As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, it had been a long time coming for me to take a vacation. 2012 was the high point on my life’s vacation curve with trips to Arizona, Nevada, Poland and…New Jersey…but that year must have been compensating for a vacation drought that was right around the corner. During that year, our automotive enthusiast community was created and when you’re doing something you love, commitment takes over. It’s like a barreling down a ¼-mile track. The pedal is down, the speed keeps building and there’s no thought to stop until after the finish line.
Sure, I have put work aside for a day here and there but I had to carve some vacation time in stone to create that finish line. The tide turned in my favor when a generous community member offered 2 free tickets to visit Watkins Glen for the Vintage Grand Prix. It was also an opportunity to check out the local scenery of the Finger Lakes region…and, of course, the beer, wine and cider selections.
The travel between Baltimore County and Watkins Glen is mostly I-83 and I-81. We all know how mind-numbing a steady flow of interstates can be. Preferred driving music can carry the energy for much of the time. In fact, some head banging to match the beat is a great way to stay awake…and a great way to spark impersonations by kids in the backseats of other vehicles on the road. When I landed at my destination, a 5-hour mix of hard rock, country and even current pop delivered a stiff neck. Damn you, Taylor Swift.
If you have never been to the Finger Lakes region, I have given it a 100% recommendation. It’s such a beloved area that our community members armed me with top recommendations for every facet of vacation, be it hotels, photography locations, food and drink and even the best seating choices within wineries and breweries.
During the tour, my unofficial guide and I arrived at a winery only to see a classic Datsun with an Ontario plate in the lot. As expected in the world of automotive enthusiasm, we had common acquaintances. Many laughs followed. Quickly after walking through the doors of the winery, we learned that the waitress’s father was restoring a GTO and many other muscle cars. Automobiles really do bring people closer.
Throughout the tour, we discovered beautifully-genuine and down-to-earth people. It’s no surprise that many of them had a love for automobiles and they were very open to sharing stories of that love. It gave us a feeling like we had visited the Finger Lakes region before and the love for automobiles opened so many doors.
Take to the road when you can. Maybe take the road less-taken. The memories will pay you back for years to come.