I try to accomplish ‘things’ when we head out for a vacation. We want to have good ideas for a vacation, not just a tour. Is it a historical site that I want to see? Did something spectacular happen there? Is something amazing going on in that city. In order to help this and see places of the world that I may never go to (and some I would) I use a google search and find events going on in the city. TimeOut, City Search and Google can all help in these areas.
This morning was a nostalgic one for a few events that we have attended.
First, we started Sunday morning watching Nadal win the French Open in Paris. The French open is held every year in early Summer in Paris. Last year we saw Nadal play and it was outstanding.
Here is the thing about the French Open. You buy your tickets in advance and you aren’t sure who you will be seeing play. We lucked out that day Nadal was playing in the court where we had tickets. The year before we went earlier in the season and there were matches by people we didn’t really know. Still cool, but not as cool as watching someone you know/like.
Unlike many other sporting events, watching tennis in Roland Garros is definitely a great experience. You can see the whole court and really watch the game and not the monitors. It was crowded, not really organized, and was really really fun!
There are two main courts and then a ton of outdoor open courts. Even if you aren’t into tennis or if you do not want to pay a ton of money, walking around and watching the up and comings on the open courts is a lot of fun.
This morning after watching Nadal win, we moved on to Formula One.
I love racing. Not a big fan of Nascar but Indy and F1 are awesome. But here is the thing: unlike tennis where you can watch the match the entire time, if you are at a Formula One race you really still watch the monitors and then see the cars zoom by. It is really cool to see, but watching them go around the track after awhile is kind of uneventful for the event itself.
We tagged our F1 trip a few years ago into a roadtrip across Europe. It started in Barcelona, driving up through France and into Belgium, going out of the way to see Amsterdam. We went to the F1 Spa in Belgium.
The day before the race we went to the track and got to see a lot of really cool things: drivers, cars, expos etc. Then the day of, we took our seats. Zoom!
I am really glad we went and to see that part of Belgium as I would have no other reason to drive to Spa. If you have never seen a race before, I highly recommend you go to one as the energy and thrill of how fast those cars are really running is unbelievable. At one point I wanted to go to all the races, and maybe we will hit Monaco or some other place, but going to all of them is not on my list anymore.
So, there you have it. Find an event, go to it and see how it is. You may find a hidden gem in a city or town in a country you never thought you would. It is much better than signing up for a tour and having them take you around like cattle to see the sights that everyone always sees. These are experiences that give you a story to tell about life.