Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Daytona Beach and Daytona International Speedway, Florida, Part 2 - Sunday, November 7, 2021

Here is Part 2, Daytona International Speedway:

When we arrived at the designated parking garage for One Daytona Plaza, we had no idea exactly where the starting point was. The garage was huge and the mall was on three sides of it. I thought I saw a pink directional arrow, so we headed for that. Sure enough, arrows directed us to the starting spot, The Running Elements store, whose owner was kind enough to host our event start. 

The enthusiastic Happy Wanderers Walking Club volunteers directed us to the sign-in table, offered us snacks, handed us walk instructions, and sent us on our way. One Daytona Plaza was a shopper and foodie delight. We did neither.

I remember the Jantzen Diving Girl
do you?

How the Jantzen Diving
Girl evolved in ads.

Halloween/Thanksgiving display in 
One Daytona Plaza.

The walk route was well marked with directional arrows and we found our way to the overpass that would take us to Daytona International Speedway. It started to rain. We checked the radar and it looked like the rain would intensify. It was already cold and windy and I did not want to get wet. I told Susan I needed to go back to my car for the poncho. We were at least 1k into the walk at this point. 

As we headed back to the car, Susan decided she didn't want to do the walk and said she would make up her 5k back home. I said, "Are you sure? You can't see Daytona International Speedway in your neighborhood." She was sure and sat in the car reading while I walked. To each their own.

After I had walked back and forth to the car, put on my poncho, and continued the walk, the rain had stopped. Oh, well. At least I had the added protection from the wind and I was a wee bit warmer.

Basically, the route took walkers past five gates at the Daytona International Speedway - Toyota, Axalta, Chevrolet, Advent, and Sunoco. Known as "the World Center of Racing," Daytona International Speedway was founded by Bill France, Sr., and officially opened its doors for the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. It currently seats 101,000. 

Our walk followed the AdventHealth Walking Trail. We did not get to go inside the speedway. Here is what we saw.

Axalta Suite Tower.
Chevrolet Gate.

As we walked around the speedway, we noticed the Christmas lights were being installed. Most of the Christmas lights were of race cars and motorcycles. I think a few Santas with sleighs were there as well. 

Workers laying out Christmas light 
displays onto frames.

The Flag Plaza is a designated "selfie spot," but since I am selfie challenged, I had another walker (from Albany, New York) help me. There was a good exhibit at the flag plaza as well.

I love my new poncho. Now, if it would
just rain!

Sunoco Gate

After the checkpoint for the walk, again staffed by members of the Happy Wanderers Walking Club, we went into the Daytona International Speedway's Tour and Museum Building. 

Wouldn't it be fun to drive one of 
these babies? You can here, for a price.

Coming out of the museum, I got a little lost and went around in circles. I missed one of our directional arrows when I went into the museum, but I figured it out shortly.

I don't want to WATCH the cars, I want
to DRIVE the cars! "Dream on, Susan."

William H. G. France & 
Anne Bledsoe France.

The plaque for the sculpture above.

Dale Earnhardt, Sr., statue. He
died at the speedway in 2001.

Daytona 500 Walk of Fame.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. - Walk of Fame.

Bill France, Jr. 

Pedestrian overpass over International
Speedway Boulevard.

International Motorsports Center - 
HQ for NASCAR, the Daytona Speedway,
and International Motorsports Assoc.

Landscaping in front of the 
International Motorsports Center.

Artwork in front of One Daytona.

Back at the car, Susan was right where I left her. We were hungry. Next on the agenda is lunch as we head toward Jacksonville, Florida. A quick stop at Wendy's sated our growling tummies. 

Susan is visiting her son Kyle and daughter-in-law Megan in Jacksonville for a couple of days. They weren't going to be home when we arrived, so we stopped to see the movie, "Red Notice" with Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson, and Gal Gadot. It was a very fun heist movie with a number of twists we didn't see coming. The critics didn't like it much, but we did! There were many "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" moments making fun of other movies. 

Kyle and Megan invited me over for dinner. It was delicious. We had lasagne casserole, parmesan asparagus, and rye bread. That was way better than going out to eat! Thank you, Kyle and Megan. 

After two walks, a movie, and a hearty dinner, I was ready to get to my hotel and chill out! What a wonderful walking weekend. 

A big shout out to the three AVA: America's Walking Clubs that put on this event: Happy Wanderers, Mid-Florida Milers, and the Suncoast Sandpipers. Well done! Thank you so much. We'll be back!

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