6 Lessons I Learned At The Indy 500

6 Lessons I Learned At The Indy 500

1) Make sure you carry plenty of beer with you at all times… and you can drink it anywhere!

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2) American Flag gear… I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much American stuff on and around people ever… serious, my typical flag shades ain’t shit!

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3) Survivor Flip Cup, yeah that’s a thing!!! How did I not know this!? Basically… everyone tap, everyone drink, everyone flip, last flipper is out… BRILLIANT!!!!

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4) As is turns out, a  30 foot RV ain’t shit! That’s us and our neighbors… WTF?! That’s bigger than a few of my apartments!

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5) Nap when and where you can… it’s a LONG day!

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6) Last but not least… after a little too much bourbon, be VERY careful trying to smoke two cigars at the same time!

Read more about our trip: https://l.casta.no/indy500blog

RACE DAY = Full Banana-Mode – Indy 500 Trip Log #5

RACE DAY = Full Banana-Mode – Indy 500 Trip Log #5

     IMG_7781What can I say other than that this was one of most amazing and unique sporting events I’ve ever been to. Really, nothing compares. We started out waking up at 7:30am to make sandwiches, pack snacks, water, and of course… plenty of beer.

     Granted it’s a bit of a long walk from the RV lot into the infield, but you can’t even image the crowds of people making the trek. People walking carrying coolers, kids, giant flags, bags of food, signs, even peddi-cabs and Ubers picking people up just to take them from wherever they’ve parked into the speedway itself.

     We decided to load up our 3 backpacks of beer, food and camera gear and head out for the hike… of course with roadies in hand. Nothing says ‘Merica more than drinking a PBR for breakfast while walking down the middle of a public road and pounding the end of it right in front of three county sheriffs so we could responsibly drop our empty beer cans in the recycling bin before walking through the gates. Mind you, it’s not that you’re not allowed to be drinking on the way in, plenty of people were, we just wanted to have our hands free to help security check our bags so we could get inside faster!  😛

     It was only after passing through the gates, through the tunnel to the infield and out the other side that we began to see what utter mayhem was really going to look like for the day. With 350,000 tickets sold, not an empty seat in the place and barely any room to even stand on the hill to watch the race, we knew it was going to be a crowded LONG day, so what better way to handle it then immediately starting to play flipcup?!

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     Of course, after enough beer pong and flipcup, eventually we remembered “Hey, the race should be starting soon right?” Yeah, seriously, this was all happen BEFORE noon before the race even started. So we made the trek through the infield over to the hill in turn 3 and got a good spot right up top to watch the start of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500! Holy HELL those cars are fast!!

     Then of course, post race start… time to head to the SnakePit while Skrillex was still on. If you’re looking for a bonkers EDM show in the middle of pure mayhem, THIS is your spot to be. It’s crowded, it’s hot, the music was amazing, the people were cool as hell and I already can’t wait to go back. I’ll leave you with this last little preview of the craziness we were in the middle of and I promise, I’ll have the rest of my pictures edited and posted on Facebook soon!

Read more about our trip: https://l.casta.no/indy500blog

Carb. Day. Was. AWESOME. – Indy 500 Trip Log #4

Carb. Day. Was. AWESOME. – Indy 500 Trip Log #4

     We haven't even gotten to the crazy cool part of this trip yet and it's already amazing. We started off the day sleeping in, grabbing a little breakfast in the RV, got some fresh air and finally decided to get a move on and start heading over to the track. We wound up sitting in the stands right in turn 4 to watch the Indy Lights Freedom 100 race which was awesome! Not only are these cars SO fast, and they're just the little ones... but it was the closest finished in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history, 24/1000th's of a second between first and second. UN. REAL.

    Then of course, it doesn't there... just after the race when we met up with some friends and took a stroll into the infield to get ready for the Journey concert, who's standing right in front of us just outside the tunnel? MARIO ANDRETTI!!!! Probably one of the fastest men on earth and without a doubt one of the greatest Indy car drivers is history!

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     We serious had such a great time. Carb Day really was awesome and I'm so glad we did it... it was well worth the work and the heat!!

