California Love

My visit home was two weeks long and two weeks too short. It seems I required double the amount of time I had, which is not unusual for most of the things I undertake. For one, I did not have time to attend to certain important tasks, such as meeting with my accountant to do my taxes. Yep, didn’t do that. But I did make time to see a few good friends in Camarillo and San Diego. I also picked up replacements for all of the sorry, broken down electronics I have been using like my computer, phones, earphones, and chargers. I finally picked up a Garmin Nuvi GPS, since the navigation system in my head has never functioned. However, I have discovered that I cannot download European maps, I have to order some kind of chip, which I can tell you I will never do. So that was kind of a bust.

The trip started with me arriving in LA and going to my dads. I had one day to recover, unwrap all my electronics waiting for me and to visit with my dogs, which = completely awesome. Oh the guilt was there all right, don’t get me wrong. But I put it aside and enjoyed the unconditional love. Nothing like a creature who is so happy to see you they could pee to get the spirits up.

My co-joined babaies
My co-joined babies

On day two, around 12 of us rode up to the Laguna Seca MotoGP, including Alonso Bodden (if you don’t know who that is then Google, watch, laugh, and repeat), the Cafe Firenze restaurant owners Jacopo and Fabio – Fabio was on Top Chef season 5 and will have his own show soon – Will “Hollywill” Kenefick who is also on some show to do with motorcycles and builds spanky bikes for the movis, a camera crew in a chase van, other assorted riff-raff, and Francesco Quinn with his girlfriend on a 250 Vespa. That scooter cranked at 90 MPH, two up.  Turns out Frankie is good friends with the owner of my company and had plans to have lunch with him on Friday. Small world.

Frankie and the horse he rode in on

Frankie and the horse he rode in on

Mike Foxworthy, My dad, Alonso E Coyote

Mike Foxworthy, My dad, Alonso E Coyote

HollyWill gives good face

HollyWill gives good face

Don't forget the riff-raff

Don't forget the riff-raff

A stop mid morning. Only 100 degrees out.

A stop mid morning. Check the Vespa en route. He got lost shortly after this photo was taken.

The Italians devour a mess o' nachos in Morro Bay

The Italians devour a mess o' nachos in Morro Bay

We arrived Thursday evening to our apartment/hotel after a fun but boiling hot ride. This is a huge vacation hotel with with a kitchen, two bedrooms, a huge master bath with a jacuzzi tub, living room, dining room and a balcony. My dad rented it last year and it served as such a great crash pad for any and everyone that he immediately reserved it upon checking out last July for this year. Pops ain’t no dummy! There were beds piled everywhere and my brother and I ended up sharing the double wide California King bed in the master bedroom. It could be the first time we have ever shared a bed. Fortunately.

Bridgestone really came through for me and gave me four three day tickets and 4 AMA paddock passes (they were not much different than the GP paddock passes this year). My friend at Dorna gave me an all access pass of Friday so I spent the entire day visiting with any and everyone. I did not even look at the track once.

My dad and my brother in the Ducati hospitality. Dad's friend John is flipping him the bird behind me, hence the glee on dads face.

My dad and my brother in the Ducati hospitality. Dad's friend John is flipping him the bird behind me, hence the glee on dads face.

SpeedyMoto boys = more riff raff

SpeedyMoto boys = more riff raff

Ducati hospitality comes with attitude

Ducati hospitality comes with attitude

Susanna and my brother Shawn. Susanna is on the right.

Shawn and Suz.

And of course, I found Susanna!  My fellow wayfaring moto fanatic friend. She and I hit the town later with the Spanish boys – which deserves a post of it’s own. And with that, I leave you.

To be continued…

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Misano World Superbike

Did I mention I went to the Misano World SBK round? Because I did. For one day. I rode my friend’s trusty Aprilia Tuono down to San Marino, about a 3 hour ride on the highways (bleh) and actually it should have been shorter but yours truly here gets Lost when she turns her back to the door to the place she sleeps.

