Monday, May 28, 2012

Strawberries anyone?

Our small group of fun seekers left Stafford and cruised 56 miles to the 19th Annual Strawberry Festival in Delaplane, VA.  Most of the time I lead our adventures but beginning this year I want to allow others to perform that chore….and it is a chore….so many things need to be constantly considered.  Keeping the group together through traffic lights, stop signs and wrong turns.  Being mindful of the speed of the group so we are not visited by the keepers of the peace.  Understanding the needs of the participants and their vehicles for the rest and/or fuel stops….part of making the trip enjoyable for all.  Planning a route that is less traveled to a destination we have visited before.  It’s all good but it is a chore….so I like to drive in the group sometime instead of leading.  I asked Fred to lead us to the Festival as he knows many lesser known ways around our countryside so we all followed the red/white ’57 Dodge around all day….cool!

This is one of those events that is just fun….something for everyone.  And no competition….just share your passion for our hobby with those that inquire as they move through the festival.  We arrived and met Franklin, Bull Run AACA, who sets up the vehicle display and he directed us to the parking.  From past experiences at this event I don’t think there is anywhere “bad” to park….it’s all on grass, on a knoll in the foothills of Virginia….what’s not to like?  We set up four canopies so all could be in the shade somewhere and a continuous breeze kept the humidity from becoming a problem while we hid from the sun.  There were many varied food vendors from crab cakes, funnel cakes, strawberry shortcakes, Asian cooking, German delights and much more….burp!  Oh yeah did I mention strawberries?  Oh Yeah!  Craft vendors from across the region sold their wares.  All types of entertainment from bluegrass, classic rock, folk, choral and bagpipes.  Hayrides in the fields of Sky Meadows and hiking on part of the Appalachian Trail.  A 4H petting zoo and pony rides along with a 5K fun-run on Sunday.  Whew….like I said, something for everyone!  Ya have to put this event on your calandar next year.

This was the first outing this year that was really hot and I think the Princess and I didn’t hydrate enough.  We had planned to visit the weekly cruise at the BK in Manassas, VA but when we got there the Princess was just pooped….she didn’t get out of the truck….just sat in the shade, drank some water and whined….’are we leaving yet?’  So I got the rest of our group, who were sitting INSIDE in the A/C, rounded up and Fred led us back to Stafford.  I think we will bring some Gatorade next time. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Weekend for C.O.P.S.

Cruisin For Heroes has been planning this event since last November and through the winter we finalized some details then on February 24, 2012 we sent the ad to the two sites most people go to when they check for events; or We settled on the date of May 19 because it was at the end of National Police Week and our charity was connected with NPW. When we put it up on the net there was nothing else scheduled that day….should work. But what is becoming the norm around here is that it doesn’t matter what else is happening on a particular date….if someone wants to have their event on a day….they just do it without checking on what else is scheduled on that day. That makes for low attendance for all events….everyone gets some participation but no one gets a large crowd. And it makes the participants pick one event between all the events even though they may want to attend the others too. It’s a dumb way to serve the car culture and raise money for charities. I’ll get off my soapbox now….

So we planned to run a Rally for a law enforcement group and since I’m usually on the other end of the pointy finger with most law enforcement I decided to ask advice from our sage of Law Enforcement. He recommended a group called C.O.P.S…..Concerns Of Police Survivors; We investigated the group and felt it would be a perfect fit for how we operate. We spent the next 3 months setting up the Rally! For those of you that haven’t been on one of our Rally’s, they are something like a poker run. But we do it a little different…. we have something interesting at each stop so the participants can spend some time checking out what is going on at the stop….that time is figured in the whole event.

Like a poker run each participant purchased one or more ‘Rally’ cards and when they arrive at each stop they draw a playing card from a bag.  That card is recorded on the ‘Rally’ card. At the last stop they draw the fifth card and the poker hand is complete.  Whoever has the highest hand wins ½ the proceeds from sale of the Rally cards.  In years past we have had Rallies of 150 miles or so….this year we decided to keep it less than 50 miles because of the price of gas and we wanted to cater to the local car crowd and give them an opportunity to participate locally in one of our Rallys.

