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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 2- Indy Qualifying

May 13, 2009

Photobucket John Andretti

Photobucket Marco Andretti & Danica Patrick

Day 2 Qualifying


The second day of qualifying for the Indy 500 is a lot more low key than Pole Day, there are less people, no big George Clinton concerts, it is less frantic and this year the weather was much improved, sunny and almost warm temperatures with much less wind. For the teams that have yet to qualify for the race, the day is just as important to make it into the top 22 and to have the next week to get ready for the race itself rather than to worry about qualifying.

Photobucket Helio Castroneves


Photobucket Indy 500 Club Suite

I actually enjoy day 2 because there is still enough interesting drama and yet there are not the sometimes pushy crowds that you find the first day. In fact, you can actually navigate the pits and garage area with relative ease and the crowd in the Indy 500 club suite which I had passes for was thin as well- leaving an abundance of catered fried chicken and such for the munching.

Photobucket Milka Duno

Photobucket Paul Tracy

Photobucket Jeff, Andy & Dan

I spent the day dividing my time between the suite, the pits and the garage area, moseying around visiting with friends and watching the cars as they attempted qualifications and practiced. The teams that are already in the race, took advantage of the ideal conditions to work on race set-ups and practicing working in traffic.

Photobucket Castroneves

Photobucket Graham Rahal

Photobucket Kevin & Alex Lloyd

I got a chance to meet the rising young Nashville based country music singer, Megan Linville who sang the National Anthem to start the day. Ironically, she was scheduled to have appeared at the Key West Songwriters’ Festival this year but had to cancel to sing the anthem at the Kentucky Derby. Both she and her manager seemed eager to come down next year.

Photobucket Megan Linville


Photobucket Justin Wilson

Qualifying went well; with the second 11 spots filling up with a bit of drama. Rafael Matos led the way, with drivers such as Sarah Fisher, Justin Wilson, Paul Tracy and others scrambling into the field. Scott Sharp made a last minute bonsai run as the last qualifier of the day. Some drivers were not so lucky, including John Andretti who not only saw his qualifying speed bumped out, but then suffered a wicked crash to end his weekend. Graham Rahal made a spectacular move to avoid the wreck which may well have prevented disaster.

Photobucket Dario Franchitti & Scott Dixon


Photobucket Danica

Photobucket Paul Tracy

Photobucket AJ Foyt IV

John Andretti wreck- Great Rahal save!

Megan Linville Website

Dragon Boat Racing

May 11, 2009

Photobucket Kathy at Dragon Boat Festival

Photobucket Betsy, Kathleen, Sharelle, Tiffany, Jodie, Hillary, Deb, Alison, Tami & Walt

Dragon Boat Racing

Photobucket Donald & Sharelle

While I was up in Indianapolis attending Indy 500 qualifying, Kathy was back in the Keys doing a totally different type of racing altogether as she joined a team to participate in the “Battle in the Bay” Dragon Boat festival held in Marathon. She also managed to find time to head out to an end of the school year get-together for the board and staff of the Key West Preschool Co-op where she teaches.



The inaugural Battle in the Bay Dragon Boat Festival brought together Dragon Boat teams from as far away as Miami to compete. There were over 300 participants representing 16 teams. Dragon Boats, for those unfamiliar, are long narrow canoe style boats that are powered by 18 paddlers with an additional helmsman at the rear and a drummer in the front who helps keep time for the paddlers.



Kathy was a member of the Squally HeronCane team that was one of three teams that raised money for the Heron Peacock Supported Living Center. Many charities benefited from the event including Heron Peacock (which received over $6,000 in donations), Reef Relief, Home School High School and the Florida Keys Children’s shelter.

Photobucket The final results


The races were held off of Sombrero Beach in Marathon in a day-long series of races in different divisions. Kathy’s team did an amazing job considering they mostly had never met and had limited (if any) practice time. They managed to win every heat race and make it to the final of their group B class, losing in the final race to The Conch Republic Navy team by a mere 7/1000th of a second. It was a great day and Kathy had a wonderful time, she is already talking about next year.


Photobucket Deb & Rob

Photobucket Jasmine & Tiffany

Kathy also went out with the crew from the KW Preschool on a fantastic sunset sail aboard Danger Charters and then headed out on the town for a late night of dancing and partying. It was a celebration for one of the staff, Miss Sharelle, who will be leaving at the end of the school year. It also provided the staff and board members to kick back and celebrate the conclusion of another successful year at the school, which technically doesn’t end till next month- but it’s never too early to celebrate.

Photobucket Hilary, Kathleen & Betsy

Photobucket Rob, Walt, Tiffany & Scott

Photobucket Kathleen & Charles

Battle in the Bay Website

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We want the funk...

May 10, 2009

Photobucket George Clinton

Photobucket Helio nabs Pole!

We want the funk…


The first day of qualifying for the Indy 500 is always an amazing display of speed, strategy, determination and luck as the teams attempt to secure one of the top 11 starting spots for the race. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is currently celebrating 100 years of operations, always adds other entertainment to the mix to both draw fans and keep them entertained over the weekend.




This year they scheduled one of the most unlikely musical selections that I can recall in having George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic to play during the afternoon. While many race fans didn’t know quite what to make of the crazy and spectacular show, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to see the Funk pioneers up close and personal.




The credentials that I had allowed me backstage access and the chance to meet George and the wild and funky members of his band and huge entourage. It was quite an experience as was the three hour show they performed. For all the wild stage antics, they were actually as nice and professional a group of people as you could ask for. The show itself was amazing as they went through an amazing number of costume changes and crazy antics and played the brand of Funk music which they helped create.

P-Funk at IMS


Of course the concert was only the back-drop to the main event, which was qualifying for the race. The weather, rather chilly with 30 mph wind much of the day created havoc for the race teams as they attempted to be one of the top 11 quickest cars that were locked into their starting positions. The top teams for the most part dominated as expected. Penske racing drivers Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe nabbed the first two starting positions, with Target Chip Ganassi racing’s Dario Franchitti rounding out the front row.


Photobucket Richard Petty

Photobucket Dario Franchitti

It was a busy and exciting day with 27 attempts made to secure the top spots, there were also a number of crashes including the second crash in as many days by rookie Robert Doornbos. The excitement went down to the last minute as cars crowded the line as the day neared the track closing at 6 PM as teams tried to either improve their times or simply to get into the top 11.

Photobucket Derek Daly & Bobby Rahal

Photobucket Roger Penske

Photobucket Matt

Unfortunately Brugge sponsored Conquest racing driver Alex Tagliani was unable to get enough speed to qualify on pole day. He wasn’t alone as many of the teams could not master the cold and windy conditions. Having pit and garage passes make it much easier to get decent photos, hopefully you will enjoy the ones I took over the weekend.

Photobucket Sarah Fisher

Photobucket Ted, Matt, Savannah, Hunter & Haley

Photobucket Will & Michele