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Archive for September, 2011


by on Sep.19, 2011, under Ashley Bingle

Ahoy Mateys!

This be the second mate hailing from the great port of Grand Rapids, I be here t’ tell ye of the latest exploits of our crew. Now that the crew be back in home ports, we be catchin’ up on relayin’ the tales of our adventures. As ye can be tellin’ fer sure, it be International Talk Like A Pirate Day once more.

If ye be in the mood, ye might be sendin’ me a missive, but ’til then, keep the wind in yer sails.

-Second Mate Ash

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Orlando Bingles’ 2011 Summer Road Trip – Day 25

by on Sep.06, 2011, under Richard Bingle Family

AdvoCare 500, take 2!

Still kinda damp and overcast outside, but that wasn’t about to dampen our enthusiasm. After a day and a half delay, we were ready for racing!

We loaded up the van and headed back to AMS first thing in the morning. Not surprisingly, we were able to park much closer to the track this time. The midway and the vast majority of the souvenir rigs were gone as we made our way into the track. While they were checking that people had tickets, they weren’t actually checking what seats those tickets were for. Since we had arrived early, I decided to stop and take a couple of pictures of the start-finish line before we headed over to our seats in turn 3. While there wasn’t an usher stationed where we headed out from under the stands, one did appear just as I was about to take my pictures. “You can’t stand there. You can’t stand in the aisle.” I told him “ok” and walked over a section, down a couple of rows, and then in about 5 seats to take my pictures well clear of the aisle. Once done, I looked around at the almost empty stands and made a decision. We were staying right there for the race!


While the stands eventually became “non-empty”, the attendance was understandably very light so nobody ever kicked us out of those seats. And boy, am I glad we had decided to stay until Tuesday to see the race. Despite a couple of short rain delays each time the low ceiling would descend and basically put us within the clouds, the race ran to its fully scheduled distance, complete with a duel at the end between Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. Jeff ended up winning (woohoo!) and we stayed for the victory celebration right there at the start-finish line.


I’d already taken an extra day off to stay for the race, so we had no choice but to hit the road and drive the whole way home to Orlando that afternoon and evening, arriving home shortly after dark. Our 2011 Summer Road Trip was over!

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Orlando Bingles’ 2011 Summer Road Trip – Day 24

by on Sep.05, 2011, under Richard Bingle Family

Rain, rain, rain, and more rain…

The high winds and torrential rains that they had forecast for the area as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee passed through never really materialized at our motel, although there were reports of some pretty nasty weather near Atlanta Motor Speedway.

But that didn’t mean it wasn’t raining. In fact, it rained pretty much the entire day. It turned out that Karen wasn’t feeling the greatest, so with the bad weather keeping us from doing anything outside, and the fact that it was a holiday weekend, we decided we’d just hang out at the motel all day and just relax. While Karen napped, the girls and I played some some cards, watched TV, and played on the iPad. Not the most exciting day of the trip for sure, but we’d already paid for our race tickets (and they don’t issue refunds due to rain) and the girls hadn’t gotten a chance to actually even see a Cup car on the track, so we figured it was worth it.

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Orlando Bingles’ 2011 Summer Road Trip – Day 23

by on Sep.04, 2011, under Richard Bingle Family

Amber and Alyssa had never been to a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, so we figured we’d get to the track plenty early so that we would have lots of time to tour the midway and the souvenir rigs before heading into the stands to our seats. Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Lee had other plans. Outer rain bands ahead of Lee brought the rain in early afternoon, sometimes light but also (unfortunately) sometimes heavy. The amount of rain made it obvious that the race wouldn’t start on time but we made our way to our seats in turn 3 to wait it out.


We probably should have assumed by the complete lack of track drying efforts prior to the scheduled start time and no cars out on the grid that there wouldn’t be any racing that day. In fact, the only vehicles that ever made it out on to the track were six unimpressive jet dryers, several tow trucks, flatbeds, and pickups, and a couple of pace cars. The track was almost dry despite the light mist that never really ever went away until about 9:15 p.m. when the rains began again in earnest almost instantly wiping out the previous hour and a half of track drying work. With the forecast for Monday (Labor Day) being 100% chance of rain throughout the day and the possibility of tornados, NASCAR decided to push the race out to Tuesday morning.

Since the race had been scheduled as a night race, we’d already booked the motel we’d stayed at the night before for Sunday night, so as soon as we made our soggy way back to where we had parked the van we called the motel and booked yet another night so that we could (attempt to) see the race on Tuesday.

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Orlando Bingles’ 2011 Summer Road Trip – Day 22

by on Sep.03, 2011, under Richard Bingle Family

Day 22 was spent just like day 1, day 16, and parts of lots of other days on the trip — driving. We spent the entire day driving from Grand Rapids, Michigan to a little ways south of Atlanta, Georgia. Of course, we had to take a slight detour through Ohio so that we could stop at a Meijer and buy some Ballreich Brothers’ Potato Chips! Ah, if only they sold them down in Orlando! The drive was long, but we had a hard deadline waiting for us in Atlanta, the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

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Orlando Bingles’ 2011 Summer Road Trip – Day 18 thru 21

by on Sep.02, 2011, under Richard Bingle Family

We spent the next several days in Grand Rapids visiting with Karen’s family, touring the meat processing plant that Ashley’s “special friend” Josh Peters works at, meeting the Peters family, sorting through the things Ashley had left at the Lindemulder’s over the summer, and dropping off Ashley at Calvin.

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