Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back in Minneapolis - WOI

Back in Minneapolis to see the Wheels of Italy show near Lake Calhoun. A little disappointed by the turnout and the late arrival of many participants, but still surprised by the cars in Minneapolis. Take a look at the photos:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Got Dubs?

What do you say, really?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More San Fran...

Here are more great pics that Dana took this afternoon while I was cat-napping. We are headed downstairs for some wine & cheese and then maybe we'll hit the town and look for a place that has cannoli (which shouldn't be hard - we are staying in North Beach, the "Little Italy" of San Francisco)

Have a good evening!


So, this is San Francisco (why would Colleen leave?)

A shortcut through Sonoma...

The trip from Napa to San Francisco was pretty good, I really enjoy driving in this area of the country, just wish I were in a better prepared vehicle. No wonder everyone in California owns a Porsche. It's not the weather allowing them to drive year round, it's the roads taunting you to have more fun.
It was pretty easy getting into the city, not a lot of traffic, the only issue we had was choosing the wrong lane at the toll plaza at the Golden Gate bridge. The one thing I've learned about driving in San Francisco is that if you want to go over water, it's going to cost you $5.
We had an idea of the location of our hotel/inn, but never realized how great it would be. We are on the corner across the street from Washington Square Park. We are right below some tower and across the street from a church... I guess these landmarks are some big deal or something. ;)
Here's the view from our room (we got the best room in the Inn (once again, I love my wife).

The trip to return the rental car was rough, we had to go to the middle of the city and when we got there, they weren't taking returns and sent us another 4 blocks. We were lost and frustrated, we were almost as upset with each other as when we try painting together. We made it though and the extra four blocks added to our walk were excellent. We walked through Union Square to China Town and all the way back to our hotel through China Town. We stopped and shopped and haggled. Funny thing, Sarah will barter for anything, but was uncertain in Chinatown... She let me haggle with them and I was able to get about 20% off everything, but I felt defeated because I wanted 25%.
No idea about our plans tonight, but I'm sure we'll have fun.
Good Luck,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Napa - What the hell is the difference between a Vineyard and a Winery?

So, here's more on Napa. We're not really wine drinkers... until some time at a tasting. Once you are able to sit with someone to help you learn about wines and understand the differences, you (I) can't really understand. Now that I've been to a tasting, or two ...or three, I have aquired a bit of a taste for the stuff.

Here are some pics of our favorite, V. Sattui;

Sattui Courtyard;

Some place hidden in the hills by the Hess Winery;

A photo for Chef John and Mike to appreciate;

For those of you who didn't recognize the last photo, here's the sign... gotta love the CIA;

Good Luck,

Monday, August 20, 2007

Napa - no words, just photos

Welcome to Napa.

So, we made the trip from Monterey to Napa this morning... funny thing is how everyone thought is was such a huge drive, but it was really no problem. People had told us that it was anywhere from 3.5 to 4 hours, but I believe we made it in 2.5 hours. We did have a little break in the trip though, and as Colleen may be able to attest, there are a couple outlet malls along the way. The one stop we made was in Gilroy. Why stop at the outlet mall when we live footsteps away from the one in Albertville? Lets just say "Brooks Brothers". The Brooks Brothers outlet was a priority and boy, I'm glad we stopped. There is also an outlet mall here in Napa, which also has a Brooks Brothers store... I love this place!
Sarah planned this trip and made reservations at a Best Western, can you believe it? I was so disappointed when I heard we were staying at a Best Western. Now that we are here, I see why we are here. This Best Western has won some special award for being one of the best. I'll tell you, this is an incredible place. We are in a separate building across the courtyard from the main building, on the second floor looking down on the beautful fountains and garden. The room is huge, no really, it is big and best of all cable ready(nice to see my friend TV again!)
Good choice again Sarah. This has been the best trip I've ever been on.
I love my wife.

Leaving the Centrella Inn...

We have now left the Centrella Inn in Pacific Grove, "PG" as Sarah mentioned (she's now an insider). I will miss the beautiful gardens, the Hydrangia are the biggest I've ever seen, and I will miss the parking lot;


Ferrari 575

Corvette Z06

Mustang Cobra

Ferrari 360

and our Ford Edge!

The people at the Centrella, Honey & KimMarie, were great as well. they helped compensate for the lack of TV and provided great friendship while we were there. Thanks.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

2007 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

So, to me, this day is what the trip was all about... One of the happiest days of my life. I can't tell you how great of an experience it was to be on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach enjoying the absolute best cars in the world. The show was perfect. There was a huge variety of old steam cars, vintage cars, racers, one of a kind vintage cars, hot rods, tons of Aston Martins and a huge variety of concept cars from many makers. All being shared and enjoyed by people who also liked to have fun dressing up which really gave the show a great atmosphere.
With all the cars at the show, I have to say my favorite (which is hard for me to choose because they were all perfect) was the periwinkle MB Gullwing. This particular car was recently featured in Automobile Magazine as one of the top 25 cars of all time.
I have create a small gallery of photos to share. I will create a more extensive gallery once I get home and am not working from a laptop.
Please enjoy and feel free to comment. We like to hear from you since we are on the other side of the country.