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     Now it's time to have some people out to RV hang out and relax for the day and get ready for tomorrow.... RACE DAY!!!

Read more about our trip: https://l.casta.no/indy500blog

Day 1, A Thursday Adventure – Indy 500 Trip Log #3

Day 1, A Thursday Adventure – Indy 500 Trip Log #3

     So after our adventure in hunting for oil to get our generator going… we finally got some sleep, woke up in the middle of the afternoon and decided to go for a little walk over to the track, pick up our tickets and wander around for a bit. Needless to say, this place is AMAZING… and we haven’t even been inside yet!

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      We had some time to BBQ up a little marinated chicken and grab a beer before going for a walk to meet the neighbors!

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     I’ll keep snapping some pictures and putting them on Facebook… but tomorrow is when the real shenanigans begins. Carb Day with a Journey concert that evening, then out in downtown Indianapolis! Time to find out what “SoBro” is all about!

Read more about our trip: https://l.casta.no/indy500blog

We’ve Finally Arrived! Indy 500 Trip Log #2

We’ve Finally Arrived! Indy 500 Trip Log #2

     And what an adventure it’s been already. Our alarms were set yesterday for 9am to finish packing, run last-minute errands, head to the airport, pick up the RV, get back to DC, pack, make a beer run and go!! It wound up taking about 11 hours to make it out here, but right around 6:15am this morning we pulled into the staging area for our parking lot… only… they didn’t tell us it was the staging area. So, we set up some stuff, changed for bed, fire up the generator and the AC and nap time it was.

     Until… the generator stalled… and stalled again… aaaaaaand again… so, now we’re awake and just sitting wondering if this damn thing is going to hold out or if we’re going to have to make a phone call to see what can be done to fix it. Spending the next 4 days in a hot box does NOT sound enjoyable.

     And of course, it won’t stay running… so now we’re calling to see what we can do! UGH!

<Break…. 20 minutes of phone calls later…..>

     The travelers assistance guy told us we need to go buy oil! Seriously… I’m 600 miles away from home, in a rented RV…. and somehow I’m *STILL* doing repairs! WTFF?! We actually had to pull out of the RV lot, drive to the gas station up the road, buy a few quarts of oil and fill it up ourselves. This…. is my life.

     However, at least we’re here and ready to get things setup and rolling!! (no pun intended)

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Read more about our trip: https://l.casta.no/indy500blog

And Away We Go… Indy 500 Trip Log #1

And Away We Go… Indy 500 Trip Log #1

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 2.06.51 PM     So this is really it, we’re finally getting on the road headed out to the 100th running of the Indy 500 in our rented 30′ RV! We’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen over the next few days, but we’re all pretty sure it’s going to be an adventure. Basically, it looks like it’s going to be about 1600 miles  and nearly 24 hours on the road round trip between DC, the RV pickup and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. If anyone’s got some tips for us, that would be great… if not, I guess we’re just wingin it! See you all in Lot 1C at the race if you make it out there!  😛

     It’s going to be a decently long trip, but we’re pretty pumped. I’ve got all my camera gear with me, plenty of beverages, of course my American Flag shades and I’ll be posting more along the way… once we get through this first few travel steps that is…

     Out backs are packed… mostly… and we’re headed out to door for last-minute errands and to get this show on the road! Wish us luck!!

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Read more about our trip: https://l.casta.no/indy500blog

2016 Indy 500 – Ish Just Got Real

2016 Indy 500 – Ish Just Got Real

Woo-Woo!!! So my buddy and I have talked about taking another little adventure for a while now, and anyone who knows me, knows I’m a preeeeeeetty into cars… and today, our tickets and passes have arrived!

16_Indy500_Pin_Logo__33950.1446829250.1280.1280Now, I’ve never actually been to an auto race of any kind really, so first one… why NOT have it the 100th running of the Indy 500?! So, we’ve rented an RV, got a 5 day pass, and we’re in the last stages of making plans to head out that way. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about it!

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Our 30′ home for the week.

Now all that’s left to do is pack and hit the road!! (I think…. hahaha)

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P.S. If any of you will also be there, let me know. I put a little Facebook group together so we can all add friends, keep in touch, find places to me… and of course, you’re all more than welcome to swing over to the RV and get a drinks and some eats with us!

