Sunday, November 14, 2010


T-Birds in Door County - CTCC FALL TOUR

A bright, almost fall day greeted 15 baby 'Birds, 1 retro 'Bird and 2 serviceable vehicles for our Fall Tour: Destination Door County. MaryLu and Pete Kramer met 14 cars at the Lake Forest Oasis. Four of our flock would meet the caravan as it passed Highway 5O.

Our information packets contained a spiral binder with a really clever cover and a bookmark hand crafted by MaryLu. I hope Bert is able to include the cover in the Bird-News. The Kramers certainly outdid themselves!

We drove to Manitowoc for our obligatory Culver's lunch and then on to Green Bay and our tour of Lambeau Field. As we were escorted through the stadium, a very nice gentleman told of the history and founding of the Packers and explained their unique operation as the only NFL team without a single owner. We sat in one of the skyboxes as we learned more of the Packers and viewed the field from the prestigious space. Did you know their field is "sewn" together? Well, it is. Ask any of us and we'll be happy to pass along some Packer facts interesting even to Bears fans. We also got to enter the field through the tunnel the Packers use, complete with game day audio to enhance our experience and see the stadium from the end zone. The Lambeau Leap isn't as high as it looks on TV but, alas, visitors are forbidden from trying it as some knucklehead injured himself during a failed attempt. (Probably a Packer fan.)

Our drive was sunny and uneventful until we arrived at the unique garden shop, The Flying Pig. The power brakes on the Ekstoms' '56 had an issue. Ken analyzed the situation and disconnected the errant brake.

After arriving and checking in at The Landmark Resort, Ken and several others went to work on Pete's car while Larry and I went to get supplies for the hospitality suite. We unloaded our purchases with the help of a luggage cart. As Larry parked our car, a cry came from the group of mechanics: "GET BEER!"

In the hospitality suite we sipped wine, beer and other beverages, snacked and thought 'how are we going to fix Pete's car?' Ah hah! Bob Wenderski and Gary Smithe were driving Gary's retro 'Bird to meet Sue, Debbie and the group the next day. Sue called Bob, Ken explained the situation to Bob and they were able to find the needed parts and deliver them late Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning, Ken and his able assistants went to work. Problem solved.

Saturday we caravanned to Bailey's Harbor, on the Lake Michigan side, to enjoy their Autumn Fest and antique car show. As we viewed the car show, we all realized something was missing: cars. About ten of us decided to enter the show. We looked like the Cavalry as the baby 'Birds swooped into the lot to add a little needed pizzazz. Joel Greenberg and Annie Luginbill took home a second place trophy! The rest of the day was spent individually driving Door County, gathering answers to questions for our poker run. That evening, we had a delightful dinner at The English Inn, then back to the hospitality suite.

Sunday morning, most of the group drove to Sister Bay for breakfast at Al Johnson's, famous for their Swedish pancakes and goats on the roof. We were all on our own to tour the towns as we wished. Some shopped, some went to the pro shop of Bay Bridge golf course to watch the Bears game (the closet or closed Bears Fan Club), and some took the ferry to Washington Island. I believe it's just a rumor that Washington Island has started to pre-screen its tourists and has no relation to our group's visit.

Sunday evening two trolleys picked up our group for our Tour of Haunted Door County. We went into a haunted house and visited other sites where sightings and paranormal activity have occurred. The only "strange" occurrence experienced was a bunch of grown people singing "Ghost Busters". However, the next day, skeptic Larry Kelly discovered the date on his watch had moved forward two days and the Kramers viewed a photo on their camera that wasn't the same as when they snapped it. (Insert eerie music here.)

Monday morning sunshine escorted us to Villagios Restaurant for a private omelet breakfast. Pete Kramer announced the awards for the poker run. The Vinyard's came in third, new members Jerry and Doreen Michna took second and the winning hand was dealt to Dan Mrozek and Judy Butler. After our group photo, we headed south after a truly fun weekend. Thank you , Pete and MaryLu for showing us Door County!

- Karen Kelly

ON-THE-SCENE: Tom & Judy Bruin, Pete & Lisa Ekstrom, Gordon Gluff & Mary Ziemba, Maryann Graziano & Paul Ureche, Joel Greenberg & Annie Luginbill, Len & Mary Keil, Larry & Karen Kelly, Sandy & Joe Kraatz, Pete & MaryLu Kramer, Jerry & Doreen Michna, Dan Mrozek & Judy Butler, Jerry & Pat Peterson, Joan & Lloyd Schellin, Gary & Debbie Smithe, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Bob Sroka, Dan Tinder & Susan DeSantis, Len & Irene Vinyard, Bob & Sue Wenderski. »

Side Note- The flock of T-Birds that entered the car show at Bailey's Harbor did, as Karen accurately describes, add a new dynamic to the show. The organizers of the show decided to award one of the 'Birds a trophy in appreciation of the spontaneous participation. All the registration forms were put into a hat (all deserving of an award) and Joel and Annie's car was drawn. It is on behalf of all the birds that participated that we will be the care taker for this trophy.

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