We departed earlier for the Richmond International Raceway Rise & Shine to try to be one of the first groups there. A lot of other people had the same idea and by the time we got to the infield, it appeared we were in the middle of the pack. At the daily check in table, I found out my car is semi-famous. There's a video contest with a GoPro and car mount as the grand prize and my car is in one of the pictures on the flyer. It was taken during the last MTTS, it's in the background of someone holding the small green LEGO Mini above it. I remembered that because that was something I did because the LEGO car matched mine. Some of the MINI team saw me and took a picture too, and that's what's on the promo. You can see part of my car's license plate so I know it's mine.
They made an announcement to let the car behind you know if you weren't following the daily route - Mom & I had to make a stop before carrying on to the Belmont Farms Distillery - so I went to talk to the car behind us. I met Nicole from London, Canada, and it turns out that she and her group wanted to do the same thing, so we coordinated our stop. They followed us on to the distillery (not on the official route) and I managed to lead everyone there without losing anyone!
The drive was beautiful - lots of rolling horse farms and the distillery grounds were lovely. Because of our stop, we were some of the last folks to arrive and they ran out of the free souvenir a little mason jar shot glass. We'd already waited in line for quite some time when this was announced so, we waited a bit more to get into to the tasting room. I tried a drop of their Apple Pie and decided to buy a bottle to take with me. It's pretty potent stuff. We parted ways with Nicole to head into Baltimore, after stopping in Culpeper for a quick bite at a classic small town diner. Mom had a BLT so she was happy.
After fighting metro DC traffic, we arrived in Baltimore with a little time to kill before the evening event at the B & O Railroad Museum, so Mom and I went to the casino next to our hotel for dinner. Yesterday was my parents' wedding anniversary, so Dad told me to act as his proxy and take Mom out for a nice dinner. The casino had a very nice steak place so that daughterly duty was fulfilled.
We met up with everyone at the B & O Railroad Museum, and immediately stopped in the gift shop. We learned our lesson after the NASCAR gift shop closed before we stopped in later that night. We bought gifts for my niece and nephew, who, as a toddler is in full on train-obsession mode. They have a spectacular model train set up outside so I made sure to get some video of that to show my nephew. We met up with some of our folks, met some new friends in real life and left the party well before things wrapped up for the night. The early morning wake ups have started to get to us so we thought it wise to turn in, even though today's Rise & Shine starts a little later and is very close to our hotel.
We're off to Pittsburgh today - more to come!