Went to Wisconsin Dells in July which was my first trip outside of the state since the pandemic began. In Wisconsin we did the usual things like tour downtown, ate, visited the many water parks and ate. We also had a caricature made by a local artist on the main street. On the way back, we visited the Fi-Serv Forum and the Deer District where the Milwaukee Bucks would win the NBA championship the next day.
Trips to Starved Rock State Park near Ottawa, Illinois and Rock Cut State Park near Rockford, Illinois were made in September 2020.
The American MGB Association’s annual car show, Meet 2019 was held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This meant a drive by the officers (Bruce and myself as Margie was unable to make it) to bring out the club items to the show. This includes the table, chairs, tent, and membership item
We rented a 2019 Nissan Rogue for our journey which started early on Thursday, October 3, 2019. We stopped for lunch in Lexington, Kentucky at a Chick-fil-A for a chicken sandwich which was disappointing.
Next stop was Knoxville, Tennessee where we stayed overnight on Thursday. We dined at Altrudas outside of town and then visited Market Square area of downtown Knoxville and took a brief tour of the University of Tennessee.
We left early Friday to Myrtle Beach thru the Smokey Mountains and stopped for brunch at the Corner Kitchen in the Biltmore Estates area of Asheville, North Carolina. We also then drove through the Biltmore Estate where the mansion is located.
We made it to Myrtle Beach on Friday afternoon and had time to go to the beach and have a snack along the boardwalk at Dirty Dons Oyster Bar & Grill. We then attended the welcoming party for the car show on Friday night at Nacho Hippos in Market Common and met with local club members and organizers.
Saturday was the car show which many of our members attended at the Market Common in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This is an upscale area of town and was developed on the site of the old Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. There was a good showing of MGs at the event and organizers said it was the largest turnout they had ever had. Jersey Dogs served lunch to the spectators. They were good but nothing compares to a Chicago style hot dog. That evening we traveled to Savannah, Georgia and dined at Boars’ Head along the river and stayed in the area Saturday night.
We left early Sunday morning to tour old Savannah along the river. We had breakfast at Hueys and then headed to Atlanta, Georgia. In Atlanta we visited the the Georgia Aquarium which is the largest aquarium n the world. It was spectacular and included Sea Lion and Dolphin shows. We toured the Buckhead area of Atlanta and ate dinner at the South City Kitchen. Monday morning we toured the new Sun-Trust Atlanta Braves ballpark area. They built a ballpark along with a cluster of bars and restaurants around it to give it the feel of a Wrigleyville although it is all new.
We then headed north to Chattanooga, Tennessee and lunch at the Boathouse Rotisserie and Raw Bar on the Tennessee River. We then went on to Nashville and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Many artists had exhibits in the Hall of Fame including some that you may not think of as country artists such as Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and Taylor Swift. Afterward we walked to Broadway and stopped at many of the bars including Tootsies, Jason Aldeans and the Mellow Mushroom Every place we stopped had a band for entertainment. Dinner was at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant up the hill from the Broadway entertainment area of downtown Nashville. Of course there was a performer at the restaurant.
Heading north on Tuesday, we stopped for lunch near downtown Louisville at the Grind Burger Kitchen for hamburgers. We stayed overnight in Columbus, Indiana where we visited the many architectural marvels in the town. We then headed back home to Chicago on Wednesday morning and returned the rental car having put more than 2400 miles on the car!
The American MGB Association’s annual car show, Meet 2017 was held in Fairhope, Alabama near the Gulf Coast. This meant a drive by the officers (Bruce, Margie and myself) to bring out the club items to the show. This includes the table, chairs, tent, membership items.
We rented a 2017 Maxima for our journey which started early on Thursday, October 12, 2017. We stopped for lunch in Louisville at Martins BarBCue Joint in Louisville, Kentucky for a pulled pork sandwich which was great.
Next stop was Nashville, Tennessee where we stayed overnight on Thursday. We dined at Husk near downtown Nashville, visited the Hermitage House and took in the sites along Broadway, the heart of the music scene in Nashville.
We left early Friday to Fairhope and stopped for lunch at Jack’s in Montgomery thinking it was a Jack in the Box. It wasn’t but the hamburger was OK.
We made it to the Fairhope, Alabama area that afternoon and checked into the Key West Inn. We went to Wintzells Oyster House for an appetizer along the Mobile Bay. We attended the welcoming party for the car show on Friday night and met with local club members and organizers. After that we picked up Margie at the Mobile airport (MOB) and went out for a late in dinner at Felix’s Camp Restaurant in Spanish Fort, Alabama with Margie.
Saturday was the car show which many of our members attended. The AMGBA sponsored several classes of the awards and the club was mentioned several times at the award ceremony. Afterward we dinner at the Bay House Bistro in Fairhope along the Mobile Bay and was the site of a belated birthday celebration for me.
Sunday morning we left early to meet Margie’s son, Jeff and girlfriend, Cathy in New Orleans. We stopped along the way at Battleship Park on the Mobile, Alabama waterfront where they had a collection of battle items including the USS Alabama battleship.
