19 Oct

GatorMOG Key West Road Trip Report (Oct 2021)

Key West, Florida!!  Some sort of Paradise!! At least for us in the Southeastern portion of the USA. We went, we saw, and we came back!!  Another indescribable Morgan Road Trip!!  This was the third MOGSouth/GatorMOG Road Trip to Key West, FL and they just keep getting better!   It took us a week this time and we circumnavigated a good bit of the Florida Peninsula.  We stuck to the back roads, shunning the highways.  You miss too much of the good stuff if you always travel the highways!!  We saw the coast, we saw agriculture, we saw swamps.   We saw museums, beaches, restaurants, and of course, we saw Citrus.  And surprisingly the weather cooperated.  A few pop-up showers (yes, I had the top down!) . . . mostly it was just hot!!

A wonderful collection of cars and even better group of people!!  We had quite a few older cars this time . . . two late fifties Plus 4 4 Seaters and an early sixties Plus 4.  Add these cars to the newer Roadsters, Plus 8s and a new Plus 4 (with a dog?) and we had a very nice and diverse array of Morgan cars!!  And no major breakdowns.  All the car problems experienced were weather related and plagued the newer cars, not the older ones?  A few hot cars, mine included!  I developed a coolant leak and had to add coolant a few times.   One Plus 8 ran without a fan all week, and one car developed a minor misfire due to some overnight rain.  Other than that, we were just fine!!  Speaking of groups, we limited the number of participants on this trip.  The last two trips we had way too many cars. It is almost impossible to keep everyone in line and restaurants look at you like you are nuts when you say you have 50 or so folks for lunch!  Twenty is a much better number!!  

We started our trek with travels from where-ever to the Daytona, FL Morgan dealer, Christopher John LTD.  Chris Sylvestri welcomed us all to the dealership and hosted an amazing open house with lots of tasty goodies and sampling of beer from the brewery next door.  Great hospitality, Morgan parapenalia and cars for sale!!    What a way to start our adventure!! 

After the open house we ate dinner at a local spot on the water and adjacent to our hotel.  In the morning we all headed south down the Florida coast. 

We finished the day with a block party in the Singer’s Cul de Sac in Palm Beach, hosted by Bennett and Mary Shulman and Eric and Joanne Singer.  

JN – Block Party in the Singer’s Cul de Sac in Palm Beach (hosted by Bennett and Mary Shulman and Eric and Joanne Singer.)

I started the day with fan problems (coolant leaks) and overheated so Andrea and I had to leave the convoy while we got our problems sorted in Daytona and then traveled the highways to catch up.  We arrived in West Palm Beach a bit late, but the group was still there and having great fun.  We joined right in.  That beer tasted great!

BS – Mark adding coolant. Necessitated by the weather. It was hot!

Then in the morning a scenic run along the amazing overseas coastal route (US 1) all the way to Key West.  We did stop for lunch in Key Largo.  At a marina looking at the water!  The aura of the Keys was already settling in. . .   

We finished the day with beer and pizza, provided by the Club, at the hotel in Key West.  Yes, that beer also tasted great!   A quicker run South this time than previous trips but we wanted more time in Key West!  Too much to see and do!!  We parked the cars in the hotel lot and scattered somewhat.  We all had our own agendas and interests!  The hotel shuttles and free municipal buses proved quite convenient, and the price was right!!  Wednesday’s big event was a Sunset Cruise on a Catamaran with open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and an oldies band.   Who knew these folks could dance??  

Before we boarded the boat a few folks went to the butterfly museum and reported a great time! Others of us worked on the cars some and visited a few of the more notable bars downtown.  Then it was lunch and off to the catamaran.

ALB – Oooh ‘there’s a butterfly!’ And another!
ALB – A few Pubs / Bars . . . Now where are the boys?

The drinks were flowing before we left the dock!  Orange juice like concoctions with other things to lubricate the crowd.  The all-female crew called for assistance in hoisting the sails and many in our crowd responded!!   

