Busy, busy day — and great day. Where to start? Well, I checked out of the Atlanta Airport Gateway Marriott hotel to head out for what was to be a great event, the Porsche Experience Center which happens to be next to the airport.
So you may ask me, what is the Porsche Experience Center? I don’t know where even to start. First and foremost, its a massive complex housing the Porsche USA head office. Next, its a small museum with some important cars, a classic car restoration facility and most important, its a race track built for Porsche enthousiasts taking up a whole lot of valuable acreage.
Picture about 50 Porsches of all kinds which you can rent for a couple of hours — along with a professional driver — to teach you how to drive to tighten various skills. Their is a skid-pad, a massive circular wet area which is use to play drifting and another slick track designed to let you drift without water. Ok, there is a Porsche trinket shop, lounges, customer car pickup area, and cafeteria. Enough, I know. I had fun and thats all that matters.
More details if your still reading, I did shit, absolutely shit on these skills. They seem so easy and they are so hard. I tried, honest. I couldn’t manage the skid-pads at all. On the race track, I think I managed a 6/10 — again, I tried. When my instructor took the wheel for 3 laps, OMG, it was insane. I was never scared by his aggressive and manic drive, but he was so fast it proved two thing; first, a Porsche is an incredible instrument to race and manage on a tack and two, I was real bad.
That was my Porsche part of the day… Much more to come.
I then left to see Barry Chusid at his make-shift studio lot for his new $170 million movie with The Rock, Dwayne Johnson. Barry was a great host and so was the experience he left me with. The studio lot was absolutely massive again — I would guess a few hundred thousand square feet wth 75 ft roof height as well as a outside lot with more construction for the sets.
The movie is starting to shoot in a couple of weeks and I wish that I could have taken pictures, but that was verbitten and understandably so with internet leaks these days. What I can say is that the artisans who make the sets are just amazing. I saw probably 5 or 6 different sets and all looked so realistic, it could be a real location (I cant say more now) — but its not real — its wood sets built on steel beams just for the purpose of a few days of shooting. After the shooting, I am sure it would be dismantled in a day or two. The fakery of movies is just incredible.
Barry was also so helpful in showing me around the lot — each area and explained how each were made and about the storyline. Hush, we cant talk about it. I really did not want to take up too much time with Barry. He is seriously busy with lots of people asking him questions and looking for direction. He has a big position in a big project.
I finally left the studio around 2:30pm. From there, I hauled my bike to go on a 4 hour journey to Tennessee for my next leg of my trip. More to come on that. I will say that the trip was so exhilarating going through the Smokey Mountains with all its hills, twists and curves and just sensational scenery. Loved every second of it. Finally, hit my hotel at 7pm.
I went for dinner across the street — well, actually, went on a 15 minute walk to a Mexican restaurant which normally is not worth mentioning. One thing happened there which I thought interesting. I had 3 soft tacos, large diet coke, chips and salsa and an order of guacamole — super fresh and home made. Too much food and honestly, I was not that hungry. When it came time to pay, I went to the bill and I see it comes to $7.99. I say to the cashier like an idiot, “I think this is wrong”. She replies, no, that the right amount. I walk away shaking my head. In back country Tennessee, people eat for almost free.