Damage Control, Life On The Road Isn’t Easy!

Damage Control, Life On The Road Isn’t Easy!

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My route from DC, through Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and back!

It’s been a while since the last post about my weight-loss, and I surely haven’t forgotten about it, nor do I intend to give up before even reaching my first goal of losing the first 60 pounds.

I did, however, hit a big bump there for a little over two weeks. For those of you that don’t already know, I had been on a road-trip that spanned just over 3300 miles, 15 days and about 10 cities. I even wrote some blog posts along the way: Midwestern Travel Update…. Halfway There…. ish! and The Adventure Continues… (a solid wrap up post coming soon)

What I haven’t talked about yet is the toll it took on my weight-loss efforts and the thoughts I had going into it. When I left, I knew maintaining a diet like the one I’ve been on would be extremely difficult, but I surely did pack my running shoes, my juicer, bought a cooler that fit perfectly on the floor in my front seat and juiced a good $100+ in kale, cucumbers, celery, apples and pears. I did my best to drink that, and only that right up until the wedding, stopped and did some food shopping while I was in Dyersville, Iowa and even made a second round of juice while I was out on the road. Did some running while I could, was on my feet most of the time and tried to NOT over eat, or consume totally unhealthy things when it could be avoided. It’s a lot harder to keep to a diet when you’re on the road like that, harder than I really thought actually. It’s not that there’s no healthy options out there, but when you’re 1500 miles from home on a long empty highway, the only things marked by signs are McDonald’s, Burger King, Cracker Barrel and gas stations. I almost wish there was an iPhone app that would show you where along your route there were some healthy options.

Needless to say, I was not as successful as I wanted to be, but I kept the idea at the forefront of my mind that a two-week road-trip like that one is probably not something I’m going to get to do very often and enjoying the trip, the driving, the time with friends and of course, the awesome things I saw along the way was the most important and, WOW, did see some awesome things and have some great times!!

Finally, the important part… how much damage was done!?!? Well, the day I left, I was 276 pounds, I had lost 32 of the first 60 pounds I set out for, and not surprisingly at all, when I got home, I had gained a few. The morning after I arrived home, I was up 6.2 pounds. I wasn’t thrilled about it and I immediately buckled down, started running my butt off and slowly settling back into my diet. The awesome news is, as of this morning, just before writing this post, almost all the damage has been reversed, I’m back down to 276.2 pounds, just 6 days later and I would expect by tomorrow morning, I’ll be back on track with a new low!

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A quick chart from my Fitbit dashboard showing the “bump” in weight while I was traveling and the return down to the size before I left!

I guess the important lesson learned here, and the major difference between this current effort to lose weight and the others is that I’m keeping it in perspective. My last few “balls to wall, all out” attempts where I went at it with no breaks, no cheat days, no rest days, etc… really missed the point. I want to lose weight to better enjoy my life, to feel more attractive, to have more fun, and to OPEN up opportunities to do new things. NOT to lock myself in my apartment eating horrible foods and running and rowing for days on end. It’s about reconnecting with friends, moving my life forward from recent events, and improving what my future can and will be as well as making sustainable long term changes in how I manage my weight, diet and exercise.

I will surely be writing a post soon about the thoughts I had while driving these last 3300 miles, so keep your eyes peeled for that one! Just so you know now though, I’m in a better, happier place where I understand so much more about what it’s going to take to for me to turn around some bad times from the last few months and keep this run of positive experiences and days going for a very long time!

The Adventure Continues…

The Adventure Continues…

2145 miles on the road since leaving DC on October, 2nd
2145 miles on the road since leaving DC on October, 2nd

I have to say, after 12 days on the road and 2145 miles… I could get used to this. When I set out to take this “little” drive I was thinking that, instead of spending money flying in and out of Missouri followed by Chicago on back to back weekends, why not just drive and “check some stuff” out along the way. It turned out to be so much more.

Spending all this time catching up with old friends and, of course, making some awesome new ones has really highlighted a part of my personality I think I almost lost for a while. Somewhere in the stress of work, the depression of weight gain and the general funk I think I had been in for a while, I had really come close to totally forgetting how much I love hanging out with friends, meeting new people and going on these random adventures.

