On some level, I didn’t seriously process that the trip was going to happen until a day or so before I got on the plane. In December 2016, I entered aBlogtoWatch’s giveaway for a trip to New York in July to see the Qualcomm New York City ePrix as a VIP guest of TAG Heuer replica watches. I did not win at that point, and I did not expect to — I’d entered many of us monthly giveaways, but I always thought of those entries as inconsequential larks, fuel for idle fantasies of winning an interesting timepiece. This contest was especially exciting, but I had no illusions about the odds.
So, when the site announced another person as the winner, I just took it to be reality kicking in.
A few months later, I got an email from us informing me that the original winner couldn’t make it and inviting me to step in as an alternate. I agreed, but the sudden reversal of fortune made the prospect of actually taking the trip all the more surreal. And “VIP” can be a very flexible term; it could mean anything from a slightly easier check-in process at the race to an audience with the Pope. So even though I kept in touch about travel plans in the months before the trip, and I received a detailed itinerary a few days before the flight, I resolved not to think too much about the details or develop set expectations. I tried to stick to a mentality of taking the trip as it came.
It turned out to be everything I could have hoped for in terms of the racing and the accommodations. TAG Heuer is a founding partner of Formula E, the official timekeeper of the event, and its official watch. TAG would share with me all of the access that came with that relationship, and extend every generosity and hospitality they could to make the trip as fun and comfortable as possible. I would, moreover, get to spend most of the weekend hanging out with aBlogtoWatch’s own Ariel Adams, making the weekend a unique horological experience as well as a sporting one.