Sunday Highlights - Sarah's Perspective

I'll let Dana post something later, as I suspect the highlight of his day will be all the fantastic cars we saw. From where I'm sitting, here are the highlights of my day, in no particular order....
1. Best Pancake EVER
So, we went back to the First Awakenings Cafe this morning, so that Dana could partake in what I earlier declared the "best pancake ever" I had to bring along the camera to capture it in all its glory. See how it is dotted with fresh raspberries, sweet coconut, and tasty granola - pure breakfast perfection.
2. Seal Watching
Let me tell you, seals are WAY funnier to watch in person than on some silly National Geographic channel. They are loud and like to mess with each other - so pretty much like kids, but they live in the water. We snapped this picture along the shoreline about 4 blocks from the Inn.

3. Celebrity Sightings
Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm completely and totally obsessed with celebrities, celebrity gossip, and most certainly, the idea of meeting a celebriy. Today, we saw a number of famous folks and were fortunate enough to get some pictures with them. I present to you now, the greatest collection of celebrity sightings ever before seen in a single day (or a lifetime for that matter)

Keno Brothers - the single greatest appraisers from "Antiques Roadshow"

Stedman - The one and only Mr. Oprah Winfrey

Chris Tucker - was actually really mellow, not at all the usual spaz he plays in the movies

James Hetfield - this guy almost made me pee my pants I was so excited to see him (literally - I think I pee'd a little) At first I said to Dana "What - is my cousin Greg out here?" and then about 2 seconds later I said "Holy SHIT - that's James Hetfield" We had to step inside the store that he was standing outside of, to pick up a tie that Dana bought earlier (which totally justifies the purchase now in my mind) and I kept watching the window, to make sure that he didn't go anywhere. Luckily, he stuck around and when we got out of the store, I stood there for 2 or 3 minutes, just hoping for a break in the conversation between he and his pals. When the opportunity presented itself, I walked up to him and said "James Hettfield?" and he was like "Yeah" and I was like "holy shit I want to marry you" (wait... i think i only thought that) but I was really like "Would you mind if I got a pic of you with my husband?" and he was completely cool about it. He was actually really nice, shook our hands, made some small talk with us, he even smiled for the camera, although you can see what I caught looks more like a tough guy face, which I'm pretty cool with (like that scary guy look anyhow) Now I just need to figure out how to Photoshop Dana out of it, then blow it up into like a 10'x15' poster for our room :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

BTW - Lusso GT

Here's a shot of the Ferrari Lusso GT staying at our hotel... This is the same model of car owned by Actor Steve McQueen which just sold two days ago for 2.3M.
I don't think this one is worth that much, but probably more valuable than my home, nonetheless.

Lazy Saturday...

Nothing too terribly exciting to report today - we woke up early (and by "we" I mean "me") got up, got ready, and headed out to start the day. We started with breakfast at First Awakenings in Monterey - which was fantastic. I had read online that it had gotten rave reviews - what we didn't realize until we were paying our tab was that Rachel Ray featured it on her show "$40 a Day" BEST PANCAKE EVER..... it had raspberries, coconut, and granola in it. It was so good in fact, that we plan on returning before we leave, so if the opportunity presents itself, I will snap a picture of it.

After a very filling start, we headed down the coast along 17 Mile Drive. It was worth every penny of the $9 it cost to go from Pacific Grove down to Carmel (is it just killing you Jim that we actually PAID to drive down a street?) We saw some incredible coastline, some even more incredible houses, and got a small glimpse at what awaits us tomorrow at Pebble Beach. If we thought that the Italian Concours was nuts, this is going to be SUPER NUTS!!! The event starts at 10:30AM, but I figure we'll get there about 8AM to find a reasonable parking spot - oiy vay.

Back to 17 Mile Drive... we took this through Pebble Beach and into Carmel, which is like downtown Wayzata on steroids. I never wanted to leave..... so pretty, so clean, so charming, so flippin' expensive.... apparently, everyone felt that way since it went from quiet to crazy in about an hour! We purchased our obligatory sweatshirt, just to prove we were there, and then headed back to PG (Pacific Grove - for those in the know) Lunch was at an English pub in Monterey called the Crown & Anchor. Dana got bangers & mash, I had a cajun chicken sandwich (I know - nothing screams God Save the Queen like a cajun chicken sandwich) Anyhow, both were good and now we've settled in for a brief afternon nap before cocktail hour begins downstairs at 5:30.

Hope everyone is doing well - we will post again tomorrow after the Concours.... Enjoy the photos from the day! ~Sarah

Friday, August 17, 2007

An Ode to Chad

Whilst it may not be the hottest, the most expensive, the classiest, the fastest, the best handling, the greatest design, the most attractive to women (or men) nor the greatest of provenance, this one's for you kid....

Just goes to show - there are a fortunate few who never lost sight of the big picture and are "livin the dream" with this fantasy ride. With just enough room in the trunk for a case of Zima and your collection of Def Leppard cassettes.


Pacific Grove.

So, we are in Pacific Grove, a small town along the Monterey Bay. It's a very nice place with a lot of small shops and quaint inns. In fact, we landed in one of tem, the Centrella Inn, just one block from the main street and three blocks from the ocean.

Funny thing though, the town is swamped with these exotic cars - there was a small car show where they shut down the main street today. Sarah and I went to a corner cafe for lunch (The Red House - and it was just that, a cute red house) and sat on the sidewalk and watched all the cars from an excellent vantage point. Also, the parking lot at the Centrella Inn is also full of exotc cars, look to the right and name the three cars in the photo. I will be impressed in you can name two and I'll buy lunch for any of my friends who can name the three.

Hope all is well in Minnesota, I am thinking of walking down to the ocean to take some photos this evening. I'll share when I can.

Good Luck,

Not just for Italians anymore.

Todays trip was to the 2007 Concourso Italiano at the Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course. We arrived in Monterey , actually Seaside, about an hour and a half early so we thought we'd try to find the golf course for the event... we drove right to it. Actually we had the assistance of the mid 50's Mercedes 300SL we had followed since Santa Cruz. Anyone driving a $400K car had to be going to this event. Gotta be honest, we were the only ones in a Ford Edge in the parking area. Even the spectators had their Rolls, Bentleys, Lotus and host of Italian hardware out for the day.

So, if you really know me, I am not head over heals for Italian cars... a little over-styled for my taste. You know, that feeling only comes from seeing them in magazines, books and the second rate Magnum P.I. wannabe's you see in Minneapolis. Once you see these cars in person, they have a real appeal to them. Even the dreaded Lamborghini is an exciting car. Wow, do I want an Italian car now? Well, after driving that Maserati last December I could have tol you yes. Now, YES PLEASE.

Take a look at the brief group of photos I made a little gallery for;

You'll notice that the gallery is not all Italian. I was surprised by the beautiful Maserati MC12, a Le Mans car for the street. I was even more surprised by all the Aston Martin's, Bentley's and the much anticipated Bugatti Veyron. You will see some great cars, only about 20% of all the photos I've taken, but like I said earlier, you can't appreciate the design of these cars from photos. The designers are true artists, not just the old cars... the new ones are incredibly beautiful. How does one make an over the top million dollar race car look like sculpture?

Let me just give you a brief rundown of the cost of a handful of cars of note I saw today.
Porsche 911 GT3RS - $125K
Bentley Continental GT - $180K
Bentley Continental GTC - $220K
Ferrari Scaglietti - $275K
Ferrari 575M Superamerica - $290K
Lamborghini Murcielago - $330K
Saleen S7 - $575K
Maserati MC12 - $800K
Ferrari Enzo - approx. $1M
Bugatti Veyron - $1.2

Now put these cars together on one golf course and we are looking over a Billion dollars in cars in one day. Now with the unmentionable cost of the classics we'll be seeing on Sunday, I can't imagine what we'll be looking at total. (Who would be so crass to count?)

Good Luck,

BTW, we've just taken some photos of our much better accomodations today... I'll be posting soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We Have Arrived....

And could I just say - the SFO is the biggest dump of an airport that I've ever been in. Midway - you've got nothing on this place. This gives you a general feel for what it looked like...

After cruising through the Hispanic/Asian barrio, we have successfully located and checked into the Millwood Inn. It's amazing how fantastic a place can look online, UNTIL you see it in person. Dana thinks it looks like the place Anthony Hopkins checks into when he first arrives in the US in the movie "The World's Fastest Indian" I'll let you be the judge...

That said, it's been a long afternoon of planes and rental cars - we need to get an early start in the morning to make it to Monterey for the Concours Italiano. I'll leave you with these fantastic instructions I found in our Motel Directory - we can no longer claim ignorance that we don't know what to do in the event the Earth's plates decide to shift beneath us!

Have a good evening - we will try to post again tomorrow!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"I'm too excited to sleep"

Remember those Disney commercials from a couple years ago? you know, Dad checks on why the kids are not sleeping and they are just too excited to fall asleep... This is how my day has been.

I have been looking forward to this trip for a long time, ever since Sarah gave away the biggest hint when she asked what kind of rental car I would want... Gotta be Monterey. It seems unreal how quickly this summer has passed by. I am very excited that we will be leaving tomorrow, but disappointed that when I retrun the Minnesota State Fair will be in progress, you know what that means, summer is over.

I'm sure my next post will not be until Friday, but at least it will be after our first event, the Concourso Italiano. Pictures will be a must.

Good Luck.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

First Post - Monterey Countdown

Dana NyboSo, this is my first post and surprisingly, with my interactive media background, my first blog.

I have put this blog together to document my upcoming trip to Monterey for the 2007 Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance and the Concourso Italiano, as well as any other auto interests I may find there. I leave Minnesota for San Francisco on August 16th. The morning of the 17th, My wife Sarah and I make our way down to Monterey for the 2007 Concourso Italiano at the Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course. Sunday will be our day at Pebble Beach for the 2007 Rolex Concours d'Elegance. I intend to take many photos of these very interesting cars and will post many to share with you.

My secondary purpose for creating this blog is to share the many diverse automotive photos I have been collecting through the years.

I hope you enjoy the photos. Please share your thoughts with me.