Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Dallas Cowboys Game

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

People often ask how I became a Cowboys fan, growing up in the D.C. area and going to college in Philly. The short of it is I grew up in a Cowboys household. How? It’s a somewhat entangled story involving my dad switching allegiances when he was younger because of a traumatic trade between the Eagles and Redskins. The result is everyone in my family immediately are Cowboys’ fans… for better or worse. One member of my extended family, my cousin Chris, also became a Cowboys fan for the same reason despite spending his entire life just outside Philly.

I’ve been to several Cowboys games in my life, including two in Dallas (ending up in the ER before one of them) and the career-ending game for Michael Irvin in Philly. I had not been to the new stadium and my cousin had never been to Dallas, so I decided several years ago I wanted to give him a trip to a game for his 40th birthday. We lived three states away growing up, but I always slept on his floor whenever we visited grandparents. We played video games, made crass jokes, and often laughed until our stomachs hurt. I don’t know if I’ve ever told him that he’s the closest thing I had to a brother growing up. So, yeah… we met in the middle for 48 hours of Cowboys fever.

I’d like to say I have a ton of really cool photos, but I don’t. I didn’t take my camera and we didn’t do much else than hang out in sports bars while we weren’t at the game, so there’s not much to see. Heck, neither of us even remembered to take a picture during the game! We didn’t know when we booked that this would be a season to forget, but at least it was a good game. I’m glad we went – we got to see the stadium, hang out with a bunch of Cowboys fans, and catch up on life.

One Helluva Weekend

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

This past weekend, we traveled to the east coast for the first time since we moved. The nature of such a visit meant we crammed a whole lotta activities into a short amount of time. We knew it was gonna be a busy weekend going in, but I don’t think we were really ready for all the stuff we ticked off our list. Here’s a (not so) brief look at what we did.

  • Friday AM flight through Chicago to Richmond
  • Pick up rental car and drive 100 miles to Orange, Virginia
  • Check into our hotel around midnight and rush to sleep
  • Wake up at 8:30 (very early when you’re on Pacific Time), eat breakfast and check out
  • Drive 15 minutes to Skydive Orange, so I can use a gift certificate from my mom
  • JUMP OUT OF A PLANE AT 14K FEET (and cross something off my Life List)
  • Drive 100 miles back to Richmond and check into the second hotel
  • Grab some lunch and a beer… and leave my credit card in the bill where it mysteriously disappears
  • Head back to the hotel to get dressed up for a wedding
  • Attend Mike and Heather’s wedding at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum
  • Drink mojitos, Mexican beers and shots of tequila at the reception
  • Wake up a smidge before 8, check out and drive 4.5 hours to New Jersey
  • Attend my niece’s sixth birthday party
  • Watch the Flyers beat the Penguins before going out to dinner with the fam
  • Sleep in our third bed in as many nights
  • Wake up after everyone left for the day and cook/eat the scrapple my sister was nice enough to buy (it’s not available in WA)
  • Drive to Philly to visit with one of my fraternity brothers, meet his newborn son Abe and see the rowhome they remodeled
  • Drop the rental off at the Philadelphia Airport
  • Fly home Monday PM through Denver
  • Climb into bed at 12:08 am Tuesday morning, after setting the alarm for work

Mike and Heather’s wedding was great, making perfect use (credit: Mike’s mom) of the sunny 75 degree weather. I think they’re perfect for one another (something I told Mike more than I probably should have before they got engaged) and was really happy to see them make it official. Much of their wedding was unconventional, or perhaps just atypical for weddings these days, but it fit them well. The reception seemed to be a continuation of the bachelor party we had for Mike in New Orleans last month, only with all our wives there. [I don’t care what you say Mike, that was not music you could dance to.] I’m not gonna lie, I’m jealous of their honeymoon in France and a host of other countries. Anyway, congrats you two! We can’t wait to lobby you to move to Seattle. <grin>

The skydiving? It was definitely a life experience. I’ll write a separate post once I get the video online.

So, yeah… it was a nutso weekend. I felt a bit like the undead at times and I’m still recovering, but I regret nothing.

F1 @ Spa-Francorchamps

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

This time last year, we attended a Formula 1 race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. It was a fantastic experience that I’m far enough removed from to question my level of detail. Instead, I’m going to post my journal entry for those days verbatim. Not only is this a great way to support laziness, it gives a direct link into my brain at the time. It’ll also let me put this journal I’ve had lying around for a year away. Sweet. You’ll have to forgive the pointed, somewhat unemotional nature; it’s just how I write journal entries. Facts baby, facts.

Saturday, Practice & Qualifying

Track is in middle of nowhere. 1 lane country roads to get there. Pass many farms & cows. Very hilly, thick/tall trees everywhere. Can hear cars from miles away.

€5 to park at farmhouse. Turned out to be pretty far away. Hitchhiked with 2 Brit guys.

Walked thru muddy field past many tents & campers.

Walked a lot of the track. HUGE hills, a couple dead ends for Bronze tickets. Must see steepness in person. (Eau Rouge!!) Terrain/views were amazing.

Weather was plain crazy. Pouring for 10 min then sunny & hot.

Cars were loud as shit. Forgot my earplugs.

Bought souveniers during Q2 when no one around. Go to see sights, not the race.

Headed back to Maastricht during GP2 race. 45 min. GPS not made for driving but did the job.

Sunday, Race Day!

Up at respectable hour to drive to track.

Breakfast at hotel, pretty good. Ate lots of smoked salmon.

Yellow parking was good idea. Line to get in but our section was full so we had overflow closer to entry. Fiat allowed us to park where others couldn’t, close to path. Walk down hill in woods to get to main entrance.

Race was fun because we were there and could see it. Scoped a spot so we could on TV and take pics thru hole in fence. Crap results, kinda knew it would happen. Weather was all over the place. Started to rain for real after the race.

4 pack of 50 cl bull beer

Walked on Eau Rouge and back straight after race. Took pics, was pretty cool to be on it.

Massive amounts of traffic getting out and on the highway for several miles. Eventually thinned out.

Looking back at this, I didn’t really talk that much about the cars or the racing. Having been to three F1 races now, I can honestly say that’s really not what the experience is about. I mean, it’s the reason you’re there… but it’s not the reason you’re there… if that makes sense. Anyway, if you have the chance to go that track, do it. No seriously, do it. The area will amaze you.