Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Meeting new old friends.

Dan & Ramona and the Princess & I left Stafford, VA at O-Dark thirty to cruise to Williamsburg, VA and the Tidewater Street Rod Association’s 39th annual Rod Run. We had planned to attend this event for a few years now but something always came up that prevented us from going. It had been raining all week but the weather guessers had promised dry weather on the weekend….for once they were right….almost!

There are a few different ways to drive from Stafford to Williamsburg and they all are within 3 miles of the same distance of 118 miles. But we took the “quicker” route on Saturday morning; I-95S>I-295S>I-64E, then into Williamsburg on surface roads. VDOT has been resurfacing the Interstates for a while now and the most of the “roads” were OK. But….the interchange from I-295 to I-64E was horrible! As I approached the transition the holes in the road became very large very quickly….I think I saw alligators swimming in one of them. I had to steer the RedRat around them and the surface was so uneven that the car started bouncing up and down and side to side! It was bouncing so violently that my head was slamming into the cab roof trying to make the little button on the top of my hat become a permanent part of my skull!!!! I was hanging on the steering wheel, squinting my eyes from the pain, downshifting and lane checking for cars….yeah distracted driving came to mind! I missed the turn! Just like that! So now where were we going? The Geepus Creepus (GPS) said I could turn around about 5 miles down the road…. What a bummer! We made the U turn and the rest of the drive was uneventful…. Tell me again why we can’t use the crossovers that the Troopers use?

We arrived at the event a little early so we cruised around the lot checking out the parking. I usually let the Princess pick the parking spot after we arrive at an event, it reduces the whine factor during the day when the sun moves and her delicate self starts heating up and I get blamed for picking out such a stupid parking spot. I am trainable! She picked a primo spot by some trees so we didn’t have to erect the canopies to stay in the shade….always a good thing. And the Princesses chair was up on a little mulch mound….which gave her a little elevation so she could look down on her subjects….she always likes that!

So what were you doing in 1972? I was still in SoCal working for Presley Co., servicing new homes with my friend Lee. The Princess and I would move to Virginia about a year later. Going across country with her new ’72 440 4spd Road Runner GTX and my new ‘73 Dodge PU pulling a boat. My weird younger brother, which had the personality of an ADHD chimp on crack, was driving the Ryder truck with all our worldly possessions….getting chased by a tornado in Oklahoma…. but that’s a story for another time. ? But in Williamsburg, 1972 found a bunch of guys/gals having their first Rod Run! 39 years ago….wow.

This event is a “Rod Run”….like a cruise. No judging, no trophies just drive in and share your car with other car people AND some visitors to the Colonial Williamsburg area that day. We had many “spectators” stop by and talk about our hobby, I like to do that. We got to meet another intrepid HotRodHotLine reporter, Bing Gatewood. He brought his new ride, a drop dead gorgeous red Chevelle ….his ’55 was very nice but his Chevelle is over the top! TSRA ran the event like a Swiss watch….yeah they have done it a few time before….grin They had a 50/50 and a really neat, event made quilt they raffled off. They had games for the kids AND the adults….with prizes for game winners at the end of the event. Since they don’t have trophies they have really nice door prizes….like welders, mini vacations and more. The door prizes were nice, the Princess won $100 from ProFinishes Plus ….she said that’s better than a trophy and now I can add some bling to her car? OK….?

As I was walking around taking pictures and talking to people I asked some of the staff people where our motel was in relationship to the event lot. I was told I could see it through the woods! I asked, OK, I see it but how do I drive there….right, left, straight out of the lot or wait for the mother ship to transport us to the motel? No one had the answer! So after the last door prize numbers were drawn and we packed up and left….we began our trek to the motel. We drove for 30 minutes, around in circles, past the event lot, around many buildings. We couldn’t find the entrance to the motel! Dan & I were getting really stressed out….Dan was using some words I hadn’t heard for a long time….it was really stupid to hide the entrance from us….I know it’s eco friendly with all the trees and shrubbery but it was like a treasure hunt gone wrong just to find out where to get into the motel! When we finally found the entrance and registered we found out our rooms were at the extreme opposite end of the motel from the registration desk….and we were on the second floor….and there was no elevator! Poor Dan…. Ramona has to have a lot of “stuff” when she travels….since we rode Harleys for 40 years we are used to traveling light. The gated parking held maybe 20 cars for over 100 rooms! I had to drive the RedRat up to the box to swipe my room card to raise the crossing gate arm so I could access the lot. Of course I couldn’t reach the scan box so I had to unfold myself to get out of the car, not an easy thing for me….scan the card, the gate arm went up and by the time I got back in the car I just knew the gate arm was going to come down on the coupe! The Princess saw my dilemma and jumped out of her coupe and held the gate arm open. Once inside the lot there were no parking places! So I parked illegally as we unloaded all three cars.

After we got unloaded we left to cruise to the main reason Ramona came with us….Capt. Georges Seafood Restaurant! Whenever we get within 50 miles of this place Ramona always lobbies us to go there. When the Princess and I started eating there, many years ago, the buffet was $18, now its $31 each! It’s pricey but very good and you cannot find a restaurant with a better buffet. We all ate too much then waddled back to the motel for the evening. But we had to park in an overflow, gravel parking lot and walk to the motel. The rooms were very nice at $148 a night but access to the place is tedious at best….I don’t think we will go back to that place. There are too many better choices within 5 miles to be subjected to that kind of frustration again.

Sunday morning we had the continental breakfast at the motel, which was ok, then left for home. We took the “back” way home that would take us through very rural parts of Virginia….the roads were practically deserted….much better than the Interstates. We put the hot rods in the garage and while we were unloading them it started to rain….whew. A great weekend driving our hot rods around giving people something to wave at….what’s not to like?

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