No Direction Home

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!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

California Dreaming

April 17, 2015

California Dreaming

 photo 11148651_10152871385371872_5659196808073369867_n_zpspxs4gd5j.jpg Michael & Lee

 photo 035_zps0yipgh1o.jpg

 photo 059 2_zpsdk3wfwei.jpg

 photo 086_zpsz9fy5hcj.jpg 

 photo 070_zpsyqoeloyu.jpg War On Drugs

For the third year in a row, I headed out to California in April to catch the annual Coachellla Music & Arts Festival in Indio. This year for the first time since I have been going, Kathy opted not to join me, having a busier work schedule and huge music festivals not being her thing. This year once again, I joined my boss George, his friend Jalak and my co-worker and friend Lee in Palm Springs at a house we rented near the Polo Grounds where the festival is held.

 photo 054_zpspsnprwjj.jpg Raekwon 

 photo 027_zpscjgvbjlb.jpg

 photo 051_zpsx103diro.jpg

 photo 007_zpszg0rpj5o.jpg Action Bronson

The last two years, Kathy and I had flown in to Vegas and driven over across the desert, this year I decided to fly in a day early and to fly in to San Diego instead of Vegas. It has been many, many years since I was last in San Diego and there is a lot going on there, plus it is closer to Palm Springs than Vegas.

 photo 028_zps82jipmdl.jpg

 photo 005_zpslop0bz0t.jpg

 photo 008_zps2ozfv7c8.jpg

 photo 023_zpsix2agy4f.jpg

I arrived in San Diego just in time to catch the beautiful sunset into the Pacific at the U.S.S. Midway an old aircraft carrier that is docked in San Diego harbor. The carrier is now a military museum and there is a beautiful waterfront park that honors the US Navy and military service in general. There is even a huge statue depicting the famous end of the war kiss by Key West’s own Seward Johnson. 

 photo 021_zpsqziewd3s.jpg 

 photo 011_zpsfwhalsum.jpg

Upon checking in to my hotel, I looked out the window of my room at a beautiful view of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres and to my good fortune a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks was just getting underway, so I walked down the block from my hotel, bought a ticket and checked out the ballgame. In honor of Jackie Robinson, all the players on both teams wore the number 42, which though somewhat confusing was still pretty cool. The Padres took a close, exciting game 3-2 on an 8th inning tie-breaking solo home run. It was a nice way to start off my stay in California.

 photo 055_zpspl0lbbqb.jpg

 photo 052_zpsz9cszzkt.jpg

 photo 059_zpsdwbotckc.jpg

 photo 076_zpso0w6oa21.jpg 

 photo 061_zps8zwxxura.jpg

The next day, I drove down the coast and over to Palm Springs to pick my friend Lee up at the airport and check in to the house. George and Jalak arrived on a later flight and we were ready for the first day at Coachella. It was Lee’s first time at the festival so we went over fairly early as she really wanted to see Action Bronson who had a fairly early set time.

 photo 094_zpsag8mr8px.jpg 

 photo 017_zpshrofatjg.jpg

 photo 012_zpsbm4zaqdr.jpg George Ezra

As usual we had the VIP passes, which get you your own special area with private bars, food vendors and restrooms and we spent some time there planning out our day. There were eight stages with almost continuous live music making it difficult to decide at times who to watch perform.

 photo 075_zps09qbebmd.jpg Lee

George Ezra “Budapest”

 photo 081_zpsxzeyuqhc.jpg

Among the early bands that we checked out were Azealia Banks, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, George Ezra, War on Drugs, Interpol, Alabama Shakes and Lykee Li. They were all pretty decent but to my mind two really stood out, George Ezra and War On Drugs. Neither were all that familiar to me, but both won me over with amazing performances that had me hooked and wanting to see much more from both.

