Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fast cars & fun in Monterey

I'm sort of behind on blogging right now (life is h-e-c-t-i-c). Lots to talk about, including good news in the training/injury dept, but I can't skip last weekend up in Monetery.

One of my grandpa's many cars... I remember watching this one back in the '90s. Lots of wins.

The weekend turned out to be a lot more fun and jam-packed than I even expected, and boy was there a lot of indulgence. I cheated a lot! Half my luggage consisted of workout clothes, but none got used. A true first for me!

The real fun began Friday. It started with brekkie at a cool place I found (I'm the restaurant-scoper-outer of my family). Right away the cheating started. I had coffee with my omlette and fruit. First time in months. It was good. I had more.

Off to the races. The event for my grandpa was tied in with the annual Concourse d' Elegance, and all of Monterey was just insane with the most amazing cars you've ever seen. The cars at Laguna Seca were even more insane.

The best part was the VIP suite. I didn't realize our VIP passes were so VIP-ish! Air-conditioned suite with a patio overlooking the race track complete with amazingly delicious buffet lunches and all-you-can-drink alcohol, etc, all day. I expected subway sandwich platters, but it was totally gourmet fare. Everything from glazed sea bass to elaborate salads and a million things in between. Cheating continued with a glass a wine with lunch.

Eating on the patio overlooking the track... Great location for watching the vintage races.

We also spent a lot of time in the pits checking out all the cool car displays. They had a whole section set up with my grandpa's cars from the '40s to '90s.
Old-school Formula 1...
Apparently this one is a big deal...
My cousin, Haylee, and the sis posing... doesn't Haylee look like Mary Kate Olsen?
Straddling the Alligator...

This one is special... anyone heard of Cannonball Run?
My grandpa's trademark on his cars is the Eagle nose...
My grandpa really was the "star" of the weekend. Usually I just see him at family gatherings, so this was neat to see this. Him in an interview (left)... and him with an endless line of people wanting his autograph...

Randomly, Friday afternoon we hit up the Monterey Aquarium because everyone said you have to go to the aquarium. It was cool. But now that I've seen it once, I don't really need to see it again. I liked the seahorses and flamingos the best, but here's a cool jelly fish:Pretty legit shark masks too...

After an amazing tapas dinner and lots more wine, my sister and I hosted an impromptu dance party in our room. The hotel "accidentally" had to put us in a big suite with a fireplace, so we had lots of room to get down. (Btw, I am an awful dancer, like Elaine on Seinfeld, but I don't give a sh*t haha)

Saturday was more amazing food, wine and racing. To my surprise, I never got bored with all the car mayhem, even though I'm not much of a car person. There were even a couple scares & crashes to keep things interesting (although not good considering how much some of these cars are worth).
My uncle, Alex Gurney, who now races cars professionally, drove one of my grandpa's old cars around the track. He dressed up old-school style with a rag across his fast and all. It was pretty special.

Saturday evening was a little cocktail party to honor my grandpa some more. The guy had been going non-stop for days, and at 80-something, his energy and alertness was amazing. So many people pulling him in every direction 24/7 wanting to talk about decades worth of cars and racing. I can barely remember my races from 2007... don't know how he remembers stuff from the '50s!

My fam with the main man...Some amazing hors d'oeuvres came from this guy....

Speaking of hors d'oeuvres, while stuffing my face with food, I scoped out my future husband and went up to introduce myself.... Patrick Dempsy. Unfortunately, turns out he really does have a wife and kids that he doesn't seem willing to leave them, oh well ;-) But damn, Dr McDreamy is so gorgeous in person and so nice! And he races? Hot.
And this good-looking dude, Dario Franchitti, is also pretty famous in the racecar world, but he already has a hot wife--Ashley Judd. Super nice guy.

After another late night out in downtown Monterey--I actually saw nightlife past 11 p.m. for the first time in months haha!--Sunday came too fast. We decided to take Hwy 1 to SLO. A very beautiful, but long, slow drive that set us up for disaster. After we dropped off my sister in SLO, we sat in traffic for another five or so hours, making the total drive 11 hours (including lunch stop). I hated life from Santa barbara to OC. I'm not good at sitting for long periods, part of the reason why I can't work a 9-5 in an office.

But at least the sights were nice...

Let's just say I burnt off a lot of energy on Monday with workouts, work, errands, chores, you name it! Don't think I sat down for more than 5 min.

Until next time!


  1. With so many amazing things to see and do it’s no wonder that you didn’t need to breakout the workout clothes.

    It’s obvious you inherited your desire to go fast from your grandfather.

    Great post, thanks for sharing your weekend.

    All the best,


  2. Wow, my husband is going to be so jealout when I show him your blog. He is a HUGE Dan Gurney fan! He knew Dan's son, Danny, when Danny lived back in Indiana.

    Looks like a great weekend!

  3. Wow, sounds like a great weekend! I am glad you had so much fun!

  4. Ha ha ha, I can't think of two sports more different, triathlons and car racing. Hope we don't lose you to the gas guzzling sport for your human powered sport. Did you check out the huge shark tank at the aquarium, amazing.

  5. Holy wow! that looks like a ton of fun. I really like the old race cars. so beautiful.
    You man chaser. Those guys are way cool too.

    OK, now back to our regularily scheduled triathlete.

  6. Wow, it looks like you had an awesome time! And, I am SO JEALOUS that you got to meet McDreamy! :)