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Old 04-07-2021, 09:45 AM
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I got a new job, sooo ROADTRIP!

I alluded to the trip in the mileage thread. I hope we're over 155k when we return. If I had my REAL preference, we'd be knocking on 160k.

The trip began as a dream the moment my little girl was born almost 17 years ago. All 4lb6oz of her tiny, early arriving frame. I'd like to say its her early start that kept her tiny, but she'd tower over both of her great-grandmothers at just 5'2" today.

Anyway, the trip start was a charlie foxtrot for a lot of reasons that I chose to ignore. We persisted with a late start on Monday instead of our planned Sunday departure. In a last minute bid for options, we towed the bikes along as well.

We stopped in Chattanooga, TN for an impromptu visit with one of her Jr High buddies who is in boarding school there. It's a uhhh.. nice campus. But the reason *I* wanted to be there was for the handmade titanium bikes made there. I have been dreaming of one of these for a decade before he sold his 1st shop.
Despite what folks might think of the South, times are weird, even inTN. I couldn't get anyone on the phone with a voicemail that said, essentially we *might* get in touch with you in a couple days- or longer. I had very low expectations of the unannounced and unplanned visit.

But I was surprised (and elated) that they came to the door in the industrial park and even brought some frames outside for me to look at. I was already having a GREAT day when the man with is name on the door (and signature on every bike!) came to the door!

He asked if I had a mask and offered to take me on a tour! I walked in the door to the shop and got goosebumps. I would be there as long as they'd let me stay...
The process is meticulous and well-planned. Some of the machines look like they came with the building..
Others are steeped in a mix of old and new tech.
We talked to the guy measuring tubes for this bike. Each one meticulously planned. He noted that he'd measured to 3,000th/in and was ready to cut. THAT is precision!
Here, they are drilling the tube for cables that will move the seatpost up and down..
Another hit for the day's early start was a female welder. From tiny female State Troopers in New Hampshire (don't ask) to a petite female tig welder, I like to show my daughter her options are limitless. This was no exception. It's great when she gets to see things she may not ever have otherwise. She's growing into a fine young human. I suppose that's the 1st priority for any child.

In the next post, we will begin the (relatively?) short saga of how we came to Spartanburg, SC and the nearly Divine intervention that allowed our time here to be a life experience she will never forget!
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2021, 10:25 AM
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And so I write now from the Performance Delivery Center in Spartanburg, SC as my daughter is in class starting her day with 7 other students.
Getting here though was a process wrought with uncertainty and last minute hopes. As I said before, the moment my wife told me she was pregnant (not the spayed cat as I first guessed), we planned to be here. Just two years prior, we'd taken delivery of my wife's 2002 E46 330. We met and befriended both the delivery specialist and the driver from that day. I even made a website (as we did in the day) about my delivery experience. I did not know I'd made friends for life, but after a trip to Bimmerfest a few years later and many, many trips to the track, that's just what they've become. Here's my buddy, 19 years ago last month
My job change came with the cut off of certain benefits, of course. An unexpected benefit is a discount on *any* class at the BMW Perf Delivery Center. I looked and looked for a class this Summer near her 17th birthday in June, but alas, they were filled through August.

When my current employer asked me to to stay on this week and transition, short timer mode kicked in high gear. I was going on a month-long road trip and no one was gonna stop me! And so we headed off.. 1 stop in Chattanooga was definite. The rest were sorta up in the air. Why? Well, ya see, it went like this..

The individual code for a class discount had expired last year. No one had updated the website in 2020. So, as much as I don't like to bother my friends with work stuff, I asked for a favor last week. Could they help in this last minute? And boy, howdy! Did they ever! I got the phone call yesterday on the way to Spartanburg. If nothing else, I said, it'd be worth the trip to see them both again if they're around. We got the code. We got some advice on where to stay, and we were set late yesterday. Class was ON! Of course, we had to pose for pics..

We spent a few minutes yesterday at the Zentrum- her request. Another bit of serendipity was this little happy dappy daddy happy for my little girl and her 2012 128i. I have to imagine demand is pretty low in the US for these..
Of course, we had to get the money shot at the Zentrum as well..
Speaking of $ shots.. For all those folks who think *their's* is the cleanest X5 on the planet.. I submit the limited edition Nieman Marcus E53 from 1999. Is Nieman's even a brand any more?
I hope I have at least 10 years, but my grandchild.. Ohhh Lawd, my future grandchild..
So where to stay? We were told of a new place that just opened across the street from the factory and Zentrum, less than a mile from the Delivery Center. Our view isn't awesome, but it's not all bad..
Of course, it's not the nicest place in the world. Set up like an apartment with a full kitchen and other very basic necessities. The surprise this morning was a LOT of big motor noise from the street. My advice is to ask for a room in the BACK corner of the property rather than the front corner where we are. Otherwise, the room is... serviceable. A Publix is less than a few minutes away. We had dinner by the light of our bicycles..
Our early start this morning welcomed the same from the..erm.. locals...
And so I wait in the cafe for her to be free.
There is a *slight* chance I will get to drive today with my other buddy. I am not goin anywhere while I wait for that!
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:31 AM
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:05 AM
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Thanks, CW. Always nice to have you guys along for the ride. Speaking of that, I am getting live updates from the course. Here is one nut that didn't fall far from the tree..

The text was accompanied by the note: "M340i. Do want." Speaking of nuts...
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PropellerHead View Post
"M340i. Do want."
I bet! I like her style. Aim high. "See daddy, I was being sensible. I didn't ask for the M3..."

Sounds like a blast. My daughter is only 7 but she's going to help with the next oil change on the wagon this month so hopefully a future trip to Spartanburg will be on her list of "wants" as well.
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2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles)

2010 X5 35d Build 02/10
Nav, HiFi, 6 DVD, Sports Pckg, Cold Weather Pckg, HUD, CAS, Running Boards, Leather Dash, PDC, Pano (Purchased 03/17 w/ 136,120 miles)
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:28 AM
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Looks like a great trip! Keep the reports coming!
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:33 AM
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Seeing this post...You now made it my dream and a bucket list item to go to Spartanburg...


Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
I bet! I like her style. Aim high. "See daddy, I was being sensible. I didn't ask for the M3..."

Sounds like a blast. My daughter is only 7 but she's going to help with the next oil change on the wagon this month so hopefully a future trip to Spartanburg will be on her list of "wants" as well.
I took a manual F80 out for a spirited drive after hours. Oh man...the rev match makes ANYONE an expert standard transmission driver!
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:38 AM
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
Sounds like a blast. My daughter is only 7 but she's going to help with the next oil change on the wagon this month so hopefully a future trip to Spartanburg will be on her list of "wants" as well.
Best times for daddy daughters!
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:08 PM
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I'm in Ooltewah, just north of Chattanooga.
My daughter is also 5' 2" but only 11. Well, I'm 6'3" so the apple didn't fall too much far from tree, lol.
Nice thread and my daughter is already eyeing my 532M which makes me so proud!
Great pictures!
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