 photo 029_zpsszfjuvll.jpg

 photo 034_zpszduoveaj.jpg Azelia Banks

 photo 064_zps3yub5pbx.jpg War On Drugs

 photo 084_zpsyu2bbhci.jpg Alabama Shakes

 photo 092_zpshna6bxe8.jpg Lykee Li

Monday, May 04, 2015

Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana

April 14, 2015


 photo 127_zps89pkjd04.jpg

 photo 312_zpszrn5eltg.jpg Hinch

 photo 250_zps8yrwmw9p.jpg Helio


Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana 

 photo 174_zpsjyd7366x.jpg

For most of the morning of the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of New Orleans it seemed as if there was no way there was going to be a race because of the torrential rainstorms that moved through the New Orleans area. It was crazy wet and as we drove out to the track, I really thought that there was no way they were going to get any running in at all. It wasn’t just rain, it was a continuous downpour, but somehow the skies sort of cleared the rain stopped and the track maintenance crew got busy trying to dry the track.

 photo 048_zps612noark.jpg

 photo 021_zpsvhf2utfq.jpg 

 photo 006_zpsijnhha1l.jpg Kathy

 photo 002_zpshekybfxf.jpg Conor Daly

 photo 073_zpsjguiayqq.jpg

Thankfully with the rain tires, the track did not need to be completely dry like it would on an oval and once the track was deemed drivable- even though there were a couple of rivers of water flowing across the track. The race got underway, slowly as Juan Montoya jumped out to the lead and the roostertails made visibility almost impossible for the drivers behind. 

 photo 016_zpsxfpd7z51.jpg Michael & Fuzzy Zoeller 

 photo 070_zpsihx6xbbg.jpg

 photo 246_zpsk60acbga.jpg James Jakes

 photo 212_zpswluztuay.jpg

 photo 223_zpswc87sx6q.jpg

It was sort of ironic that while the track was the wettest, the drivers seemed to keep things under control but once a dry line appeared and drivers started switching to the slick tires that all went away pretty quick and the cars were suddenly sliding all over the place, While veterans like Tony Kanaan even had trouble, young drivers seemed to spin out just about every other lap, leading to extended caution periods and it became clear that rather than the scheduled 75 laps, the race would run to the two hour time limit.

 photo 241_zpsuh3l8avd.jpg

 photo 289_zpsehvtkj3p.jpg Kirsten

 photo 280_zps9goxyyfg.jpg 

 photo 150_zpst1oojmgl.jpg

This played right in to the hands of James Hinchcliffe, who pitted on lap 13 and then skipped pitting on lap 33 when the majority of the field came in handing the track position and lead to Hinchcliffe. It most circumstances there was no way that he would be able to hold the lead without running out of fuel. But this was not a normal experience at all and thanks to a plethora of cautions, Hinch was able to hold on for the victory.

 photo 179_zpsrpsu5pjg.jpg

 photo 013_zpsdb1y9sas.jpg 

 photo 035_zpsupgikwdx.jpg Roger Penske

 photo 030_zpsxmbvfy6u.jpg Helio Castroneves

The race concluded after only 47 laps, 25 of which were run under caution, concluding with a race-ending spectacular three car crash involving Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastian Bourdais. Thankfully nobody was injured, but the wreck had the race finishing fittingly under yellow. Hinch beat Helio Castroneves and James Jakes for his first win of the year. 

 photo 233_zpsmrkn2ece.jpg

 photo 182_zpsrbym45oq.jpg

Kathy and I joined in the celebration in Victory Lane as Hinch , his crew from Sam Schmidt motorsports, his friends, family and girlfriend Kirsten all gathered to take part in the exciting victory. Hinch’s victory speech was like something from a comedy show as the good-natured Canadian realized the good fortune he got, but sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. 

 photo 322_zpsddifiljz.jpg Hinch & Kirsten 

 photo 332_zpswgetofn9.jpg

 photo 304_zpsodsghfz1.jpg

I hope that Indy Car will return to New Orleans, the race has tremendous potential and it is an awesome city to host the event. If it had not rained so much it would have been a much better show and perhaps a spectacular race. Even so Kathy and I had a great time and it was great to see Hinch get the victory.

 photo 287_zpsc4oa1h4z.jpg

 photo 343_zpsurp2cup9.jpg