An Intriguing Discovery

(photo is from the official Mount Rushmore site)

I have learned that Mount Rushmore is a mere 10 hours and 28 minutes from here by car.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  I think I feel a road trip coming on.

Maybe I can find a cool cheezy motel to stay in along the way.  The kids seem game.

Hmmm…..

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The (rest of the) Canadian Grand Prix Report

It's not raining yet...

Well, that was… interesting.  But before I can tell you about the race, I should tell you about Qualifying.

It was supposed to rain on Saturday.  So I made sure I had the rain ponchos and a towel in my backpack.  I also packed a spare sweatshirt because it was also supposed to be chilly.

When I arrived at the track it was actually sunny, and not that cold.  I settled in to watch the final practice session before qualifying.  I love this qualifying system.  It has been like this for a few years now, and it is tons of fun to watch.  First all 24 cars go out for 20 minutes.  At the end of the session, the 8 slowest cars are eliminated, and they take up the last eight spots on the grid.  Then we have a short break so we can all catch our breath and then the remaining cars go out again, for 15 minutes this time.  The six slowest cars are eliminated this time, leaving ten cars to go for pole in the last session.  It is very exciting.  I love it.

After practice the clouds started to roll in.  By the time qually started I was wearing a long sleeved shirt under my lucky Alonso t-shirt, a black hoodie, and another hoodie over all that.  I was actually warm enough, though my seatmate found my many layers amusing.  I also bought a t-shirt, and I will show you a picture of that later.

It didn’t rain and qualifying went well, and I am always surprised how much faster it all goes in person.  It’s like you blink and it’s over.  Vettel was on pole again, which is getting pretty boring, but Alonso was second so I was happy about that.  And they even showed the press conference on the Jumbo-trons.  I like that because they show the bit at the end that they never show on television where each of the top three drivers says a few words in his own language.  I can’t help it, I like to listen to Alonso speak Spanish.  Ooooh….

But I digress.  Saturday night I wandered around Boulevard. St. Laurent a little bit.  And I had dinner at a Mexican restaurant on Rue St. Arthur; this was the neighborhood we lived in last summer when we spent a month in Montreal, so I did a fair amount of tripping down memory lane.  It was fun.

Sunday morning it was grey and cold.  I put on three of my four layers of clothing and went back to the track.  It was rainy and cold and gross, and really the kind of racing conditions I hate.

I timed my arrival in the grandstands to be just before the driver’s parade.  I yelled hello to Alonso and waved, but he didn’t see me.  Oh well.

It started raining before the race and they decided to start behind the safety car.  I have never seen a safety car start before, at least not live and in person, so that was interesting, but it is not as exciting as the usual standing start.

Safety Car start - I've never seen this before

Conditions were pretty awful.  It did start to clear up a few laps after the safety car went in, and Alonso came in to change from the full wet tires to the inters, only to have the sky open up a lap later.  I spent the next few minutes holding my breath, hoping he would make it back around to the pits to get the appropriate tires.  He did.  Whew!  But then they red-flagged the race.  This is the equivalent of a rain delay.  It was cold, it was rainy, and I was not having a good time.

fellow race fans huddled braving the elements

At one point as I was sitting there huddled under my rain poncho my seatmate looked over and said “I think the red dye in your hat is running, I just saw a red drop run down your face”.  Oh great.  So I took the Ferrari hat off.  There were some red patches in my hair, but they didn’t last long in the rain, and on the plus side I finally feel like that hat is clean after the bus-sick incident of 2008.

So after an hour of sitting in the rain getting more and more soggy and shivering harder and harder, I made a very difficult decision.  I decided to bail.  I never thought I would do a think like that, but at that point, I was soaked to the skin and freezing.  And my seatmate said it would probably be at least another hour before they could start the race, even if it stopped raining right that minute, which it was not going to do.

I gave up.  I felt awful about it, but I was so cold, and I was not having fun.  And they stopped the race on lap 28, 7 laps before the halfway point.  I was kind of afraid I would sit there shivering for another hour just so they could all parade around the safety car for 7 laps so they could call the race official and stop it for good.

Of course that is not what happened, but I did manage to get back to my hotel, take a hot shower, change into dry clothes and crawl under the covers just in time to watch the restart on television.

Alonso had a crash, so he didn’t finish.  Hamilton had a crash so he didn’t finish (hah) and Jenson Button passed Sebastian Vettel on one of the final laps to win the race.  Pretty amazing considering he made six pit stops and at one point he was in 21st place.  Wow.

So, part of me regrets leaving early, but not a very big part of me. It was a great weekend in spite of the washout on Sunday, and who knows, maybe next year I will be going to the US Grand Prix in Austin, TX.  I hope so.

