Wine, Cheese, and Beer-chitecture Tour
September 13-14, 2008
This was the wettest tour we have done so far. While the Wisconsin portion of the tour was mostly dry, no one chose to put their top down. The rain threatened all weekend.
Twenty-two brave souls joined us Friday at JMK Nippon for our kickoff dinner. We filled three hibachi tables, our largest turnout so far. As always, the dinner and the presentation were excellent. When we got back to the hotel we chatted briefly and called it a day.
Saturday arrived and it was still raining in Rockford. We met at 8:00 for our driver’s meeting in the lobby. Our numbers had grown to thirty. We had eight MG’s and several contemporary cars. It was raining quite seriously, but we forged on anyway. We certainly weren’t going to allow a little rain to slow us down.
The rain slowed as we left Rockford and by the time we were north of Rockton, we were just hitting occasional showers and mist. Soon the roads dried enough to really enjoy some spirited driving. The only way to improve the drive would have been with tops down and sunshine.
We had lunch at Arthur’s in Spring Green. The rain had stopped, but the clouds were still threatening. We drove down to Taliesin for our tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home. We really enjoyed our guide and we learned some interesting facts about the house and the ongoing preservation. By the time the tour ended, we could finally see blue sky!
We all went to the Round Barn to check into our hotel. Dinner was at the Shed in downtown Spring Green. It wasn’t raining, but the patio was still wet, so we dined in the upstairs banquet room. The owner, Wynn, ran the bar and filled us in on a couple of local breweries for future destinations. After dinner, we went back to our hotel and enjoyed their facilities for an indoor/outdoor party.
Sunday was still overcast as we gathered in the parking lot. Our destination for the morning was just east of Barneveld, WI. The roads of southwestern Wisconsin never disappoint and we had an enjoyable ride to Botham Vineyards. We had a most informative tour. Several of our group said it was the best winery so far. The owner is also a vintage car racer. He has a Porsche 912 that was at Elkhart Lake in July. He also hosts a Vintage Car show on the first weekend of August every year. The 2009 featured marque is Austin Healy. We enjoyed tasting their wines, made our purchases, and went outside for the group photo.
Our final stop was in New Glarus. We arrived a little early and wandered around the town before lunch. We dined in the New Glarus Hotel and Restaurant and again the food was excellent. After lunch it was time to drive over to the New Glarus Brewery for our annual stock up of Fat Squirrel, Spotted Cow, and their other brews. Steve and Liz LaFond led the pack with four cases and several quarts of New Glarus beer.
When we arrived home, I realized it was just one month since we picked up our car in Ohio and drove it back. We had traveled just under 1400 miles. The B is running fine and our rebuilt engine paired with the five speed makes traveling even more enjoyable than before (if that is possible).
The rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of our group. We had a great time driving the fantastic roads of Wisconsin. Taliesin was a hit, and the dining couldn’t be better. Ann and I are already planning next year’s tour. We are thinking about a different direction for the fifth annual Wine, Cheese, and Beer tour. See you then!
Chicago MG Holiday Party
The Holiday Party will be very special this year. You may call it "NEW" or, if you've been around long enough you may call it "OLD". For the first time in many, many years The Chicagoland MG Club and the Vintage MG Car Club of Chicago will again celebrate this evening together. Can you think of a better way to start the Holiday Season than to enjoy a couple of drinks, dinner, door prizes, raffle, and maybe even another performance of the Abingdon Players together with all of your Chicago MG friends?
The party will be on Saturday December 6, 2008 at 6:30 PM at Elmcrest Banquets by Biancalana's, 7370 W Grand Avenue, Elmwood Park IL 60707 -- 708-453-3989. There is valet parking at the facilities parking lot, right across the street.
The cost for members of both clubs is the same at $28/person, and both clubs will subsidise the evening a little bit. The Cash Bar will open at 6:30 and dinner will be served at 7:30. Dinner is the same for all and includes soup and salad for starters, followed by pasta, then chicken and beef with potatoes and vegetables for the family style main course, and Italian ice cream for desert. Please mark the registration form for the vegetarian option.
After the dinner we'll have door prizes, a raffle and an, optional, gift exchange. Bringing a gift will entitle you to receive a gift in exchange. (there is no real minimum or maximum but about $10 is a good guideline) We are also in negotiation with the word famous Abingdon Players. This illustrious theater group along with the Singing Magnettes made a grandiose revival in 2007 after many years of absence. Hopefully they're able to fit a special Elmwood Park engagement into the 2008 MG World Tour.
After the formal program you are also invited to join us at TJ's Halftime, a small sports bar just down the road. It is only 1 mile west of Elmcrest on Grand Avenue (but the name of the town changes to River Grove) The designated driver of each vehicle should be able to find a parking spot at their lot. TJ's Halftime, 8166 Grand Avenue, River Grove, IL 60171, phone 708 453 8686.
Please send in the reservation form to the address listed (along with the check) before Friday November 21, 2008. And don't forget the mark your club association; Vintage MG Car Club of Chicago, Chicago MG Club, or both and check the box if you want the vegetarian menu option.