Sunday Morning Breakfast Drive, May 15, 2016

8 a.m.: sunny before departure
8:30 a.m.: sunny before departure

After a relatively mild winter, the spring of 2016 has been taking its sweet time arriving in the Northeast. Any fears of summer heat waves in early May have been unfounded, with daily temperatures often running 10 degrees below normal. Our little driving club tried to get an early start on the season by planning a mid-April event, which had to be cancelled due to the threat of snow! Our scheduled drive on Sunday May 15 did successfully occur, in spite of cool weather and surprise showers.

Hey guys, do you want to eat, or would you rather stand around and shoot the breeze?
Hey guys, do you want to eat, or would you rather stand around and shoot the breeze?

Checking back on last year’s blog entries, we never had more 15 participants on any one run (excepting Spousal Accompaniment Day). Today, we broke that record with 17 gentlemen occupying 12 cars. Obviously, we had 5 passengers, several of whom were joining us for the first time. Our destination was a crowd favorite, the Silver Spoon Café in Cold Spring NY.

We pull over to give those in back a chance to catch up

We pull over to give those in back a chance to catch up

The cars: we usually count up the Chevys, and then all the rest. Today, the Europeans won the day with a total of 7 cars: 3 Germans, 2 Brits, and 2 Italians. We had 4 U.S. brand cars, and one Japanese. There were old(ish) and new(ish) vehicles in all the subcategories with multiple vehicles.

The Mother Country was beautifully represented Rich S’s black MGB and Rich L’s white Jaguar F-Type.

The MGB of Rich S
The MGB of Rich S


The F-Type Jag of Rich L
The F-Type Jag of Rich L

The 2 Italians cars were both Alfas: EC was the proud papa bringing his ’91 spider out with us for the first time, while your humble scribe brought his trusty, un-rusty ’67 GT Junior.

Enzo's 1991 Alfa Spider
Enzo’s 1991 Alfa Spider


The author's '67 Alfa GT Junior
The author’s ’67 Alfa GT Junior

German marques ruled the roads today with 3 cars: Peter’s stunning red 911, Sal’s BMW 325is, and John M’s new Audi A3 cabrio.

Peter's Porsche 911
Peter’s Porsche 911


John's Audi A3
John’s Audi A3


Sal's BMW 325is
Sal’s BMW 325is

Among domestic product, it was all Chevrolet, including 3 Corvettes: Bill’s C1, Ron’s C4, and George’s C6. Larry ran his reliable Camaro.

Bill's C1
Bill’s C1


Ron's C4
Ron’s C4


George's C6
George’s C6


Larry's '94 Camaro
Larry’s ’94 Camaro

The sole Asian car was Jim N’s Datsun 280Z.

Jim's Datsun 280Z
Jim’s Datsun 280Z

We departed the Sheraton Crossroads parking lot (almost) right on time and headed north. As soon as we did, the skies darkened, and the clouds threatened. In spite of the weather, several drivers motored with convertible tops down. After a beautiful ride along Seven Lakes Drive and over the Bear Mountain Bridge, we were at our destination with 10 minutes to spare. The staff at the Silver Spoon had a table for 17 waiting. Coffee was almost immediately served, with hot breakfast plates soon following. As always, the camaraderie around the table made it difficult to leave.

The obligatory wave before breakfast
The obligatory wave before breakfast

When we finally wrenched ourselves away from the food and endless caffeine, we stepped outside to some slight sprinkles. Those who had left their tops down scurried back to their cars. Several of us continued to linger and chat, not wanting the festivities to end. But end they eventually did. We’ve assured the group that we’ll do our best to get out at least once a month this driving season.

A crowd favorite is the Silver Spoon Cafe, on Main St. in Cold Spring NY
The Silver Spoon Cafe, on Main St. in Cold Spring NY, survived our visit

All photographs copyright © 2016 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.


