So I got up at the horrific hour of 4:28 AM. While I like to think I am a morning person, I don’t consider 4:28 morning. I am just saying. Why so early? Well I had to be in San Bernardino by noon. It was a mostly self-imposed deadline- especially considering that our hotel doesn’t really consider check in until 3:00PM. For me it was pretty much a 6 hour drive. For my friend from Vegas who was meeting me there- it was only a 3.5 hour drive so she could sleep in. I got up- showered, dressed, did my hair. Warning- do not use scalding hot flat irons while half asleep or you may flatten more than just your hair. I then threw my already packed luggage into the cargo area of the HHR, along with a soft cooler of coke zero, my clear 20 race backpack and a present for my friend. My wheels hit the highway at 6:01 am. I was right on time. I had my directions printed out to the hotel…and hoped that my friend remembered to print some out to the speedway because I didn’t (not that we would end up needed them- the route was actually well marked). My drive was fairly easy and I had driven this route a couple times before so it wasn’t that bad actually- I am just paranoid about getting lost hence the directions printed out and the piece of mind that Onstar was there helped too. The drive went fairly quickly. I hit my favorite gas station in Lost Hills and hopped onto the 5 finally and it was right around here that I realized that I totally forgot Valli’s phone number. And there was no way I could even get it because it was popped from my account onto my work computer because I am a nimrod. I did keep an eye out for her on the highway- but I figure she probably left at a much saner hour than I did. My friend called me well into my drive to chat while she too drove towards our meeting place (our hotel the Hilton in San Bernardino). That made my drive go by way faster. She got there first- but only like 15 minutes sooner so it wasn’t like she had to wait hours for me (I was the one who made the hotel reservations so she couldn’t check in with out me).
Luckily the hotel let us check in right away because once whe drug our luggage up to the room, used the facilities and tried to figure out the air conditioner little did we know we wouldn’t be back to our room until well after 10 pm. BMF grabbed her directions to the Home Depot in Rancho Cucamonga. Yes Tony Stewart was doing a driver appearance at the store and it was time for BFM to get her face to face Tony Time. I got to do this at the race in Vegas – but she was sick as a dog that day. So we stood in line for a couple hours to get our wristband for the appearance. In the blazing sun. With no sunscreen. We were finally wristbanded up and went to go seek somewhere cool to sit and ended up at a McDonalds. So we hydrated up, enjoyed us some Coke and just chatted a bit since we had not seen each other in quite awhile (yes we talk in some form or other daily but its not the same) and return to line to stand some more in the blazing sun. Tony was late. I took a brief reprieve and went into home depot for a bathroom break…and when I finally found the bathroom I found out that Tony was still not there and I could tell because the bathroom must have been by the backdoor because there were two cops and three security guards in all black standing by the door just milling about. We finally did get to him- but it took us forever.
Misty and I were both happy, and sat in my car for a few minutes and looked over our pictures from the event. Then were were off to the speedway for fanfest which actually only took us like 10 minutes to get from Home Depot to the speedway. There were other drivers doing appearances but we didn’t get there in time to get tickets so we just watched and snapped a few pictures. Our main reason for going to fanfest was to catch an upclose glimpse of Jeff Gordon- BFM’s favorite driver because he would be playing ROCKBAND onstage with some people who donated money to the Jeff Gordon foundation. By this time I was hot and kinda cranky (and sunburned) and hungry but it was Misty’s favorite driver and there was no way in hell I was gonna be the cause of her missing that. We made our way to the stage and stood there and waited and finally we go to see that. He was actually early and that was really fun to watch actually. I got some video snippets of him playing but I can’t figure out how to embed them. So you can check them out in my Fan Fest Set on my Flickr.
Stay tuned for: Day Two: Qualifying