Greetings from Mainstream Beanery in Zeeland, MI!
Greetings from Mainstream Beanery in Zeeland, MI!

The good news is: It’s not gone. I didn’t lose all of it and somewhere out here between Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, Chicago and now Zeeland, Michigan… I found it again! What a great feeling it is too. I’m not totally ready to come home, I’ve got a few more stops to make along the way, but I can already say for sure, that when I return, it will be with a greatly improved attitude, renewed commitment to my weight-loss as well as reconnecting and rekindling a lot of those friendships I had let slide for a while. So, be prepared, I will be making calls (read: “sending texts”) and making plans with a lot of you and if for some reason I’m not in touch with you as fast as you’d like, get in touch with me first!

It’s great to be back and I’m not even home yet!!

Midwestern Travel Update…. Halfway There…. ish!

The current tracker map of the route I’ve taken.

This time we’ll switch modes for a bit… it’s not that I haven’t been keeping up on my weightloss, I surely have. In fact, other than eating at the wedding and having a slice of the best homemade apple pie I’ve ever had, I’ve been juicing the whole time. While I haven’t been working out, and haven’t been on a scale in a few days, I’m confident that things are still going well, based purely on the fact that I am yet ANOTHER notch on my belt smaller! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

So what HAVE I been doing? Well, that’s pretty simple… DRIVING! Just over 1700 miles so far!

 

Hand dipping my own Maker’s Mark bottles!

I started at home in Maryland at around 4:30am last Thursday and drove straight out to the Louisville, Kentucky area to hit some of the distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I didn’t have a lot of time, I was only there for about 18 hours, including some time to sleep, but I did manage to make it to Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam and Bulleit. Without a doubt one of the coolest random overnight stops I’ve ever made. Maker’s Mark was by far the best stop on my little tour. Between our kick-ass tour guide, eating the corn right out of a fermentation vat made of over 100-year-old Cyprus boards, getting to buy a few bottles of the first ever batch of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, batch 14-01, as well as getting to wax dip all of the bottles I bought myself… it was a pretty amazing afternoon. In fact, I spent WAY more time there than I thought!

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Myself and the CTSV on the bank of the Mississippi River in Canton, MO.

From Kentucky, after visiting the home of Bulleit at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery the next morning, I hopped on the road for one of the most important parts of my journey: The drive out to Union, Missouri for two of my best friends wedding, the #UnionInUnion… and what a wedding it was!! The Carter Farm, was gorgeous and the perfect setting for an amazing night. Other than, ya know…. two people getting married… there was drinking, dancing, laughing, lighting things on fire, smoking cigars and of course, a TON of picture-taking! This is a wedding I won’t soon forget. Thankfully, I had the foresight to stay in Missouri for an extra day and not drive hungover, which came in pretty handy since I wound up getting my own personal tour of the Augusta, MO area breweries, wineries and some great little local spots to get some food and have a few drinks.

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The sign at the entrance road to the Field of Dream movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.

Finally it came time to leave Missouri and kill a few days before heading to Chicago… and while doing a little Googling, I found out I was only a few hundred miles from one of the sites of one of my all time favorite movies: Field of Dreams. So, to Iowa I went. Dyersville, IA to be exact. Of course, I had to find a good spot along the way to drive out to the rivers edge since I had never actually seen the Mississippi River, and sure enough, in Canton, MO I found the perfect spot.

Just a quick overnight stay, woke up the next morning and headed out to the baseball field, snapped a few pictures, took a little video, ran around the bases and jumped back in the car. It was raining which wasn’t too cool, but hey, you can’t have everything!

After my stop over in Iowa, it was out to Milwaukee I went, checked out the Harley-Davidson Museum, found a hotel to crash in for the night, got the car washed in the morning, and sitting at at Starbucks in Wisconsin is where I’m at now. I’ll finish and post this, then it’s off to Chicago for the next few days to continue my adventure….

Let me know if you’re anywhere in Illinois, Michigan, NY, NJ, or anywhere in between… I can always be talked into another stop!! Maybe I’ll see you soon!!