MNB – Mike and Lois

Then the music kicked in and the crowd erupted into frenetic dancing!!   Finally, the sun went down with a spectacular blaze of orange, and we were dazzled.

MNB – Sunset from the Catamaran. Key West never disappoints!
MNB – Dancing on the Catamaran.

Kind of hated to leave the catamaran for the bus ride home.  It was a bit anticlimactic but necessary.  Today more excitement.   More pubs and places and of course . . .  ‘Mallory Square.’

Mallory Square is just nuts!!  It always is!!  It is an area of free spirits, entertaining souls, fire eaters, unicycles and what not!!  If it is atypical, it is probably there.   It is also ‘the’ spot to watch the sun go down in Key West.  You have to get there early and camp on the edge of the dock or you will never find a seat to watch the ‘best show’ in town.

Something that must happen each day and something you have to witness on each and every trip you make to the Keys.  The sunset. While we were sitting on the dock waiting for the sun to set, Ron Gricius and his son joined us.  Ron is a Morgan (2003 +8) man from Florida’s west coast.   He was sort of with our group, but car problems delayed his arrival in the Keys and he was on his own path having been to Key West many times before.  It was good to see him however!!

MNB – Mallory Square Key West, Florida. A good time and a great view!

There are many restaurants on the peripheral of the square and we found a good one.  An unplanned Group dinner at Mallory Square with ‘Better than Sex’ for dessert?  Cuban restaurant was just the ticket for Key West.  Lots of good things to eat and plenty of space for a moderate sized group like ours. 

ALB – Bennett Shuldman’s ‘birthday’ cake.

We started with a few folks on the reservation and ended up with most of the Morgan folks at one long table.   We even convinced the staff that it was Bennett’s birthday and they found him some dessert! 

Friday morning eventually came, even in Key West, and we had to leave our little bit of paradise.   We headed back north along the same route we came, the only road available, US Route 1.  Once we reached the mainland, we headed a bit northwest, and then right into the middle of the Everglades.   

We stopped for lunch at the Everglades Safari Park, a bit of a tourist trap, but they had what we needed.   Lunch and Air Boat Rides.

JN – Looking for Alligators!!

We grabbed a quick bite and headed to the Air Boat. They had a large air boat without mufflers on the engine, that could take the entire group.   We piled on, got the safety briefing and ear plugs.   You need the ear plugs.  Those things are loud! Then we headed out amongst the saw grass, turtles and supposedly alligators.   Our guide gave us a good ride over the wetlands, with water only a foot or so deep. He maneuvered the boat through the designated path and took the corners a bit like a ’drifter’ sliding the boat sideways into the turn.  

We saw quite of few species of birds, some large turtles, but not a lot of alligators? Our guide informed us that the alligators were all at the bottom of swamp water getting cool.  Kind of made me want to be there too!!  It was hot!!  From the Everglades Safari Park we headed West to a party at John Pokorny’s house in Cape Coral.  John was on the trip with us but traveled home just in time to help his wife with the party.  What a lovely house and tremendous hospitality!  In addition to the Morgan, John had some interesting toys in the garage!  Not that the garage was the center of attention.  The house was absolutely lovely, lavishly decorated and perfectly located along the water in Cape Coral.  After filling up on wondrous food and drink, the road trip folks all left . . . just in time to miss the torrential downpour.  Well, almost all!  We didn’t, thinking it would soon end, but it didn’t.  We ended up leaving our car in John’s driveway overnight.  We picked it up early the next morning.  Thanks Peter for ride back down to John’s. 

Hard to beat John’s lovely garage but Friday morning was spent at the Revs Institute.  The Revs Institute, in Naples, Fl., is a car museum of sorts, but really a very special place (well, that is if you like cars!)   The Revs Institute web site states it ‘institution dedicated to the study, preservation, conservation, and restoration of historically significant automobiles. Explore the rich historic materials and images that define the automobile’s role in society and sport. Step into another world at Revs Institute.’   Primarily it is two special automobile collections – the Miles Collier collection and the Briggs Cunningham collection, melded into one in the late 1980s.  

