If during one of our recent general meetings, you witnessed a crowd of people gathered around the signup table and wondered what the fuss was about, it was most likely that they were signing up for the fourth annual Lasagna Dinner at the home of Don and Connie Ceo!
Because of space limitations, the event is limited to fifty people, and when you consider the delicious food and warm hospitality, you begin to understand why it fills up so quickly. Of course, this year was no exception, and a cool, early-fall evening was the perfect back-drop for good friends, and delicious Italian comfort food.
Since Don and Connie are always the consummate hosts, they make sure everyone is met with warm greetings, well-crafted cocktails, and an array of appetizers, many of which were provided by the club members in attendance.
With the nibbling and refreshments covered, everyone relaxed out on the covered patio. But it wasn’t long before dinner was called, and we were presented with an inviting buffet of warm rolls, fresh salad, and of course, the main entree of piping hot lasagna with its classic layers of pasta, cheese, and homemade sauce that all combined into a deep, rich, irresistible flavor.
There was also an ample amount of the best Italian sausage and peppers I’ve had in a long time. Seriously, this was so good!
After dinner we had an impressive selection of member provided desserts that included, cheese cakes, cookies, lemon bars, cobblers, cream puffs, and individual fruit tarts.
After dinner we kicked-back and lingered around the tables, and it wasn’t long before a card game broke out. The sounds of silver coins tinking together on the table was reminiscent of old-school Vegas as card players tried to bluff their way to winning enough cash for a down payment on a new C8.
Okay, maybe not, but if nothing else a lot of dimes and quarters changed ownership. At the same time, out on the patio a game of Shut the Box got started, and again untold riches were won and lost.
So next year, if the duo of Don and Connie are so gracious as to host a 5th annual event, be sure to get your name on the list early.
2019.09.19 – G’Day mate, looking for a little shrimp on the barbie? Well you came to the right spot – along with twenty-eight of our fellow club members for the September Taste-of-the-Town.
The Outback claims to be the home of juicy steaks, spirited drinks, and true Aussie hospitality. So, in that spirit, I personally skipped the entrée and went straight for the platypus pie, while I think it was Mark Ware who had a hopping good sandwich with the house special, a Kangaroo Burger.
But seriously, we had a good time, and there was a variety of food choices delivered up and down the table. The warm rye bread and butter are always a nice beginning, and some of the appetizers included their famous Bloomin’ Onion and Aussie Fries, and the entrees ran the gamut from ribeye’s and chicken fried chicken, to lobster tails and burgers. Our servers were pleasant, attentive, and tried to stay organized against our often-disorganized group, which helped to make the meal just that much nicer.
We want to thank the fine folks at Outback for a nice experience, and certainly for being Corvette friendly! I am confident that we will be back.
Do you want to get in on the fun? Join us Thursday, October 17th for another great
Taste of the Town at…
Late on a warm Sunday morning, we gathered in the shade of the Walmart parking lot trees, where we met for a little social time before heading off to Ventura for our miniature golf adventure.
We cruised down Highway 126, into the only slightly cooler weather along the coast, where we were welcomed with plenty of easily accessible parking at the Ventura Golf n’ Stuff amusement park.
After checking-in with the staff, we met our golf pro, and were promptly fitted with our club and individually colored golf balls that would be ours for the rest of the day – providing we could find them. Then, dividing into teams of mixed doubles, we headed off to the first carpet covered tee box.
Because the groups quickly stretched out along the links, it was difficult to keep track of how everyone was doing. But hearing the crowd murmurs ahead of us, followed by the energetic, but restrained applause of the spectators, it was evident that some of the teams were doing quite well.
Although, I can attest to the fact that the afternoon was certainly a lot of fun, it was clear early-on that our approach to the holes was proving somewhat troublesome. Even after a bomber off the first tee where we all seemed destined for Augusta, the windmill obstacle swept away any hopes for a career in the pint-sized PGA.
Undaunted, we followed the teams of T-Mac and Woodings through the course where our team experienced a couple of back-to-back super-bogeys on the second six that put us way behind, adding more time to the ever-increasing obstacles. On the bright side, we only encountered one water trap, and that turned out to be at the snack bar where they charged $5 a bottle!
Anyway, with a few birdies being left by the gulls along the handrails, and a few wayward drives on the mineshaft-dog-leg, our eight-teen over final round sealed our fate from ever receiving a coveted green jacket.
However, the talk around the clubhouse was that Tom Tomlinson had topped the leaderboard, and was last seen running around waving his golf towel in the air, and high-fiving with the spectators, although this could not be confirmed.
Regrouping back at the cars, we headed down the 126 again to meet in Santa Paula, this time at the Chapala Mexican Restaurant for a well-deserved dinner. Here, the private backroom provided a warm, but private sanctuary to enjoy cold drinks and cocktails while we had plenty of time to share extraordinary tales of fairway fables.
But the chatter soon subsided as everyone turned their attention to the appetizingly colorful dishes of tortillas, tamales, and tapas that proved to be a great ending to another terrific SCVCC event!
Our Surprise Breakfasts are always a lot of fun, and this one did not disappoint!
We gathered on a perfect So-Cal Saturday morning at the Copperhill Walmart for coffee and chatter before the drivers’ meeting where we were promised to be taken west along Highway 126 towards the coast. There, we would be given additional instructions.
The Corvette caravan made its way to Ventura, where we were instructed to take a right at the Pacific Ocean, and head north on the 101 freeway.
Twenty miles or so up the coast we were told to take the Evans Ave. exit, and BOOM, there it was–the always refreshing Summerland Beach Café! There was much rejoicing.
Having the outdoor patio reserved exclusively for our group was nice, and we could not have asked for a more perfect coastal morning to dine alfresco. The food, as always was very good. From the Crabby Bill’s Benedict and Wonder Wa-Full, to the Marvelous Mary and the Bikini Factory, the funky beach menu has something for everyone. Of course, the chilled water and fresh squeezed O.J. are nice added offerings.
With breakfast done, we were told about the second leg of our surprise adventure- the historic Santa Barbara Courthouse.
Normally a trip to any courthouse comes with an expected level of anxiety in anticipation of the bureaucratic experience that awaits us, but not for this trip.
This magnificent, ninety-year-old facility is steeped in Santa Barbara history, and contains a treasure-trove of art and craftsmanship that has to be seen to be believed.
Surrounded by its extraordinarily beautiful architecture, the facility is awash in original art and murals that include the incredible wrap-around mural in the appropriately named, Mural Room.
The highlight of the tour is the clock tower that not only houses the intricate clock mechanism, but offers an amazing, 360-degree view from the top of the tower itself.
Although as beautiful as the courthouse is, it would not have been presented in its true historical lime-light without the amazing staff and docents who went out of their way to provide the best experience possible for our club.
All in all, our Secret Saturday was another excellent adventure. If you missed it, be sure to watch the club calendar for your next chance to participate – you’ll be glad you did!
It’s chop house time! Indeed, it was when twenty-five of us met at one our local favorites, the Saddle Ranch. Originally, we were scheduled to meet at the Red Robin Restaurant, but we found out ahead of time that they were not able to make it happen for us as they had originally promised. But no matter, George, and the other fine folks at the Saddle Ranch are always happy to make us feel welcome.
The super friendly wait staff did a great job with our large table, and everyone was pleased to see the baskets of warm biscuits arrive while we reviewed the menu for the evening’s offerings.
The Saddle Ranch has something for everyone from, steaks and ribs, to salads and sandwiches, and we did our best to represent just about everything from the menu.
The food was good, hot and flavorful – just the way we like it.
Following our dinner, we were pleasantly surprised when they sent out complimentary desserts in the form of warm bread pudding alamode, yum!
It was another great Taste of the Town, although no one from our group rode the bull, most enjoyed shooting it for a while. Be sure to join us next month for burgers, fries, and chocolate shakes at Route 66!
A sense of fun was the air as eighteen members with ten cars gathered on a pleasant Monday morning at the Newhall IHOP for our pre-trip breakfast.
Once we were well-nourished, we held our customary drivers meeting, and immediately after that the cars rumbled to life. Following the usual radio check, we lined up for the trip that would take us several hours south on the 15 freeway to our first destination, Old Town Temecula.
In Temecula we arrived with some extra time for some pre-lunch shopping before gathering around the table at The Bank of Mexican Food restaurant for some of our south of the border favorites.
After lunch a we took a short stroll along Main Street where, wouldn’t you know it, we found an ice cream shop! After everyone was well stocked on sweets and treats, we headed back to our cars for the next leg of our journey, our hotel near Alpine, California.
Predictably, as we got closer to San Diego, we ran into some heavy traffic due to a couple of accidents, but our road captains, Dave and Karen, did a great job keeping us on track.
During the drive we also ran into more than a couple of idiots who were doing their best to generate some road rage, but it didn’t work because we are superior drivers with superior automobiles. We win!
Before we knew it, we arrived at our destination, the very impressive, Viejas Hotel and Casino. Parking was easy and check-in was a breeze. After a short break to freshen up, we gathered in the lounge before heading to the Café Restaurant in the casino for dinner.
Our first dinner at the hotel was a lot of fun, and as is usually the case, it was not without its share of entertainment. It all got started when our waitress informed us that if anyone had a Bronze Card, we would receive a substantial percentage off of our meals. So, Ed Shaver was quick stand up for the group and start digging for his, only to learn that he had misunderstood, and that she wanted a Bronze card, not a Vons card! In Ed’s defense, others in the noisy din of the restaurant also heard her to say Vons card, but hey, an “A” for effort!
It was right after that we learned they also offered a substantial discount for veterans, of which we have several, and the discount extended to everyone at the table. So, through our service members we were able to get our official Vons card discount anyway! All was good.
Other dinner highlights included Steve Hilton who ordered a tall glass of salad that arrived cleverly disguised as a Bloody Mary, and Jo Ayers who ordered apple pie alamode as her entree. Who doesn’t love these people!
As for the rest of us it was mostly salads and sandwiches, with a few potpies thrown in for good measure.
At the end of the meal, everyone was pleasantly surprised when Dave and Karen Jewett announced that they were picking up the check for dinner! Such unexpected generosity, and their actions further prove we that we have the most amazing people in our club! Thanks again to both of you, it was very much appreciated by all.
Before calling it a night, many of us stopped at the cashier’s kiosk in the casino to get our official Bronze card, as we didn’t want to make that mistake again.
The next morning, we awoke to overcast skies, light drizzle, cool temps, and the promise of wind and rain later in the day. Undaunted, we gathered in the Café Restaurant again, this time for coffee and a hot breakfast ahead of our day’s adventure.
After a quick stop to give our cars a fresh drink of T-Rex juice, we ascended up into the clouds along Hwy 79, through Cuyamaca Rancho State Park for the short, yet amazingly beautiful, thirty-five-mile trip to the little town of Julian.
Along the way the clouds had settled low into the valleys, and misted out across the lakes and into trees to make for an incredibly beautiful trip. The steep, winding road was a pleasure to drive, and felt like it was designed specifically for our Corvettes.
Once in Julian, we found it to be a charming, turn of the century gold mining town from the 1800s. Normally a busy southern California destination, it was not very crowded. Of course, it was the middle of the week, and in the off-season, and with the drizzle and unexpectedly cold wind, the weather felt like a scene right out of the movie, Ice Station Zebra. Maybe I exaggerate a little on that point, but it was darn chilly. But still undaunted, we braved the elements to make our way on foot along Main Street where many of the shops had their wood stoves going, so the warmth of the fires was very welcoming.
Lunch was at the Miner’s Dinner, a 50’s themed café located in one of the town’s many historic buildings, this one dating back 1886 when it was first opened as a general store. The food was good, plentiful, and included an old-fashioned soda fountain. They did not take Vons cards.
After lunch the plan was to go someplace and enjoy a slice of the famous apple pie that Julian is known for. But we had discovered there were many choices in which to get apple pie in Julian, and that caused what we might call some inde-slice-iveness about where we should get our pie! But in the end, we all had a piece of the pie – some had their pie at the restaurant, while others had at this place or that one, but none of the pie lovers went away pieless. Some of us even got pie to take home – yum!
Once lunch and pie-time were over, and with the forecasted rain approaching, we didn’t hang around to let any grass grow under our cars. It was a really nice ride “home”, and everyone agreed that it seemed much faster going down the mountain, then going up. Perhaps it was because we were going faster going down the mountain, then going up, just saying.
Anyway, back at the Viejas Resort, we had some time to relax and unwind before dinner at the highly touted, Grove Steakhouse located inside the casino. But wait, what’s this? Closed on Tuesdays? Okay, who does that? This a major resort, and they close their marque steakhouse on the very evening that we planned to dine there. Honestly, who does that? The other restaurants don’t close. The steakhouses in Vegas don’t close. So why this one? The audacity of these people.
On the plus side, The Buffet at Viejas was open, and provided a wide selection of items, including slow roasted beef, tacos, chicken parmesan, crab legs, and the best dessert bar this side of the reservation. Sadly, they didn’t take Vons cards. But the remainder of the evening was spent roaming the casino, enjoying some drinks, and relaxing before a good night’s sleep before the trip home the next day.
On our third and final morning, the clouds and rain had set in as we met for a pre-trip breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast most caravanned home together, while a few used the opportunity to stop and see friends, or take a short side trip. Regardless of the route home, it was a great end to a fun, enjoyable, and well-planned trip.
It was a blustery May evening, when twenty-four of us gathered in the warm and inviting atmosphere of the Olive Garden Italian Kitchen, where we were welcomed by a number of pleasant and attentive waitstaff.
They greeted us with baskets of warm bread-sticks, bowls of Italian dressed salad, and wine that ran freely.
Well, maybe not so much the wine, but the rest of it was plentiful. It was a great Taste of the Town.
One of the most popular aspects of the Olive Garden are the combination plates made up of pasta and other Italian favorites, and this night they did not disappoint. Other popular entrées included the chicken and shrimp carbonara, meat lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo, and the wide variety of frittatas—there was something for every Italian food lover. Some of the members even took advantage of the $5.00 take home entrees, for meals the next day!
Please join us next month at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, located at 27063 McBean Parkway, in the Prominade Shopping Center. mark your calendars, and we’ll see you there!
Story and Photos by Scott Gregory (updated 2019.06.02)
As part of our back-to-back Corvette weekend, thirty-seven of us met up Sunday morning at Route 66 to gather around the breakfast table in preparation for the KHTS Home and Garden Show. As always, George Thomas and his crew did a great job accommodating us, and if anyone went away hungry, then it was pretty much their own fault.
With our plates empty, and our bellies full, we lined up for the twenty-seven car caravan across the valley to Central Park, where the show promoters had an adjoining parking lot reserved for our Corvettes to be on display. The staff was great and as we were directed into the lot, the impressive line of Vettes immediately began to draw the attention of onlookers, as it did throughout the day.
Armed with lawn chairs and coolers, we spent the afternoon relaxing at the park and roaming through the large variety of community booths and vendors that were on display, including those from the Emergency Expo and the Arts and Crafts Fair.
While there, we ran into Carl and Jeri Goldman (pictured with Dave Caldwell), KHTS Station Owners and our sponsors for the event. We thanked them for the outstanding accommodations and planning. Carl expressed interest in making it a tradition annually. Thanks Carl and Jeri!
For those that wanted a little something to nosh on, we enjoyed more food and treats from the wide array of food trucks that were in attendance.
We also scored big when we found a booth that was giving away ice cream bars, chocolate drumsticks to be exact…further proof that it was a perfect afternoon.i9
For those that were craving more Bar-B-Que, a short trip up the 126 was all it took! On an overcast but pleasant Saturday morning, we gathered at our usual meeting spot at the Copperhill Walmart in preparation for the short drive west to support our friends and neighbors at Santa Paula Chevrolet.
When thirty of us arrived in eighteen cars, the front lot of the dealership was ready for us, as their usual inventory of cars and trucks had been relocated to the K-Mart lot as part of their annual tent sale. Of course, the friendly dealership staff were there to help us park, and throughout the afternoon they proved to be gracious hosts.
A substantial influx of Corvettes from the Redline and Ventura Corvette Clubs were already onsite, and after we got parked, the front lot of the dealership contained at total of forty-two visiting Corvettes! There was also a half dozen more really shiny ones that still had that new car smell, window stickers, and big orange discount tags hanging from the mirrors. It was a worthy line-up indeed. The event was a great opportunity to not only support the dealership, but to meet our friends from the other clubs as well.
We were presented with an excellent lunch from the very popular, Laird’s BBQ, who we will see again in June at our annual picnic. The spread provided for us included sausage, tri-tip, and grilled chicken, along with all the fixin’s, including some spicy beans and potato salad. After lunch, John Macik, of Santa Paula Chevrolet, offered some words of appreciation for our support throughout the year, and to further emphasize the point—as if the great lunch wasn’t enough—he held a raffle for a number of prizes that included, free oil changes, alignments, and air conditioning services.
Oh, and did I also mention there were donuts? Yeah, it was a good day…
Our Taste of the Town this month found a small, but happy group of nineteen club members gathered on the spacious patio at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que.
The amazing spring weather made for a perfect evening of conversation, laughs, and biscuits n’ butter!
The members’ dinner choices ran the menu from freshly battered southern fried chicken strips, to the crispy Caesar salad, and many of the house favorites such as the fried chicken and gravy, smoked beef brisket, and baby back ribs, all of which included the full complement of side dishes and beverages.
The friendly wait staff worked hard to set up for our group, and they helped make our meal enjoyable with friendly and efficient service.
After dinner, the evening was just too beautiful to call it a night, so a small but dedicated team set out on a reconnaissance mission to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, where the mission was deemed successful.
Our Taste of the Town evenings are always a great social event, so plan to join us will you, May 16th at the Olive Garden. Sources report there is a Cold Stone Creamery nearby.