Forza Ferrari

 

 

The Canadian Grand Prix Report – Day One

I realize I have not been around much lately, and I also realize I owe some of my regular readers a full account of the family trip to Disney World, and I promise I will get to that.  Soon.  Really.

But now, I am in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix!  Woo hoo!  I love the Canadian Grand Prix. Well, really I love them all, but I love this one the best because I am here!  The man is not attending this year so I sold his ticket and came anyway.

I arrived yesterday, and I don’t know what it is with me, but every time I come to Montreal I seem to get the one cab driver in the city that does not know where my hotel is.  Every.  Stinking.  Time.  This time the guy actually asked me if I was sure about the hotel address.  I showed it to him in to confirmation on my iPhone.  Stupidhead.

And so, today I wandered over to the track just in time for the first practice.  The seats are at the end of the hairpin, and they are really good, see:

As usual the seats are up high (row P) well out of the way of any possible flying debris.

Also, the Grand Prix is very glamorous:

I think this is a lot of empties for one o’clock in the afternoon, don’t you:

Wow, that really is a lot of empties.  And I’m sure there are more where that came from.  The weather was beautiful.  It was the kind of day where a beer for lunch sounds pretty good, if you are the kind of person who can drink in the sun in the middle of the day.  I am not that kind of person though so I didn’t have one.

One of the people sitting near me has an air-horn.  I strongly believe if you fire an air-horn in a crowd the people sitting around you should be able to hit you with sticks.  Those things are seriously obnoxious.  I hope it runs out soon.

I did some window-shopping but I have not purchased anything yet.  I already have two Alonso/Ferrari t-shirts, that is probably enough.  Unless of course I see another one that really knocks my socks off.

And finally, what is the best way to end a fabulous day at the track?  A nice big bowl of poutine:

Jamaica

We have returned from Jamaica, and I gotta say, it’s a pretty amazing place to spend the weekend.  We did some sailing, we sat on the beach, we sat by the pool. We ate jerk chicken and curried goat.  Curried goat for crying out loud.  Okay, I have to admit, T ate most of the goat.  I had one taste and I was not a fan.

Anyway, here are some pictures.

Me and the sailboats

Tom and the boats

The pool

The beach

Me again

Jealous?

 

Wee Hoo!

It was 70 degrees today here at the Lake.  So what do you do when the mercury gets all the way up to 70?  You go tubing of course.

The Peskies went first.  They went from the boat to the tube and attempted to have as little of their bodies in contact with the water as possible.  Fortunately, once you got out on the lake and in the sun, it was not quite so cold.

After a couple of laps around the lake the C-Man decided he had had enough and he wanted to come in.  So we hauled in the tube and the C-Man and Tom traded places.  He and Princess O did a couple laps and then in was my turn.

I wore my sweatshirt under my life jacket.  It got wet but it was worth it.  Tom and I had a fabulous time.  Oh how I love the feel of the wind in my hair, the bugs in my teeth, and the friction burns on the backs of my legs.  Seriously, I love it. I am not even kidding.  We squealed like little girls and did three laps of the lake.  I told my dad (he was driving the boat) that I did NOT want to get dunked and that he should please take it easy..  Usually he tries very hard to shed the tube’s occupants.  However today he was very well behaved. The sweatshirt must have clued him in that I was serious about staying dry.

Once I had my fill of bugs and rug burns Princess O got back on for another round with Tom.  And this time they did not stay on the tube.  I was watching as we went around a curve, and the tube started bouncing.  Tom slid off and then Princess O went airborn, flew over Tom and landed in the water.  She was in the air for about an hour and a half.  It was horrible.  The tube flipped over and I was screaming “STOP!  STOP!  STOP!”  Dad slammed on the brakes and turned the boat around. Both Tom and the Princess were fine, but they scared me to death.

We called it a day shortly after that.  And now my arms are killing me.  I suspect I was hanging on tighter than I thought.

Finally

I am a terrible terrible slacker.  My sister has posted about our brother’s wedding, and my brother even posted while he was on his honeymoon for crying out loud.

Since my sister posted all the nice pictures, here are some silly, random photos from San Francisco and the wedding.

***

I did not realize that my nephew, the Rookie was doing the “L for loser” sign over Princess O’s head.

The children in their natural habitat, a cell at Alcatraz:

Preparing for a wedding is thirsty work.

The children have photo fatigue

I love this one.  It really was a beautiful wedding.  I am so happy for them.

It’s tradition. We have pictures of the three of us in the pose from his graduation, his prom (I think) and both of our weddings.

The Peskies at the Golden Gate Bridge.  Note the fog.