Thursday, July 3, 2008

Live from Daytona - Day 1

- Updated at 10:37 p.m. -

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Stepped off the airplane in sunny Jacksonville, Fla., where my dad lives, grabbed the bags and headed straight to Daytona. We drove south on I-95, took exit 261A onto International Speedway Boulevard (U.S. Route 92) and made the satisfying drive past the towering grand stands and triangular Daytona sign. The Cup cars are turning laps now and we can hear them from the motel room balcony. Now that we're here at Daytona Beach, I'm gonna float around in the motel pool a little and relax. My dad, Hobie, just pulled out a homemade T-shirt with Joe Nemechek's redneck mug on the front. Under the bottom of the shirt it says "Front Row Joe - Polk County, Fla." and pays homage to my parents' old store in Lakeland, Steve's Auto Parts.

After getting settled in our motel room, we unfurled an American flag over the porch railing and the T-shirt Joe's ugly mug, and prepared to hit the Ocean Deck restaurant for dinner. Anyone going to Daytona has to grab a bite at the Ocean Deck, which is situated along Route A1A right off the beach. They have some killer seafood (obviously) and an even better atmosphere. People stroll up from the beach in their bathing suits while you’re sitting there eating. Meanwhile, a decent Jimmy Buffett cover band is usually rocking tunes in the corner. This is the best pre-game for race weekend. What made it even better is that some dude named Rob from Bridgeville was chillin' with a Pens No. 18 Hossa jersey on the beach deck. We talked a bit and hung out. How cool is it to see a guy from Pittsburgh while hanging out in Florida? What are the chances?

Alright, we're heading home and gonna grab our bathing suits and get a quick evening dip in the pool before cashing it in for the night. We’ve got a HUGE day tomorrow. We still have to pull the $24.99 Wal-Mart grill out of the box, erect a mini-tent over a small slab of cement in the parking lot and start cooking bacon and eggs. And that's all by 9 a.m.! See y’all tomorrow.

4 comments:

Monique Ringling said...

Have a great time Jimmy. Keep on bloggin'!

Amanda Gillooly said...

In contrast, I will be covering the Canonsburg Parade...Doesn't seem as fun as basking in the pool with brew in hand...

Marc Felman said...

Well, you didn't take the rain with you. It's almost as depressing as an Air Supply cover band here.

Chug an extra one for me.

Scott Beveridge said...

Digging the flag over the motel railing. That's class.