MNB – 1952 Cunningham C-4R
MNB – 1935 MG PA/PB ‘Leonidis’
ALB – 1948 Ferrari 156 Spider Corsa

Yes, the cars are quite significant, but the vignettes and displays are exceptionally well done.  And there is a full library for research and study.   Numerous folks indicated a desire for a full day or more to peruse the displays.  I have been there three times and have yet to see it all.  I will go back!!   

MNB – 1948 Ferrari 156 Spider Corsa
BS – Morgans at the Revs Institute in Naples

After a morning drooling at the Revs Institute the group motored north to Winter Haven, where we had a lovely dinner on the lake that is now Legoland (for those of you old enough, it used to host Cyprus Gardens!)  We were joined by MOGSouth members Kathy and Tom Coryn who came out to see us and wish us well.  They were originally going on the trip with us but life got in the way.  That happens sometimes. 

ALB – ‘Monster Truck’ through the Citrus fields and swamps.

In the morning we  had another short drive to ‘Showcase of Citrus’.  It was a typical roadside vendor in Florida, all about tchotchkes and Citrus.   We rode the monster trucks trough the fields and learned lots about Citrus.  The yields, the seasons, today’s challenges and the bugs!  Some forget just how much agriculture there is in Florida.  As Floridians, it is good to remind ourselves every once in a while that Florida is more than Disney and Snow Birds.  

This one vendor diversified through the tough times with retail, recycling (poop!) and ranching.   This is probably why they are still in business in spite of the challenges.  We did see citrus, we saw alligators, we saw just a few cows, but did see some Zebras?  Zebras?  Now was this retail or ranching??  

ALB – Zebras?

MNB – Les Neumann.

Finally, it was time to say goodbye.  We chose to do this in style and took over the back room and bar in a local Irish Pub.  (Liam Fitzpatrick’s Irish Pub in Lake Mary Florida.)  It was just across the street from the final road trip hotel. Another great trip! The planning hasn’t started for the next one, but don’t be surprised when the calendar comes out. Cheers, Mark

(Photo attribution. ALB – Andrea Braunstein, MNB – Mark Braunstein, JN – Joan Neumann, BS – Bennett Shuldman, my apologies if I have missed anyone.)

04 Jun

2021 Road Trip to Key West Overview and Hotel Worksheet

This document is intended to be a worksheet identifying the hotels we will stay in along the way. You have to make your own reservations at each hotel. Instructions on how to do this is provided in the document. Simply print this document out and use it as a check list.

In most cases we have negotiated reduced rates or special discounts. If you don’t follow the procedures provided in the worksheet document, you most likely will not get these reductions or discounts.

There is only one other activity scheduled during the trip that you have to book ahead of time. This is the Fury Sunset Cruise in Key West. Instructions on how to book this activity are also provided in this document. Be advised there are other activities that will incur some ticket price or entry fees. Credit cards may not be viable in all cases so be prepared to pay cash or by check.

25 May

2021 MOGSouth / GatorMOG Road Trip to Key West, FL 3-10 Oct

The event for 2021 is planned. Details will be forthcoming. This is our third trip to Key West, FL and we learned quite a bit from the previous two trips. The basics of this trip include the following;

  • Limited Number of Cars – Too many cars, means too many people! Something like herding cats . . .
  • No ‘Marathon’ Drives – I am not really interested in getting up and out early and driving until the sun goes down . . .
  • No ‘Highways’ – Mostly Back Roads – The highways all look the same! Only one short bit (downtown Miami) where we can’t avoid the highways but we will travel together and keep the speed down.
  • No ‘Crack of Dawn’ Starts – What?? and not take advantage of the cardboard waffles offered by the hotel??
  • No Formalities – It’s just not my style! You won’t need that tux or evening gown! No room for it anyway!!
  • Lots of Nature Breaks – Frankly we are getting older and need to stop a bit more often . . .
  • 2+ Days in Key West – Need more time to see the sites . . .

