Friday, June 10, 2016

"Gettin' There": June 9-10- Orlando, FL to Gonzales, LA (707 miles)

With the cars all loaded up, may dad (in the Corvette), Tara and I (in the Acadian) hit the road for the Okahumpka service plaza to meet up with the rest of the group: Tim and Lori (454 Chevy truck); another Tim and his son, Timmy ('57 Chevy); Scott ('63 Nova convertible), Jacob (Pontiac G8), Mike from Melbourne ('70 AMX); and Pilot Transport contest winner Bruce who needed a ride since his car was getting shipped VIP to the venue and then home after the Tour.

After some donuts and coffee, our intrepid group departed to start our way to the Power Tour. We hit lunch at Ted's Montana restaurant in Tallahassee and then it was on to our stop for the night in Pensacola.  The food was great, but the wait was lengthy to say the least.

Our hotel, in Pensacola, the only one with any vacancy, left much to be desired. It still was better than the place we stayed in Memphis in 2013 and the Econo Lodge Tara booked in Detroit our first year.  We met up with our friends Fred and Kym and Don. The highlight was dinner at the Grand Marlin on Pensacola beach. The food was excellent and the drinks were a refreshing way to end a day's drive.

When we got back to the hotel, we learned that Mike was having issues with the belt in the AMX. A late night repair session got it squared away enough to run the next morning (and hopefully the rest of the trip).

This morning, we passed up the La Quinta's "continental breakfast" and made a bee line for some good Cajun food in New Orleans' French Quarter.  Taking 9 cars into the French Quarter and keeping them together is a monumental task in good weather. We managed to find the only rainstorm in the southeast. But, somehow, we made it work. Unfortunately, the restaurant "Coop's Place" had a strict "over 21 years of age" policy and wouldn't let Timmy in. So, Scott, Tim and Timmy ate next door.  I imagine their food and service were better. After lunch, some of us hit Cafe Du Monde for beignets before leaving for Gonzales.

We weren't on the road long before Lori, who was ahead of us, called us and said they were nearly sideswiped and thought Mike may have been wrecked. We doubled back to check...He wasnt.

When we arrived in Gonzales, we picked up our credentials and spent some time catching up with friends from Power Tours past and then headed to the hotel.  We had dinner at the Cabin restaurant  which we found last year. It's an old slave cabin that the owner bought and moved it along with an old schoolhouse and other buildings and turned them into a restaurant. It's definitely unique.  The bathrooms are made out of an old water cistern barrel.

After dinner we went back to the hotel and took in the parking lot car show. There are some really interesting cars just in our little parking lot.  One guy has an awesome turbo diesel rat rod that is really well done.  The Edelbrock guys are staying here and brought an 810 hp supercharged Challenger.  They mentioned that hey have a supercharger for the Corvette that'll give me an additional 200 hp: INSTANT Z06. I asked if they'd do an install demo here at the show, they almost said "yes." We spent some time swapping stories with some Canadians with a '69 Firebird convertible and a '68 427 powered Caprice wagon who are on their first tour.   My dad went to pick up my mom at the airport so we can all enjoy the car craziness that is the Power Tour.

Check out the photos so far:

Quick Stop in the middle of nowhere

The Grand Marlin

We'll get it going again!!

Never pass up a gas station. Someone's tank is empty and others' bladders are full.

All hotels should look like this lot.

Amphibious vehicle???

427 powered!!  He bought it from the second owner

Adjustable wrenches and camshaft as structural components

Hellcat?  Bah!!

The Cabin

Cisterns repurposed?
The story of the Cabin!!

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