Wine, Cheese, and Beer 2011
September 16 – 18
Dan Kerkman & Sue Arata
This year‘s eagerly awaited Wine, Cheese and Beer (WCB) Tour again proved to deliver great driving, interesting venues, and delightful company. We had a record turnout of 24 cars (1 MG TD, 3 MGAs, 13 MGBs, 1 Midget, 1 MGC, 2 TR6s, 1 Corvette, and 2 others) and 49 people participate. There was some concern that such a large group would have trouble keeping together, but with excellent written directions and GPS backup there was very little trouble.
Most of the group arranged to stay in Rockford Friday night and attended the now traditional dinner at JMK Nippon Japa-nese Hibachi Steak-house where the group occupied 4 of their cooking station tables. A number of couples shared a dinner for two, and Bourbon pecan pie was among the dessert choices. As usual, there was an informal social gathering back at the hotel after dinner.
Saturday morning started with a distinct Oc-tober like chill in the air, particularly for those who drove to Rockford that morning, but the clear sky and sunshine soon took the edge off, and we had a beautiful long drive along the Rock River before heading out through rolling countryside in western Illinois. The group then enjoyed the drive down the Iowa side of the Mississippi to Davenport where we enjoyed a late lunch at the Front Street Brewery. After lunch there were several options: some of us attended
the PBS-sponsored Brew-Ha-Ha at a riverfront park and it stayed with the BCW theme providing beer tasting with choic-es of over 100 craft beers, as well as, Vermont cheeses from Cabot (the horseradish cheddar was particularly nice), there was live music, and all of which benefitted the local PBS station; others chose to walk or drive to a local art fair; and some went to check into the hotel and get settled (and rested) before regrouping for dinner.
At the hotel lobby later in the evening prior to leaving for the dinner reservations at the City Limits Restaurant, Ralph Arata stopped by the front desk and requested a stapler. Curiously we all wondered what he was up to. It appears he had a "trouser malfunction" and needed to secure a closure with staples! We enjoyed the dinner before moving on to the hotel for the evening social (some outside with cigars, some inside for a swim or conversation with better lighting).
Sunday‘s drive under overcast skies started with a scenic drive along the Illinois side of the Mississippi. Next we returned to the fun of driving on the country roads of western Illinois. While on the way to our final stop at White Pines State Park light rain started to fall, and it continued for the rest