The tentative itinerary is as follows (Activities/times are subject to change so be flexible!) Extra Expenses – This is a ‘Pay As You Go’ sort of trip.  Each participant must pay their own way.  Meals, gas, and hotel rooms will be on you, but there are other planned activities that have individual ticket costs.  If you choose to play you will have to pay!!  We have done our best to minimize costs, but this is Florida in the Winter so prices are somewhat elevated. 

  • Day 1 (Sunday, 3 Oct) – Daytona Beach – (Drive From Home), 1830  – Open House at Morgan Dealer Christopher John LTD, Group Dinner
  • Day 2 (Mon, 4 Oct) – Daytona to West Palm – 4.5 Hrs (236 Mi), 1830 – Party Hosted by MOGSouth Members Bennett Shuldman / Eric Singer
  • Day 3 (Tuesday, 5 Oct) – West Palm to Key West – 5.5 Hrs (263 Mi), 1830 – GatorMOG Noggin (Pizza and Beer)
  • Day 4 (Wednesday, 6 Oct) – Key West – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner – On Your Own, 1730 – Sunset Catamaran Cruise
  • Day 5 (Thursday, 7 Oct) – Key West – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner – On Your Own
  • Day 6 (Friday, 8 Oct Nov) – Key West to Naples/Fort Myers – 5 Hrs (237 Mi), 1300 – 1400 Air Boat Ride Everglades Safari Park, 1900 – Party Hosted by MOGSouth Member John Pokorny (Cape Coral).
  • Day 7 (Sat, 9 Oct) – Naples to Winter Haven – 3.5 Hrs (150 Mi), 1900 – Party Hosted by MOGSouth Members Tom and Cathy Coryn Party
  • Day 8 (Sunday, 10 Oct) – Winter Haven to Orlando – 2.5 Hrs (100 Mi), 1230 – 1430 Lunch at Ace Café, Orlando, FL  (Followed by a 30 – 45 mins Drive to Lake Mary, FL), 1800 – Close Out Party Hosted by GatorMOG at Liam Fitzpatrick Irish Pub

If you think you will want to participate send an email to Mark Braunstein at mogsouth@yahoo.com or series1@cfl.rr.com and it is recommended that you do this quickly as the available slots are going fast!

Mark will let you know if you are on the list to go and send you emails as the details evolve and more information is known. Updates will also be posted to the MOGSouth Website at www.mogsouth.com so check the website often.

24 May

2021 MOGSouth Noggin / Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island, 21-23 May 2021 – Report From the Field

MOGSouth ‘Noggin’ and Cars and Coffee at Amelia 21-22 May 2021

We found a new location for MOGSouth’s Friday evening ‘Noggin’ (for those of you unfamiliar with term, per Webster’s dictionary a noggin is (1) a small quantity of spirits or a small mug or cup). Our new location was the Surf Restaurant and Bar in Fernandina Beach, FL (Amelia Island, FL).  And it worked out quite well!!

As is the norm, MOGSouth holds a noggin (or a ‘beer call’, if you’d prefer the American term!) the Friday evening of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend to gather all the Morgan types in town together before the Cars and Coffee at Amelia event on Saturday.   The Surf was the designated spot this year as last year’s location proved to be a bit too cold!  It was a roof top location with a stellar view, but it was also subject to the cold ocean breezes and we froze.  Not this time. It was warm, certainly attributable to the later timeframe (the month of May versus the usual March (COVID adjustments…) Who knows what next year will bring…

But my weekend of woe started earlier a mere half mile from my hotel.  One of the tires on my trailer decided it was time to go and shredded itself all over the road!!  I pulled over and stopped and then after some reflection and discussion proceeded the short half mile to the hotel and parked.  I had a spare and thought about getting out the jack, but then someone said AAA and I elected simply to call and let them do all the work while we sat in the bar at the Surf and drank beer!!  Easiest tire I have ever changed! 

