Spring Fling 2014

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Thursday morning, car packed, heading to Harrisburg, PA and the start of Spring Fling 2014. It was time once again for the annual Vintage meet. We tried for Hershey, we really did, but Harrisburg is only 12 miles away so that’s where we went. Seventy-two people, thirty-eight cars including a Tesla and an Audi TT. Who says we aren’t a diverse group?

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Around noon, pull into the Harrisburg Hilton Garden Inn, warmly welcomed by the hotel staff who have gone out of their way to make sure we have a good time and most people haven’t even arrived yet. Schlep all of the stuff that’s been filling the trunk to my room and return to the lobby to wait for other early arrivals. People slowly trickle in and by 4pm, there are about twenty people in the hotel and the lot is starting to fill up with S2000s. Gene (jukngene) has arranged a dinner for a dozen people at a Vietnamese restaurant in Hershey so it’s time to rinse some of the road off of both me and Grover (the car, not the wife). The dinner people gather in the lobby, and then head for cars and Vietnamese food. After a short drive through Hershey, we arrive at the restaurant. Wish I had some pictures because a dozen people really enjoyed both the food and the company. After dinner, back to Harrisburg, the hotel and a lot of catching up with more new arrivals.

Friday morning and the rehearsal for the Saturday drive. A small five-car caravan headed out to make sure that PA hadn’t decided to do roadwork on the great roads Dave (ddtt) had discovered for the Saturday drive. There was a bit of roadwork but nothing that would interfere with the Saturday drive.

Back to the hotel, more socializing, more newcomers.  We seem to take over hotel lobbies wherever we go and this was no exception. Lots of laughter, greetings, chatter and general mayhem. Fortunately, none of the hotel staff decided to throw us out. Friday night was the meet and greet cocktail/nibblies party. The HGI went out of their way for food and there were actually so many goodies that nobody wanted dinner. After the meet and greet, back to the lobby for more socializing.

Saturday morning after the complimentary breakfast, it was time for the drivers meeting and lining up for the drive. There were four drive groups, two moderate (led by Dave (ddtt) and Jerry (Pas2k)) and two not-moderate, led by me (kgf3076 and Gene (jukngene)). The first group left a bit early but nobody objected. The roads were as good Saturday as they were on Friday and everyone seemed to have a great time. After the drive, we all met at the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) for lunch and a tour of the museum. Rick Hesel (Ricks2k) drove his bright red Tesla which attracted quite a bit of attention. We made arrangements to park on the lawn in front of the museum and it was great to see all of the S2000s lined up in front of the building. Lunch was on the mezzanine overlooking the front lobby (and a picture perfect Corvair) and the interior of the museum. Much talk about cars and life and then people started wandering off to check out the museum. Lots of great cars, buses, and motorcycles. A display of street rods was being moved out in preparation for the Tucker show which will start soon. People who didn’t go on the museum tour took advantage of the down time to explore Hershey and the Chocolate Museum and the Hershey environs.

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Saturday evening and the banquet. Once again, HGI went way overboard (in a really amazing way) in the food. Chicken, Pasta Primavera, Sweet and Sour Meatballs… lots and lots of food. Dave (headchef) brought two trays of cookies that disappeared faster than you would believe, HGI made amazing petit fours, and dessert was well taken care of. Everyone hung out for a while and then slowly started heading for their rooms to pack in preparation for leaving on Sunday morning or just to rest.

Sunday morning brought bittersweet goodbyes and departures. Once again, HGI served us breakfast and made sure that nobody left hungry. MDW (My Darling Wife), who had driven up on Thursday night, packed her car, I packed Grover and we were ready to head home but not without lots of pleasant memories of Spring Fling 2014 and the amazing people who come from as far away as California, Ontario, and Texas every year to hang out and celebrate with friends.

Photo credits to: Paul, Lainey, Patty, Jim, and to anyone I may have overlooked, my most sincere apology.

– Ken (kgf3067)

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