Sunday, November 25, 2012

Over the River and Through the Woods Run 2012

OK….all the visiting munchkins have left our hovel….and we have eaten enough food in the last two days to feed a small village….what to do….what to do.  Oh yeah, it’s time for the fourth annual Over The River And Through The Woods Run!

The Princess and I begin planning the next years run the day of the last one….it’s a process.  Very complicated, confusing and secret….kinda like figuring out where our taxes go each year?  This year we wanted to utilize parts of last year’s route because many had commented favorably about it.  We wanted to use the same restaurant to end the event for the same reason.   Craig, the owner of Butcher Block Buffet in Stephens City, VA, had taken care of us very well last year so we wanted to return this year.  So all we had to do was find somewhere “car people” would like to visit near the Winchester, VA area.  I think we were lucky to find a good destination again this year in Vintage Motorcar Company, LLC.  After some preliminary communications we spoke with the owner Paul Rose, who after consulting with his staff agreed to host our cruise on November 24, 2012.  His business is normally closed on Saturday so to host our event he would have to make special arrangements to accommodate our schedule….Thanks Paul!
Some of us left Stafford, VA at 7:30 and cruised to the starting point, Burger King in Manassas, VA.  It was cold.  We left at 9AM with 19 cars and headed to Inwood, WV.  It would be an 85 mile trip on the Interstates but we took all back roads and the mileage was only 74 miles!  When we cruised through Haymarket, VA we picked up 3 more cruisers and now we were 22 cars.  Then in Marshall, VA we picked up 4 more cars and we were 26.  We made a pit stop at JJ Corner Store near Berryville, VA for fuel and stretching where we picked up 4 more cars and cruised to Inwood with 30 cars.  So in the group we had Ron from Richmond and two Mopar guys from Charlottesville and hot rodders from other parts of Virginia....It was very cool cruising and also a bit colder too.
Tony tried to make his part of the trip a little longer but finally made it to the restoration shop with the rest of us, I think those Mopar guys should come with a GPS….grin  Paul, his son and some of his staff made us welcome to his business and took the time to walk us through their incredible shop.  It always amazes me when we visit a shop like Vintage Motorcar Company of the detail of the restorations.  The takedown of the cars is in itself a task.  But they have to catalog and tag all the parts and determine what level of restoration needs to be done to each part.  The little parts that must be rebuilt or replaced and sometime built from scratch are often overlooked by car owners.   We usually just see the paint & bodywork or the interior or the engine….but so much more is involved with a quality restoration.  After spending a few minutes with Paul it was obvious that Paul & Co. knew what they were doing.  The depth of work and high bar of achievement they attain is nothing short of astounding.  As Paul says ‘he doesn’t build cars to be judged second….it’s the best or nothing!”   Paul took his time explaining to us about the detailed workings of his shop and how he reaches the level of quality that his shop represents.  He was very low key but authoritative….like a professor.  He asked for questions and would have had an engaged audience for hours.  But we needed to move on so at 2PM Paul ended his presentation.  We all thanked him and began wakening our cold beasts to motor down the road.  We don’t usually endorse the places we visit but Vintage Motorcar Company, LLC will be an exception.  If you have need of a quality restoration no matter how extensive or simple it is….you need to call Paul and go see him.  You will not be disappointed.
Did I mention it was cold….?  I have been bragging all summer about how cool the truck runs and I cleaned a mass of debris from the front of the radiator last week while repairing the leaking trans cooler.  It was blocking about ¼ of the radiator surface….so now it runs cooler.  But….Saturday the engine temp would not get to 100 degrees!  So the heater was blowing lukewarm air at best, like my heat pump at home.  This should be an easy fix….always something!
We arrived at Butcher Block Buffet around 2:30 and promptly began to chow down!  Craig had sequestered part of the back room for us and the grazing began.  The food at Butcher Block is what I call comfort food….not your little finger in the air type of cuisine but genuine country cooking.  I like this kind of food and everyone that commented to me about the food agreed.  That’s why we came back again!  Craig also arranged with the folks at the adjacent Comfort Inn to allow us to park our hot rods in their lot so they would not be subjected to door slams and zipper dragging….Thanks for that Craig
About 3:30 we said our good buys and began our cruise home, and it was getting colder.  Along the way home Sally took some photographs of us driving our cars, that is always a neat thing. 
One of the couples that usually accompany us on our adventures was celebrating their 50th Wedding anniversary and could not be with us Saturday.  But….we were invited to their anniversary party that evening so we cruised directly to Aquia Harbor, VA and the Country Club located in the community.  We met Jim & Linda, Lou & Arlene, Fred & Debie and Dan & Ramona at the Country Club then we all wished Ron & Jean well and helped them celebrate this milestone….something the Princess and I will do in a couple years too!   
This was a great end to the day….we motored home and discovered we had driven about 210 miles for the day….in the cold….I hear that the weather will be a little colder tomorrow and snow on Monday!

