We met our friends Kim and Andy at 3:00, and the four of us headed to Richmond to meet more friends at Richmond International Raceway to watch the Nascar Nationwide race. I LOVE auto racing (Nascar in particular), so going to watch the races live is one of my most favorite things to do! I love to go to the Nationwide race, because there are far fewer people there than there are for the Sprint Cup race the next night ... no crowds and we have room to spread out and be comfortable in the stands.
You KNOW I had to take a photo of the beautiful pink sunset over the stands ... during the race, no less. This is the backstretch, and this section of the stands is closed during the Nationwide race.
I photographed this car to show it to my teacher friends.
The noise of these cars is unbelievable. Hearing protection is not optional!
Saturday. (No photos of Saturday, sorry.)
My garden and nursery were open on Saturday from 10am to 3pm. A steady trickle of visitors and customers came throughout the day. The weather was lovely, and the roses looked pretty good ... considering most of them have been enveloped in weeds all summer.
As soon as the last customer left, I put my stuff away and I raced into the house to get a shower ... because we had to be at my brother's house (an hour away) at 6:00 for a surprise birthday party. The party was for his 50th birthday, and his daughter's 25th, and each of them thought the surprise party was for the other one. Both of them were VERY surprised to find that the party was for BOTH of them.
After a solid three hours of partying and yapping with friends and family, I started to fade and it was time to head for home.
I was up and dressed and out of the house bright and early on Sunday morning, because our youngest daughter and our grandson were running in a charity race. The morning began with the national anthem ... especially poignant on the anniversary of 9/11 with the sun streaming through the flag flying from the tower truck.
The local fire departments brought their antique firetrucks to display. Throughout the day, lots and LOTS of kids climbed into the driver's seats to had their picture taken.
Our daughter ran in the first race, a 5K. I have a photo of her running, but she won't let me show it to you. I took it as she was approaching the finish line, and it's not pretty. Trust me.
Our grandson was in the next race, the Fireman's Chase. The kids ran a timed mile, chasing firemen in uniform, and it was so much fun to watch.
These are some of the firemen (and women), gathering to go to the starting line.
The final event was the Firefighters Extreme One Mile ... where firefighters in full turn-out gear, on air, ran a timed mile. The first firefighter crossed the finish line in just over seven minutes ... and the final one finished in about 12 minutes. It was incredible!
The only part of their gear that they didn't have to wear was boots. Most of the firefighters wore running shoes.
The most emotional part of the day was the finale ... the balloon release to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Hundreds of yellow balloons rose into the blue sky ... I cried.
Next on Sunday's agenda was a planning meeting for Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg's "Take a Bite Out of Canine Cancer" benefit in November. We always accomplish a lot during our meetings, and we eat ourselves silly while we're doing it. I think the star of the banquet this time was a banana cake with caramel filling and chocolate icing ... I MUST get this recipe!
As it is with all of our meetings, dogs are welcome. Evey was chilling for most of the time.
TJ had a great time playing with toys. I told him to 'wait', and I put this toy rat on his head. He kept it there for at least six photos. Good boy, TJ.
After the meeting, I raced home to meet our oldest daughter, her husband and her son here at the house for a photo session. It turned out so well ... I'd like to devote a whole post to it. I hope you don't mind waiting till tomorrow. It's worth the wait ... I promise.