I can’t complain about our new location. In my mind, the Surf proved to be a great spot for our noggin!! Plenty of space, we pushed a few tables together on their patio, and had reasonably attentive staff.  The food was fine, although not gourmet, but the beer was good and cold!  A few rain showers while we were there, however, we were under cover and out of the weather.  

The new location didn’t keep the stalwarts away and it certainly didn’t dissuade a rash of new Morgan folks!!   Even a few notables. The vintage tire mogul, Corky Coker, stopped by.  Who knew he has a Morgan trike at home in Chattanooga?  He certainly does need to join MOGSouth!! There were quite a few new faces.  Some newly joined folks and some folks looking to join.   

I was initially worried a bit about the band, but that proved to be unnecessary.  They were really not over-powering (we were about as far away from the speakers as we could be) and a few of our folks were even caught dancing!  It was all good fun!  I think the YouTube video, already posted to the internet, has gone viral!!   

Saturday morning came exceedingly early, although some were out beforehand, searching for breakfast??  As is our routine, the Morgans gathered in the parking lot of the Surf (yup, the same place . . . like it was planned that way?) early to convoy over to the Cars and Coffee location as a group.  This keeps us parked together rather than all over the place!

We had a few mishaps along the way (my ‘51 Plus 4 lost power and I needed a push, and I heard about some overheating??), but we all got there and were parked in a pretty good location (right next to a food and beverage vendor). 

A beautiful array of Morgans . . . in fact a few spectators thought the Morgans stole the show when we entered the field!  The crowd couldn’t wait and quickly gathered around us, before we even had time to get our chairs and what-not out of the cars!  Lots of ‘knowledgeable’ (some not so much!) spectators and lots of photos taken. I was up and down from my lawn chair, all day, answering questions and letting kids sit in my car for photos.  By the end of the day, and it ended early enough (1 PM, I think?) I was exhausted.  Normally they don’t end the event so early. Normally it’s more like 3PM.   It may have been a concern for the staff and the May heat?  I don’t rightly know.

 

Well, when they turned us loose, Andrea and I headed back to the Surf for a late lunch and a nap!!  As is the norm, the traffic was chaotic, but Andrea’s telephone-based GPS took us (and those following us!) through some lovely Amelia Island neighborhoods, to bypass the big, usually congested, intersections.  A bit circuitous route but it worked!!  We joined two other Morgan couples for lunch and plotted out our Sunday return to Orlando. 

Sunday was another day of trials and tribulations for me.  A second trailer tire let go before I was even off Amelia Island (the steering wheel was vibrating really hard at any speed above 40), so I ended up replacing them all in Jacksonville.   Finding new trailer tires and some place willing to mount them, on a Sunday, was miraculous!  Rick Frazee was traveling with me and was a godsend.  It is always best to travel in packs!!

Looking forward to seeing you at the next event!!

Cheers,

Mark

(Photos Courtesy of Rick Frazee and Karen Bernath)

14 May

2021 MOGSouth Noggin / Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island (21-22 May 2021)

MOGSouth will now have the Noggin on Friday evening (May 21, 2021) at the Surf Restaurant along A1A, 3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL.

The location for the Friday evening MOGSouth Noggin is new this year. Last year’s location had certain advantages but there were also some disadvantages.

We will convene the MOGSouth Noggin around 5 PM at the Surf Restaurant.

We haven’t used this location for the Noggin before, but the staff seems excited to have us there.

The menu looks quite good and there appears to be sufficient parking. They have us on their patio (outside but there is covered space if needed) so if the weather doesn’t cooperate, I would recommend bringing a jacket or wind breaker.  Also, I don’t know what the regional virus requirements will be, so do bring a mask.  And, please don’t come if you are feeling ill or have any symptoms.

