Search Results for: sweden

My bag arrived from Sweden!

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My bag came back!

Earlier this year I was flown over to Sweden to consult on the new Need for Speed game. On the last day in Sweden we hit the pub before flying out. I got pretty tipsy before getting to the airport, and somehow I’d left my bag at the hotel! With no time to get back to the hotel to get the bag I had to ditch it in order to make my flight home!

EA Games/Ghost have been trying to send my bag back to me ever since but it’s been stopped so many times and sent back and forth due to incomplete paperwork (mainly on what’s inside the luggage which I’d sincerely forgotten!).

Turns out the luggage is full of warm clothes, thermals even! Perfect for this cold Sydney weather ;)

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Day 3 – Gothenburg Sweden

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Best mug ever.

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Larry Chen from Speedhunters on the left, Antonio from Motor Mavens on the right. It’s been awesome working with these guys.

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I started a thing!

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Later that night; Central Station, a huge square, super picturesque.

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We wined and dined at the Norda Bar & Grill, an amazing restaurant in the Clarion Hotel Post which once used to be a Post Office.

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Elk carpaccio! Amaze!

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You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. Steak was next level. So soft. I’m not sure what cut it was, but the waitress suggested it was part of the inner leg.

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The best dessert I’ve eaten in recent memory. In the tin was what looked like caviar, but it wasn’t. Urgh… SO good.

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See the post office counters? They’ve done such a great job of preserving parts of the old post office. On point!

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The matching wines got me pretty tipsy, so, onto the bar for more!

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Hey Alexi!

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Brandon, who was the man behind JTUNED, a site which inspired me so much when I was starting JDMST back in the day, such a rad dude.

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Larry, he’s so sexy.

Great day of work yesterday, and even better dinner last night with the guys from the US and Japan. The topics that came up in conversation on our table were just so wrong, and had us laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes! It’s just so awesome to meet like minded people that you can click with almost instantly, and just be completely yourself around.

The US guys were in for just one night, so sad to not have more time with these cats. I’ll have to visit them in LA some time soon. I leave later this afternoon and I’m already beginning to freak out about the long 23hr trip back home.

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Day 2 – Gothenburg Sweden

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Brekkie #1. The usual stuff, but with meatballs!

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Brekkie #2. Loved the pate, smoked hams were amazing too.

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By the time I was leaving the restaurant was much more alive with hotel guests.

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Most of the other international guests expected to join me in Sweden aren’t arriving until later today, so I thought I’d rug up and go for a longer walk. I started by following the water. Many of the trees by the river have these cute bird houses on them.

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I stumbled into a district called Haga. Cobblestone roads and lots of wooden buildings. Gothenburg’s a pretty place.

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Loved this bicycle store. Air pump outside works even when the shop is shut, that’s really sweet.

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I then spotted these huge stairs and gravitated towards them.

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Almost at the top. It’s so quiet here in Gothenburg. There’s hardly anyone around. I only ran into a couple of joggers up here. It felt a little strange but wonderful to be up there on my own.

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The view from the top. I spotted some huge canons up here. It turns out it’s an old fort called Skansen Kronan which was built in the later half of the 17th century.

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Going back down.

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So cute, right?!

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A fountain, that wasn’t working. At the end of Haga was a public square which was busier than most of the city I’ve seen so far.

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Zoomer! Coolest thing I’ve spotted on the roads so far!

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The Japanese have landed. Charles Kha took us to Vapiano, a Pasta Pizza Bar.

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Alexi, Charles and Luke.

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Vapiano’s cool. Really nice and spacious, comfy and clean. You order at the kitchen and they make it right in front of you. Our chef Isabella had visited Australia before (surprise surprise!) and she has an Aussie boyfriend!

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The smells, sounds and chit chat with the chef.

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I went for the Scampi, it was delish.

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Beers with the homies! Such a great catch up with these guys. Amazingly Luke had never met Charles before!

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Luke and Antonio. After dinner we caught up with the Americans.

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We hit a small Irish Pub for a couple of jugs of beer and some crazy talk, the American guys brought a new dynamic to the night, it’s party time! I’m psyched to meet these guys.

When travelling overseas, I have a thing (it’s a very real thing) for buffet hotel breakfasts. I’ll often down a few cups of coffee as well as fresh juice and I’ll eat absolutely everything on offer in the one seating. I find is extremely enjoyable, therapeutic and just an awesome way to start the day.