I rode around Firenze and Bologna to the East coast early Sunday morning and arrived to see the second Superbike race and the Supersport race. I didn’t ask for a pass, I figured I would be fine buying one. I have never bought a race ticket, I don’t think ever, so I was fine with buying a ticket. That is until the man at the window said it was EIGHTY EUROS for one day stadium seats. My god! Is a one day ticket always this expensive? Oh that’s right, we are in Italy, where everything is ridiculously expensive!

So I watched the races and you all know what happened – and anyway this isn’t about the racing and that isn’t why you are here.I will tell you that like in Spain, the Italians LOVE Spies!

One thing I like doing at the races is checking out the food and other crap they sell. Every country and even every track is totally different. I cannot say that San Marino had anything distinct, like say, the mountains of dried fruits, nuts, spicy fried fish and other food in Jerez, or the chicken wraps and Jagermeister at Laguna, donuts, hats and the worst coffee I have ever had in my life at Indy. Here they had a ton of ice cream (not gelato) and underwear.

The only souvenier you need. Moto Guzzi panties.

The only souvenier you need. Moto Guzzi panties.

Then I contacted my friend Olaf, who is the Arai racing services guy for SBK. He met me at the paddock entrance with a pass and we went in. I walked around while he worked and showed his assistant from Japan the ropes. Japan was super cool. Evidently in his country he begins work in the helmet factory at 6:30am and works until 5pm. 6:30am to begin work is obscene, so kudos to that guy. I also give him kudos for his fashion sense which was typically Tokyo (=crazy).

We went into Cattolica, a touristy seaside place right beside Rimini that had it’s charms. Olaf’s hotel was 70 years old or so, sported bunk beds and french doors that opened to a balcony that overlooked the main street that ran along the coast. The hotel across the way had the most pathetic looking mini golf course I have ever seen in my life. It was a tiny, weather beaten legoland looking thing with formerly red  obstacles bleached pink from the sun and shredded looking fake grass, all held in maybe a 1/16 acre lot.

Bring your A game to this course, friends.

The street held some damn fine restaurants, and we ventured 50 yards up the way before the three of us sat down in a restaurant that smelled amazing. Olaf, the wussy conservative Netherlander, ordered steak and potatoes (how very Dutch of him). Japan had pasta, of course, because this was his first visit anywhere outside of his country so he was going to live a little. I ordered fish, seeing as we were at the SEASIDE and mate, I was glad I did. Best seafood I have had in Italy and that wasn’t because I hadn’t eaten all day. For as much traveling as Olaf does, he doesn’t even try with other languages. Between him and Japan, my Italian was practically advanced – and that is sad.

We stayed until around 11pm and could have gone to the bars and a SBK after party, but since I had a ~3 hour ride and had to work in the morning, so I booked it back North on that Tuono, doing 90-100 MPH the entire way, except through the tolls (SIDE NOTE: Tolls. They are ridiculously expensive. But the roads are nice and smooth!) The Tuono has no wind screen, so after 2 3/4 hours and getting lost for 10 minutes, I finally arrived home .

I could have stayed in the bunk bed and left really early in the morning, but then for sure I would have gotten extremely lost and probably would have spent hundreds in tolls trying to find my way to work. It’s too bad, really, because that bunk bed was kind of calling me.

Nothing says "classy hotel" like a bunk bed.

Nothing says "classy hotel" like a bunk bed.

i What?

On my recent visit to the fatherland, I picked up a second hand, unlocked iPhone. I use my ATT sim and Movistar sim interchangeably and have proudly downloaded incredibly useful applications, such as iHandgun and Papertoss.

Load and shoot on your iPhone. Catharsis.

Load and shoot iHandgun on your iPhone. Catharsis.

Papertoss. The challenge comes when the fan starts blowing.

Papertoss. The challenge comes when the fan starts blowing.

Anyway, I am enamored. I don’t know how I got along without this thing. I’m so proud of it, and my handy applications, that today I showed it to some Italian coworkers who looked at it an promptly replied, “an iwhat?” I literally had to explain what an iPhone is to them.

And here I was thinking I was behind the times without one.