Contact Donna Webster for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org or 661.644-0543
All of a sudden, October was here and the much anticipated (by some) Southwest Caravan was a reality. The caravan was scheduled to include the 48th Annual International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque and then to continue on to enjoy National Parks and sites off the beaten track in our wonderful Corvettes. Four couples ultimately participated in the event, Jeff & Leeann Carley; Brian & Kathy de Avila; Gene & Cindy Schmidt and Mike & Judy Woodings.
The morning following our October General Meeting, our adventure began at Denny’s on Sand Canyon as we rolled east to our first “roadblock”, construction on Pearblossom Hwy in Palmdale. Ugh, but not too bad. Off again to another construction delay before we even got to Victorville. Dang. The first day continued fine where we all enjoyed a relaxing lunch at Pirate Cove on the Colorado River with our friends Greg and Pat Attl. Off again eastward for our first night at Flagstaff, we learned of another roadblock ahead when we reached the Havasu turnoff from I-40. We had to detour back through Bullhead City due to an overturned big-rig closing the Interstate and blocking our route to Kingman. We rerouted as required and “DANG again” 14 miles from Flagstaff for more construction with our forward movement slowed to 4 mph! Flagstaff was a welcome stop after all that, but wait, there is more! Jeff Carley reported to us that he believed he was having trouble with his Vette, the left rear was sagging, not from overloading. Initial parking lot diagnosis pointed to an issue with the left rear lowering bolt.
Early morning follow-up at Marxen Chevrolet in Flagstaff confirmed a broken lowering bolt and the prognosis was the car was ok to drive to Albuquerque where parts were ordered for delivery on Monday. The remainder of Arizona on Day 2 was scenic but uneventful. We found downtown Winslow crowded with a classic car show so on we went to Gallup, NM and the Hotel El Rancho for our first taste of New Mexico “red or green” cuisine. After arriving in Albuquerque, it was a short day in preparation for Day 3 and an EARLY start for the Balloon Fiesta.
The crowds were huge at 5:30 AM as we arrived at the Fiesta Park and Ride for our bus trip to the Balloon Park on the north side of Albuquerque. The mass of people was even larger as we entered the park as hundreds of hot-air balloons were in various stages of inflation in preparation for the 7 AM mass ascension. Jeff, you remember Jeff, didn’t even think about bolts that morning with all of the balloon excitement! We found Old Town full of balloon fiesta tourists at mid-day and opted for a drive through the Bosque and visit to Los Poblanos Historic Inn and a drive through the Village of Corrales. The early start of Day 3 called for some relaxation in the afternoon before dinner at the famous Frontier Restaurant on old Route 66, across from UNM.
On Monday, Day 4, Jeff and Leeann broke away for their needed bolt repair at Bruce’s Corvette & Auto Service and were happily good to go for the rest of the trip as well as for a visit to an Albuquerque quilt shop while the remainder of us made our way to Santa Fe. We drove east of the Sandias through Madrid up NM-14, the Turquoise Trail. Despite missing Santa Fe, the Carleys still smiled their way through Day 4! Santa Fe was founded in 1610 (before the Pilgrims landed ay Plymouth) and is the oldest state capital. It’s old and scenic with plenty of choices of places to eat or spend your money, from high end art to the native jewelry in Palace of the Governors. As we returned to Albuquerque, the Schmidts’ status changed slightly with Cindy flying back to LA for an overnighter to appear on local television leaving Gene with us until her return. Meanwhile, Judy, with not only New Mexico roots, but New Mexico connections as well, arranged for those remaining to enjoy an afternoon wine and cheese get-together at her cousin Katie Santiannes’ home prior to our dinner with local family at El Pinto in the North Valley.
Day 5 was an easy day as we headed north to Durango, CO. We departed from Albuquerque without Gene as he awaited Cindy’s return flight but he continued to enjoy Albuquerque for another day with a trip up the Sandia Tram and a hook-up with cousin Katie for more Armijo family visiting. Our 3-Corvette caravan visited the Aztec Ruins National Monument in Aztec, NM, to walk the grounds of a 1,000 year old Pueblo settlement. We then rolled into Durango, still with time for Leeann and Judy to take in a visit to the Stitch A Quilt Shop. Gene and Cindy followed us as darkness fell and our caravan was back together again.
Day 6 was our day for the narrow gauge railroad ride to Silverton through the amazing canyon along the Animas River. The scenery was beautiful with the changing seasons and the temperatures were chilly and the air was thin at 9,300 feet in Silverton. The Durango-Silverton RR was a kick and made for a fun day.
Day 7 was a little longer with us ending back in Arizona at day’s end. Enroute, we covered a lot of backroad miles too. Our first stop of the day was at Mesa Verde National Park outside Cortez, CO. Mesa Verde is famous for over 600 cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people, quite a sight. It was then off to Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet. The Navajos have the corner (or 4 corners) on the market there with $5.00 a head to see a survey monument afixed to the red earth there. Off again to our lodging in the woods in Jacob Lake, AZ took us by Monument Valley and through a Hopi Pow-wow in Kayenta, AZ. A great caravan day.
Day 8 had North Rim Grand Canyon on our calendar. The views are much different than those typically seen from the South Rim and the canyon is more up close and personal. Another cool day with club jackets a must at over 8,000 feet elevation. With less that 10% of Grand Canyon visitors coing to the North Rim, it is worthwhile trip for those who enjoy the road less traveled. Brian and Kathy missed the Grand Canyon visit as they peeled off from the caravan to visit relatives and take in the Prescott Corvette Car Show, hooking up with SCVCC alumni for a quick “howdy”. Day 7 then took our remaining Vettes to Kanab, UT for the night.
Day 9 had Bryce Canyon National Park as our visit of the day. Once again, a beautiful but cool day with ice in the puddles at 8,800 feet elevation. The sights were glorious and easily accessible, except for Bryce Point with limited parking. Parking attendants were less than cooperative about us trying to save parking space for one another and that will just remain a story for another day. We went on to caravan to St. George, UT, where yet another quilt shop was visited briefly before we rolled back to Pacific Daylight time and entry into Nevada. The Schmidts continued to Las Vegas for personal and show time on the Strip while the Carleys and Woodings opted for Mesquite. Rested and ready to roll on Day 10, the Carleys headed home to Parker, AZ where Jeff will re-address the lowering bolt issue and the Woodings made a stop at Cracker Barrel in North Las Vegas, having passed by six others during the caravan. Love those biscuits.
The International Balloon Fiesta is the first week of October every year and we are already looking forward to another caravan including the Fiesta then along in another route to the south next time for more Southwest attractions.
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.
Come join us for some fun and laughs while miniature golfing. Afterwards we will be stopping at Chapala Mexican Restaurant in Santa Paula for an early dinner. Depart noon, miniature golf at 1pm, early dinner ~ 4pm
Golf N’ Stuff Family Fun Park
5555 Walker Street
Ventura, CA 93003
Chapala Mexican Restaurant
245 S 10th St.
Santa Paula, CA 93060
Contact Karen Jewett for more info at email@example.com or 661.753.6226
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!
Malibu, CA, August 23rd, 2019
A group of twenty-six cars gathered at our usual southern meeting spot at the Chuy’s parking lot, which also included doughnuts provided by Mike and Judy Woodings—so you know it was going to be a good day.
Following the drivers’ meeting, we headed off to Agoura Hills for our first stop, lunch at the Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie.
When we arrived, we pretty much had the place to ourselves, so they seated us inside, as opposed to the patio, which was nice- and certainly a lot cooler.
The menu at this local micro-brewery is geared around a French/Belgian theme, so the brewpub fare ranges from your basic burgers and fries (oops, I mean pommes frites), to duck confit and
steak tartare, with lots of good stuff in between, oui oui!
After lunch a few people had to breakaway, while the remainder of us headed over Kanan-Dume to the Pacific Coast Highway, which took us down through Malibu, and the customarily heavy weekend traffic, and on to the Pacific Palisades. Getting into the Getty Villa itself can be a little tricky if you are headed south on PCH, so we had to circle the wagons and then double back to make the main gate, but we all made it in fine shape.
With everyone at the Getty Villa, we again gathered together for our docent lead tour of the grounds and gardens.
We learned from our young docent that the place was built as recently as 1975 (that’s recent for many of us), and is modeled after the ancient architecture of Greece and Rome, and more specifically the Villa dei Papiri, which was buried up to its ears by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius a really long time ago.
We also learned that the stories of the Greek Gods played a heavy roll in the design and architecture of that period, and was subsequently copied throughout the Getty. As these stories go, the Greek deities spent a lot of time hanging out in their togas and flip flops, drinking wine, and splashing around in the pool.
Clearly they had too much time on their hands, because it led to a lot of self-brooding, bickering, temper tantrums, and frolicking with mortals. That behavior then translated to incestuous lovers turning themselves into garden snakes, others being turned into trees, and at least one being shot with a lead arrow, and of course there was that whole thing with that snaky-headed Medusa turning people to stone…basically there was way too much drama back then…I’m just saying.
Undaunted however, Getty’s design includes many of these Greek stories and exact replicas of the intricate tile, paint and plaster from the afore mentioned roman residence. We also learned much about columns. Having been tested several times by our docent about these marble monoliths, I can attest to the fact that they are, Corinthian, Ionic, and Doric. Good information to have during a Scrabble game if you are digging-in for that triple word score.
From start to finish his was a fun and well planned Saturday. If you would like to attend our next event, we will see you for a fun day at Golf n’ Stuff in Ventura, on Sunday, September 8th. Check the website for more details.
Our chance to catch up on Summer events (no club business required) will be at the Taste-of-the-Town. This month will be at Topper’s Pizza Place Valencia, on the SE corner of Valencia Blvd. & Magic Mountain Pkwy., 23710 Valencia Blvd, Santa Clarita, CA 91355. Purely social purely tasty. Meet at 6PM.
This month we return to one of our perennial favorites, Route 66! Let’s gather for friends, burgers, and more! 18730 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country. See you at 6:00pm!