We made it to New Orleans early Sunday afternoon and headed to Jackson Square in the French Quarter. Margie had a beignet at Cafe DuMonde and toured St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. That evening we dined at the Commander’s Palace Restaurant where we celebrated my July birthday yet again along with Jeff’s earlier in October birthday. We then took an Uber to the Bourbon St area of the French Quarter. We bought souvenirs and attended a jazz session at Maison Bourbon and walked the streets enjoying the sight and sounds on a warm autumn night.
Early on Monday morning we said goodbye to Margie and family and headed back home toward Memphis. Along the way we stopped for a tour of the Mississippi Capitol Building in Jackson. In Memphis we dined at a local favorite, Gus’s Fried Chicken for some southern style chicken and visited the Beale St. area. We stayed overnight near Graceland in a hotel that was heavily Elvis Presley themed.
We headed toward St. Louis early Tuesday morning. In St. Louis we visited the St. Louis zoo, Ballpark Village right outside Busch Stadium where the St. Louis Cardinals play. Lunch was at Smoke Daddys for ribs and the St. Louis specialty, Fitz’s Root Beer. The evening we dined in the Little Italy area of St. Louis called the Hill at Charlie Gittos and visited the St. Louis Basilica.
We stayed overnight in Collinsville, Illinois and woke up early Wednesday morning to visit our printer, Johnson Press in Pontiac, Illinois. In Pontiac, Bruce and I visited the Pontiac Museum, the Route 66 Museum and the War Museum before heading for a tour and meeting with Johnson Press. There we were led on an informative tour of the plant with our Customer Service Rep, Teresa Masching. We went out for a light lunch with her and plant manager, Steve “Buzz” Zeller.
We then headed back home to Chicago on Wednesday afternoon morning and returned the Maxima rental car having put more than 2200 miles on the car!
The American MGB Association’s annual car show, Meet 2016 was held in Waynesboro, Virginia. This meant a drive by the officers (Bruce, Margie and myself) to bring out the club items to the show. This includes the table, chairs, tent, membership items.
Our first stop was Charleston, West Virginia where we stayed overnight. We dined at Fazios which was great but had a hard time getting back to the hotel because of the heavy rains in the mountains. Because of the mountains and weather the navigation was not working properly which made it difficult. We made it and prepared to leave early in the morning. Margie was supposed to meet us here but had to cancel because of illness. We missed her on the rest of the trip.
On the way to Waynesboro on Friday we stopped at the Greenbriar in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The Greenbriar is old stately hotel that has held numerous high profile events It even has bunkers underground that members of Congress would use in the event of a nuclear attack. Before getting to the car show area we traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway which was beautiful but hard to see because of the fog and rain.
We made it to the Waynesboro, Virginia are that afternoon and attended the welcoming party for the car show on Friday night. After that we went out to dinner in Staunton, Virginia which was difficult because of the tiny streets but had dinner at the Depot which was in an old train car and depot.
Saturday was the car show which many of our members attended despite a light drizzle most of the day. Afterwards before dinner at the Ivy Inn is Charlottesvile we found and visited the Trump Winery way up in the hills near Charlottesville, VIrginia. Other stops in the hills included Jefferson’s Monticello and Winery.
Leaving the Waynesboro, Virginia area on Sunday we travelled to Virginia Beach area with a stop in Williamsburg. The hotel in Virginia Beach was right on the ocean with a balcony having a great ocean view. It was also the time of the Neptune Festival which made it a party atmosphere. Fresh crab cakes at Waterman;s in Virginia Beach were great!
On Monday, we headed home with a stop in Washington, DC where we went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing where we say how our money is made. Later in the day, we went on the last Capitol Building tour of the day. I had never been on this tour and it was great to see the finished dome from the inside. We dined that evening at Clydes in Georgetown.
We left Tuesday morning on our way to Cleveland with a stop at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. They have made a nice memorial dedicated to the people who gave their lives in taking down the plane on September 11, 2001 that was probably headed to the Capitol Building.
Our stop in Cleveland including a tour of the University Height area and dining at a Little Italy Restaurant, Etnas.
We headed back home to Chicago on Wednesday morning and returned the Jeep Compass rental car having put 2422 miles on it!
The original date for Meet 2015 in Myrtle Beach was postpone due to historic rain and flooding in South Carolina. AMGBA Officers Margie Springer, Bruce Magers and Frank Ochal were only a few hours away from the show location when it was cancelled.
As Bruce and I were already in Knoxville, Tennessee we decided to go further south to explore the area. The first stop was Plains, Georgia which is the home and birthplace of Jimmy Carter. We visited the sites in town including his old high school which is now a Jimmy Carter Museum as well as the peanut store that has been in family for decades.
We then traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to visit the Pepsi Museum and Chattanooga, Tennessee where we saw both the Chattanooga Choo Choo and Lookout Mountain where you can supposedly see 7 states.
Further on the way back home another stop was in Nashville where we visited the Grand Ole Opry Hotel and the Johnny Cash Museum.. We also stopped at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The collection of cars consists of numerous micro/mini cars produced in France, Czechoslovakia and other countries. The smallest vehicle on display was a 1965 Peel Trident made on the Isle of Man (Britain). I would urge any of you “Car Guys” to put this on your “Bucket List” as you will see the most complete collection of micro/mini cars ever assemble under one roof. There are over 45 different marques representing Asia, Europe, North and South American. Many of the cars are a one-of-a-kind.
While visiting the museum, we noticed that they had posters in the art gallery area entitled “The Magnificent MG – The Early Years” and “The Magnificent MG – The Middle Years”. We happened to have in our vehicle “The Magnificent MG – The Later Years” which we were going to auction off at AMGBA Meet 2015. We weren’t able to auction it because of the cancellation. We decided to donate our poster to make the collection complete and Jeff Lane, the Museum Director and owner personally thanked us for the addition to his gallery. If you get a chance, please stop by the museum and check out the Art Gallery Room to see the complete set. Take a picture of the 3 posters and send it to me so I could see how it is displayed.
The next stop along the road was another high point in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This is the home of both the Corvette Assembly Plant and the Corvette Museum. No cameras were allowed on the factory tour of the assembly plant but if they were allowed I would have taken a ton of photos of how the Corvette is meticulously put together by the workers and the care they seem to put in it. The Corvette Museum itself was great showing all of the older Corvettes and the Corvettes that survived the massive sinkhole that swallowed many of museum cars in 2014.
Stops in Louisville and Indianapolis finished another great trip and I am looking forward to next year’s adventures. Over 2000 miles put on the 2016 Ford Explore rental.
The American MGB Association’s annual car show, Meet 2014 was held in Stowe, Vermont. This meant a another long drive by the officers to bring out the club items to the show. This includes the table, chairs, tent, membership items and club regalia.
There were stops in getting to the show including Westlake, Ohio outside of Cleveland for lunch at the B Spot and Syracuse, New York where we visited the Syracuse University and ate at Varsity Pizza near the campus.
The car show itself was held in Stowe, Vermont and called The British Invasion and is near Burlington, Vermont on the shores of Lake Champlain, which was the site of many early naval battles in our countries history. We celebrated my birthday at the Ice House e in Burlington, Vermont on the shoreline.
More that 700 British cars were at the show with many fine examples of MGBs. The American MGB Association was kept buy on car show day signing up many new members. We also took the tour of the original Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Plant nearby.
On the way back we went through Canada and stopped in Montreal, Quebec and took a Gray Line tour to see the city which was delayed by an environmental protest march. We also went to Reubens and had Smoked Meat and Poutine. Smoked Meat is a Montreal area specialty and tastes a little like a Pastrami and Salami mixture. Poutine is sold everywhere including McDonalds and consists of French Fries with brown gravy and cheese chunks.
Leaving Montreal, we stopped in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada which is the capital of the Canada and saw the parliament building which dominate the downtown area.
Then on to Toronto with the great skyline and Times Square area at the corners of Yonge and Dundas Streets.
We then came back to the states through Windsor and Detroit where we met with a difficult border crossing guard questioning the items in the car.
A stop was then made in Ann Arbor, Michigan the home of the University of Michigan and ate near the campus at the Cottage Inn.
On the way back home we stopped at both the Studebaker Museum and University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
In all it was about 2300 miles of driving and I am looking forward to the next year’s adventure!
The American MGB Association’s annual car show, Meet 2013 was held in Natchez, Mississippi. This meant a another long drive by the officers to bring out the club items to the show. This includes the table, chairs, tent, membership items and club regalia.
There were frequent stops in getting to the show including St. Louis, Missouri where we stopped in St. Louis at the Crown Candy Kitchen, a stop in Memphis, Tennessee at Beale Street and Corkys Bar-B-Cue and a stop in Oxford, Mississippi for Ole Miss University.
The car show itself was held in Natchez, Mississippi and called Brits on the Bluff as it overlooks the Mississippi River as is the site of many antebellum homes.
After the car show we stopped in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the middle of an LSU game (Louisiana State University), the Tobasco Factory in New Iberia, Louisiana and in New Orleans at the Camellia Grill and the French Quarter. Others stops before heading back included Gulfport, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida.
Heading back north we stopped in Montgomery, Alabama to visit the State Capitol Building, a stop in Birmingham, Alabama at Saw’s Soul Kitchen before heading to Nashville, Tennessee. In Nashville we visited the world famous Tootsies Orchid Lounge.
Getting closer home included stops in Kentucky at the Jim Beam Distillery and the Louisville Sluggers Factory and at St. Elmos in Indianapolis, Indiana for their world famous shrimp cocktail.
Looking forward to the next year’s adventure!
I went to Indianapolis this Labor Day weekend as it is a relatively short driver of about 175 miles. Went to one of my favorite restaurants, St. Elmos Steak House in downtown Indianapolis. I had the steak and of course their world famous shrimp cocktail while celebrating Kevin’s birthday. Also visited the Indy 500 Raceway going on the infield by way of the Museum parking lot. Chuck, my dog also went along for the trip.