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Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline
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  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
NAMGBR 14th Annual Convention
July 6-10, 2005 - Olympia, Washington
Hosted by: The MG Car Club Northwest Centre

Olympia Trip to MG2005, Part 2
See photos on line here.

After we checked in to the Red Lion Hotel, unloaded and unpacked the cars, we registered at the event table. It was Wednesday, July 6, and there were a few people ready to check in at the registration table. We got our event tickets, participants' packet, and schedule. Ann and I went back to our room for some much needed rest. Later, I washed the westbound dirt from the car and cleaned out the interior. The six of us got together for dinner in Roger and Shirley's room for one of our wine and cheese and sandwich dinners. I really enjoyed these simple meals. We discussed our plans for the next day and decided not to take either of the tours the West Coast club had set up. The first night had a hospitality suite, so I headed over to renew acquaintances and meet some new folks.

July 7, was a beautiful day. We had decided to skip both the Mt. St. Helens tour and the Pacific Coast tour. We had selected some things in Olympia that looked interesting, so we drove into Olympia to see the capital, a coffee roaster, and check out the local Farmer's Market. We parked near the old capitol building and walked through a visitor information center. The lady working there pointed out the best way to our objectives and suggested a couple of other stops that were near our path. We walked through the capital's gardens to the old capital building. We didn't have time for the full tour, but one of the docents offered to take us on a brief tour so we could see the highlights. All the glass and light fixtures in the building had been done by Tiffany. There was a three ton chandelier in the central dome, supported by a three hundred pound chain. The walls were marble and in one of the reception rooms, our guide pointed out patterns in the marble that looked like animals, butterflies, and sea creatures.

We drove over to the farmers market and checked out what was there before walking over to Batdorf and Bronson coffee roasters for our scheduled tour. There was a brief movie that told about specialty coffees and where they are grown. Then we had a tour of the roasting facility and packaging area. This seemed a really small operation, but they supply coffee to small coffee shops all around the country. They have a second facility in Atlanta and a web site for consumers. After the tour, we walked back to the farmers market where we had lunch and purchased fresh fruit and vegetables for the trip. The market is more a permanent open air shopping experience. There was handmade jewelry, jellies, bakeries, live wreaths among other things. We enjoyed browsing the booths and even made a few purchases other than the produce. It was time to head back to the hotel, but we took a little side trip to Olympia's Japanese Garden. We got back to the hotel to rest a bit and to check with the front desk for dining recommendations. They suggested The Ranch House BBQ, with its award winning BBQ sauce. We couldn't resist so off we went in search of the restaurant. It was off the beaten path about 15 miles west of the hotel and it was worth the trip. The food was excellent and our waiter must have mentioned their AWARD WINNING BBQ twenty times. We sat at a table by a case full of ribbons.

It was raining the morning of July 8, and we were glad we had left the tops up. There was a morning tour to the LeMay Auto Museum. We met under the hotel's awning, broke into two groups, and caravanned to the Museum. The LeMay museum has over 1500 cars on display, with over 6000 in their collection. Most of the cars were American from the Model T through the eighties. I saw one rubber bumper B in one of their covered sheds and a few other MGs in their import section. MGs were definitely under represented except for the privately owned collection on the lawn we drove over. After the museum, as we prepared to head back to the hotel, it was announced the Puget Sound Cruise had been canceled as the boat had blown an engine. We headed back to the hotel as the rain resumed in earnest. It was a fun tour even with the rain.
Club members
In the evening we went to a Taste of the Northwest Salmon BBQ at the Squaxin Indian Reservation. It was held in the Squaxin Cultural Center. The salmon, shell fish and other food was delicious. Dinner was accompanied by native songs. After dinner, one of the tribal members told us the history of the Squaxin people and their relationship with other Native American tribes all along the west coast. Back at the hotel, the hospitality suite was packed, but I had the opportunity to bend Kelvin Dodd's (from Moss Motors) ear about some of my parts problems. We parted on good terms and I am still ordering parts from Moss.

July 9, was the car show. The sun had returned and the temperatures were comfortable. The original plan was to have the show on the hotel's lawn, but Friday's rains forced a move to the parking lot. There were 150+ cars in the show. The farthest traveler came from North Carolina and there were fourteen cars from the east coast and Midwest in the New York group, and of course, four cars from Chicago. Jack Feldman's C is spending some time with his son in Oregon, so Jack, his MGC, and son joined the festivities Saturday. We saw the two couples from Indianapolis who had joined us in Gettysburg last year on our way to MG2005. Saturday night was the awards banquet. Roger and Shirley's 1970 MGB won first prize in their class popular vote. There are now six couples that have been to all the NAMGBR conventions including Roger and Shirley. After the banquet, we headed to the hospitality suite to say goodbye until next year to some of our new and old friends.

July 10, the six of us skipped the farewell breakfast and headed north toward Olympic National Park and Victoria, BC. That part of the story will have to wait until next month. John (Note: Thanks to the Gonzalezes for the Salmon dinner picture!)

©2005 Chicagoland MG Club, All rights reserved.