Sommars, Jim & Diane

In the words of Jim Sommars

“WE GET TO EAT”

Jim and Diane Sommars lead the A group
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John and Fritzi McDermott lead the B group.

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Mystery Lunch Run 4-30-17

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We have all heard about those “leisurely Sunday drives” of old – families in station wagons taking in the scenery, romantic young couples on their way to a picnic at the beach or in a park, father and son heading to the fishing hole, etc. Well, “fuggedaboutit,” that’s not exactly what Jim and Diane had in mind for the April Mystery Lunch Run. They picked a much different Sunday drive for all the COTV faithful, to one of their favorite lunch locales.

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It was a pretty warm and very sunny day in Spring, although the temps ended up pretty Summery, when 29 cars and 49 COTV folks met at the usual place for a Sommars Special. For many of us it was a surprise to see Dan and Kathy Hedges, longtime members who were very active in the earlier years but have been too busy to have COTV fun of late. They turned up in a regular car for their Last Hurrah and last COTV event. In the next couple of weeks, they will be retired and on their way to Wisconsin to join many of their family members. They have shipped the two Corvettes, sold the house and bought a new one near Madison, WI.

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Other new or infrequent faces who turned up for the Run included Chuck Sherman’s other daughter, Tracey. He brought the brunette one month and now we were joined by the blonde. Curt Stevens brought along his brother-in-law, Joe, since both of their wives are in Italy. Curt will be joining Darlena in London next weekend so they can go on a cruise to Norway. Joe has joined us once before so he seemed familiar. John Olivas brought along a friend to ride shotgun as well. Tom and Ann Lontz, who came to their first MLR at the end of March and joined COTV pretty much right away, were with us for their second. Mike and Denise Re, who joined at the last meeting after being on the February MLR were also along for the ride. The Downings gave us a few test rides and meetings, but now they are regulars. We were glad to see Terry Isenberg, who must be feeling better. It was also a pleasure to see Doug Glenore again, now that the tax season is over and that he and Marilyn have moved into a new home. Unfortunately, they are off to the Med for a month, cruising around, so we won’t see them for a little while. Oh yes, we mustn’t forget to mention that our own mystery woman, Karen Hellman, also joined us for the Mystery Lunch Run. Maybe we have talked her into a day at Plastic Fantastic as well! What do you think, Karen? Lunch at Seaport Village?

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Based on a suggestion in the Suggestion Box, we tried to make the ride a little easier for everyone, by splitting into Groups A and B. Groups were assigned at random as drivers checked in with Jim. Group A was led by Jim and Diane, with Joe and Rosemary Priebe as the rear car. Group B was led by John and Fritzi McDermott, with Rob and Daryl Weber as the last of the last cars. We allowed a five minute gap between group departures. The route led to the northbound 15, off and westbound on Clinton Keith, north on Grand Avenue through Wildomar and Lake Elsinore, and onto the dreaded Ortega Highway. Here is where the “leisurely Sunday drive” became the drive of a thousand motorcycles and cars all crammed into the narrow and curving road and generally going really slow. By the time we got through most of the canyon part of the Ortega, Group B could hear Group A on the walkie-talkies and knew that gap was closing. That was partly because of general traffic conditions and partly because of a nasty accident at about Hot Springs Canyon Road, with motorcycle parts (all that was visible of a proud biker’s ride) strewn around. We all squeezed by the accident site and by the time we got near the 5 Fwy, we were almost back to one group. Our timing was good in that we passed the CHP cars, the fire truck and the ambulance going to the accident after we were well away from it. We can only imagine the messier situation that faced those arriving after the emergency vehicles blocked the narrow road.

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Our destination was San Juan Capistrano, one of Jim and Diane’s favorites, but not Sarducci’s where they have led us before as that restaurant is now called Trevor’s at the Tracks. Instead we went to El Adobe de Capistrano which is a California State Historical Landmark and is considered a circa-1797 site. We were served in the private patio and offered non-stop chips and salsa and lemonade and iced tea, with a choice of 5 or 6 lunch dishes, most with a Mexican flavor, like the cheese enchilada salad, the torta with either carnitas or carne asada, the huevos rancheros, or the American favorites, a burger or a California Chicken Sandwich.

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A lot of COTV-ers moved on to other area activities after lunch, like Dana Point Harbor or shopping in San Juan. Many planned an alternative route home to avoid the Ortega. Those of us who headed back the way we came found smooth going as all the traffic was gone, there was absolutely no sign of the accident, and it really did take 37 minutes to do 31 miles or whatever the GPS said.

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Thanks to Jim and Diane for another fun Sunday drive, although not quite as leisurely as we might have thought. A challenging drive and more food…. what could be better!!!???

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NOTE: Please note that the May MLR, which would have fallen on Memorial Day Weekend, has been canceled and instead we will be having the COTV picnic the following Sunday, June 4, at the home of Terry and Simon Bleeker. So sign up for burgers and all the fixings at their wine country home. See you there! In June, we will be back to our regular schedule with a MLR hosted by Dave and Karen Hellman. See you there, too!