The Saturday Cars and Coffee event (May 22, 2021) will be held as usual, the Saturday following the MOGSouth Noggin, the day before the big Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, May 23, 2021.  You must have applied, paid your fee and received back an acceptance ‘ticket’ in the mail.   Bring this ticket on Saturday. Without this, they will not let you show your car, however you can attend as a spectator.   

As is the norm, all the Morgans will rendezvous on Saturday morning at 0730 (yes, I know this is early but . . . ), before the Cars and Coffee event. (There is parking in the lot out front of the Surf Restaurant, as well as behind the restaurant. Note: We will only stay a few minutes and then head off to the Cars and Coffee location.)  This will give us sufficient time to drive to the Cars and Coffee event and get parked together in the designated Morgan area. 

If you miss our little convoy (we will leave the Surf NLT 0800 Saturday morning) you may not be parked with the Morgans.

Cheers,
Mark

11 May

2021 MOGSouth Spring Meet – Little Switzerland, NC, 7-9 May – Report from the Field

It was hard to tell what sort of meet we would have given the external influences of the moment.  Well, 50 people and 22 Morgans say a lot!  It was grand!   The weather was cool (in the 40s and 50s) and very much appreciated by those of us escaping the high 80s of Florida. 

The cars behaved . . . for the most part, with only a few Morgan gremlins lurking about.  An intermittent starter problem, a gas guage with a mind of its own, and a few unknown gremlins saving themselves for the trip home.  A lovely array of cars!!  We had three Aero 8s, an AeroMax, two Plus 4 Drop Head Coupes, three Plus 4, 4 Seaters, at least three 4/4s (I think another one might have been lost along the way?), a good number of Plus 8s (one turbo!) and both new (3.7L) and old Roadsters (3.0L).  Even a brand new Plus 4!   As someone said, ‘eye candy!’

Little Switzerland is situated right off the Blue Ridge Parkway and a few high-octane twisty mountain loops that will certainly elevate your blood pressure, in a lovely spot in the North Carolina mountains.   

The Meet was designed to be low key.  No activities were mandated but we did want to stay in compliance with the safety policies of the region and the hotel.   

Mostly, our plans seemed to have worked.  Folks had their choice of drives on Saturday and an afternoon to investigate the lovely mountain vistas, local shops and villages.  Our Hospitality Suite was a separate cabin and, as it the norm, it was full of folks reminiscing about past meets and planning future outings.   We haven’t been all that social of late, so everyone seemed to be in great spirits and happy to be out and about.   

We had a group photo with the cars in the lot and the North Carolina mountains in the background.  All were amazed we didn’t lose a car or two down the hill!  How about those handbrakes? 

The planned outside dinner was rewickered and held in the main hotel dining room.  It was just a tinge too cold for us to hold it outside; but the hotel was accommodating, and they quickly put us inside the main dining room.  That worked out well.   The dinner was exquisite, the views stunning, and banter, lively (and loud)!   There were a few unlucky souls (other hotel guests) in the dining room at the time that had to listen to our Club drivel, but they did not seem to mind too much (or at least they didn’t say). 

The key points communicated were the upcoming Club events!   The MOGSouth Noggin at Amelia Island starting at 5 PM (at the Surf Restaurant in Fernandina Beach, FL) on Friday, 21 May 2021, the Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island on the following Saturday, 22 May 2021 (Note: we have an extra acceptance ticket should you need one and want to attend. Contact Mark), the MOGSouth Fall Meet in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (Last minute change, bumped again due to Covid) , 5 – 7 November (We are part of the Car Club Showcase on Saturday), and the MOGSouth Holiday Party in Peachtree City, Georgia Saturday 4 December 2021.

Also, there is a Road Trip to Key West, planned for 3 – 10 October 2021, starting in Daytona Beach, Florida with the Morgan Dealer’s open house and finishing in Lake Mary, Florida at a party in Liam Fitzpatrick’s Irish Pub.  

