled into the city, I would have said no. But by the time I left, I felt like, “Yes, I think I could live here. Maybe” :blush:

What I truly enjoyed the most was my room. Hampton Inn’s have been by far the best hotels I have stayed in. Between the comfort, the amenities and the clientele Hampton Hotels attract, you just cannot beat them as a chain. Yes, I know Paris Hilton owns Hilton and Hamton Inn’s and yes, she sucks, and she would never be caught dead or naked with a football player and a camera crew at a Hampton Inn, which is her loss and our gain, but for the money, Hampton offers the best value of any hotel out there.

With the Hampton in Uptown Charlotte, I really struck gold! This room, along with the kind people that worked at the hotel, was stunning. I paid $80.00 a night. At these prices, I was surprised to see my room came with a whirl pool tub, microwave, refrigerator, gorgeous bathroom and more. The customer service was fabulous. I have come to expect this from Hampton Inn’s, but the added amenities in the room made this my best overall stay in the two months I have been on the road. Period.

Their continental breakfast was deLICIOUS. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. The staff make homemade sausage gravy and biscuits….(insert sound of Homer Simpson drooling). Everything about this stay was fabulous. Here are a few pics of the room.

The VW Rally
The VW event was very cool, and while I promised myself I would take tons of pictures, I rather decided not to. Why? Well, there were just so many cars there that were blinged out. And to be honest, bling is not where I am at these days. So most of the cars there did not interest me all that much, except for Woody’s car, and Ellen’s 20th Anniversary GTI. Have a look at her car.

It is very ironic when you consider the fact that people bling out their cars because no one wants to be driving in a car that looks like all the other cars on the road. And in the process of blinging out their cars, peeps end up with cars that look EXACTLY like every other blinged out car on the road. You know what I mean, right?

For example, they ALL do the window tints, complete with the bubbles that come along with it; in addition, they all have virtually the same exhaust mods which means they all pretty much sound the same; of course they have all chipped their car’s ECU’s so they all drive the same; the new custom wheels and custom bumpers give the cars the same basic look. End the end, the cars look and sound like clones of one another. My R32 was unique in that it was virtually stock, and not blinged out in the least. Besides, the best looking car there was Woody’s Corrado. Hand’s down. His car is just so gorgeous and it is very unique.

There were 5 blue R32’s, owing to the popularity of the color I suppose. But mine garnered the most attention, due to the suspension kit and EIP’s CAI, and my tires, none of which were initially noticeable unless a person probed the car enough, or unless I had the hood open.

The guys that ran GMP Performance were great, and so friendly. They were doing Dyno’s all day long for anyone that wanted one. Of course, the R32 is AWD, and since no AWD Dyno was available I chose not to get one done, even though I could have disabled AWD. Just could not bring myself to tamper with the RWD Train.

Some of the cars on display were really interesting, expecially GMP’s project cars. Most of those had Turbos and were being test driven by attendee’s. I hear that the red Audi was a rocket on wheels. I wanted to drive it, but circumstances did not permit.

One really interesting car was the Toyota Supra that was putting down nearly 700 HP to the rear wheels! Or so I heard. I saw the motor, and to be honest I had no idea what I was really looking at. Seemed like a straight, inline six to me. But what do I know? Anyway, it was really a good looking car, without too much of a bling factor.

The day lasted into sunset, but I left a tad bit before that to catch the UVa-Miami game. Damn, those Hoo’s. Unreal. I tell you, the good teams find ways to win. The bad teams find ways to lose. Guess which category UVa falls into? :doze:

Anyway, that’s all for now. More on Wilmington NC in a while.


November 15, 2004 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. i love my acura. get one!

    Comment by rachel | January 11, 2007

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