Sunday morning. 4am alarm to catch a 6am flight to Chicago.
The landing was rough being that we landed on a real runway at Midway, but oh so typical for Miami Air.
Got lost on the way to the track trying desperately to find a Starbucks. Siri was confused. It happens.
So I settled for a Diet Dr Pepper. I pulled into a convenience store a few minutes from the track. Now mind you, I’ve only seen the Midway part and the race track part of Chicago. So this place looked like Chicago to me. Until I was about two steps from the entrance and this dude comes around the corner. He looks like every stereotype of a gang member rolled into one. I’m sure he had a gun. The things I do for caffeine.
Once I have sorted through the cooler and finally located my DDP, it couldn’t have been readily visible, I bring the bottles, yes bottleS, to the counter. I look up at the cashier through several layers of plexiglass. She gives me this look: What THE HELL are YOU doing HERE??
I can’t answer that question. I don’t really know myself.
More stereotypes circling. I’m scared to leave, but don’t want to stay either. How do you RUN to your car without looking suspicious??
Finally make it to the track and park my car. The parking lot is outside of the track because, well, team members just aren’t important enough to park inside. We put on the show, but whatevs.
As I’m walking to the infield a guy on a courtesy shuttle stops to offer me a ride. The following exchange happens:
Where are you headed to?
The Sprint Cup garage.
Oh. You don’t have a hot pass. They won’t let you in without a hot pass.
Will this work (holding up my hard card… or full season credential for you non-racing folks)
I don’t think so.
Really? It’s worked at EVERY OTHER RACE TRACK THIS SEASON.
Well. I guess you can try it.
I can’t even…
After that, the race part of race day was relatively uneventful. I took pictures, posted them to Twitter and Facebook, met with sponsor guests, engaged in the dreaded small talk, and watched the race. It was boring at times and awesome at times. You’ll have that at a mile and a half track. With 50 laps to go I reluctantly left. I swore I would never leave a race track before the race was over. I used to harass my dad for even considering it. But I do it every week now…
It was almost an hour drive back to Midway. I was starving to death so I found a Jimmy Johns. This neighborhood looked significantly better than the one this morning. But, alas, more stereotypes…
Upon arriving at the airport, well the back of the airport where we drop our rental cars, I was met with the people from Avis. They asked me for my rental car contract. This is strange. Usually we just abandon our cars and they sort everything out later. They must have been new. They were completely lost.
3.5 hour wait on the plane before we could take off and an hour ride home. With 20 minutes left in our flight we hit some wicked turbulence. I HATE FLYING!!! I can’t say it enough. Finally made it home. That landing was THE WORST landing I have EVER experienced. People were shrieking on the plane. The girl next to me asked if we landed or got shot down. We still aren’t sure.
Just another day in the life. 20 hours from when I got out of bed until I got back into it. I LOVE my job. Wouldn’t trade it for anything…