This year’s calendar is on the MOGSouth Web Site, www.mogsouth.com.  The web site is not sending emails when new items are posted so you must go to the web site periodically to ensure you aren’t missing things.   Go to the Calendar page and look for events.  If they are underlined, there is more information. Click on the underlined event to go to the link with more details.  We will also try to send broadcast email messages when new things are added. 

Photos courtesy of Richard Ihns (the mountain drives) and Mark Braunstein (the dinner and group photo).

This past year’s events were challenging but we are now having fun.  If you weren’t in Little Switzerland, you missed a great MOGSouth meet, some wonderful scenery and roads, and most likely a lot of your Morgan friends!  I know things come up and sometimes these absences cannot be helped.  Luckily, there are more opportunities to play this year.  

See you there!!

Cheers,
Mark

10 Mar

2021 MOGSouth Spring Meet – Little Switzerland, NC (May 7 – 9, 2021)

Folks this year is a little different from normal.  The MOGSouth Noggin and Cars and Coffee event at Amelia Island, in March, is usually our first get together of the new year.  However, the Covid-19 Pandemic changed things and the Concours at Amelia Island and the associated Cars and Coffee event were moved to the latter half of May.  This means our Spring Meet, at Little Switzerland, NC will precede the Cars and Coffee event by a few weeks. 

As you all know we attempted to have the Spring Meet at Little Switzerland in May of 2020 but, like many other things, it got postponed until this year.   We have renegotiated the dates for this year’s Spring Meet (to replace the cancelled event) with the Switzerland Inn, Little Switzerland, NC.  The new dates are now arrival on 7 May 2021 and Departure on 9 May 2021.   Make sure your schedules show these new dates!!   From the MOGSouth perspective, this meet is going to happen.  The only thing that will cancel it outright is the Switzerland Inn’s unavailability or a regional mandate that would preclude us holding the event in NC. 

We were told that the Switzerland Inn was going to roll over your existing 2020 reservations to the new 2021 dates; however, I would call them at (828) 765-2153 just to be sure this rollover happened.  If you didn’t have reservations in 2020 and need to make new reservations for the new 2021 dates, you will have to call them at (828) 765-2153. As I understand it, you have to call. You cannot make reservations on line.  

In setting up the meet this year, we have obviously been mindful of the ongoing and evolving Covid-19 situation.  As more people become vaccinated and local regulations change according to the most recent guidance provided by local and national authorities, the exact details associated with masks wearing, social distancing, etc. for our meet will likely change as well.  MOGSouth will comply with all Covid-19 compliance requirements as mandated by local authorities in place at that time.  The Switzerland Inn is also committed to a high standard of compliance with all the local rules and regulations. 

Having said that, I am sure everyone understands that most folks in the Club’s membership are in the higher risk categories with respect to the Covid-19 Virus, so please don’t participate in this or any club event, if you are concerned about your own personal safety or if you personally feel ill or have symptoms, etc.  Please, don’t put others in the club at risk!  And, of course, you need to do what is best for your own health.

Again, it is not my place to be dictatorial in any way and given this, I won’t tell you what to do or what not to do.  These decisions must be made on your own!  You are smart . . . smarter than most and can make up your own mind!  

I guess my job is to simply provide you with the opportunities.  You have to decide which ones make sense for you, given your own situation.  Now, I will accept that I need to craft these opportunities, best I can, in such a way as to make them as safe as possible with respect to the virus and I have tried to do this.  

The good news is that, as I see it, our car events are not the worst thing you could do.  Driving about in open cars is far less risky than many other activities.   We are outside, we are socially distant, we are about as good as we can be.   (If you want to wear a mask while driving?  Wear a mask!)  However, there are some activities of our “typical” meet that warrant additional attention given the virus.  These include the group meals and the hospitality suite. 

First let’s address the group meals.  The Friday dinner and all Breakfast meals are typically on your own anyway, so this comment is primarily targeted at the Saturday meals.    Saturday lunch is currently envisioned as a ‘box lunch’ so you can simply pick up your meal and go wherever you would like to eat.  (You may need to wear a mask when you pick up your box lunch depending upon local policy.)  We have asked that the Saturday evening dinner meal be outside in the Switzerland Inn’s outside dining facility, weather permitting.