I tried my best to stay up last night in order to get my body clock aligned with Sweden time, but after my short trip around the block I felt wasted and crashed at around 4-5PM. I woke up at midnight. Epic Fail. I watched TV, chatted to friends online into wee hours of the morning and finally got back to sleep for maybe another 2 hours before getting up at 5am.

I rolled out of bed and hit the buffet breakfast downstairs at around 6.30AM, it was still quite dark outside and there were only 2 people in the hotel’s restaurant. Excitement! A bread station with all sort of interesting breads, a hard boiled egg station, a hot food section with meatballs (whoo hoo!), a coffee and tea section, a cold foods area with all sorts of local cheeses, pickled and smoked meats and a bar for cold drinks.

Soon after breakfast I went for a long stroll. I’m here one whole day earlier than all the other international guests who are flying over for work. They all land this afternoon so I had time to kill. Gothenburg is a lovely little town. It’s picturesque and quiet. The people are friendly and say “Hey” when I say “Hi” and they all seem to speak English well. No one wears sunglasses here, strange but true, and it’s nowhere near as cold as I thought it would be. Also, I’ve not seen one single modified car here. Everything is stock and quiet. The loudest thing I’ve heard are the church bells!

Later that night I was just about ready for bed but got a call from Alexi Smith of Noriyaro to say that he and Luke Huxham of Maiham Media had landed from Japan. Charles Kha was coming to the hotel and he was going to take us out for a late dinner (which was awesome!). A little later on the Americans arrived; Larry Chen from Speedhunters, Antonio Alvendia from Motor Mavens and Brandon Leung from BOWLS LA. We hit an old Irish pub, and the party almost started (but had to end as everyone was buggered and we had an early start the next morning). Good times ahead!

PS: I’m staying at the Avalon Hotel. It’s a gorgeous little 4-star hotel right in the thick of it. It’s super comfy. I’m loving it (bed is great, fine Egyptian cotton sheets are even better!). Highly recommend it if you ever stay in Gothenburg!

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Day 1 – Sydney > Singapore > London > Sweden

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Saying one last goodbye to my rock pool.

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Cacia and Jess getting nekkid for my lens.

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First stop, Singapore. 1 hour to refuel and and I was in this queue to board again for London.

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The sun rising in London. Not as grey as I expected!

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Gothenburg! Ice Ice Baby.

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My lovely boutique design hotel room complete with Fritz Hansen side table and a pair of Marc Newson embryo chairs out in the hallway.

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Said Marc Newson chairs! Not surprisingly, they’re just as un-comfy as they look.

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Everything is in the right place. My inner industrial design geek is lovin’ it!

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The bathroom, where I had the best shower I’ve had this year. Fuck I felt so much better!

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I smashed a small bottle of red and went for a walk soon after settling into my hotel room.

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A church a few blocks down from the hotel.

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Water! And yeah, it’s cold, not unbearable, but cold enough to wear gloves.

I’ve got a big mouth, and keeping secrets isn’t a strongpoint of mine, so keeping this huge trip to Sweden away from social media has been a challenge and a half to say the least. The trip is huge for a couple of reasons: 1) it was only mentioned a couple of weeks ago so I’ve had very little time to plan or get my head around it, 2) I’ve never travelled alone, let alone this kind of distance before.

Having just recently returned from a great trip to Melbourne. I was meant to be jetting off to Queensland to test tyres on the race track, shoot Amber (Max Stats) who I’ve been meaning to shoot for a couple of years now, as well as visiting my great friend Liz to celebrate her 40th.

Just a few days ago this Sweden trip ended up being pushed forward a couple of days as the flights on the intended travel dates were booked out, this meant that I would have landed back in Sydney on a Sunday night and then I’d be on my way to Sweden the very next day.

This stressed me out pretty hard as it meant I had only a couple of days to get ready for Sweden weather (it’s -5 there so I had to buy winter wear!), pack my bags for Sweden before leavening for Queensland and basically land and go.

Luckily, or unluckily, whichever way you choose to look at it, my Queensland trip ended up being cancelled due to a cyclone (testing tyres on the track has now been re-schedule for Calder Park in Victoria when I land back in Sydney and I later found out that Liz also postponed her Birthday Party due to bad weather). This news acted like a release valve for my high stress and anxiety levels. It meant that I could have made it to Halfway Hangs, an epic car meet between NSW and QLD, but I decided against going, and instead played host to NYC based Model and Artist Cacia Zoo instead.

