I’m hoping I can post a few “catch-up” posts of major events since I stopped blogging, in an attempt to fill in some gaps. No, I don’t intend to cover every day since Feb 2006, but just some stuff that I’d like to write about. I left the Daytona trip hanging right in the middle, so I’ll start there. Robin and I went to the Daytona 500 in Feb 2006, our first trip to a Nascar race. These pics are from race day. Even if you aren’t a Nascar fan (I wasn’t particularly), the Daytona 500 is an amazing event. A quick run-down on these pictures, Robin standing in the infield of the track, Robin signing the start/finish line on the track before the start of the race, Robin with some of the untold number of Goodyear tires used on race day, and the cars just after crossing the finish line (Jimmy Johnson #48 won that day). Jay Leno drove the Z06 Corvette pace car for the race, what a cool gig. There is nothing quite like standing near the fence as those cars go by at 180 mph. It’s even louder than those Honda’s you enounter at a stoplight (the ones with the massive subwoofers being driven by a 17 year old).
The other thing that amazed me is how the folks at Daytona can get over 100,000 people in and out of the facility in a reasonably efficient manner. They actually use several offsite parking lots, and use the dirt service roads that run under the power lines to run Buses back and forth to the track (no other traffic on these roads, no stoplights, etc.). These folks clearly know how to handle a crowd.
All in all, it was a great experience. We’ll do it again.
We toured “Daytona USA”, which is a museum and interactive speedway center with lots of historical information about Daytona International Speedway, and a very cool IMAX theatre movie with great moments from previous races.
We also walked around the outside of the speedway, and visited the exhibits and collected some free stuff. This is the official pace car for this year’s race, a Z06 Corvette (505HP, 190MPH top speed… soooo cool).
Tomorrow….. Race Day!
On day 3 we started the day by visiting Bass Pro Shops “Outdoor World” (also known as the Fisherman’s Mecca). It’s a good thing that we don’t have an Outdoor World store in Oregon, else Jon would surely be bankrupt. We then traveled to the “space coast” of Florida and toured Cocoa Beach, the village of Cocoa, and Titusville.
We did a little boat shopping (this one is too small).
It’s amazing how many shells are just laying around on the beach here. The weather has been great, sunny every day, with highs between 70 and 80 degrees!
President Bush was in Orlando on Friday, and we saw Air Force One parked at an Air Force base on the space coast. That explains the fighter jet escorts and the armed military folks all around.
On day 2 we stayed in the Orlando area, and had a full day. Robin rode along in a
race car at the “Richard Petty driving experience” at Walt Disney World Speedway (she is a longtime Richard Petty fan). Pretty cool, she went 145 MPH on the oval track!
Next we took an airboat ride on Lake Tohopekaliga (Boggy Creek Airboat Rides). We saw 3 gators, a bald eagle, and several other kinds of birds. The airboat was cool, powered by a big block Chevy motor that is mounted high right behind the fan. Amazing where they can take that boat, at one point we were riding on weeds and mud, with almost no water beneath the boat.
Will try to post updates and pictures here during our trip to the Daytona 500. It’s Wednesday morning at 9am, we are waiting at PDX for our flight to leave, and taking advantage of the free wireless internet service at PDX. More to come!Share this: