Sunday Morning Breakfast Run, July 30 2017

For only the second time this year, our informal “breakfast club” got its act together to go for a drive on Sunday July 30. After a prediction of heavy rains for Friday and Saturday, the weatherman promised a good day on Sunday, and we got it! At my 7 a.m. departure, it was actually cool (probably low 60s), quite unusual for midsummer NJ. The great combination of bright sunshine, comfortable temperature, and low humidity stayed with us all day. As Ken said to me, with only the slightest exaggeration: “this isn’t the best day of this summer; this is the best day of the last three years!”

The turnout was impressive, something we don’t take for granted, what with everyone’s summer schedule so jammed. We had 15 vehicles, four of which held passengers, for a total of 19 hungry mouths. We were happy to see some new faces out with us for the first time. We pushed off from the Sheraton Crossroads, as promised, as the clock struck 8:30 a.m. Destination for the morning was a perennial favorite, Stella G’s in Hackettstown NJ.

A casual observer of our motorcade would be forgiven for thinking it was the local Porsche club’s outing, with a few non-German cars thrown into the mix. At least it seemed that way, with a total of five 911s plus a 944 cabriolet. The two additional German cars were both BMWs: a 320 and an E30. Three other European sports cars rounded out that continent’s representation: an MGB-GT with a V8 conversion, a Jaguar F-Type convertible, and your scribe’s Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior.

Four domestic vehicles completed today’s field, three of them GM products: a C6 Corvette, a ’66 Buick Skylark convertible, and a ’94 Camaro Z-28. The nineteenth vehicle was a ’64 T-Bird convertible.

After a short run on Route 287 South (we try to minimize highway driving), we exited onto Route 23 north, then turned south / southwest, heading toward Sparta and a rendezvous with Route 517 which would take us the rest of the way to Hackettstown. With a group this large, it wasn’t possible to keep all the cars together on the road, and the back half went their own way in Sparta, eventually taking the highway again, but getting to the restaurant only minutes behind the first arrivals. For those who did stay on the planned course, the roads and scenery made for spectacular driving.

The good news about Stella G’s is that the food is great; the less good news is that it’s packed on Sunday mornings. Our hostess Lauren informed me that “a table for 19” wasn’t going to cut it, so we were seated in waves of three. The seating arrangement didn’t affect the food and coffee, which were top-notch as always.

And what did we do after breakfast? We did what we always do: we retired to the front sidewalk, where the yapping continued for an unspecified amount of time. The party broke up by 11:30 am, which put everyone home by early afternoon. We start early, get a lot done, and still get home in time to tackle that honey-do list. What’s better than that?

 

Tim’s MG-B GT V8

 

The author’s Alfa Romeo

 

Woody’s 911

 

Rich’s Jaguar

 

Ken’s 911

 

Willis’ Corvette

 

Bill’s 911

 

Sal’s BMW

 

Peter’s 911

 

Larry’s Camaro

 

Ted’s 911

 

If you’re near Hackettstown, this place has the Sunday Breakfast Club stamp of approval

 

If we stayed any longer, we would be ordering lunch

 

All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

Sunday Morning Breakfast Drive, Nov. 15 2015

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Our final drive of the 2015 season took place on Sunday, November 15. The day dawned sunny, dry, and as the weatherman might say, “seasonably warm”, with midday temps approaching 60 degrees. The emails with regrets I had received during the week led me to believe that we would have a light turnout. This was incorrect, as we had 11 cars and 15 guys, not too shabby! As has been the tradition this year, two gents new to the group joined us for the first time. We must be doing something right.

We pushed off from our usual Mahwah Sheraton Crossroads departure point at 9 a.m., one hour later than usual, in deference to the shorter November days. Heading down Route 287 South, yours truly was all too happy to cruise in the Miata with the top down, but not too many other convertibles took advantage of the sunshine, at least not at first.

Beautiful day for a cruise (photo courtesy Rich S.)
Beautiful day for a cruise (photo courtesy Rich S.)

Our destination for the morning was Stella G’s, an excellent breakfast joint in Hackettstown, NJ. We’ve been there before, but not this year. The drive consisted of three roads: Route 287 South to Route 23 North to Route 517 South. A new tradition is the now-obligatory pit-stop, christened the “Bill Whited fuel and bathroom break”. This time it was a Quick Chek. Your scribe observed that once we stop and let everyone start yapping again, it can be problematic to get the boys back into their cars.

The others follow the Corvette (as they should)
The others follow the Corvette (as they should)

After a beautiful cruise down Route 517 (we will NOT mention that the chase car made a wrong turn and ended up on Route 80), we were at Stella G’s at exactly 11 a.m. Customer Service in the state of NJ can indeed be spoken about in the present tense, as proven today. We called Stella G’s twice to ask them about seating 15 arrivals, and even though they do not take reservations on the weekend, we walked in at 11 a.m. sharp to find tables reserved and set for our large crowd. The food, coffee, and service were excellent as they always are at Stella G’s (thank you Kate!).

We were having too good a time. It was difficult for the group to leave the restaurant, and leave Hackettstown, knowing that we would not have the opportunity to do this again until the spring of 2016. Since time moves faster the older we get, it remains an unspoken truth that our first drive of the New Year will be here soon enough. To a man, we can’t wait.

 

All photographs (except as noted) copyright © 2015 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

Sunday Morning Breakfast Run, July 2015

The morning of Sunday, July 12, 2015, dawned sunny and temperate. The promised heat was still a few hours away as 10 cars and 13 participants gathered at our usual meeting spot, the Sheraton Crossroads Hotel in Mahwah NJ, for our planned breakfast drive.

The first arrivals were on site by 8am. We were “all in” by 8:30am and caravanning by 8:35, headed to Cold Spring NY. Cars built by General Motors were again predominantly represented by Bill’s C6 Corvette, Larry’s Z28 Camaro, Ted’s boat, er, Eldorado, and Ralphie’s Buick Skylark.

We had two Mustangs this time, both driven by Nick! Nick D piloted the white convertible while Nick S drove the grey coupe. The only MoPar again wasn’t a car, it was a Viper. It was also a last-minute substitution as Rich S intended to drive his V8-equipped Alfa spider, but “something” was causing a rear tire to rub. And your author’s Alfa had European company from Peter’s 911 and Jeff’s BMW Z3. Enzo, Rich L, and Bob P hitched rides with willing drivers. (Jeff, in a most humanitarian gesture, allowed Enzo to drive his Z3.)

Larry led the charge through Seven Lakes Drive, across the Bear Mountain Bridge, then north into Cold Spring. We were at our spot, the Silver Spoon Café, ten minutes early. Nevertheless, our table was ready and waiting for us. Terry met us there, having ridden his bike from home nearby, so 14 hungry men sat down for a good breakfast. It was our first time to this restaurant, and high marks all around for the food, the coffee, and the service. Thanks, ladies!

No one was in a rush to leave the table, and the staff was in no rush to show us the door. In fact, they kept coming ‘round and filling mugs long after the bill was paid. When we finally made it back outside, the temperature had kicked up considerably. The group still continued to mingle on the sidewalk in front of the café for a few more minutes, and several of us also took advantage of a tour through the charming town of Cold Spring, either on foot or by car.

All 13 of us (with me hiding behind the lens)
All 13 of us (with me hiding behind the lens)

For several participants, it was their first time out with us, and they’re threatening to return. Given that it’s the middle of the summer vacation season, we still had a great turnout from the regulars. We always say the same thing: “It’s about time we did this again!” And so we will. We’re already perusing the calendar for an August repeat.

 

All photographs copyright © 2015 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.