Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sonoma Blogger ReUnion

Hello Blogger Buddies!

It is time to make some decisions for Sonoma...June is rapidly approaching!

Please let us know even if you are a maybe...obviously Melissa and I will be there. I believe Jon is planning to trek up and Tez has his flights booked! Who else!?

I will likely be in the garages again so won't have tickets - but I assume everyone wants to sit together?? I believe last time there was interest in sitting in Turn 7 -- which is right in front of the "bottleneck" where the drivers often (well Junior anyway) go flying off track before the esses...Other most popular place to sit is the main grandstands where you can see the pits. Here is a link to a seating map at Sonoma:
We will need to someone to spearhead buying the tickets.

The main problem we have with lodging is that if YeeMum joins us she would like a smoking room and very few hotels offer smoking rooms anymore. The following are the "best" options in the area as far as price, location and safety goes. Please let me know which one you prefer and if you want to try to share rooms. Melissa and I are likely to bunk together again.

GAIA -- This is where Melissa, myself and IowaGirl stayed last time. Best rate $109 per night.

Ramada -- This is where I believe Jon stayed last time. Best rate $95 per night Search for Vallejo hotel.

Best Western Inn - This is the only other hotel with openings that isn't more than $200 a room. Best rate $112 per night. Again search for Vallejo hotel.

If so, any requests? I will say the place we ate at last time was excellent Italian and reasonably priced. We can also "splurge" & have a lovely Napa Valley experience or not dine together at all.

Here is where we ate last time:

I think that is it for now...would love to make reservations and order tickets by mid-April to have the best options for lodging and seats. Everyone is welcome!! Please join us!!


  1. Hey Kristen!

    I'm up for dinner at the same restaurant if the French Laundry doesn't pan out! I had an EXCELLENT dish and dessert! I reserved my hotel room at the Ramada Inn through As for seating, I would prefer the main grandstand but if everyone's up for Turn 7, I won't complain! I'll just bring extra water and sunscreen. I'm pretty easy to please!

  2. Hey Hey!

    Looking forward to seeing K and Jon again, and meeting Tez! Any word from Cord, or IowaGirl, or 3Fan, or SoCal?

    Last year's dinner was good, but if someone wants to try something new, that's fine with me. As awesome as the French Laundry sounds, though, I'm gonna hafta say that the $250 price tag is a more than I'd like to spend.

    I haven't bought my tix yet. I prefer the main grandstands also because the seating is more comfortable. I will probably buy in the lower priced lower rows.

    If we all decide on the same area/price range, etc, maybe we can all buy our tix online at the same time and still get seats together. I hate to see one person have to pay for everyone else. I'm planning on buying the Fri-Sun ticket package, plus the Sun pit/track pass.

    As for hotels, Gaia was nice, but if Jon says the Ramada is decent, I'm open to that.


  3. Hey Jon & Melissa --

    Ok so sounds like grandstand seating is preferred. Hopefully we will hear from a few others soon enough on this.

    Ramada is fine with me too - Jon it was ok right? Its a little farther away up the freeway but probably no worse than sitting on hwy12 and the traffic lights. I couldnt tell if they had smoking rooms or not...none of the websites seem to show those anymore.

    I can look into other restaurant options - but would like to know a price range that people are ok with.

    CR said unlikely to come because unexpected vet bill, Socal told me he is traveling too much for work but was still thinking. Nothing from Iowa or 3fan...will send this link out to them personally via email so they see it.

    Melissa and I will have my car, Jon I assume will have his car. Last I heard Tez wasn't sure if he was renting one or not....might need to have discussion of ride shares etc.

  4. I am planning on making it this year. Hopefully I will have credentials and won't need race tickets.

  5. Jon give me a call if you want to share a room. Kris has my phone number or send me a message on facebook and I'll get it to you.

  6. Excellent Sal! Assume you are driving up? Tez may want to share room with you guys too...

    I lost that cell phone so dont know if I still have your number...we will do a cell exchange once we know who all is coming.

  7. Wonder if my cell will work down there, anyone know?

    My flights were done through the hope that someone else would book them for way cheaper so I get a nice cheque :D...and have already been changed (the flight home leaves later than originally scheduled from what I can tell).

    Not looking at renting a car at this stage but might change that if no one can drop me off at the airport on the Monday, lol

    Definitely looking forward to is Jeff Gordon I guess since he has a 100% winning ratio when I turn up to the race. Granted, I have only been to one race, but still.

  8. Hey Tez -- oy that orbitz!

    Your cell should work here - usually it is USA cells that dont work elsewhere but outside USA phones work everywhere. What kind of cell do you have? My hubby might know...

    Melissa and I can get you to the track on Fri and back and forth during the weekend but we wont be able to take you on Monday so you will have to ask the others coming to avoid a rental!

  9. Price range for food? Less than $250 per person, please. (Though I hear it's totally worth it!)

  10. You are not helping girl! LOL

  11. yeah, my originaly flight left (I think) at 11:30am Monday while the revamped one is around 1pm. No biggie since I'll have a smaller wait at Seattle for the connector, lol

    my cell is an LG 285...prepaid from Telus.

    I concur with RA6AN about the food pricing, lol
    another place that popped up when asking about food around the office (those who had been to Napa anyway) was a Downtown Joe's?

  12. Yeah I'll be driving up. As far as the food just let me know what all of you decide. This way I know how many stops I have to make to pick-up aluminum cans on the way. :)

  13. I'm not so much into Chinese food.

    Downtown Joe's menu looks like, YUM. Plates range from $12 - $25. La Strada is in the same price range and is very YUM too.

    A Napa splurge sounds good too, but I think my limit there would be about $50 before drinks and dessert.

  14. (Hope I was more helpful this time.)

  15. Kristen, it wasn't too bad. I'm looking at either the Ramada or Holiday Inn Express. I found it through Seems to me they had smoking rooms; you can check with the hotel to see if they have smoking rooms. Several of the teams' hauler drivers stayed at the Ramada. The Ramada is right off Highway 37 and I-80, about a half hour east of the track.

    Sal, I'll give you a call over the weekend. I'm open to sharing a room with you.

  16. Well I think if folks are in agreement lets book the Ramada Inn for lodging??


    Also here are some options for restaurants besides the two listed both of which are already YUM...

    Celadon -- downtown Napa "world cuisine" and supposed to be very tasty.

    Boon Fly Cafe -- between Napa and Sonoma classic "California" cuisine by famous chef group...

    Tez - hubby gets back today from business trip I will ask him about your phone...


    So far it is Melissa, Jon and Tez that need tickets - I would suggest one of you calling Infineon's ticket number at the track and seeing if they can hold a block of tickets and then each call one after the other to buy them so you can sit together. I am pretty sure they can do that - they were pretty awesome to work with when I got the IRL seats for Bruce.

  18. For who?! JK
    I can make the Infineon call, but we should probably get a more definite headcount. Any word from Annette? Anything definite from Ren or SoCal?

    On a separate note, I just found out today that Jonny Lang (blues guitarist) will be playing in Napa on Thurs nite, Jun 17. I might be headed up early for that. Anyone else into it?

  19. TEZ - cell phone info from hubby:

    "No idea, it's carrier dependent. Normally you have to have
    international coverage for it to work, but I have no idea how the
    pre-paid ones work.

    He can get a t-mobile pre-paid for $20 if he just wants to
    make calls while he's here. Probably cheaper than trying to get some
    cross-country tie in stuff."

  20. I shall consult the instruction booklet I got with the phone....assuming I can remember where I put it :|

  21. Melissa and I have a room booked at the Ramada Inn Vallejo so I would say that is home base! Get yer rooms asap if you can...they are pretty cheap right now.

  22. I don't think I'll be able to make it, so go ahead and plan without me. If it works out, I can pick up tix/room later. Sounds like a good plan so far.

  23. Hope you'll be able to work it out. I had fun with you last year! Be sure to keep us posted.

  24. Okay, it's time to put together a contact sheet. Because I can't get to last year's list, I'll be starting from scratch. Please email me (

    * your name
    * your cell number
    * day you plan to arrive
    * day you plan to leave
    * if you'll have a car or if you'll need to ride with someone else
    * your hotel plans (where, need a roomie, etc)
    * ticket situation (if you have em, where are your seats? If you don't, do you want to sit together with group?)
    * anything else I'm forgetting.


  25. We are still planning ont he trip
    And I seem to recall the Ramada does have smoking rooms.
    Nothing set in stone yet of course.