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!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis

May 12, 2015

 photo 113_zps4yrkhkju.jpg Mario & Howard

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 photo 132 2_zps8nao32ma.jpg Will Power

 photo 146_zps7odtal0o.jpg James Hinchcliffe

Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis

There are few things that could have torn me away from the Key West Songwriter’s Festival, but one of them was attending an Indy Car race in my hometown of Indianapolis. While not the Indy 500, the second annual Grand Prix of Indianapolis held on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is still worth a trip as far as I am concerned.

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Not only did it give me a chance to see yet another Indy Car race, my fourth of the current season, but it gave me a chance to hang out in Indianapolis and see the many friends and family that I have there. Not only that, but I was able to bring along my friend and co-worker Howard to attend his first Indy Car race. 

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 photo 083_zpswxpvqq5l.jpg Mario

 photo 005 - Copy_zpsicok2hon.jpg Simon Pagenead & Howard

 photo 007_zpsdd8thfzr.jpg Sage Karam 

 photo 10563095_10152958518202842_2751210507299946506_n_zpssy5w6o2c.jpg Townsend Bell & team

It was a very busy weekend as Howard and I flew up from Key West on Thursday night and early Friday morning, we were out at the track, taking in all the action of the Indy Car practice and qualifying. We had the opportunity to spend time in my friend Brent’s Tower Terrace Suite that overlooks the pit lane and served as a perfect viewing platform and home base during the weekend. 

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 photo 070_zpszaamtejh.jpg Josef Newgarden

 photo 073_zpsw2mwhip5.jpg Simona De Silvesto & Howard

 photo 011_zpsi7ybtcid.jpg Tony Kanaan

The suite also had free drinks and catered food from the famous Jug’s catering which brought back many memories of days spent at the track with their apple butter biscuits and fried chicken. It was really cool to have a nice cushy suite to hand out in, complete with closed circuit TV, live timing and scoring, comfy couches and seats along the main straight. 

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 photo 036_zpsdtesatln.jpg Courtney Force & Howard

Of course we also spent a lot of time roaming through the garage area and pit lane, taking in the cars and stars of the Indy Car series. Howard was thrilled to get to meet Mario Andretti and we also crossed paths with Drag Racing star Courtney Force. I was able to catch up with many of my friends who work in Indy Car and pretty much enjoyed the entire experience.

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Will Power captured the pole for the race in a somewhat lackluster qualifying round, but we still had a great time at the track. Of course during our down time I tried to show Howard a few of the places that I love in Indianapolis which included stops at Outliers Brewery, Flat 12 Brewery and Brugge Brasserie for dinner. It was a pretty fun visit in addition to the racing stuff.

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 photo 753_zps4uqx3jqn.jpg Michael & Colts Punter Pat Mcafee 

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It was the race that we were there for and we had a spectacular race day, starting with a ride around the track at blazing speed in one of the pace cars. It was strange going the opposite direction at the Speedway on the road course, but it was a fun and exciting ride. The car was driven by one of the Mazda Pro Series drivers and he did not back down, screeching through the turns and hitting speeds upwards of 150 mph on the straights.

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The race was good, though it was pretty much a total domination by Will Power who won going away from the pole position. There was a multi-car pile-up heading in to the first turn of lap one that took Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves out of contention and the race ran completely green after that initial yellow at the start.

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Graham Rahal charged up to finish second over Juan Pablo Montoya in third and Sebastian Bourdais in fourth. Charlie Kimball came home in fifth place. All in all it was a good day with a good race, perfect weather and a pretty fantastic weekend. Howard had a great time and hopefully can return in the future for the big race in Indy, the Indianapolis 500.

 photo 096_zpsaxsdu6yx.jpg Lindy & Michael

 photo 125_zpsiu9tglop.jpg Scott Dixon

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

20th Annual Key West Songwriter’s Festival

May 9, 2015

 photo 280_zpsfxl7dal1.jpg Robert Earl Keen 

 photo 209_zpssqqz8u3w.jpg Robin, Mark & Kathy

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 photo 11149517_10153130103696195_135290424636790919_n_zpsfcimxrwf.jpg Michael & Misty Loggins