Sunday Morning Breakfast Drive, Sep. 13 2015

2 p.m. Saturday: Larry and Rich talk by phone:

“I don’t know about tomorrow. I’m driving right now and there’s nothing but dark clouds overhead.”
“The weather forecast is for heavy showers through tonight, and cloudy with showers all day Sunday.”
“One report I heard said that the showers may hold off. Let’s talk again later.”
“OK. I’ll call you after dinner.”

8 p.m. Saturday: Larry and Rich talk by phone:

“Forecast isn’t looking good. What should we do?”
“No one is going to want to drive in the rain. Should we cancel?”
“Let’s see what it’s like at 6 a.m. Worse case, we get together and just have breakfast locally.”

At 9 p.m. on Saturday night, the National Weather Service was calling for Sunday’s weather in the entirety of New Jersey to be completely cloudy, with the likelihood of showers increasing throughout the day. But at 7 a.m. Sunday morning, the sky was mostly blue, with scattered high clouds. Be prepared to ignore the weatherman when you’re planning a Sunday morning breakfast run!

"When I was your age, I bought a Z-28 for $1,500!"
“When I was your age, I bought a Z-28 for $1,500!”

In all, eleven brave souls brought out their cars for what turned out to be a spectacular morning. Several in the crowd were with us for the first time. And in what must have been a first for our group, the European sporting machines outnumbered the American iron, 7 to 4! The Germans were well-represented by Peter’s 911 (with son Jonathan navigating), Danek’s Audi R8, and the “almost twin” BMWs of Jeff (Z3) and Rob (Z3M). The UK flag was flown by Rich S in his MGB and Rich L in his Jaguar F-Type. Rounding out the cars from the Old Country, your humble scribe proved once again that the words “reliable” and “1967 Alfa Romeo” can be spoken in the same sentence.

It’s usually “Chevys Rule” at these events, but the only Chevys today were Larry’s Camaro, and Bill’s new (to him) ’61 Corvette, making its Sunday morning inaugural run with us. The ‘vette also had the distinction of the oldest car participating. Ralphie’s tried-and-true Buick convertible was back, and Julio debuted (to us) his hot ’66 Dodge Coronet.

Once our stragglers arrived, we were able to push off by 8:45, with the Readington Diner as our destination. Our route took us down Route 287 and into Morristown, where we met our first challenge: the roads around the Morristown Green were closed for a bicycle race, forcing us into a detour. Further on in Chester, a street fair gave us some minor issues. However, the weatherman could not have been more wrong, and the sunshine only added to the joy of driving the winding country roads through the towns of Mendham, Long Valley, and Oldwick. After an unscheduled pitstop to use the toilets and refill the cars (in that order), we arrived at the diner on Route 22 by 10:45.

True to form, Rich S again assumed the duties of the traveling photographer, thinking nothing of pulling his MGB alongside another car on 287 and jutting his camera skyward, taking pictures while managing to stay in his lane. With his permission, these 3 photos below taken by Rich S are posted here:

The diner food must wait...
The diner food must wait…

When 12 hungry guys order breakfast, the orders are as varied as our cars. And you would think that with food on our minds, each of us would remember our selection. But it doesn’t always work that way. The waitress showed up with the first plate: “Awright, who had the #3 with eggs sunny-side?” No one said a word. Her patience ran out after 15 seconds and she put the plate down. Rich S said “we’re not very good at this part, are we?”, to which we laughingly agreed. Eventually, everyone had a plate in front of them, with food approximating their order. No one left hungry. Coffee service continued well after the last morsels were consumed. The wait staff was generously compensated for their attentiveness.

"What are you getting?" "I don't know, what are you getting?"
“What are you getting?” “I don’t know, what are you getting?”

The diner has a large parking area in the back, and the joint wasn’t overly crowded, so we had all parked together. As we exited, we asked several gentlemen nearby if they would take some group photos for us, and they happily obliged. Lots of smiles, handshakes, hugs, and of course, cries for a repeat event before year’s end brought our September breakfast run to a cheerful conclusion.

The group with their automobiles
The group with their automobiles


The Group
The Group


All photographs (except as noted above) 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.