I've never been to Virginia before, and this was my first time going to Moparpalooza. It started with a conversation about the Iron Giant that moved into a wonderful opportunity for me. Heidi, the boss of Billet Technology, and I discussed this venture over the course of a few days before it became set in stone. Flight tickets were purchased and then came the waiting game. You know the one where you're very excited for something and it seems as if the days go by slowly, but once you get to the night before the trip it all seemed to have gone very quickly. Or maybe I'm the oddball out and that only happens to me.
At 4 am Friday the 17th, I was being driven to the airport in my boyfriend's '06 Daytona; which was just the beginning of my Mopar weekend. Having never been to an airport on my own before, the panic set in quickly. I began to worry about where I was meant to go and I didn't have my liquids crammed into a ziploc. Luckily, Russell, my boyfriend, came to my rescue and was able to procure a ziploc bag for me. As I then began to walk the maze of rope to the security line, Russell stood at the end and watched me go, like a puppy watching it's master leave forever. Luckily, after some confusion about waiting to go into the round chamber of metal detecting, everything went rather smoothly. I boarded my plane with no trouble, and slept most of the trip. The next flight went basically the same way, but I got a bit motion sick at the rough landing.
I wrote something in my journal during the trip, that while is unrelated to Mopar, it has a pretty good thought to it, so I'm going to share.
"Going above the clouds and noticing how easy it is to move through them makes me think about how that's a lot like our problems in life. You can rise above them just as easily as you can sink below. And all you see in the middle is nothingness, leaving you to blindly figure out which way to go."
The moment I arrived at the hotel, I was put into my room and given some time to get ready. Thank goodness! All that stress and panic at the airports, along with wearing a sweatshirt and pants when it was 80 degrees outside, really creates a high need for a shower.
Once I felt that I was cleanly enough to meet the group, I headed in their direction only to be met with a boisterous room of adults. Everyone was very friendly. Names were told and hands shook. Heidi, Jim, and I decided to then go to the Smithsonian air museum over in that area and we cruised in style in Jim's 300 while the rest of the group took a nap.
Later that evening, as I sat with the Billet Technology group at TGI Friday's and listened to all the crazy stories and partook in the laughter, I realized that:
"Nothing in my few experiences compares to the love from someone who has never met you and still invests in you. It is a rare occurrence for something like this to happen and my mind (and heart) cannot comprehend this kindness. Which is sad. I'm so used to the hatred in people and having to fight for things and be always shot down. I'm so grateful that I just cannot put it into words."
And I still cannot come up with words for this, but I will say that it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. I made a lot of new friends and I feel that they're here to stay. My entire life I have struggled with friendships and finding people who aren't out to destroy my life, but instead nourish it and help it to branch out. This weekend, I was able to meet multiple people in this category and it's such a blessing. I ended up staying awake talking with some until 2 or 3 in the morning and it was really great.
I feel I must also mention that the BT group do not all drive Mopars. There is an Audi and also a Mercedes Benz in the group. So for those who may be thinking that they're strictly Moparians, guess again. c:
On Saturday, we decided to go visit DC and check out all of the monuments and such. And just like the year I went with Close-Up in high school, it was rainy and cold. Still had a pretty good time getting some fun shots and visiting with everyone though.
Before we visited all of the monuments, the men got hungry and we stopped somewhere along the Metro at a food court/mall place to eat. Nick and I chose some asian food, Dan and his wife Ann-Marie got some pizza, and others got simple things like ice cream. But one in every group has to get something odd, and John B. did just that. He got a huge plate of unidentifiable meat that the Greek place called beef. It is still undecided on whether it was horse or another large meat. Either way, pretty soon after eating it, he started to not feel well.
Not many can say that they got sick almost right on the front lawn of the nations capital, but John can. He made a nice shot right into some pretty pink flowers. After that, we saw a few more sights, but he was just getting too sick, so we started a very long trek back to the hotel. Since we rode on the metro, it took much longer because after every stop he had to befriend every bathroom we came to.
Lesson that I learned: Don't eat Greek food from a shady vendor in DC, or probably anywhere for that matter.
Finally Sunday came along and wow. Mopars everywhere. From little Neon's to the big SRT10 trucks. There were even some classics and a few Vipers. No matter where I turned my head, there was a beautiful Mopar to be seen. And under a lot of hoods were some wonderful Billet Tech pieces of all types and colors. I spoke with a few Mopar owners and asked about their mods and different paint jobs underneath their hoods. It's really cool to hear the different stories that everyone has. Each person has a different story, and you'll never know it unless you ask. What a great way to learn about people!
Out of all of the vehicles there, I can easily say that aside from the lime green rides because they're in a category all their own, the '07 mini-van was my favorite. I hold a very special place in my heart for mini-vans, and this one is just spectacular.
There were great mods all around, but the Billet Technology items sitting under the hoods were filled with color and matched everything so well! They're not an obnoxious mod and can look great on any Mopar whether it's an exterior or interior mod. The hard work and hours spent on each piece shows in the finished product. My eyes are always drawn to the Billet work, and with the option of customization, there isn't a reason to say no!
The only drawback of this weekend was that most of the group are Playstation fans, whereas I'm all about the 360, and they have been trying to convert me. I will say though that they made the Vita look pretty fun and I'm on the lookout for a good price on a black one now. So I guess that means they have succeeded in partially winning me over. *cue laughter*
If you're looking for something boring to do over a weekend, hanging at Moparpalooza isn't a good choice, and neither is hanging with the Billet Tech Team. You will be very disappointed, because there was never a dull moment.
I learned more about cars (not just Mopar) and I've made some great friends that I plan to keep around me for good company. The Billet Tech Team is very knowledgeable about what they do, they work hard to make great products, and they're good people. When I finally own my GWE or Sublime Challenger, my first modification will be from them and many more after. If you don't already own something from them or plan on owning something, you're doing your mods all wrong. Whether it's a custom oil cap for your 300, a custom shift insert for your Magnum, or a Transformers nose badge for your Charger, they'll have what you're looking for and will work with you to make sure it's just how you want it.
To look at all things Billet:
- Billet Technology Website
Billet Technology is your premium source for your custom billet products for your Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Ram Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. Manufactured in the USA at our facility in Lake Worth, Florida.
To learn more about Moparpalooza
6th Annual Moparpalooza Charity Car Show supporting Fisher House Foundation. Open to all years of Mopar vehicles - Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram.