Sunday, June 22, 2014

It's Sunday and I'm just getting around to writing what should have been written last night.  So, here goes...

Home Sweet Home!  Yes, we made it home as planned but with a little twist.  More on that in a minute.  We started the day in Chattanooga with Breakfast at the Marriott Hotel dining room.  Guess we were too lazy to venture out to find a place.  We met our friends John and Penny in the lobby as scheduled about 9:30 and loaded up and drove out of town,  The engines never sounded better.  It was hard to believe that we had been afflicted with two of the Spark Plug wires popping off the day before.  I did check them again before departure and all appeared to be correct.

The derive out of town was a bit slow due to some traffic and lots of lights.  Once we cleared the area we drove through the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.  This is a beautiful drive that we highly recommend.  We continued cruising south on Rt. 27 through the towns of Lafayette and Somerset before we reached our turn onto Rt. 140.  Barbara was thrilled by this turn as we shifted from a 4 lane road to a two lane and the trees provided a it of shade from the mid-day heat.

We stopped where 140 crosses Rt 53 for some fuel and a short rest.  Then back on the road and up the hills into Waleska where Rheinhardt College is right along the side of the road.  We've done this drive many times before and it is always beautiful.  Then we headed down hill to Canton where we came to a full stop - one of the few - at the light in front of the Texaco where we often meet folks heading north.  When we stopped, the engine didn't sound right.  I started off and knew that something was definitely wrong.  And, it was as the engine died a block or so away.  Fortunately, we were in front of a restaurant parking lot and Penny used her skills to stop traffic and John and I along with a guy from the restaurant parking lot pushed the car into the lot.  Barbara sat behind the wheel and made sure we didn't hit anything along the way.

We did some checking but didn't find anything wrong.  It would start but sounded terrible and would die again if left to idle.  So, I took the wheel with it running and dove across the lot to some shade.  At this point we were ready for a break and headed into Williamson's BarBQ for lunch.  When we came out the engine still sounded terrible so I called AAA and when we knew they were heading our way, John and Penny headed home.  The driver arrived, quickly loaded us up and off we went.  An interesting side bar is that the driver had delivered an MGA to Barry's garage on Friday, the day before.

We arrived home about 5:00 and settled in for a quiet evening to catch up with the world out there.

All is well today and I'll face the Midget tomorrow to figure out the issue.  It may be something as simple as bad fuel that we picked up at Rt 53 or a fouled spark plug.  Time and some investigation will tell all.

Now we are on to the next adventure.....

Friday, June 20, 2014

Almost home as we arrived in Chattanooga this afternoon about 15 minutes after our friends Penny and John Scarpucci who stopped in Nashville after the show in French Lick.  The drive from Lebanon was delightful. The showers that passed thru Lebanon this AM were gone by the time we loaded up and we were basically rain free all the way south.  The top was down and the sun poked in and out of the clouds.  The drive was about 220 miles and we only have a few things of interest to report.  First as we left Campbellsville, KY, we got behind two Corvettes from New York at a stop light.  We expected them to take off and leave us behind, but...  After about half a mile of slowly following them, we decided to pass and see their faces.  No reaction and they stayed behind us until their turn off about 30 miles later.  Guess they were in no hurry - and neither were we.

The drive south led us to Hardscrabble, KY where we filled up with fuel from an old pump.  How many of you remember the pumps that don't shut off when they are filled?  How many of you remember the pumps where you have to actually turn them on with a lever?  This tiny town had one of these and it filled us to overflowing.

Once we were on Rt 127, we could just sit back and enjoy the ride.  We passed Lake Cumberland and went over the dam so had a birds eye view of the lake and the River below.  Once on Tennessee, we cruised along until we reached the Highlands winery.  We tasted and tasted and walked out with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to add to our collection.   Then we were on the way to lunch in Crossville, TN where we spent the night on the way north.  We stopped again at Forte's where we talked with the owner/chef and his wife.  She remembered us from before.  Again a delightful meal.

Then for the last 80 or so miles.  We stopped for fuel and realized we were near Whitwell where the middle school students collected 6,000,000 paper clips to remember those who died in the Holocaust.  The Memorial that was created at the middle School is quite impressive and is dedicated to the idea that intolerance and hatred should not be tolerated.  As we left the community, we had another car incident.  Something popped and the car stopped.  As I checked under the bonnet, I discovered that the wires to the spark plugs - numbers 1 and 2 had become disconnected.  After a call to Scott, I put them back together, started the car and all was fine.  The nice part was the guys who stopped to see if we were alright and waited until we were ready to depart.  He was concerned that we might be stuck in the hot sun in the 98 degree heat.

After that it was a short ride into Chattanooga and some quiet time with John and Penny at the bar and then for dinner.

Tomorrow, we head home.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A taste of shine and a taste of wine!  No, that's not quite right.  It should be 4 tastes of shine and 6 tastes of wine!  That was our afternoon outing in Lebanon, KY after we arrived here.  We did about 150 miles today crossing over the Ohio River at Brandenburg, KY and crossing south of Louisville.  What we discovered was Ft. Knox.  We stopped at the welcome center to capture it on film or whatever you call those digital images, so we could share it with Barbara's brother and sister-in-law who got married here the first time in 1972.  We also captured an image of the 6 bars of gold on display.

Our next stop was in Bardstown for lunch at a lovely downtown Tavern in a very old building now also serving as a bed and breakfast.  When we pulled into the lot, another MG was there already.  Yes, someone from the French Lick show who we shared coffee with this morning.  After lunch we drove down the Main Street only to pass a group of MG's and then saw another group parked on the street.  All had been in French Lick but none were sen on the roads we traveled.

Another 40 or so miles after that we pulled into the Alpaca Farm and B&B in Springfield.  We were greeted by the alpacas along the road and then by a young man who just became the Inn's manager.  Barbara looked in the shop at the products all made from Alpaca yarn/wool.  It seems we were a day or two late to see the shearing of all 43 alpacas.  The young man gave us a short tour of the B&B before our departure for Lebanon.  After a short stop in town, we stopped at the Visitors office to get our bearings and find some recommendations and then on to the Hampton Inn.  After settling in a for a bit, off we want to the distillery down the street called Limestone Distillary.  We were greeted by Amber and Lisa for the tour and tasting.  We saw the Spanish copper Distillary equipment and had a great explanation.  The owners of this particular place are descendants of the original Beam family through the male line, meaning that they are REAL Beam's!  The only problem is that they only opened this operation 2 years ago and the first batch of Bourbon is not yet ready.  Instead, we were treated to Moon Shine - 4 different types and walked away with a special one we hope to share with Amie and Bill next month.

At this point Barbara was through with tasting but I still wanted to visit the winery a few miles away. So off we went to White Moon where we were welcomed by the couple who own and operate it.  Our tour was led by the woman who is the wine maker.  We had a delightful tour along with my tasting 6 different types but only was was close to my liking so we bought it.  I think we will need to have a group over to try our wines from Oklahoma, Virginia and Kentucky.

After a delightful swim we were of to dinner at the highly recommended Rosewood Golf Course Bar and Grill.  It was the most informal place we have been on this trip - especially based on the name.  But the food was quite good and the service very nice.  Then back to the hotel where someone fell right to sleep.  Tomorrow will be the longest driving day of the trip (in either direction) over 200 miles on beautiful country roads.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This is my last night to write from French Lick.  Today was the main event, the Car Show.  Over 350 cars were on the show field, mostly on the parking lot of the hotel.  Fortunately, the Midgets were on grass and near a few trees.  Some might suggest the we had the best spot.  We arrived and were immediately joined by a few other Midgets, including another 61 Midget. that was recently fully restored and came from Milan, Mi (where Amie lived about 20 years ago).  Tim and Nancy are delightful people and may have a solution for one of my issues with my Midget.  But more on that another time.

The one part of the day that will be talked about for years was the temperature - it was in the 90's with significant humidity.  Everyone was very uncomfortable and many started leaving the show field early.  Barbara did come and take a look around but left about noon partially dehydrated.  I was able to buy her a new MG Girls shirt first and then borrowed a golf cart to take her back to the hotel.

The rest of the day was spent at the pool before preparing for the evening banquet.  The highlight of the Banquet was the awards ceremony.  The Peachtree MG Registry was well represented among the winners including 1st in class for Tim Gaffney, Bill Gillson and Dan Bosso  Altogether the club took 9 awards for their cars and one in Photography.  In fact only a couple of us didn't win, myself among that group.  (Just so you all know, I didn't expect to win anything.)

Tomorrow, we are off for the first leg of our trip home.  We hope and plan to be in Lebanon, KY on Thursday night to sample some local bourbon at the two distilleries in town.

Until tomorrow night.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

One of the highlights for many at these national shows is the rolling tech session with John Twist. Of University Motors in Grand Rapids, MI.  After the Midget misbehaved yesterday on the way to the dinner at Spring Mill, I figured it was best to have John look at the car.  His session was scheduled to start at 10 so I showed up at 9:40 only to see that I was already 11th in line.  Having never done one of these, I figured that I would be there for a couple of hours.  WRONG!  John was very thorough with each car and I took many notes for future reference.  When my car finally made it to the tent after 3 1/2 hours, he looked at the wheels and figured out that something was wrong that caused the high pitched squalling the day before.  The suggestions I had been given by Scott in Atlanta, Charles here in FL and a few others was that I may have simply picked up a rock and it ground out with the squeal.

After John's exam, we pulled the car into some shade and with the help of many of the guys, but most important Pete Cosmides from NJ, we took the four wheels off and took a careful look at the breaks.  Nothing was found with the breaks.  But, we discovered that two of the lug nuts were stripped and the  holes for the bolts holding one of the wheels on were in bad shape.  I was advised to change the tire onto the wheel for the spare and find some lug nuts.

All of this took the rest of the afternoon.  Jack had some spare lug nuts which was fortunate since they are not available in FL.  Dr. auto, a local auto repair shop took care of the tire and wheels and we are set for the trip home.

The evening was spent with the group dining at Hagens at the local golf course and then quiet conversation witH many of our aAtlanta friends over some excellent Malbec.

You may have noticed that Barbara was not involved with much of the car stuff today.  That's because she spent a large part of the day at the  West Baden Springs Hotel.  It is the sister hotel of the French Lick and has a beautiful architecture that really interested her.  She was hoping that I would join her there for lunch, but that was not to be.  Fortunately for me and our friend Steve, the ladies brought us lunch for when we finally left the tech session with our cars in better shape.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Today was the first full day of the NAMGBR show here in French Lick.  BTW, do you really know where French Lick is?  Bet most of you have little idea.  Well, today, we decided to check out the neighborhood and see what is around.  We had breakfast at Denny's, the HOT spot across the street.  We went on a short drive to the BIG metropolis of Paoli about 11 miles away and had Lemonade in the local Pub with the smokers!  We learned that you can smoke in the pub but not within 8 feet of the entrance.  Something about kids being exposed to the smoke.  That is local law.

On the way back we took one of the self-guided tours.  We turned on the right road - 825 and tried to follow the directions.  Unfortunately, the directions and the existence of the signage with the highway numbers was a bit off.  We did find the Orangeville Rise where the Lost River appears from under the rocks.  But we also found a gravel road leading to a quarry (which we were not supposed to find).  Fortunately we found our way out and back to the hotel.

After some quiet time, we joined about 60 other drivers for a 48km ride to a state park and dinner.  We joined a nice group of people and had a lovely time despite the rathe poor quality of the food.  My neighbor at dinner was Bud from California and Luddington, MI.  He had been behind us on the drive when something strange happened with the Midget but we still are not sure what as it went away.  The good news is the Bud followed us back to the hotel.  No repeats on the return.  More tomorrow on this after the rolling tech session with John Twist, the guru of things MG.

We were supposed to go to a drive-in movie tonight but the X Men was less than enticing to most of us.  It was also starting way too late.  So we returned to the hotel, joined with some of our friends and talked the evening away.

On to the new day tomorrow.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Good evening from French Lick!  That's right, I missed last night so here goes for two days.  But before I begin, a word about the lack of pictures.  I am using the IPad instead of the laptop and have yet to master taking pics with the LG phone or the IPad and upload them to this site.  Sorry about that.  But there is a solution.  Please log onto our friend's website and read his stories and you will see the pics.  Here is the login.- - notice the two 't's in the middle of the first word.

Crossville, TN was an interesting little town with several sites that we chose to pass on.  One was the world's largest tree house with about 80 rooms.  It was near the hotel but has been officially closed for over a year although you can see part of it.  Instead we departed for a short ride to the spectacular Burgess Falls State Park near Sparta - about a 45 minute drive.  The falls are magnificent even though only some of us made the trek to the second of the four falls.  This is a park well worth the stop if you are in the area.  But be prepared for the serious hike of over a mile along the river, where the trail is up in the trees above the river and is anything but flat and smooth. The four of us who made the trek were delighted by what we saw.

After the falls, we were off to Lebanon, TN for a light but delicious lunch at a road side stand.  Then we headed to Bowling Green, KY.  The drive was easy and the weather could not have been better from the temperature and humidity perspective.  The high thin clouds made it simply a pleasure. Of course, all along the route we kept expecting the other contingent from Atlanta to catch up with us, which didn't happen.

Once we arrived in Bowling Green, Barbara and I went for a swim and caught some rays.  Steve and Madell joined us and we kept a watch out for the others to arrive which they did about an hour after our arrival.  Part of our experience at this Hampton Inn were the spectacular other cars in the lot as part of another car event in the city.  After dinner, many of the drivers were in the parking lot enjoying great conversation.  But this is getting ahead of myself a bit.

Our little group decided to head out for dinner while most of the others ordered pizza delivery.  Our dining expert, Kathy, quickly discovered that her first choice was closed - permanently.  So, she checked around and found Montana's which is a local eatery.  When we arrived, we discovered a full house with people waiting for their tables.  Fortunately, Kathy had made a reservation for the 7 of us and we were ushered right to our table on the side porch with the windows open.  We enjoyed another excellent dinner with great service.  And following our tradition, we ended the evening with a stop at Culver's for some Soft Ice Cream.  This brought back memories of our stop at a Culver's in 2011 in Wisconsin - or was it Illinois.

When we woke this AM, many of our group, including me but not Barbara, were off to the Corvette Museum.  Since Jack and Kathy didn't go, the pics I took are only available by request as text messages.  Seeing the famous whole was quite something as were the corvettes that fell in and were brought out.  Some had minor damage while others were a total wreck,

We departed from bowling Green in two groups.  Our little group grew by one car with John and Penny Scarpucci.  We took the back roads where we counted all the stop lights in the little towns.  The biggest town had four.  We made most of the lights so we hardly slowed down all the way to Owensboro on the Ohio River.  As it was lunch time, we looked for a place right off the road and stumbled on a Mexican restaurant that turned out to be just the kind we like - an owner operated one of a kind or as we call them, locally owned locally operated or "lolo".

The last 80 miles or so were totally uneventful.  We arrived at the French Lick Resort around 4:00 which was 3:00 in Bowling Green.  This meant that we had gone from eastern time to central on our first day and back to eastern when we entered Indiana.  Strange as we kept going north and west!  The evening here in French Lick was basically quiet with a lot of meeting up with old friends and making new ones.  Of course, Barbara did get in her swim after dinner and before the hospitality suite opened.