We had enthusiastic assistance from Stafford County Sheriff’s office, Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy, Virginia State Police Area 5 office, 610 Cruisers and Home Depot in N. Stafford. We had invited Stafford Volunteer Fire Dept, Engine 2 and received confirmation that they would be involved but for whatever reason they were absent….? We had enlisted the participation of some C.O.P.S. representatives and they came through with a passionate presence at our event. The event began at 11AM and ended promptly at 6PM. We raised $325 for C.O.P.S. The sale of the rally cards was $230 so ½ was given to Darryl who had the highest hand, two pair. Some had donated beyond the Rally sale so we had $210 to give to C.O.P.S. But Darryl decided to give his winnings to C.O.P.S.! So we wrote the big check for $325!!!! Ron made an announcement about the C.O.P.S. group to the cruisers that didn’t participate so they could make a donation to C.O.P.S. and another $80 was raised! Beyond the money that was raised I think we raised the awareness of C.O.P.S. on Saturday, which is one of the things we try to do with all our events.
We sat around and talked with our friends at the cruise then motored home when the adrenalin stopped pumping and I started to slow way down…. these events are really stressful for me and sometime when I wind down I really wind down!

Be sure to check out the pictures at;

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finally a dry weekend.....whew!

  Finally a dry weekend….whew!

Friday evening we attend the BK in N.Stafford, this cruise needs to have more wives/girlfriend attendees to be successful….it’s starting to look like a boys club….something that I don’t want to help perpetuate. The traffic is so hateful trying to go north or south so we will keep supporting this cruise for now. I think there were about 10 cars that stayed and another 4-5 that cruised through. This is a nice location with easy ingress and egress. It has a number of food choices close too….it just needs to ‘catch on’.

Saturday we attended the Home Depot cruise (used to be the Bruster’s cruise) and found it to be a little off in attendance….I know there was some intense competition for them and as the summer unfolds the regulars will start coming back. They have a rotating DJ system and Saturday was Ron & Gary’s turn at the mike.

The 42 cars that participated ranged from Daryl’s purple Challenger to Ron’s ’28 Dodge. George & Yvonne brought their ’29 Willys Knight and two T-Buckets cruised in to liven up the atmosphere. I personally liked the copper & cream ’65 Ford F-100….nice. One of the downsides of attending a cruise where you are friends with a lot of the people and we all sit together is that the ladies conspire against us guys….they whine and chirp like baby birds in a nest. Us guys were settling in for a nice evening of conversation when the shrill noise overpowered us….I’M HUNGRY….FEED ME….ME ME ME. And the Princess was right in the center of the chorus. So a bunch of us walked to the Hibachi Buffet for dinner. I know there would be trouble complying with the government guideline for food consumption whenever I go to a restaurant with the word “buffet” in the name….it never works out well for me. I am from the generation that was told to clean my plate because there are people starving in China….so….when I order from a menu I do alright, but at a buffet….I have to do my part cleaning up all that food because the people in China are starving….still? So true to form I ate too much and had to waddle back to the truck while feeling like a tick that had been hanging on a dog for a week….burp! It was a beautiful evening and we talked till about 9:30 then decided to cruise on home….tomorrow would be a busy day.

Dan & Ramona met us at Bob Evans for breakfast around 6:30 then cruised to Fredericksburg, VA and the 22nd Annual Mothers Day Rod Run at Walker Grant MS put on by Fredericksburg Street Rods. This event is one of the “must attend” events of the year and with 155 registered cars it seems like a few others had it on their calendar too! The event is run with Military precision and things always seem to work out just right. It also seems that rain is usually in the discussion for this event and Sunday was no exception but the show ended and most got home before the rain began….whew. They have adult games, 50/50, neat goody bag with dash plaques, many trophies, vendors….especially the food vendor, ‘Tar Heel Pig Pickers BBQ’….their food was a cut above normal ‘car show’ fare. Although there were a couple trailered cars the other 148 were driven to the show and most are driven around our area to other events. That is why our group, Cruisin For Heroes, sponsors the longest distance, driven not trailered award at this and other events….we believe cars should be driven. There were many very nice examples of our varied car culture represented at the event but my favorite was the candy plum ’55 Merc custom….with swing up Continental kit! What a throwback….white interior, lake pipes, ports, Caddy taillights….the whole deal! There were cars from the Richmond, VA and New Market, VA area that came to play and we thank them for coming and making the event more complete. This event also has the winners drive up and receive their awards. This is a neat touch and allows everyone to see and hear the winning vehicles….making the winners feel a little ‘special’. That is a fault of so many other events, the award ceremony is rushed and relegated to just get it done so we can go….which is too bad.

So Dan packed up while I took a video of the winners and it soon was time to leave….we had an uneventful cruise home….now to get ready for next weekend….and the Rally….