Written on the flight from Rome to Sao Paulo…
It’s Tuesday late, or Wednesday early, I’m not really sure. I’m on a plane from Rome to Sao Paulo. My last nights sleep was in London, at a Holiday Inn near LHR T5. I was there for a little more than 24 hours, after flying there from Denver via Dallas. I was in Denver for about 6 days vacation, or rest, or lieu or whatever we call it now. I was there after the races in Austin and Mexico. Austin was great, loved it there and I will be back. Mexico City was interesting to see, it’s a crazy big city, so many people and so busy. But I was glad to get out, and probably won’t return. I think Sao Paulo may leave me feeling the same way.
I had a great time in Denver. Spent a good chunk of Tuesday at the shop visiting with the guys, then had a late lunch at my favourite sandwich shop downtown. Then I wandered back to Jeremy’s house (where I was staying) and we did Halloween stuff and watched the baseball game.
On Wednesday I went for a late breakfast at Carbon Cafe, which my local cafe for both my apartments there, I love the french toast. Then in the afternoon I did a short version of my RiNo brewery crawl, just Ratio and Epic since Our Mutual Friend wasn’t open. But at least I got my two favourites, and they were still great. Then I walked to Jackson’s for dinner, it’s a sports bar that’s close to my first apartment there, and a place we used to do trivia. From there, I met a couple of the work guys at Rheinhaus for a drink and catchup.
On Thursday, Jeremy and I went to Snooze for lunch, which is a breakfast diner kind of place that I hadn’t made it to, but was sort of a Denver staple. And it was really good, both the food and a chance to catchup. Then in the afternoon I drove down to Top Golf to meet some of the boys before they flew out to Texas for the race. Top Golf is a driving range down by the airport that we used to stop at on a somewhat regular basis on our way to the track. Thursday night was trivia night, though it was at a place (ChuBurger in RiNo) that we hadn’t been before. While we couldn’t pull off the victory, we did pretty well and had a great time, I’ve missed having a (fairly) regular trivia night.
Friday was my day dedicated to going up into the mountains, for which I had rented a car. I took the back road into Blackhawk, which is a great drive, and had a coffee at the local shop there. Then I got onto 70 and continued west, I wanted to check out Silverthorn and Dillon. Silverthorn is the location of what’s supposed to be a pretty epic pond hockey tournament in February, though in November there wasn’t much to see. Then I headed to Dillon, where the Dam Brewery had been recommended to me as a place to eat. Sadly when I got there it was closed for some renovations, but I found another place close buy and had some really delicious tacos. Then I drove around the reservoir, which was beautiful, then took a back road part way back to Denver before getting back onto 70 East. I drove past a couple of ski hills which were rather busy, really wish I could have joined. Friday evening I met Gary at the Viewhouse for dinner. The Viewhouse is a little chain in Denver, and we met at the Centennial location, which has a great view of the mountains. And as it turns out the food was pretty good too, and it was just a lot of fun to see Gary.
Saturday began with my heading south to Parker to meet up with Matt, see his new house and his project car. We had a good visit, and I even learned a little bit about Honda B-series engines which may come in handy next year. Then I headed back into Denver to meet a friend at Infinite Monkey Theorem. IMT is the RiNo winery that I had wanted to checkout for awhile, and it was good, though wine is definitely not my thing. At least not yet. We ended up working our way back to Our Mutual Friend, so I ended up getting it crossed off my list. After that I met another friend at Rio Grande, which is a Mexican restaurant downtown that I really like. From there we wandered over to Howl at the Moon and met another friend there. As it turns out, there was a massive pub crawl that night that ended up at Howl, and it’s unique feature was that everyone was dressed in some kind of onesie. I can tell you that I love Howl at the moon in general, and I think that combination made for one of the more entertaining few hours of my life. Sunday morning I got up, got myself to the airport, and got out of town. And that leads back to the last maybe 72 hours of being all over the map more or less.
As I previously alluded to, Austin was great. I had heard nothing but good things, and it did not disappoint. It’s a very nice race track, both from a facilities perspective and the track design itself. It’s got some elevation changes, some good fast flowing sections, and some decent passing opportunities. The city was very entertaining, live music was absolutely everywhere you looked, and it had a good food and local beer scene. All in all, it reminded me a lot of Denver, though I imagine I would melt there in July. And my Dad came down for a few days at the end of my time there, we made it out to the Continental Club and Gruenehall, which are two of the more famous music venues in and around Austin. At least, according to my Dad.
I don’t really have a whole lot more to say about Mexico City. I found a good place for tacos and michelada’s close to the hotel. The hotel was actually quite nice. And other than that, I was just looking forward to Denver.
What happened before that. I think I flew to Austin from Marseille (through Madrid) where I was attending a test at Paul Ricard. It was a fairly uneventful and unexciting couple of days.
Prior to that I was in London for a few days off. I booked an Air BnB close to Paddington Station and played tourist. I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen for a long time, visited a couple of museums, had some good fish and chips, and made it to Camden which I thought was great. There is still much more to see in London, I think I will get a couple more days there this year, probably late next week.
Prior to that, I was in Jerez, Spain, for a stand alone F2/GP3 race. For those of you keeping score at home, that was the weekend of the Japanese GP. I will have to look up when that was when I get off the plane, I haven’t got a clue anymore. It feels like months ago now. Jerez is a good little track and it was a pretty enjoyable weekend. We found a really good Mexican restaurant, and a good pizza place in town.
I flew to Jerez straight from Malaysia, where I was working the F1 race with Williams. Malaysia was hot and sticky, which was good for the first few days when I was on vacation, less so when I was at the track working. I am sure it deserves more detail than I have to offer right now, but I enjoyed it there.
I flew to Malaysia from Barcelona, where I was attending another test. I think that was my 4th trip to Barcelona this year, and that’s definitely enough for me. I flew there straight from Singapore, and I think that has us all caught up. Lots of missed details I am sure, especially going backwards in time. Suffice to say it’s been a busy couple of months for me, as I had expected, and to be honest, asked for.
After Brazil, I will head back to England for almost a week and a half. First few days I will be at the office in Didcot, then at least 3 days in London. I am trying to decide whether I will stay in London for 5-6 days in total, or spend the last couple somewhere else. I am wondering about Dover, there is supposed to be a great castle there that would be worth visiting. Then I will fly to Abu Dhabi for the last race of the year. Which will be followed by an F1 test. And then an F2/GP3 test. And then an F2 Development test. And then another F2 Development test in Bahrain. And on Thursday I should be able to sort exactly how much of that I will be attending. And this matter because it determines when I will be headed home for Christmas, which I’m rather looking forward to. I will keep you posted…