Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Florida Trip - "Go Faster Daddy!"

When Brock told me that he booked Daytona for the 2009 One Lap, I instantly knew I was gonna wanna go there! It's been 5 years since I had attended any One Lap event and I had been itchin' to get back out to South Bend to see some friends I hadn't seen in quite some time. But a 9 hour car ride by myself with a 4 year old (or an 1 year old, 2 year old or 3 year old) wasn't what I thought would be an "awesome" road trip! Love my kid, but 9 hours in a car all alone with her was probably just the ticket to throw me over the edge of insanity!

So, I contacted my Mom who lives 1 1/2 hours from the track and planned a week long trip with Leda - two-fold, Leda got to spend a week with her Grandma and Granddaddy and we all got to spend a day at Daytona hanging out with the One Lap. Oh, yeah, and maybe there might be a ride around the track thrown in there somewhere!

That was the plan, and it executed perfectly. Leda and I flew down to Florida on Saturday, the start of the One Lap and we had a wonderful couple of days hanging out with the 'rents (or the g-rents!) and going to the beach, and shopping, and playing in the hot tub! I had to work most of the week, one of the 'perks' of working remotely, I can work anywhere there is wifi. So, to save some vacation time, and having lots to do for work, I worked. But Leda got to spend time with her grandparents and that was most important.

On Wednesday morning, we got up, packed up the van and headed to Daytona. We got there just as the first session was winding down, so Brock could spend a little time with us. He mostly scooted off on the motorized bar stool with my child!

Brock and Leda

Believe me, the look in the picture is because she doesn't want her picture taken. She LOVED riding around on that thing with him!

Between sessions, Brock was going to do some hot laps with the MotorTrend guys - they covered the One Lap this year. Anyway, he told Larry to hop in back of the BMW and off they went! Larry got a hot lap of the full 24 hour course - top speed was 152. Larry was totally psyched! He loved it! He got a great picture from the backseat:

Daytona - hot lap

The MotorTrend guys took a great video of it as well!

After all that, Brock loaded us all into the BMW - Larry in the front, Me, Leda and Mom in the backseat (after we loaded Leda's car seat into the car!). And we lined up all the cars participating and took several parade laps around the NASCAR track. It wasn't near as fast as Larry's trip around the track, but we hit 100 a few times. The track was amazing. You don't realize how steep the banking in the turns is until you are on it! The slower we went, the more I had the sensation that we were going to roll down the hill, side to side! It was enough for me to join in Leda's chants of "Go faster Daddy, Go faster Daddy" just so that sensation went away!

We loved it! It was the most fun I've had at a track in quite some time!

We walked around and visited with several of the One Lap competitors, friends we hadn't seen in some time, some who hadn't yet met Leda! And we got to see Granddad and Fay and Uncle Wayne! They had fun on One Lap once again - my father's 20th! What glutton's for punishment! ;-)

We headed home after a while, Leda was complaining and wanted to go play in the hot tub some more! We had a great (HOT) day at Daytona. Hopefully we can do that again - or even better, Brock can some how convince Indianapolis to rent One Lap the track next year! ;-)

We had a great couple more days with Granddaddy and Grandma...Leda spent some more time in the hot tub, the Grandparents took her to the zoo and they had lots of fun feeding birds and the giraffes. And then we took Grandma and Granddaddy out to dinner for Mother's day on Friday before we left. I finally got them to take me to Whitey's Fish Camp. Awesome dinner!

On the Carosel

Before we headed home on Saturday, we stopped by Uncle Tony and Aunt Diane's house and visited with them and Lisa and Randy and Brad and Kate joined us for lunch. Randy and Kate then took Leda and I on a Gator Ride around the farm. It was lots of fun! I think Leda and I are trying to come up with ways to talk Daddy into buying a big ole farm so we can get a Gator and ride around on it! ;-) We were so lucky to get to see some family, even if for a few hours, before we headed home!

Home we came on Saturday night and on Sunday night, Daddy came home and we had a great dinner of Thai takeout. It was good to be home and all together after a busy week!

More pictures from Daytona and our fun in Florida here. Courtesy of Granddaddy (Larry) Sweat and Grandma (Maureen) Sweat!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Festival Weekend

May really snuck up on us and slapped us upside the back of our heads! One Lap and a trip to FL in the same week really messed us up. We weren't prepared for the Dogwood Festival to be here last week!

