On Saturday, October 13, eleven club members in seven cars drove to Wauchula, Florida for lunch at Giovanni’s Main Street Kitchen. Giovanni’s is a destination restaurant in the Florida “interior.” Club President, Jim Wilson, had everyone meet at the familiar jumping off point – behind Stottlemyer’s Smokehouse on E. Fruitville Road. He then led the group on an approximately 70-mile trip over country roads and pastoral lanes. As the caravan got closer to Wauchula, the agricultural scene transitioned from cattle ranches to orange groves. The following vehicles took part: 1951 MG TD, 1973 TR6, 1977 MG Midget, 1997 and 1999 Jaguar XK8’s, 2010 Mini Cooper S, followed by Bill Stelcher’s 1929 Model A Speedster.
The weather was beautiful, not too hot, with low humidity and plenty of sunshine. The food was as good as advertised with, according to reports, the pizza being excellent. All had a good time.
Joe Malaney contributed to this report.
On Sunday, September 2, the club headed to the Myakka River Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill in Venice, FL for dinner. Members rallied at the Costco gas station at Westfield Sarasota Square Mall. President Jim and First Lady, Debbie, led the caravan from there. The weather was still in the summertime afternoon showers mode, but obligingly held off for us this day. Fortunately also, the Red Tide, which has put the coastlines of Florida infamously in the national news for several months now, did not extend that far upriver. Fresh seafood, sourced elsewhere, was available on the menu. There were 24 satisfied diners, another good turnout for this time of the year. Everyone had a great time.
Thanks to Jim and Debbie for organizing the event and recording it with photos.
On Saturday, August 18, Club President, Jim Wilson, organized another one of his patented “breakfast runs.” These destination fun drives are plotted into the Florida interior over back roads, which to most club members, are only vaguely familiar or else completely unknown. Jim always manages to find routes combining both curves to exercise your suspension and straightaways to flush out your carburetors. Individual breakfast runs generally do not draw a large number of participants. But they are scheduled roughly once a month so everyone in the club has ample opportunity to join in, depending on how early they are inclined to rise on a Saturday morning.
This event left from a familiar jumping off point – the Texaco on East Fruitville Road. The destination was Paul’s Kitchen, an eatery in Wauchula, rated 4 stars by Trip Advisor. Round trip, the group clocked about 120 miles under very pleasant weather conditions.
Cars participating were: 1951 MGTD, 1957 MGA 1500, 1959 TR3, 1973 TR6 and a 1997 Jaguar XK8.
Thanks to Joe Malaney for the input and photos.
On Saturday, July 21, the club had an early dinner at the Columbia restaurant on St. Armand’s Circle. Members met at the “Siesta Row Shoppes” on Tamiami Trail in Sarasota to form a caravan for the short drive to Lido Key and St. Armand’s.
The Columbia restaurant family now has seven locations in Florida. The original Columbia in Ybor City (Tampa) dates to 1905. The Columbia on St. Armand’s opened in 1959, and now claims to be the oldest restaurant in Sarasota. Noting its huge windows connecting the hand-painted tile dining room to a sprawling covered patio amidst tropical foliage, Southern Living magazine declared the St. Armand’s establishment as the prettiest and most romantic.
The restaurant offers traditional cuisine from Spain and Cuba. Since their menu is huge, everyone was able to find something delectable to enjoy, all while taking in the aroma of fresh-baked Cuban bread. Twenty members and guests enjoyed great food and service.
On June 16, 2018, nine members of the club joined with the Antique Automobile Club of America to put on a car show for the residents at the Brookdale Palmer Ranch Senior Living Center in Sarasota. The club has a tradition of co-sponsoring these occasional events over the past years. We believe they bring some variety into the lives of senior citizens who now don’t get out as much as they used to. And many of the residents have their own car stories to share with the participants.
Brookdale provided a lunch of cheeseburgers and hot dogs. Popcorn, ice cream and assorted drinks were also available. A good time was had by all!
Photos by Joe Malaney.