Daytona - From Beach Racing to Super Speedway


April 1-8, 2015

We arrived in Pt Orange just after lunch time on April Fools Day. Our plan was to spend a week in the area doing mainly nothing with a couple of side trips in between. Our campground had a lovely pool and for once, even though it was heated, it did not feel like a bath tub. The water was very refreshing and we enjoyed laying by and being in the pool all week long.

On Thursday morning we jumped on our bikes and biked down to the beach in Pt Orange. Pt Orange borders south Daytona Beach which borders Daytona Beach. The beach was absolutely great to bike on as it was packed down hard. Many cars and RV’s drove on the beach and parked for the day. We had planned to find a spot to eat lunch at on the beach but there was very little there by way of restaurants so we ended up just returning to the RV instead. In total we biked about 18 miles that morning. After lunch we spent the afternoon by the pool.

On Friday morning we set off with Jazz for a very long walk in the hot weather.  By the time we got home we were soaked with sweat and decided to just take it easy for the rest of the day.

We had picked up a local bus schedule on Friday during our walk so on Saturday morning we took a bus to Daytona Beach and brought our bikes along on the bus so we could check out what it was all about as we had never been there before. As it was Easter weekend it was very busy to say the least. (see pics). We enjoyed biking around the beach strip and on the beach. We found a great beachside restaurant called Surfside Tiki Bar where we had lunch. We then biked around some more and then went back across the bridge to the mainland to try to catch a bus back to Pt Orange. Unfortunately, when the bus arrived at our stop, it already had 1 bike on its rack and the bike racks can only hold 2 bikes. So, we decided to bike back to the campground instead. It was a 10 mile bike ride and by then the temperature was in the high 80’s. But we managed to do it in 50 minutes which was only 10 minutes longer than the bus would have taken. Needless to say, we were proud of ourselves!

Easter Sunday we spent a quiet day around the campground. We spoke to Bryn and Melissa on Skype . We had spoken to Matt and Emily on Friday so it was great to catch up with our Family on Easter weekend! Sunday night we had a campfire on our campsite which was great. We hadn’t had a campfire since November we think so we really enjoyed it.

Monday morning we packed up the RV and headed 8.8 miles to the Daytona International Speedway  (DIS)where we went for an All Access Tour. Needless to say, Rob was in his glory and honestly, I enjoyed it as well.

DIS is presently undergoing a  $400 million renovation called Daytona Rising which will transform this raceway  which was built in 1959 into a multi purpose facility possibly hosting Football games, concerts etc in addition to the regular racing schedule. There is a lot of history at this track which I won’t go into. The track was built by Bill France who was one of the Founders of Nascar. Originally car racing in Daytona was done on the beach but moved to this 2.5 mile speedway when he built it. The biggest  Nascar race of the year is the Daytona 500 held at DIS.

We toured the actual track in a trolley. We saw pit row, the car garages and inspection garage. We stood on Victory Lane (see pic), watched a video in the Driver’s meeting room and had a tour of one of the renovated grandstand areas with a great view of the start/finish line and the whole track. We also got to see Joey Logano’s car that won the 2015 Daytona 500 (see pics).  It was a great tour and well worth the admission price.

As we were leaving DIS, Rob spotted an Olive Garden across the street. He has been craving Olive Garden for a few weeks now (I think because of TV commercials) so since we were so close, off we went for a delicious lunch of all you can eat Soup, Salad and Bread sticks plus we added a little pasta.

We did go for a walk later on that day to walk off all of the food we had eaten.

Tuesday, we walked up to the local mall not too far away from our campground and did a little shopping at Bells and Ross. Rob had more success than I did but neither of us bought that much since we really didn’t need anything. Tuesday for dinner we went to Booth’s Bowery  which was just down the street from our campground. Booth’s is the place where the locals go to enjoy the best in Buffalo Wings .  It brags that its wings are “World Famous” so naturally we had to give them a try. They were very good  and the place was very busy. We hadn’t had good wings in a long time so it was a great place to go for dinner.

Today, Wednesday, we packed up and after doing a big grocery shop to hopefully last us until we get home we headed to St Augustine, Fl. We will be here for the next 2 days so will let you know what we find there in a couple of days.

Stay tuned

Our first campfire of 2015
Our first campfire of 2015

 

Rob enjoying the campfire
Rob enjoying the campfire

Biking the " Big" bridge to Daytona Beach
Biking the ” Big” bridge to Daytona Beach

We have arrived!
We have arrived!

Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach

More of the beach
More of the beach

Rob on the Daytona Beach Pier
Rob on the Daytona Beach Pier

Lunch at the Surfside Tiki Bar
Lunch at the Surfside Tiki Bar

Beach St in Daytona Beach
Beach St in Daytona Beach

Another view of Beach St.
Another view of Beach St.

Us with a racecar model at DIS
Us with a racecar model at DIS

This shows the steep banking on turn #1
This shows the steep banking on turn #1

Arriving at DIS
Arriving at DIS

The Grandstands being renovated now with Daytona Rising
The Grandstands being renovated now with Daytona Rising

More banking
More banking

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Pit Lane
Pit Lane

In Victory Lane
In Victory Lane

Rob celebrating his Victory!
Rob celebrating his Victory!

In the Driver's meeting room
In the Driver’s meeting room

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Team Garages
Team Garages

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Up in the new stands looking at pit row and the Start/Finish line
Up in the new stands looking at pit row and the Start/Finish line

Joey Logano’s winning car

Kathy with Joey's winning car
Kathy with Joey’s winning car

Joey's racing jacket and boots he wore the day he won the 2015 Daytona 500
Joey’s racing jacket and boots he wore the day he won the 2015 Daytona 500

Rob with the winning car
Rob with the winning car

 

Start finish line and pit lane
Start finish line and pit lane

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More cars!!!
More cars!!!

Cars used in Richard Petty driving experience
Cars used in Richard Petty driving experience

Joey Logano's winning car-February 2015 Daytona 500
Joey Logano’s winning car-February 2015 Daytona 500