My wife and I usually take our daughters out to dinner on Saturday nights. I, however, was in the mood to do something different this past weekend and, after some consideration, we ended up taking the girls to our local dirt race track so they could see their first ever live auto race.
This was something we had considered doing in the past, partly because we can hear the races from our house. However, a combination of scheduling conflicts and bad weather prevented that. Not to mention, we weren’t really sure if it was something they would enjoy. As it turns out, they both had a blast. But, at the same time, we learned three things that will make our next night out at the races much more enjoyable.
First, we learned the importance of decent ear protection. We actually did think ahead and bought the girls some ear plugs prior to going to the track. But, the ear plugs didn’t fit properly and, even though they did provide them with some protection from the loud noise, they weren’t very comfortable and we had a hard time convincing them to leave the plugs in. Next time, we are going to find them ear protection that is more comfortable.
Second, we will make sure to make the girls wear hats next time. Mostly because of our daughters, I hadn’t been to a dirt track race in more than a decade and, while I knew there would be some dust kicked up from the cars, I didn’t remember just how much. As a result, my wife had to scrub their hair pretty hard just to get the dirt out of it and, because of that, we will make a little more effort to help them keep their heads covered a bit better.
Last, we learned it’s best to eat before going to the race track. This actually doesn’t have anything to do with the price of the food at the race track (it was expensive, but, overall, I didn’t spend any more than I would have normally spent at a restaurant anyway). Instead, it, again, has to do with the dust. The hamburgers, hot dogs and fries were pretty good, but it was a pain constantly trying to cover them up to avoid the next dust cloud. And, since I’m not anxious to stand in a long line during the race intermission, our next race night will likely include stopping at McDonalds first.
As I said, overall, my daughters had a fantastic time at the races and I can see this becoming a routine family event. Hopefully we’ll be able to use these lessons to make the next trip even more enjoyable for everyone.