As I type this I’m on a plane to Gothenburg in Sweden. It’s a short 1.5hr flight. I’ve had the first coffee since the last one I had in my own kitchen in back in Sydney. My back is a little sore, my ass is numb. I feel greasy, empty and beyond tired.

Rewind back to Sydney; the house got up early. Cacia, Jess and I walked over to the beach house to shoot. Cacia stripped down (she’s been so comfortable with being nude she’ll happily take her pants of without going to a change room), Jess followed suit. Cacia; damn, this girl moves, fast (which really suits me as I shoot fast). She dances, she goes through a spectrum of emotions, my lens loves her.

After the shoot we had brunch, then I was on my way to the airport. My thinking was that I could edit the shots during my long trip from Sydney to Gothenburg, but there really wasn’t any one time where I could work with my back to the wall. I wasn’t sure how the people sitting next to me would have felt if I was editing nudes, so I didn’t go there.

I’m renowned for teleporting in any case, and teleport I did. From Sydney to Singapore I watched the latest X-Men flick (loved the Sentinels! Took me back to the X-Men comics I used to read in high school), then I slept and pretty much woke up in Singapore. Teleporting on the flight from Singapore to London was a little harder, but I still managed to sleep most of the way. I tried to watch Godzilla, but fell asleep. I watched ‘LUCY’, which was great (I’m a Scarlett fan), and ‘Nightcrawler’, which wasn’t as dark or stylish as I was hoping it to be. The best movie I watched was ‘Whiplash’, which I truly got into (I felt it reunited my love for Jazz and I urge anyone who loves music to watch it).

I’ve flown British Airways the entire trip. I usually really look forward to airplane food, not sure why, always have. Maybe it’s because it makes me feel like I’m an astronaut eating space food, something like that, but I tell you what, this had to be the worst airplane food I’ve ever had.

Anyways, the plane is descending into Gothenburg. The sun is up. It’s been a dark trip. I didn’t even get to see the sky in Singapore and landing in London at 5am was pitch black and cold out on the runway as the sun was rising. I’m looking forward to being outside! More news as it comes!

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Vegas Trip: Day #5 – SEMA

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This was shot INDOORS!

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We headed next door to the Palazzo for breakfast this morning, they’ve re-created Venice, complete with wet look tiles, a gorgeous painted sky on the ceiling and real Gondolas!

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Then we headed in to SEMA again.

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I spent this day socialising mostly. This is Ravi from V2LAB who I’ve been in contact with over the net for years now. So great to finally meet him, and his girl Nalanie, who are such an amazing power couple! Was awesome to watch them work, capturing both video and stills throughout the day.

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Had to revisit this FD.

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And I had to get better shots of the Old & New Japan at Toyo stand.

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Pretty awesome (yes I’m partial to slant nosed Porsches!).

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Greaser RPRSNT! John Lor and Simon, also from Sydney!

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Art. The gold chrome engraved Nissan GT-R created by Kuhl Racing.

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Widebody everything. S2K at the Konig stand.

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Enjuku 350Z at the Konig stand, driven by Savanna Little.

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LB everywhere.

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FK2R, which we’re not going to get in Aus.

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I then finally caught up with Antonio Logan, who’s been our USA Zen Garage contributor since early 2015. The guy is just SO Zen. I love his vibe. He’s motivated and super positive (despite missing his flight, and having his luggage go missing too!!!). Really looking forward to working with Antonio going forwards.

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My man! I then caught up with another Antonio (!). Antonio Alvendia from MotorMavens, who I first met in Sweden for Need for Speed last year. We’ve not seen each other since but it feels like yesterday. LOVE THIS GUY!

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As we were leaving SEMA a bunch of promoters on the street were handing out strip club flyers. Antonio was quick to grab some, turns out a little trick he likes to do when he hands out business cards to prospective clients is to “accidentally” spill out titty flyers as he’s grabbing a card out of his wallet!

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Luke’s Lobster Las Vegas!

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Lobster Roll FTMFW!

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Crew!

We woke up a little earlier this morning and ate brekkie at the Palazzo next door, which has a fantastic, and quite trippy painted ceiling. SEMA was different for me today too. MUCH more social as I spent the day catching up with friends I’ve met over the net.

Being done with the big nights, we’ve booked a car to head to the Hoover Dam tomorrow, then on to The Grand Canyon. Should be a refreshing break from all the booze!

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It’s confirmed! Zen Decals in Need For Speed!

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Zen Graff sticker applied to windshield.

