My travels so far…
When I was younger, my family didn’t take many vacations – mainly day trips…I never stayed in a hotel until I was in my 20s! In 2002, I finally talked my Mom and Dad into a trip to Pocono Raceway for the second Cup race of the season – a track Dad knew well, since some of his teams raced there on the old 3/4-mile track in the early 1980s. We got pit passes, tickets for the entire weekend, and some darn good French fries, and the rest was history – I was hooked, on both live racing and on travelling.
A lot of my travels are sports-based – mostly auto racing and baseball, but I’d love to add a couple of out-of-town hockey arenas to the list. Another hobby that has turned into a travel niche for me: gardening – and I don’t have to go too far, as Buffalo is home to the National Garden Festival and a beautiful Botanical Gardens. I love photography, and sports and flowers are some of my favorite subjects, along with concerts, feeding off of my love of music of all sorts.
My farthest trip so far: Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina; I’ve also been to the Bronx (yep, Yankee Stadium), Atlantic City, New Jersey and Loudon/Manchester, New Hampshire – also a good haul from Buffalo. I’ve got a lot of places I want to go, and quite a few places I’ve already discovered – and want to return to. Here’s my journey so far, and a ‘bucket list’ of where I hope to visit soon.
Where I’ve been:
· Vermont – Vermont Teddy Bear, Bennington Battle Monument, Vermont Wildflower Farm, Hemmings Museum
· 1,000 Islands/Alexandria Bay, NY – Boldt Castle
· St. Jacob’s. Ontario – Farmers’ Market
· Toronto, Ontario – Hockey Hall of Fame, Woodbine Racetrack, the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada Blooms at Exhibition Place (2011 and 2012)
· Cleveland, Ohio – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Zoo
· Baseball stadiums – Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays), Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians), Yankee Stadium (NY Yankees), PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates)
· Race tracks – Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, Pennsylvania), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon, New Hampshire), Watkins Glen International (Watkins Glen, NY), zMAX Dragway (Concord, North Carolina), Rolling Wheels Raceway Park (Elbridge, NY)
· North Carolina – Charlotte Motor Speedway tour, Concord Mills Mall, IKEA, Backing-Up Classics, Curb Museum of Music and Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Plaza, North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Sam Bass Gallery
· NC race shops – Hendrick Motorsports, Wood Brothers Racing, Roush-Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing
My travel ‘bucket list’:
· Hershey, PA – my parents went there on their honeymoon – but as far as I’m concerned, it’s all about the chocolate!
· Saratoga, NY – home of the famous horse racing track as well as the Saratoga Automobile Museum.
· Cooperstown, NY – home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum plus lots of other cool stuff…hoping to get there and figure out my way around before Jeter gets inducted ;)
· Williamsport, PA – would love to see a Little League World Series game, as well as the Little League Museum (especially because Chris Drury is in it!).
· An IndyCar race – anywhere! I saw Franchitti run a bunch of laps at NHMS before the ill-fated IndyCar attempt there…gosh, those cars are fast!
· Indianapolis Motor Speedway – for the Indy 500 and/or the NASCAR weekend – plus a trip through the museum.
· Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis – a “multi-purpose facility” that hosts USAC on the oval and the NHRA US Nationals on the drag strip.
· Eldora Speedway – Tony Stewart’s famous dirt track in Ohio, I originally wanted to go there for two events: the Prelude to the Dream charity race and the King’s Royal Sprint Car race. Unfortunately, in 2013, the Prelude is off the schedule :( Still want to go for the King’s Royal though :)
· Sharon Speedway – just over the PA border in Ohio, Sharon Speedway belongs to another of my favorites, Dave Blaney. I love sprints on dirt, and here’s another track I want to experience.
· The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway – because it’s dirt and because it’s Charlotte…’nuff said!
· Richmond International Raceway – this was the original track we talked about going to back in 2002 – but tickets then were hard to come by, so we never made it – but I intend to!
· Bristol Motor Speedway and/or Bristol Dragway – ‘cause “it’s Bristol, baby!” – that is all :)
· Super DIRT Week in Syracuse, NY – five crazy days of dirt track racing in chilly October – and the stands are always packed! The Outlaw Sprint race my dad and I attend at Rolling Wheels in October is part of the craziness, but I want to go to all of it!