It’s tricky vacationing with a 10-year old. Too young to enjoy must of the cultural aspects, too old for just sight-seeing, the destination needs the perfect combination of entertainment and action.
For our 3 days in Monterey County, I think we found it. Although we spent plenty of time hopping around town, we hit a home run for our almost-pre-teen at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
We’re not a family that follows professional racing, so we weren’t familiar with the Global Tuner Grand Prix. Our son, who had never been to a professional race before, was excited to get up close to the pit and track as the cars sped by.
Global Tuner Grand Prix, by Dan Jennings.
We had some down time between qualifying races and trials, so we checked out the vendors and displays in the marketplace area. The Mazda Raceway official shop was better than I expected, with stylish and high-quality clothes that stood apart from the usual souvenir type t-shirts. It also had a large selection of women’s clothes, so I didn’t have to fit into a unisex sweatshirt or boxy t-shirt as I usually would.
After the races, the cars staged inside the marketplace so people could check them out, and the drivers answered questions. It made the event very friendly, especially since this was a new world to us.
For real race fans and car aficionados, vendors offered everything from seat covers, to wheels, to used engine parts. I’m sure I could’ve gotten a sweet deal if I knew what anything was.
For my son, the booths from local high school robotics teams especially caught his attention. These kids are incredible — I don’t remember making remote controlled, solar-powered race cars when I was in high-school. Turns out there are national contests for these students to race against each other. Then I understood the incentive.
Overall, I thought the raceway was very organized, the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, and it was a great choice for a son with a lot of energy. We look forward to our next trip back, maybe for a motorcycle race this time!