Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Location, Location, Location

We had planned to visit the cruise in King William, VA on Friday but no one chose to join us on the 73 mile hike to the cruise, so we opted to visit the closest cruise instead….VA BBQ.  The cruise had about 45 cars attend and as usual some we have never seen.  The orange ’35 Plymouth Sedan with the Slant 6 engine was superbly done.  And a dark red ’55 Chevy Nomad came in with the maroon Pro Street Maverick that made way too much noise…..grin Special Ed & Carolyn cruised in with their eye popping orange ’39 Ford and Bill & Debbie showed up with their ever popular ’23 Model T racer.  It was, as always, an enjoyable evening with cars & friends….

Saturday we left early for our 3 mile trip to Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in N. Stafford, VA.  We arrived before the show staff got there….so naturally we went to the wrong parking area.  The Princess started freaking out….inquiring “was I sure this was the right Saturday, was this the right church, and is this the right parking lot”!  Comments made to assuage my own concern.  Then Denny & Betty drove up and parked next to us….and he joined in with the Princess….they were getting a little unhinged and I started doubting if we were at the correct place/day/time myself.  When we saw one of the staff arrive across the street we decided they were going to use the preferred area under the trees for the show location.  Whew!  In real estate the three most important things to sell a home is location, location and location.  That’s the way I feel about this show….the location on the grass makes this show. We had assisted Brent with the show a few years ago and always liked the grassy area with the low trees instead of the asphalt parking lot.   It’s a good show on the pavement but it’s a memorable one on the grass!  The participants are allowed to gather where they want to and space their vehicles the way they want to….it’s just perfect.  Since we were early we were able to secure the tree we liked best, and then set up our ‘camp’ to enjoy the beautiful chamber of commerce weather as the show unfolded.  The restroom facilities were porta potties….ok but just ok.  The food was very tasty and fairly priced no problems here!  The judging was done by “professionals” and they used a ‘point system’?  Most of the trophies were the usual local car show fare….but three of the “best of” trophies were very special hand built pieces.  Once the staff got set up they ran the event like a machine with the award ceremony beginning at 2PM and the show was complete on time at 3PM….what a concept!

The show has taken a hiatus since 2010 but now they are very much back!  This year the show was sponsored by Showcase Auto Body & Restoration in Fredericksburg and assisted by folks in the church.  The recipient of the $3000 donation from the show proceeds was S.E.R.V.E.  It was refreshing to have the receiver of the funds actually on site.  The only negative thing I thought about the show was the marketing….the people that manage the show need to get the event in front of people earlier and more precise.  It’s on the internet with two different dates.  I had some people e-mail me that they thought it was on the 26th….which was the rain date but the ad didn’t say that!  I feel that with proper advertising, to include reaching out to clubs, this could be a 200+ car event.

Ninety two cars attended the event and the mix was perfect.  Antiques, hot rods, customs, newer classics and muscle cars were all present….every type was represented.  There were also some cars in the mix that were new to us….big shows will bring out the ‘special’ cars.  I liked the green ’46 Chevy the best, but Arnold’s purple ’57 Chevy is definitely best of show quality.  I also liked the gold ’66 GTO and the black/silver original Mini was just too cool.  I think the spectator’s choice would have been Bill & Debbie’s beige ’23 Model T racer.  Bill allowed people to sit in it while he fired up the 4 cyl flathead.  The grin meter always spins out of control….for everyone!  Bill was sitting with us under the (our) tree when a gaggle of spectators walked near his car.  It looked to be three generations of one family.  Bill whispered to me “I bet that old guy knows what the three pedals do on the T”….!  Bill jumped up (as well as any of us old people can “jump”) and hobbled over to his car….I could tell the conversation was getting personal when the Grandpa got up in the car….you just had to be there.  And then Denny & Betty’s Gatsby is a real crowd magnet….you have to see this deal.  It generated much conversation and interest with ‘car’ people as well as spectators.  I think it has mufflers the size of a tanker truck….Denny needs to fix that, grin 

I guess the Princess and I are getting old….when we started the second installment of our hot rod adventure in ’04 we typically attended two events a day, sometimes three!  But now we are usually worn out with one.  We began our long trek home (3 miles) when the crowd thinned out….we had to get ready for tomorrow.

Sunday we met six other intrepid over the road cruisers at the WAWA in South Point, VA to begin the 2nd Annual Summer Screech.  This is an opportunity to eat at Capt. Georges, in Williamsburg, VA, that is thinly disguised as a cruise.  A few of us like to drive our cars rather than always sitting at shows or cruises.  So we make any excuse to fire up the hot rod and get on the road.  Having a renowned dining establishment to be the destination of our ride is just a coincidence.  Right! 

The cruise is a little over 100 miles….one way.  We stop about half way between the two ends for fuel and bladder relief.  The route is a lightly used way to get from Northern Virginia to the Tidewater Area of Virginia.  Most people opt for the Interstates but we like to use the flatlands of the Tidewater area near the Rappahannock River, York River and Chesapeake Bay.  The roadways are great, little traffic, enough fuel/restroom stops to take away that stress and a few small bridges to add to the interest.  The farmer’s corn is head high and almost ready to harvest soon I think.  It’s just a pleasant ride in the country….and did I mention there is food at the end? 

Capt. Georges is a Primo eating establishment….to call it a buffet is doing it a great injustice.  It is, indeed, a buffet but not like any you have experienced before.  The seafood includes just about anything that swims or crawls in the water.  But….chicken in many forms, roast beef, ham and vegetables that look/taste like they came from the local farmers market that morning can be had if your palette won’t tolerate seafood.  The salad bar is also very complete….although I don’t know why anyone would pay for a seafood buffet then eat salad?  It must be a yuppie thing.  Then the dessert bar….to die for!  Baklava, carrot cake, all kinds of other cakes, pies, cobblers, cookies and other sweet things that will peg your glucose meter real good!  Since we had a large group we were seated in a ‘special’ room away from the main dining room, which was a nice touch.  The wait staff is always very attentive and efficient.  This place rocks!  But….the Princess has accepted the challenge to help rid the ocean of those nasty snow crabs.  She says she knows it is a burden but it’s one she can handle, knowing she is doing her part.  I stopped counting her trips to the snow crab leg bar….I think those guys on Dangerous Catch TV have a picture of the Princess in their wheelhouse to remind them why they are on the water risking their lives….the Princess must eat!

We all ate too much….I think the ‘all you can eat’ is actually a challenge!  We want to get our money’s worth ($27 per person) so we eat more than we normally would….a buffet will do that to a person.  We poured ourselves in our rides….maxed the tilt up and cruised home.  It was a really neat way to spend the day on the byways of Virginia….I love this hobby.

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