DAN'S PHOTO JOURNALS
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Honda Grand Prix of Birmingham
Barber Motorsports Park
April 27, 2014
My 18 y/o niece accompanied me to Birmingham.  We stayed
in a nice suburb town called Homewood where there was
shopping, restaurants, bars, a zoo and a fantastic botanical
garden.

On Friday, we hit the amazing Barber Vintage Motorsports
Museum which housed hundreds of motorcycles on five
floors.  There were also race cars.  This museum is not to be
missed!  Afterward we hit the "Hot and Hot Fish Club"
restaurant, also not to be missed.  Expensive, but worth it if
you like gourmet food.  Make reservations.

That night we had a good time at the Bottle Tree bar.  They
let you in some bars down there if you're 18.  During my stay
I found a hidden bar in Homewood called The Red Lion.  You
can smoke in there.

On race day, there were thunderstorms and the race was
delayed from 2:15pm until 4 pm.  I bought an umbrella and
walked around and got pretty muddy and wet.  I parked my
Vette in a row with other Vettes in special sportscar parking.  
There were groups of Porsches, Ferraris and other Italian
trash ;-)

I handed the Nikon to my niece for the week and she took all
of these photos.
I purchased a $200 ticket for the CM Tavern.  This
was definitely a wrong move.  It was just a big tent
that was packed.  While there was a buffet and
bartenders, I never got to sit down there and when
the race started a small fraction of the people got to
get on the top of the hill in front of the tent to watch
the race.  On a dry day, you would have been able
to sit on the grassy hill.

Meanwhile, my niece's general admission ticket was
$45.  We found a spot just as good as the $200
area, but with no crowds.
Here I am in front of
the Motorcycle
Museum.
The back of the
museum is all windows
allowing you a view of
part of the race track.
Aerial View of the race
track.
Since Birmingham is just four hours north of the Gulf of
Mexico, we drove down to the Florida panhandle on
Monday morning.

I had reservations for the week in Miramar Beach, which is
next to Destin.

Unfortunately, a serious storm front blew in and the area
received a record 26 inches of rain between Monday and
Wednesday.  It was always very windy and often lots of
lightning.

At least we got out of Alabama before the tornadoes hit.
From my experience, Florida is nothing but one long
shopping strip and this area was no different.  There
was no nightlife in my area either.  We did see big waves
but my hopes of lying on the beach in the sun and
swimming in the ocean were dashed.

We did visit the local aquarium which was worth the $20
admission.

I had held out hope that Thursday would be different.  It
still sucked, so we packed up the car and drove all the
way home.  It took 12.5 hours. which included being
stuck in Nashville TN rush hour for an hour.
Here is a video I shot on race day... it's 4:23 minutes long