Last year for my 25th birthday, I decided to implement a new rule – Travel somewhere new every birthday.
I had planned to just visit my sister since I’ve never been to Indiana. Little did we know, the Indy 500 was happening on the day of my birthday.
We booked the tickets and started planning out our weekend. A couple days later she hits me up and says, “Want to go to Miami for my birthday??” (Our birthdays are a week apart – May 24 and May 30). I had already put in my vacation time for my new job and figured they’d fire me before I even started if I extended my trip. So I questioned myself. When was the last time I took a risk? So I said fuck it, let’s go!!
Here’s my story…
Indy 500 – The Snake Pit
Who doesn’t like an outdoor party!?
It was your typical EDM concert except, this one took place in the middle of the Indy 500 race. Yes, you can party at a concert while you watch a live race over the fence. Cool, right?
If that wasn’t enough, you also have a parking lot full of people tailgating. Grilling, drinking, playing beer pong, listening to music, and dancing. There’s no way you’re getting bored!
After tailgating for a couple hours, we made our way to the snake pit. Thousands of people dressed up in their finest American flag themed apparel to celebrate Memorial Day.
Boy was it hot! No shade, 80 degree weather, and sweaty bodies bumping against each other. We made our way to the front in hopes that Steve Aoki would see my “It’s my BIRTHDAY” sign. I was determined to get caked. Before you know it, someone sprays champagne all over the crowd, ruining the entire thing.
We partied and danced while Steve Aoki, Atrak, and Kaskade played their top hits. When we walked to the fences to watch a little bit of the race, I got confused at what I saw. Low, single seater cars? Hmm, where are the real race cars?
Apparently Nascar and Indy 500 are two different things (face palm).
At the end of the day, we ended up having to walk 2 miles back to my sister’s apartment. Police blocked off the road coming towards the arena, preventing Uber from picking us up. Luckily, a guy with a pickup truck let us hop in the back for the last few blocks.
Snake Pit General Admission Tickets: $15
Indy 500 Race Day General Admissions: $40
Tailgating tip: Make a sign, banner, or flag so that all your friends can easily find you. Be creative!
Don’t Drink and GoPro
A couple weeks before my trip, I decided to buy a GoPro. During the tailgating party, I tested it out to make sure I knew how to use it. As we made our way into the pit, my sister’s friend picked me up on his shoulders to get a better view. I started filming the crowd with the GoPro in one hand and holding my sign in the other.
On top of the few drinks I had, it gave me such a rush that when I got down I started jumping around with the GoPro stick still in my hand. Before you know it, some guy knocks into the stick and all I remember seeing was my poor little GoPro flying above the crown.
I started panicking, yelling, “MY GOPRO!!” as I crouched down searching between everyone’s legs. There was no hope. The ground was too muddy that it must’ve sunk into it with all the other trash (or some evil person took it).
Despite losing the GoPro, I managed to still have a blast. After all, I wasn’t going to sulk about something I can buy over a memorable experience.
…Just think twice before you drink and GoPro!
Click here to read part two of my birthday trip to Miami!