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Posts from the ‘USA ’13’ Category

USA D19: NASCAR last hurrah and the long journey home

Noooo! The last day had arrived. As well as a general reluctance to end our travel adventures, there was final packing to deal with (cue anxious moments with bag scales) not to mention the wretched journey home.

Our packing joy was interrupted by the sunrise which begged to be enjoyed from down on the beach.

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USA D18: Spacing out on the way to Daytona

Sorry for that extended pause! Work pressures are now tapering off so I can finally finish off the trip…

Our second-to-last day began with an early departure from Miami Beach. Though there were aspects of staying here that I liked – the art deco, the beach, our hotel – it’s not a place I’m tempted to return to.
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USA D17: The Everglades and a NASCAR ride

Well whaddayaknow, work has taken over but in a way I guess that means it’s stretching out the trip for me. This post goes back in time to Saturday 26th October. Only a fortnight but it seems longer!

‘Twas another early start from Miami Beach, assisted by another short breakfast stop at Starbucks. Weariness, combined with my back tweak from the previous weekend which was still giving me a bit of gyp, plus a sunburned lip manifesting gloriously like a cold sore, meant that I wasn’t feeling in peak form. Still that couldn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the big day ahead.
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USA D16: Exploring the Florida Keys

In real time we’ve been home a couple of days and I for one have been knocked around quite a bit by those 24 hours it took to get back here. Now that I’m starting to leave my zombie state I need to finish off the trip blogs before work takes over again. So enough blah-ing and back to last Friday…

A day trip was planned down to the Florida Keys. I had wanted to see what Key West was like right at the end, but it’s too far to tackle in one (enjoyable) day. The original idea was to fly from New Orleans to Key West but due to some festival thing sucking up flights and accommodation that didn’t happen.
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USA D15: New Orleans to Miami Beach

After one final walk in the French Quarter to find breakfast, it was time for that tedious and slightly anxious activity: repacking. For the last few days we had been a bit more lax with this as we could just pile things into the car – today we were jumping back on a plane.

With bag seams only at mild risk of splitting we checked out and caught a cab to the airport, noting the sign informing that the killing of taxicab drivers may be first degree murder in the State of Louisiana, punishable by death. Thankfully the journey passed without event.
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USA D14: A cemetery, a river, a streetcar, some fancy houses and one last night in NOLA

It was another hot sunny day with a decent breeze to mitigate the chances of becoming big hot sweaty messes. Still, I was loathe to walk out without a long-sleeve layer handy, as a) I’m a wuss, and b) often the airconditioning can be icy when you venture back indoors.

We stepped out into drying streets – they seem to get water-blasted each morning around where we stayed, which I found quite reassuring – and trotted off to Canal Street. From near here we caught the St Charles streetcar out to the Garden District.
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USA D13: New Orleans by day and night

Horrifyingly it’s now Saturday and I’m way behind. Since New Orleans and now Miami, the long days doing stuff plus my apparent inability to summarise without copious photos and waffling have made it impossible to keep this more current.

But back to Tuesday… after an average sleep in our fairly pokey (but at least quiet) room we needed to be out the door fairly early to return the car. This was over on Canal Street so we figured that once we had caffeine on board we may as well continue investigating this crazy place we arrived into the night before.
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USA D12: Off to see NOLA

On Monday we had a big driving day as we said bye to Alabama and hello to Louisiana (with a quick wave to Mississippi on the way).
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USA D10: An iron city and a Crimson Tide

Day 10 means we’re half way through the trip!

It was a day of two halves. (Well, duh!) The first activity didn’t open until 10am which meant we could dawdle a bit. A few minutes drive from the hotel was Vulcan Park, prominent for the world’s largest cast iron statue plopped on top.
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USA D11: Race day!

So now I’m a day behind – gah! The turnaround between Sat night and Sun morning was a bit too tight so I’ll get back to our fantastic day 10 when I can. I thought I’d momentarily skip it to report on yesterday.

We made it down to the hotel breakfast buffet for its 6am opening and had pulled out of the carpark by 6.30am, TomTom dialled in for Talladega. The roads were excellent and all three lanes of traffic were very fast-flowing so we made it to the track without any faffing.

When we bought our tickets we also booked a package called the Talladega Experience. This included hospitality, driver Q&A session, pit lane walk and being on the track for driver intros. We scoped out the hospo tents and had to have a second breakfast, just cos we could. Who doesn’t like access to free food and drink?!
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