The Hospitality Suite is planned in a separate cottage on the Switzerland Inn property, with a large outside patio with numerous picnic tables.   We will set up our Hospitality Suite with beer, wine, soda, etc.   We will do this outside, if necessary.  If the weather is problematic, we will have to react in some way, so do bring a rain slicker or an appropriate jacket and maybe an umbrella.  (FYI, the weather in the area during May is typically nice . . . well, that is if you trust the internet?)  I would also recommend bringing your own lawn chair just in case.

Just staying in a hotel may be problematic for some.  That cannot be mitigated by the Club; however, I am assured by the Switzerland Inn, that they have gone overboard in cleaning and sanitizing the rooms.  You may want to bring your own sanitizing spray or wipes just in case.  However, if merely the act of staying in a public place like a hotel is problematic for you, I am sorry.  There is really nothing I can do about this issue and if you choose to avoid the meet, I and others, will certainly understand.  

 Cheers,

Mark

11 Jan

CALENDAR CHANGE: 2021 MOGSouth Noggin / Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island (New Dates: 21-22 May)

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance has rescheduled their Concours event. It was in March 2021 but now has move to May 20-23, 2021. The MOGSouth Noggin is now the evening of 21 May and the Cars and Coffee at Amelia is 22 May, 2021.

The location for the Friday evening MOGSouth Noggin is new this year. Last year’s location had certain advantages but there were also some disadvantages.

MOGSouth will now have the Noggin on Friday evening (May 21, 2021) at the Surf Restaurant along A1A, 3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL.

We will convene the MOGSouth Noggin around 5 PM at the Surf Restaurant.

We haven’t used this location for the Noggin, as yet, but the staff seems quite excited to have us. The menu looks quite good and there appears to be sufficient parking. (Click on the link above to go to their web page!) We have negotiated a completely outside patio location, so do bring a wind breaker if the weather gets a bit cool, and if you are more comfortable with a mask, bring it! Please don’t come if you are feeling ill or have symptoms of the recent virus.

The Saturday Cars and Coffee event (May 22, 2021) will be held as usual, the Saturday following the MOGSouth Noggin, the day before the big Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, May 23, 2021. All acceptances previously provided by the Concours organizers will be honored for the changed dates.

You don’t have to do anything unless you have a conflict. Email Jennifer Grosse: JGrosse@ameliaconcours.org but only if you are now unable to go.

As is the norm, all the Morgans will rendezvous on Saturday morning at 0730, before the Cars and Coffee event. (There is parking in the lot out front of the Surf Restaurant, as well as behind the restaurant. Note: We will only stay a few minutes and then head off to the Cars and Coffee location.) This will give us sufficient time to drive to the Cars and Coffee event and get parked together in the designated Morgan area.

Looking forward to the event and hope to see you there!! There will be more information published if and when it becomes available.

Cheers, Mark

20 Aug

2021 Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island – Location for the Friday Evening (Mar 5, 2021) Noggin

As is the norm, MOGSouth will have a Noggin on the Friday evening (March 5, 2021) before the Saturday Cars and Coffee event (March 6, 2021) on Amelia Island, the weekend of the big Concours d’Elegance. The Concours d’Elegance is on Sunday, March 7, 2021.

To make is easier on the masses, we have moved the Noggin a bit south, and will convene the MOGSouth Noggin around 5 PM at the Surf Restaurant, along A1A, 3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL.

It is the same location we use to rendezvous on Saturday morning before the Cars and Coffee event. There is parking in the lot out front as well as behind the restaurant.

We haven’t used this location for the Noggin, as yet, but the staff seems quite excited to have us. The menu looks quite good and there appears to be sufficient parking. (Click on the link above to go to their web page!)

Looking forward to the event and hope to see you there!! Mark