I have a need for speed. How Can I Drive a Nascar?
You mean...like... around your neighborhood? I don't advise it, the police frown on that sort of thing. You can however drive a NASCAR on a real track. Even a regular guy like you can do it, providing you have a valid driver's license of course. Here's how I know: I spoke with Jonathon Bayless from the Richard Petty Driving Experience who assured me that thrill seekers everywhere participate in their program driving NASCAR-style stock cars around real racing tracks.
“We operate at over 20 tracks nationwide, and we have men, women, even 16 year-olds who just got their licenses coming out to test their skills,” Jonathon said, “and we can accommodate everyone.” It's also safe. “Every driver is taught by one of our instructors. Each one learns the in's and outs of the car and driving under strict supervision during the training class, and there's never been a serious accident.” Jonathon continued, “There's a variety of cars for each group, so an individual is paired with a car that fits them and their size.” He also said that no one's chickened out, so you could be the first to reach that milestone.
And if you do chicken out, no problem. You can participate in their ride along program, where you ride shotgun in a 2-seat NASCAR-style stock car, driven by one of their driving instructors, who didn't chicken out. You'll still get your thrills as you hit speeds up to 165 mph.
But if I know you (and I don't cause we just met) you'll want to go for the checkered flag, so you need the Driving Experience, and there are lots of them for you to choose from. Try the Rookie Experience where you'll take the wheel, put the pedal to the metal and take 8 laps around the track. Or maybe you want to go all out? In that case, I might recommend the Racing Experience, where you take 80 laps over 8 lessons all in one very full day, including instruction from your driving professional and crew on refining your driving line, building speed and side-by-side driving.
And there's lots of other programs at assorted prices. Too many, in fact, to list here. Check it out for yourself at drivepetty.com. You'll find all the information you need, including a list of all the programs and tracks available. You can even make your reservations on-line. Once you're all set you just need to show up. And they provide the stock cars so you can leave yours at home.
Can I hike over the Alps to Switzerland like the Von Trapps?
You are, of course, referring to the Von Trapps immortalized in The Sound of Music. In the film, they flee the Nazi's by hiking over the Alps from Austria into Switzerland. Well, shucks, how would I know? So I contacted intrepid Musical Theater Guru, Laura, Publicity and Marketing Director of The Muny, one of the largest, oldest, continuously operating musical theatres in the country, and maybe the world...or something like that, and posed your question:
“Nope, you can't,” she said. “Remember that Austria where the Von Trapps lived was very close to the German border, too far to walk. But how else could the movie use the song, 'Climb Every Mountain?' The Von Trapps actually trudged all the way to the local train station and boarded the next train to Italy, then to London, then eventually, made their way to America, where they reside to this day enjoying does, some deer, and rays, drops of golden sun. A song called 'Board Every Train' just doesn't have the same ring to it. Had they gone over the mountains, they would have found themselves standing next to Hitler's mountain retreat, a heavily guarded Nazi stronghold. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, you might say.” You can contact the Muny at email@example.com .
Here's what you should do. Find a hotel in Salzberg, Austria, like the Sallerhof (sallerhof.com), where you can book a variety of tours to the sites of the film, tickets to a SOM show, and lots more. Then when you get sick of do-re-me's, have the hotel hook you up with a hiking guide to take you hiking up into the Alps. You have to wear Lederhosen and sing “Climb Every Mountain” when you get to the top though. It's like a law or something.
I'll bet the Von Trapps could have made it a lot faster if they had a NASCAR.