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October 29 MLR
Hosted by Lynne & John Vara

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Sunday, October 29, 2017 was a lovely, clear and temperate day after the unseasonable heat, excessive winds and smokiness of the past week or so. A group of 53 in 29 cars met to enjoy John and Lynne Vara’s first mystery lunch run. We all hope that it is not the last one they will plan but the first of many.

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The group contained some new faces like John Blackburn and his grandson, Hunter, who took an application form, although they were unable to participate in the actual run. They got to see a wide variety of cars and people and we hope that they were not scared off by the Halloween antics of Simon Bleeker and Bruce Mofford with their masks. Norman Craig turned up in his collectible car with a friend since Ronette wasn’t able to join us. Wendy and Terry turned up in their “new” comfortable car, a 2008 white convertible. Terry made sure we know it is not a “replacement” but an “addition” to the red Race Rat. Wendy agrees that it will make for more comfortable rides and allow them to join in on longer trips. They are #4 on the “wait list” for Monterey and we hope that a few folks from other clubs cancel so that they can join the 11 cars already going from COTV. We may just nail down the largest participation award with 12 of 100 cars. Samantha and Frank Caliandro joined the group for the first time in months – obviously, they have another life! But we sure were glad to see them. Diane Sommars was unable to join the fun because as Jim said, she was “home sick” not “homesick”. We hope she feels better soon. The COTV cruise gang compared notes and weight gains after our week at sea.

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John McDermott and Bill Stedfield took advantage of the gathering to collect membership renewals and holiday party reservations.

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As more cars arrived, John checked them off his list and Lynne provided Halloween treats along with the “mystery directions” to our destination. We left pretty close to on time at 9:30 and re-grouped at our usual spot at Butterfield Stage under the watchful eye of a law enforcement officer. The first part of the run was along Hwy 70 and then left on 371 E to Cahuilla Casino and a potty break in the way too smoky atmosphere of a small casino. We then continued on 371 to Hwy 74 E or Palms to Pines Hwy and took that wonderful curving, winding road down into Palm Desert. The weather warmed up a little but not too much and tops stayed down and windows open. The rest of the route took us left onto Hwy 111 N and then right onto Bob Hope Dr., ending in the parking garage at Agua Caliente Casino.

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John and Lynne had been to a concert at Agua Caliente for Lynne’s birthday and enjoyed the location, so perhaps the seed for this MLR was planted then. We headed for the Palm Buffet as a large group and they had set up one very large and long table for us to share. The servers provided champagne, mimosas or a cranberry juice/champagne combination which got good reviews. The Buffet had seafood as well as sections for Italian, Asian, American, Mexican and breakfast foods. The prime rib seemed to be popular as did the crab legs and oysters.

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No one seemed to go home hungry as we left in dribs and drabs. John is still looking for someone to plan the January MLR and if you think you can do as well as the Varas did, please sign up. We look forward to seeing you at more meals coming up soon – the Breakfast Social on November 8, the General Meeting on November 9, the Sponsor Appreciation dinner on November 15, the MLR on November 26, the Toy Run on December 3 and the Holiday Party on December 10.

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Happy Halloween to all you COTV goblins!

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