Monday, October 28, 2013

The end is near.....grin

Saturday at 8AM the Princess and I left the WAWA in N. Stafford, VA and cruised 31 miles to Manassas, VA.  Our objective was the Burger King near the airport so we could be part of this year’s Bull Run Street Rodders, Fall cruise.  This club puts on a cruise every year in the Fall that we always try to attend as they are an experienced club that knows the value of a lazy drive through the Virginia countryside.  And that they always end their outings somewhere that has good food adds a bonus to the day.

When we arrived at BK there were already a few cruisers in the lot and more began arriving as some of us grabbed a bite to eat inside.  Since the event is as much of a social thing as a car thing, most of the guys significant others come with them.  I know some of the ladies don’t care much for car deals but they will go for a ride in the country to find somewhere to eat….almost as good as shopping….almost!  Since some of the ladies rarely accompany the guys, this social time allowed us to get reacquainted with old friends and meet new old friends….always a good thing.
Shortly after 9am we all woke up some of Detroit’s finest of yesteryear, and headed W. NW to Stephens City and the Butcher Block Buffet….about 57 miles.  Driving around in a vehicle that is old is always an adventure….but some of our rides are almost 90 years old….that’s Ninety!  Every creak, shake, noise or vibration adds to the experience of the day.  We truly do not know if we will come home under our own power or ignominiously on a roll back.  But since we are in a group of 15 + vehicles we feel safer….I think it’s a herd mentality.  The collective knowledge and skill that is represented in our little traveling car show can usually fix anything well enough to proceed or return home.  That sanguine feeling is something that’s missing when we travel alone….so we prefer traveling in a group most of the time.
Traveling the Virginia countryside, in the Fall, can be fraught with surprises.  Not the least of which is meeting another fellow sojourner out for the day with their prized example of coach craft from yesteryear.  We met a young man traveling opposite from us in a pale green 1952 Buick.  As is customary we all waved and smiled….a knowing acknowledgment that we were doing something that few in our hurry up, hi-tech world will take the time to do.  Enjoying the day riding around in a touchable reminiscence of yesterday!  Some need to get acknowledgment of their handy work by competing for awards.  Some hide their rides in garages and trailers.  Some brave the rock chips and bug splatters to enjoy the rides the way they were meant to be enjoyed….by driving them!  While we cruised the byways we picked up a few other cruisers that folded in with us as we kept rolling toward Stephens City.
We arrived at our destination to find that the club had secured permission to park our rides in the adjacent business parking lot so we wouldn’t be subjected to the bumps and bruises on our vehicles that often accompany parking with non-car people traveling in their daily drivers.  The Comfort Inn has done this in the past and it’s an example of local businesses helping each other get through their business day. 
Soon after we secured the vehicles we all descended on the Butcher Block Buffet.  The Bull Run Street Rodders had negotiated with the managers of the restaurant for a great price for all of us and a semi private room so we could be seated together.  That kind of pre planning is crucial to a successful event.  If you can’t find enough to eat at this restaurant then you just don’t want to eat.  Everything they prepare is exceptional and that it’s a buffet means you can eat enough to last till Thanksgiving…grin The service for our group was as always, top shelf. The wait staff is attentive and so helpful its difficult not be impressed.
Too soon it was time to depart….we had to get home before the deer came out!?  One of the collateral benefits of the restaurant location is that it allows us to take many different routes to end up in the same general place.  So as the parking lot emptied the cruisers were going like a starburst in all directions….really cool.  We motored home by a different route to give a new look to the day as we headed back to Stafford….I love this hobby!
Sunday we left to attend the last show of the year at Family Diner in Fredericksburg, VA.  We like to frequent this eatery during the year and always try to support Monk & Debra when they have a show.  We got a late start so we arrived around 11:30. And why did we get a late start?  I read a warning on Facebook that the time was going to change on Sunday….Ok….that means we could get some extra sleep.  But the Princess couldn’t sleep so she got up early to change all the clocks.  Now at our home….we….have….clocks.  Grandfather clocks, mantle clocks, microwave clocks, coffee machine clocks, stove clocks, kitchen cabinet clock, computer room wall clock, family room wall clock, garage clock, three car clocks, two cell phone clocks, two computer clocks, a projection clock in the bedroom (don’t ask), an alarm clock, a Princess watch clock….we got clocks.  The changing of the time at our home is a bi-annual event of epic proportions.  So when I started getting the warnings on Facebook about the time change I made sure the Princess was alerted.  In years past we were passive about it….we would look at the computer or cell phone in the morning, that is supposed to automatically change, and say….good grief, the time changed and then kick into clock changing mode.  This year I decided that we would be pro active and change BEFORE the morning so we would wake up and the time would be right.  A plan!  Without getting into too much detail….I told the Princess the wrong weekend!  I didn’t find out till AFTER she changed most of the above mentioned clocks.  It was not a happy time in the Shotwell hovel….angst just doesn’t adequately describe the mood.  A noxious blue cloud of very UN Princess like verbiage directed at me, the minion, might be a little closer to what happened.  In the end the Princess announced to me that the clocks were NOT going to be changed back….we would just deal with it this week….OK, I knew that!
So when we arrived all the lots were full and we parked on the street, which was ok as we did not intend on staying for the end of the event.  There were about 70 cars in attendance that varied from near new to a T-bucket.  Even Wyatt traveled from Annapolis with his DeLorean to be part of the day’s festivities!  I really liked the yellow and blue ’51 Chevy Pickup….a very nice ride.  The Virginia Stockers car club assisted with the registration and kept the event moving in the right direction.  The event was to be a Halloween deal so some of the people dressed up….Kandy and her zombie was over the top scary, I think Kandy liked the chain part, grin.  Monk & Debra looked like they stepped out of a Grease movie set.  Too much fun!?  There was also a band, Black Jug Relic, which belted out the tunes while the munchkins wore out the moon bounce!  It was a fun event and a fitting end to the show season around here.  There will be a few more cruises like our Over The River And Through The Woods Run November 30 and the Toys For Tots run December 14 and don’t forget the Veterans Appreciation display at Golden Corral on November 11.  We’re getting close to the end of this season….the Princess is starting to whine already….it’s going to be a very long winter me thinks.   

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