You can check out the pictures below....I took the first set, Sally Shifflett took the second and Carmen Billings took the last set....enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A very special time....

Monday we cruised to Massaponax, VA and the Golden Corral restaurant.  They were having a Veterans Day special where they honored Veterans with a free meal!  Sue and Coach with Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club organized a small group of special cars to come out and be on display for the Veterans to enjoy. 
At one point there were about 250 people waiting in line to go into the restaurant….unbelievable!  I think is so great for businesses to honor the ones that serve & protect us….most of them do their Duty then they fade into society and no one knows their contribution to who we are as a Country. 
Most of us stood by our vehicles to answer questions the Veterans had but the Princess went inside to personally thank all the Veterans she could.  She told me of one 83 year old lady Veteran that she talked to and was amazed how “spry” she was!  She does this every day we go somewhere….if someone is wearing a hat or jacket that indicates they are a Veteran or they have that “special” look of an active duty person, she will thank them for their service or welcome them home or some kind of recognition.  It’s really cool to watch her work!  I think it’s one of the reasons why God has allowed us to live this long….to thank others for helping to keep us safe.
We stayed about 3 hours then cruised back to N. Stafford….a neat deal….if you ever get an opportunity to thank our Veterans you need to count it as a very positive thing.


Monday, November 5, 2012

The end of the season is near....

Sunday the Princess and I cruised 16 miles to Fredericksburg, VA and the Car Hop Days Car Show at Family Diner.  This show is managed by Virginia Stockers Car Club and it was held to commemorate the first year anniversary of the Family Diner opening with the current owners, Monk & Debra.  Four of our friends came out for lunch with their daily drivers.  Debie had recently won a free lunch so she was cashing it in….but Fred still had to pay…..and pay….and pay.  Some ladies are so high maintenance, not unlike the Princess….hehehehe.

We frequent this diner anyway because of the superb service and the quality of the food….so a car show or cruise there is a bonus for us.  The venue is a little scattered and small for many more than 60 cars and there were 50 registered on Sunday!  Most of the vehicles were drivers and cars we see locally.  Coach’s graphically intense silver ’98 Camaro and Garland’s killer, lifted mulch hauling Toyota pickup are always a welcome addition to any show.  My favorite was the traditional black ’31 Ford Vicky.  The car has been on the road for only a few months and is a work in progress….like most hot rods.
It really is getting too late in the year to sit in chairs outside all day!  The Princesses lips were turning a little blue and since Halloween was over I knew she had to be getting cold….so we were glad the show ended around 4PM.  We cruised home with the din of the heater motor overpowering the exhaust sounds….I really have to fix that this winter!  I have to make the truck growl….it now sounds like a stock ’52 Buick….not a hot rod!
Our next adventure happens on November 24, 2012...the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We make our 4th annual 'Over The River And Through The Woods Run'.  This should be another fun run.  Then the Toys For Tots run on December 15th will end the "normal" season for us.