Monday, February 19, 2018

2018 Daytona 500 - Florida

Pano of racetrack from our seats
Daytona International Speedway - Florida

Spent 5 days accompanying my father-in-law, enjoying the warm Florida weather and experiencing NASCAR racing at the Daytona International Speedway. Originally, my father-in-law was supposed to experience the Ride Along but it was delayed by 2 hours due to fog, then cancelled altogether. Unfortunately, they offer no refunds so my father-in-law will have to make/pay for plans to travel back to Daytona again or to other Ride Along experiences at other tracks. It was my first time at Daytona and it was a great experience to watch the races, win some cool swag and see the cars, the race track and the in-field up close. Although I grew restless sitting for a couple of hours, I was able to get up and walk laps along the stadium. Enjoy some photos taken of our time in Daytona at the races!

The Fanzone was a pretty cool place to be! We got to see the in-field up close. It was cool to see the cars in the Pit Garages. But it was even cooler to be able to walk on the race track. I got to sign my name on the finish line! WOOT!

Swag - cool winnings!

Driving along the Daytona Beach

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Kennedy Space Center - Florida

pano, kennedy space center, shuttle, NASA
Pano shot - Space Shuttle Atlanis
Kennedy Space Center - Florida

While in Florida to watch the races at the Daytona International Speedway, my father-in-law and I spent some time visiting the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. If I can recall, the last time I was here was with my father-in-law, husband and our two girls some 25 year ago! A lot has changed so its good to be back to visit to see those changes. 

One of those changes is the addition of the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. This was the last exhibit we saw before we had to leave for the track, but it by far, was the most breathtaking exhibit. If you are ever in Florida, make it point to go visit the KSC and especially the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. In the first room of the exhibit we watched a short film about the start of the shuttle era. Then we were guided through a set of doors into another theater. An announcement was made not to go past the blue line (up front) or to touch the screen, and photography and video are not allowed. The short film is projected onto the walls as well as the screen and at the end of the presentation, the screen becomes transparent. At first I could't believe what I was seeing. I did a double-take and was like, "whoa, no really is the Atlantis!" I heard the folks in the room gasp (I know I did!) and then everyone stared in silence and wonder! Then the screen retracted upwards and we were guided into the large exhibit arena that is home to the now retired Atlantis shuttle. It was an amazing and breathtaking experience, I almost cried! 

Hubble Space Telescope


And the Forever Remembered Memorial

Heros & Legends Exhibit

We took the 35 minute bus tour past the Vehicle Assembly Building as well as several launch pads. The buses are very comfortable, air-conditioned, with seats that sit up high and outlets for charging your Smartphones. The tour takes you to the Apollo/Saturn V Center where you can shop, view more exhibits and eat at the Moon Rock Cafe.
The bus driver served as our tour guide and photography was highly encouraged.

Vehicle Assembly Building with Bay Door opened

The crawler-transporter carries the space shuttle between 
the Vehicle Assembly building and the launch pads along the
Crawlerway (gravel track). Top layer: Tennessee Alabama River rock

Some wildlife

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Petroglyph Wall - Short Walk

Petroglyph Wall, Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

After lunch my husband and I took a drive on the Scenic Loop of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. We stopped at a couple of places along the loop, but at the Willow Spring picnic area, we took the easy and short Petroglyph Wall trail to view the Petroglyph Wall. The trail is way too short to be called a hike. But it's a pleasant walk and the Petroglyphs are both fascinating and beautiful to look at.

Along the trail

The trail crosses Red Rock Wash

Gorgeous views from the trail

Las Vegas is nicknamed the "9th Island"
For lunch we dined at the Island Flavor on Durango Drive in the Windmill Plaza. This eatery was highly recommended and I now know why. Their menu is full of Hawaii local favorites, the serving portions are huge (compared to Aloha Kitchen), the prices won't break your pocketbook and the service is quick and full of ALOHA! We walked in and the place was filled with local was like being back on the islands! The walls are decorated with hula implements and posters and photos of the islands. And there's Hawaiian music playing overhead while you dine. Original owners are from the Big Island and the chefs also own Island Style Cafe in San Diego, CA. I give this place 5 stars and highly recommend if you want to dine on Hawaiian local food! From now on this is my go-to place to kaukau, always! 

Hawaiian Style Ahi Poke (1/2 pound)

Ronnie always orders Kalbi Short Ribs. 
It comes with rice and Mac salad. Had a bite
of the Mac salad and it tastes like home!

They have "Daily Specials"
This was the Tuesday Special
Noodles and Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

And for dessert we split the Guava Cake!
I'm in love!

YouTube Channel - Hawaii Girl Adventures

Check out my YouTube channel at:  Hawaii Girl Adventures I will eventually be phasing out blog posts and be posting videos of my climbing, h...