Friday, October 21, 2016

Fall Tour to Rockford/S. Beloit

   The Fall Tour to Rockford/S. Beloit started off at the Belvidere Oasis on a bit of a chilly morning. Our tour leaders, Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko greeted all of us as they handed out our tour packet and itinerary. There were 25 club members participating in the Fall Tour. As we headed out, all 10 baby birds, 1 retro and 2 regular vehicles left the oasis en route to the Sunrise Family Restaurant for lunch. After lunch, we all headed to the Rockford Speedway. At the Speedway we all were able to pull onto the track by the starting line. The owner of the Speedway, Judy Deery,  greeted us and gave us a brief history of the track.  She spoke about how the track was opened in 1948 and she and her husband bought a stake in it in 1959 and by the mid 60's they became the sole owners .  The Speedway is one of the only sanctioned NASCAR tracks in Illinois besides the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. It's an oval quarter-mile asphalt track which hosts many races including figure 8 and demolition derbies along with concerts and other events. Mrs. Deery said that she is still very active in the day to day activities of the track along with her children.  After she spoke and answered questions about the track, the club members were able to get in their cars and take them around the track several times.  It was a fun afternoon racing the baby birds, retro and others around the track. Many pictures and videos were taken as the birds flew around the track, some attempting the figure 8. After race day, we all headed over to The Garden Hotel in South Beloit and settled in. The evening commenced with pizza, snacks, drinks and great conversations.

     Saturday morning we all headed to the Rockford Auto Museum which back in 1927 was Midway Motors. There we looked at many Muscle cars that were on display by their owners, some of which were for sale. We then walked over to The Wild Irish Rose for lunch and then as we walked back to our cars, we had our picture taken by the mural outside of the Rockford Auto Museum. In the afternoon we headed over to Roscoe, Illinois to the Historic Auto Attractions Museum where as they say "History meets entertainment". There we were able to go back in time, viewing many famous entertainers and world leaders and their automobiles along with artifacts from various eras, wars and events. In the evening we caravanned over to The Butterfly Club for dinner. Club members Lloyd and Joan Schellin joined us there for dinner. After dinner we headed back to the hotel. Some of us met back in the Hospitality Room for more conversation and others retired for the evening.
Sunday after breakfast and checking out we headed over to the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum. This cottage was built by Robert Tinker who was inspired by his love of  the architecture of Switzerland. He built his Swiss Cottage in 1865 on a limestone bluff overlooking the Kent Creek. After Robert Tinker and his wife Mary died, the cottage along with all the original furnishings were left  to the Rockford Park District to be used as a museum. When the tour ended many of the club members headed home as others went to lunch at Culvers.

   A big "Thank You" goes out to our weekend tour directors Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko   A fun and eventful time was had by all.

    Participants in the Fall Tour were: Lee and Gina Bakakos, Mike and Laura Cielenski, Gordon Gluff and Mary Ziemba, Pete and Marilu Kramer, Larry and Karen Kelly, Len and Mary Keil, Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko, Jerry and Pat Peterson, Ken and Kathy Smizinski, Len and Irene Vinyard, Bill and Liz Werth, Jim and Jane Wilson and Madeline Zambon