AMOC at Lime Rock 2019

I have to start off with something of an explanation and an apology. I’m writing this article a month after the event when I should have had it written and uploaded within a week of getting home. Since then, I went off to Canada for another AMOC event and lost my cell phone. The pictures I’d taken for this event (and the event in Canada, and a bunch of DIY guide pics, and a bunch of other pictures took for Redpants and Redpants Unzipped have all been lost unless my phone miraculously finds its way back to me. I’m holding out hope but don’t really expect to happen… um, same as my love life. Anyway, if I get my phone back I’ll update this article with some pictures. I’ll be reaching out to people that were at the event and ask if they’ll donate pictures for my article and if so then those will be added. I just wanted to clarify all that to explain the possible lack of imagery.

Off to an awesome start

For the second year in a row, I flew from Florida to attend my favorite event of the year: the Aston Martin Owner Club’s annual event centered around a track day at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. I’ve been incredibly lucky with the weather for all the trips I’ve been taking over the year. I had three trips to Japan and two to England during the last year. At one point there was about a minute of light drizzle while in England on my last day there but it wasn’t enough to warrant cover or an umbrella.

The annual trip to Lime Rock seems to enjoy spiting me however and, once again, reminded me that Mother Nature is in charge. Two years ago we had a sudden downpour during the track day while a bunch of cars had their windows down and we were all away from them in the drivers’ meeting. Last year was unbelievably cold. People went into town to buy souvenir sweaters from local mom-and-pop shops so they could layer up and the race shop at the track just about sold out of jackets as soon as they opened.

This year? Three days of rain.

I’d gotten back to Tampa very late Monday night from a short but brutal trip to England. Wednesday morning I was up early to get a list of things done before I could head back to the airport. My short time in Tampa was basically a 36-hour layover at home between flights. I had a pretty specific plan to make sure I got everything done while there. None of them went well.

Wednesday morning started off with me slicing myself while shaving. I followed this up with forgetting my coffee on the countertop in my mad rush to get out the door. Multiple accidents made it difficult to get to each of my stops. At both UPS and USPS there were people in front of me that seemed to have never shipped anything before. The several seconds needed to scan my packages and hand me the receipt seemed to be delayed for an eternity at each place.

Along the way I was trying to figure out why my boarding pass wasn’t marked with TSA Precheck. I went through the Delta app, called customer support, tried to call tech support, and eventually spoke with the TSA themselves. Funny enough, the TSA was easy to get hold of and they said they’d look into it. Unfunny enough, they said it’d take a couple days to let me know what was wrong with my security information for the flight I was boarding in a couple hours.

While all these things definitely made my already-stressful morning near-unbearable, what pushed me over the edge should have been the simplest task.

I had dropped a suit off at the drycleaner before my trip to England and was picking it up on my way to the airport while headed to Connecticut. They’d had it for a week… or so I thought. At some point they’d lost the pants. They never told me. I arrived to pick them up and they said they didn’t know where the pants were. Lovely. I’d need a suit for the Friday and Saturday night dinners, so I had to improvise. (Author’s note: a month later and I still haven’t gotten my pants back.)

Although I had to go through normal security, Tampa International Airport is a pretty easy airport to get through so I was able to get to my gate with a few minutes to spare. I didn’t have enough time to get my usual Cuban and mojito but there’d be plenty of food and drink over the next few days.

At this point I need to give a shout-out to the Delta flight attendant that took care of me on my way from Tampa to Newark. I had two flights to get there and the same crew for both. I was flying coach and had tried to order a drink. Their card reader wasn’t working so she couldn’t take the order. A few minutes later she slipped me the cocktail I’d requested, gave me a wink and a smile, and slid away. I asked on the second flight if the machine was working and she said no, it still wasn’t. Again she slid me a drink and quietly said, “I can just give you the one.”

She didn’t have to do that. She could have just said, “No, we can’t process orders,” and left me to suffer in sobriety. The fact that she did that one little thing for me (not once but twice!) was amazing. Drink aside, she was absolutely lovely to chat with, and her bubbly personality made me feel welcome in a way that’s slowly becoming harder to find in domestic air travel. I’m not being sponsored or paid by Delta to say this, but there’s a reason why they’re my go-to airline. They’ve been consistently great in taking care of me and I really don’t have a reason to go look elsewhere for flights.

Getting personal

A song called “Bad Kingdom” by Moderat played through my headphones. I’d been dealing with a bit of a life crisis up to this point. I was trying to figure out how to continue running Redpants while simultaneously wondering if I even should. Basically, I needed to decide to go all-in with my side business or shut it down.