The past two years we have gone with the Flogaus's but this year, the Flogaus's and the Yates's had different plans...the kids got to stay home and the parents went out to dinner and a show. No festival, but man, was it good.

A few weeks or so ago, on a family outing (meaning we had the kids with us), we got to discussing Spinal Tap, which lead to a discussion of Mighty Wind and then a light bulb went off, hey, weren't those guys touring and weren't they going to be playing at the Keswick (Brock's and my favorite venue!)? And would we all love to go? So tickets were purchased and reservations for dinner were made and a babysitter was procured and off we went to see Shearer, Guest and McKean play in their Unwigged and Unplugged tour and man, it was good!

Side note...we got to Glenside and parked and were walking over to dinner at Brock's and my favorite restaurant Plush when lo and behold, who but Michael McKean goes walking by us. Pretty cool!

Concert was great. These guys, even though they are funny as all get out, really play great music together. So the night was just awesome. And we got the added surprise of two songs sung by Annette O'Toole, Michael McKean's wife. Bonus!

So, no festival for us during the week, but Brock and Leda and I did head down on Saturday afternoon to watch the parade (because, I LOVE a parade). Leda was getting a bit mad about having to wait for a parade when she could have been riding the Ferris wheel, until I reminded her that they throw candy from the floats and such and then she was all, "so when is the throwing of the candy going to start??" We didn't make it all the way through the parade, we ended up going to ride the Ferris Wheel (clarification, I WATCHED while Leda and Brock rode the Ferris Wheel!).

Leda

We headed back later after dinner to let Leda ride a few rides and spend obscene amounts of money to win two 50 cent stuffed animals. And then, there was the fish game.

Oh, how I would like to wring the neck of the person who put the idea into my child's head that festivals were places where you got fish! For some reason, ever since I had mentioned to the kid that we were going to go to the Festival on Saturday she's been talking about winning a fish. I had spent that time ignoring these statements, hoping against hope the kid would forget. But she's descendant from elephants, she NEVER forgets.

So, the entire night I was steering her away from the fish games and on to other games, games that won us 50 cent stuffed animals that I didn't have to clean up after or feed! Until at last, we were getting ready to go and the only way out was to go past the fish game.

I figured, what are the odds Leda or I would actually get one of those ping pong balls into one of those little bowls of water? Not good, in fact, $2 and 10 balls later, whew! No winner! Awesome. And then..AND THEN...the kind lady (read: I want to wring her freakin' neck) handed Leda a small fish..."He's a little one and it's the last night of the festival, no harm, no foul." EXCEPT YOU HANDED THE KID THE FISH!!! Now, what crazy mother is going to tell the kid no and then drag her through the whole darn fair kicking and screaming????? So, we took the darn fish.

Puddles the Fish

So, Puddle the Fish joined our family. Leda wanted to sleep with him by her bed! The kid is enamored with the fish. And so I dug out the small aquarium I had from a few years ago and cleaned it up on Sunday and Leda and I went out and purchased a buddy for Puddle, Toot. And now, Leda wants to feed Toot and Puddle ALL DAY LONG!

I swore after I saw Finding Nemo I would never again have a fish aquarium. I swear the fish are yelling "GET ME OUT OF HERE!" at me. Then again, when we purchased Toot, he was in an aquarium all by himself with really big fish. I asked the pet store lady, "is that a gold fish," and she replyed, "yes, he's the other fishes's meal." So Toot could be a bit more grateful, we did save him from certain death!

So that was our week and weekend. It was awesome!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Catch Up!

Okay, trying to catch up with some stuff, then hopefully I can get back to normalcy around here!

So, I've posted some new pictures to flickr!

Leda and I went on her school trip to a local farm - the Milky Way Farm. We had a blast. It was really interesting. I think the parents got more out of it than the kids did, but it was fun and ended with some fresh made ice cream from the farm creamery while taking a hay ride! Lots of fun!

For Leda's birthday, we took an afternoon off a few days prior to the big day and took her to Adventure Aquarium (formerly the Camden Aquarium). Another fun day! We saw lots of fish, some sharks, got to pet sharks and rays and starfish, saw penguins and seals and HIPPOS! It was a lot of fun and Leda really enjoyed it. Especially the mango water ice at the end!

So, now that I am caught up on April photos, I'll catch up later with a post about our trip to Florida and our lap(s) around Daytona International Speedway with Daddy! Awesome!! Stay tuned!

Click the links to go see the pictures!

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