.

MLR16

.

“They took us up to heaven, down to hell, and then back up to heaven again”

.

 

MLR January 28, 2018
Hosts:
Terry and Simon Bleeker

.

Clearly, the route to Heaven to Hell to Paradise and to Heaven again is a relatively long and convoluted one as most of us are finding out during our own life stories. It certainly seemed longer than the approximately 67 miles advertised by Terry and Simon Bleeker during their January Mystery Lunch Run.

.

 

Unlike our last event, way back on Friday, only two days ago, this day dawned warmer by about 15-20 degrees and sunnier by a long shot. Terry had warned us to bring jackets as we would be having lunch on an outdoor patio, but the hardy COTV guys came in their shorts and shirts (of course, Sommars and Weeks came in matching shirts….AGAIN!) Terry said that they had RSVPs for 30 cars and approximately 60 folks, but we never did manage a solid count, so let’s just go with those approximate numbers.

.

 

Among the new or not-so-regular faces on hand were Chuck Sherman’s brunette daughter, Debby; Norm Craig and Ronette Garduno’s neighbors, Rebecca and Larry; Mickey Diehl’s friend/guest, Tony; and a familiar face with a not-so familiar face, Scott Dittmer of Precision Brake and Alignment (a very active COTV sponsor) and his lovely wife, Stephanie, in their ’69 Camaro since their Corvette is under the weather, like a lot of us have been so far this year. Scott came for the fun and also to invite us to the Second Annual Sponsor Appreciation BBQ which we share with the Drifters car club. Mark your calendar for March 17 and remember to wear green as it is also St. Patrick’s Day. Watch the website for further news and start planning what side dish or dessert to contribute.

.

 

The run kind of got started on time, but a lot of folks forgot one of the cardinal rules in the MLR Guidelines – the leader needs to be at the front of the pack to lead. MLRs are not races but enjoyable group drives through beautiful countryside. Our hosts go to a lot of trouble to plan them and it is only common sense to let them lead the way. Anyhow, Simon and Terry were able to eventually work their way to the front of the pack each time we stopped and they had the able assistance of the MLR coordinator, John Vara, bringing up the rear and making sure no one got too lost.

.

 

So the tour of Heaven and Hell, started by going west and then north on 15 and then west again and through the lovely avocado groves of the De Luz area. The roads are challenging and sometimes the hills can be hellishly steep. (If you need new brakes after this one, go see Scott Dittmer – he can help you out.) We wove through Fallbrook and made our mid-run potty stop at Grand Traditions Estate and Garden., the Paradise on the tour. Many members have been there for brunch or jazz concerts or had a family wedding at the venue. We bet that many more members will be returning and taking the tour or attending some event. Marsue wants to find out about some of the unusual succulents, so she has her own reason to go back soon.

.

 

After a brief stop to see the beautiful venue and use the facilities, the group moved on southward, following Olive Hill Rd until we crossed the 76 to move on to Camino Del Rey. We saw the remnants of the Lilac Fire of late 2017 – another small taste of Hell. Fortunately, the damage at the Camino Del Rey Training Center where so many horses perished was not visible as they have done a miraculous job of clearing the grounds and the recent rain has helped to green things up. However, we could see the fire retardant along the roads and the shells of homes. From this landscape, we headed eastward under the 15, along Old Castle Road and into the Valley Center area. Now, of course, we are wondering if our final taste of Heaven will be a casino buffet, maybe the Valley View. But no….we wound our way up another of many hills to the new tasting room facility of the Hill Top Winery for a lunch on their patio overlooking the currently dormant grapevines. After a choice of pulled pork sandwich or marinated chicken soft tacos, the tour of extremes came to an end. Simon offered to lead those who wanted to keep together as a group on the way home. Others chose to take one of the several options home through the land of Indian reservations and casinos (Valley View, Harrah’s Rincon, Pauma, Pala and Pechanga.)

.

 

Thanks to the Bleekers for a marvelous and never BLEEK January day! They sure know how to turn a straight line to lunch into a long and meandering tour East, West, North and South through our own backyard in SoCal.

.

 

Keep your eyes on the calendar for more fun with COTV and read all your emails from Darlena and Curt, who have been busy planning more and more things to do together in 2018.

.

 

 

 


TO GO TO THE PICTURES PAGE , GO HERE