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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.
Amazing sculptures
in front of the
Motorcycle Museum.
The back of the
museum is all
windows allowing
a view of part of
the race track.
Aerial View
of race course.
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
Jack Hawksorth finished 12th.    

          Tony Kanaan finished 9th
Both these guys had a bad day!

Carl Munoz dropped out on lap 29
with a suspension failure.  
Finished 23rd - Last place.

Juan Montoya finished 21st.
Takuma Sato
finished 13th
Scott Dixon
finished 3rd.
Oriol Servia
finished 20th
Mike Conway
finished 14th
Marco Andretti finished in 2nd!