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All the Zen logos!

I’ve had my fingers crossed since my trip to Sweden (where I consulted on the new Need For Speed) earlier in the year, but it’s confirmed! All the Zen logos feature as stickers you can apply to your cars in the new Need For Speed (the most successful racing video game series in the world!). I’m beyond stoked!!!

For more info, visit: http://www.needforspeed.com/en_AU

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Need For Speed

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Embargo has been lifted! I’m now allowed to reveal that earlier this year I was flown over to Sweden to play and consult on the new NEED FOR SPEED.

I’ve played the game (in development) and it’s going to be AMAZING. I just kept say “about time!”, especially in regards to car customisation. These in-game grabs should get you pretty excited, and give you an indication of what’s to come.

More about NEED FOR SPEED on Zen Blog!
Visit: http://www.zengarage.com.au/2015/05/all-new-need-for-speed/

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Northern Beaches Sunset Cruise

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I ran out of car wash, so got creative and used LYNX hair wash instead!

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Suds up nice!

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Ahhhh, the Northern Beaches. I used to want to live in Palm Beach as it reminds me so much of Byron Bay.

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Maybe my fave car on the night.

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Diversity. Got to love it!

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Alexi waxing lyrical at our final destination at Palm Beach.

I missed the last sunset cruise which Cordy organised last year. I wasn’t about to miss her second cruise though.

Cordy lives in the Northern Beaches, and has a pretty tight crew of down to earth peeps, all who are car crazy. The cruise was postponed due to bad weather last week, but last night the meet and cruise went ahead.

Just a week ago I was hanging out in Gothenburg, Sweden with Alexi of Nori Yaro Japan, he messaged me to let me know he was in Sydney visiting family! Naturally I dragged him out for the cruise. I’m pretty sure he had a lot of fun seeing some Aussie muscle on the night (a break from the stuff he usually see’s in Tokyo I’m sure!).

More pics on Zen: http://www.zengarage.com.au/2015/03/sunset-meet-cruise/

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EOMM Featured on Car Throttle

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February EOMM.

Sometimes you have to step out and see things from another perspective (before it’s all lost). The Sydney car scene has been fighting against the hoon label we’ve been slapped with for years. Sometimes I’m not even sure if we’re winning the fight, or losing.

When I read social media, sometimes I think we’re losing. Kids are so quick to type and not think twice, inciting and spreading hate as well as fear about cops setting up defect stations at my meets which in turn stops a lot of people from coming out to play.

But on the night, true car enthusiasts rock up despite the haters behind their keyboards suggesting they should stay at home as they might get defected if they turn up to the meets.

Real life > Internet

When I was recently in Gothenburg, Sweden I met Darren Cassey. I proudly showed him my Facebook reach, he then told showed me his, my jaw dropped and I felt totally embarrassed. Turns out he works for Car Throttle, one of the biggest car blogs in the world with over a million followers on Facebook alone.

Darren told me that Car Throttle gets a lot of Aussies commenting on hoon laws, he saw photos from our most recent February EOMM which inspired him to write a feature about our scene.

It’s early Sunday morning, but my day is made! Be sure to check out the feature titled: Here’s Why Australian Car Culture Is Probably The Best In The World Right Now – http://www.carthrottle.com/post/heres-why-australian-car-culture-is-probably-the-best-in-the-world-right-now/

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Melbourne Day 1

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On a plane, again. Nuts… right?!

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Berty from Cars For Hope, Cam from ClubITR, Alain, Rob and Sean from Motorculture and Photographer Matthew Everingham on Tiger air.

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Hello again Melbourne!

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Our chariot.

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Now a Zen Chariot.

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Staying at the Quest, at the airport. Whaaaat?! Nice room but, even better room mate.

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No food around the airport so we went out hunting. Mix Master Alain put some Beastie Boys on, we had arrived.

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Money wall at Lazy Moe’s, a huge food stop we saw on the side of the road.

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The menu was HUGE.

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MB long necks (so much better than VB!) one for each of us!

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V8 Supercar Driver for TEKNO Autosports Jonathon Webb, our pro driver for tomorrow’s drive day.

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Chicken Parma, as huge as the menu!

And I’m jet setting again! This trip had initially been planned for QLD, but the cyclone hit, and it not only got postponed to after I got back from Sweden, but moved to Calder Park in Melbourne.

We’ll be testing new tyres on the circuit. I’m tired and still very much recovering from my Sweden trip, but hey… I’ll recover later!

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