Charlotte, NC - photo by dawngrif/flickrOn my flight into Charlotte the guy sitting next me was watching the first season of “Lost” on his DVD player. He had never seen the series before and decided to get started on it on the plane. So while our plane was experiencing some serious turbulence I saw the plane in the very first episode of “Lost” go DOWN. Why of all the TV series you could choose to watch on a plane would you pick the one about a plane that CRASHES?

Yeah, I don’t know either. Anyway, my flight was happily uneventful because I made it to Charlotte safe and sound. Guess what the first thing I did was, after calling my mom to tell her I made it in ok and that I hadn’t been kidnapped like that girl in the Liam Neeson movie “Taken,” I picked up a Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks.


When I got to Hertz to pick up my rental car I was super excited to find that I got to drive a Volkswagen Jetta. My car at home is a VW too, so it was nice to drive something familiar. Oh, and here’s a tip from your friend Valli: If your rental car service has a self-service kiosk you should use it. I ended up getting out faster than the people who decided to stand in line. I was in my car and driving out while the people who had gotten to the counter well before me were still waiting.

I opted out of getting a navigation system from Hertz and instead used my cell phone and Sprint Navigation. I didn’t have to pay extra for it and it worked just as well as any in-car navigation system.

Driving through the streets of Charlotte, on my way to my hotel, I marveled at the fact that I put myself here. It’s one of those moments where you say to yourself “Holy crap, I’m actually doing this.” I must be serious about this whole NASCAR thing if I chose to fly across the country to attend a race.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter this weekend, today is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and tomorrow the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.