Wednesday, August 16, 2006

FMCA Convention, Lowe's Motor Speedway

We are at the 76th International Convention of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte (well, actually Concord) North Carolina (map).  We arrived at the tail end of our assigned parking time of 8-noon on Sunday.  As it turned out, arriving towards the end of the conga line (coach parking begins on Friday) this time put us in a spot fairly close to the activities, and we were able to get around to most things on our bicycles.

We spent the rest of Sunday and most of Monday unwinding, much needed after another long week with the Red Cross followed by a mad dash to make our slot.  Monday afternoon the coach exhibits opened, and we ventured out to peek into some of them.  I note that both flame paint jobs and underbay garages are coming into vogue, and what gratitude do we get for being the pioneers?  None.

Yesterday and today we browsed the indoor exhibits, which have, in the past, been a source for us of a number of useful items and ideas.  This show seems considerably smaller than previous ones, and this was reflected in a smaller vendor area.  We did not come away empty-handed, though:  today we bought a fancy convertible table for the penthouse, in a nice maple to match our cabinetry.

Last night we got between three and four inches of rain, and it felt like we were going to have that much inside Odyssey with all the persistent leaks, some of which are worsening.  We fared better, though, than the bloke whose coach was washed away in a flash flood, or the several who had water up to their doorsteps.  We are on top of a hill, thankfully.

We are also right next to the "dirt track" arena, which is one of the entertainment venues for the event.  We seldom partake, and tonight is no exception, but tonight's headliner is Ronnie Milsap, and cars are parked around us as far as the eye can see.

We are pretty much done with the show, and tomorrow we'll pack up and get ready to head out.  We have made arrangements to park Odyssey in Marietta during our sojourn to California, and we'll take a leisurely pace to arrive there on Monday.

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