20th Annual Key West Songwriter’s Festival

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Celebrating its twentieth year of bringing some of the most talented and exciting songwriters to the island of Key West, The Key West Songwriter’s Festival is one of the best events held in Key West and must certainly rank among the best songwriter events in the world. It is truly a wonderful and staggering event that brings almost every major writer from Nashville and beyond, as well as industry insiders, agents, talent scouts and fans to Key West.

 photo 116_zpsol919evs.jpg Nick

 photo 005_zpsutx3mkit.jpg Mayor Cates 

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 photo 064_zpstofz3zvu.jpg Rob

The festival has grown from somewhat humble beginnings in to a mega-event that brings over 150 songwriters and performers who perform over forty shows at just about every available venue in town over a five day stretch in early May.  Kudos to our friends Charlie, Nadene, Dani and Morgan who organize this amazing event and out-do themselves year after year.

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 photo 213_zpsfzelphvl.jpg Eileen & Graf

It is probably Kathy’s favorite event of the year and is certainly at or near the top of my list, which is saying a great deal in a town with so many awesome entertainment events and options. Sadly for me, I was only able to catch the opening few shows this year as I was off to Indianapolis to catch some Indy Car racing- which is about the only thing that could pull me away. Kathy stayed for the entire event and her cousin Mark and his wife Robin were here from Massachusetts to attend as well.

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 photo 109_zps2xjygscn.jpg Misty & Eliza

 photo 010_zpskych6dsd.jpg Key West Mayor Craig Cates & Cheryl

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The opening kick-off concert at the Ocean Key House Pier is always a rousing start to the events of the week and this year was no exception. Headlined by country music star Jack Ingram the show and party kick off the Festival and the Pier is packed with both locals and those in town for the Festival itself and the music is fantastic as the beautiful Key West sunset sinks into the sky. It is a just about perfect setting.

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 photo 068_zpsgsarommj.jpg Jack Ingraham

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 photo 190_zpsexbqsvl5.jpg The Grossmans

 photo 057_zpsrr1gz9hk.jpg Effie & Michael 

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The party also featured Gutherie Trapp and the Mulekickers and Key West’s own Caffine Carl and the Buzz to get things started. The party moved on to other venues as the night progressed with shows at the Pier House on the beach and at the Conch Republic Seafood Company that we checked out before calling it a night.

 photo 207_zpsesh52woc.jpg Chuck Cannon

 photo 189_zpshabnnlzn.jpg Nadene & Morgan

The Pier house show featured the lovely and talented Brooke Eden as well as established songwriters like Wendall Mobley, Chuck Cannon and Kendall Marvell. Raul Malo was scheduled to appear, but was apparently ill and was too sick to travel. Even so, it was a wonderful evening of fantastic music on the beautiful beachside setting at the Pier House and the place was packed with music fans.

 photo 145_zpszlovwzru.jpg Brooke Eden

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Later in the evening, it was over to the Conch Farm to see the likes of Al Anderson, Bob DiPiero, Sara Haze, Lee Miller and Aaron Watson. It was yet another solid round of great music as well as an opportunity to grab a bite at the Conch Farm. I tried to pack in as much music as I could before having to take off Thursday evening, but I was still disappointed to have to miss so much. Kathy, Mark and Robin were able to enjoy the entire breadth of the Festival and an entire five days of amazing music.

 photo 199_zpsnh27hi24.jpg Mark & Kathy

 photo 218_zpszfuhd7rn.jpg Bob DiPiero

 photo 054_zpsyqkfagae.jpg Greta, Effie & Tom 

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Before departing though, I was able to slip in what the highlight for me, a morning set by the legendary Robert Earl Keen at the Smoking Tuna Saloon in what was dubbed Robert Earl Keen’s Bloody Mary Brunch. Liberally poured Bloody Mary’s and an amazing solo acoustic set by Robert Earl Keeen that included many of my all-time favorite REK songs including, “Shades of Grey”, “Amarillo Highway”, “Merry Xmas from the Family” and of course, “The Road Goes On Forever”.

 photo 281_zpskg6uywtq.jpg Robert Earl Keen

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