Annual Fall Cruise
October 17-19, 2014
When the officers of the Allante’ Atlanta club began planning our Fall cruise, they extended an invitation to the Cadillac Allante’/XLR Club (New Jersey), the Palmetto Allante’ Club and the Florida Allante’ Club. The response was incredible and the final group that made the trip included 24 Allantes’, 1 XLR and 1 DTS. The kick off was dinner on Thursday evening for those who had travelled to Georgia to start the trip. Russell and Paula Vopelak hosted this dinner at a local restaurant and about a dozen of us enjoyed delicious food and fun company.
Bright and early on Friday morning, the group met at McDonald’s in Buford, Ga. for a quick breakfast and drivers meeting. Twelve Allantes’ and the DTS began the trip to Chimney Rock, N.C. at this point. The photos started at the Welcome Center in Fairplay, South Carolina. With all of those multi colored beauties, it was just irresistible.
We travelled on in caravan style to Chimney Rock where we were joined by more Allantes’ and our token XLR. At Chimney Rock, the sky was so blue without a cloud, the sun was shining, and the mountains surrounding us sporting their hues of gold, red and orange; it was just perfect. Right away, the tops starting coming down and the cameras starting clicking. It was a beautiful sight indeed. Paula had arranged a picnic lunch to be catered to us in the park. It was quite a spread and again just perfect weather for an outdoor feast. With full stomachs and light hearts we boarded the buses to the top of Chimney Rock. We had a choice of an elevator ride or walk up 491 steps. Four of the group walked and the rest waited for the elevator. There were several vantage points to take aerial views of the Allantes’ in the midst of amazing scenery.
After the bus ride down, we had another drivers meeting before heading to our hotel in Little Switzerland. The Penfields hosted the happy hour with full bar and snacks. Norman, our President was bartender extraordinaire. The ladies especially loved his Cosmos. Everyone was feeling very jovial as we headed to a prime rib and seafood buffet at the Little Switzerland resort. WOW, what a fantastic array of food. The fun and fellowship was affirmed by the volume of the conversation and laughter.
On Saturday morning, we met for a buffet breakfast at the hotel and another brief meeting before driving the Diamondback with all its mountain road twists and turns. It was a short ride but a lot of smiling faces pulled in to the hotel after getting to enjoy their Allante’ hugging those curves for which they were built. Next stop, Blowing Rock, N.C., a quaint little mountain town that was overflowing with tourists getting into the Fall festivities. Apples, pumpkins, scarecrows, and all things Halloween abounded. We split up in several groups and had lunch at various restaurants. A lot of us topped off the afternoon with a big scoop of ice cream at Kilwin’s.
Back at Little Switzerland, it was time for another happy hour (really hard to distinguish as all of the hours on this trip were happy). However, bartender Norman was all set and our Sec/Tre James Sebastian handed out his trivia on Pink Cadillacs, and two other car trivia questionnaires. The drivers and their companions are a lot smarter after seeing the answers. Dinner was at Little Switzerland and after dinner, President Norman presented John Monzo with a token of our appreciation of his dedication and support of the Allante’. He then recognized Art Sevelius for the great tech session he led in September and for writing the Tech Section of our newsletter. Next was our webmaster, Thomas Boyland who has made our website second to none. He then applauded our treasurer, James Sebastian for keeping up with the funds and filing our non- profit organization tax returns. And last but certainly not least, Paula Vopelak who plans our trips and her husband Russell. It takes a village and our officers including President Norman Penfield and our fabulous membership make our Allante’ Atlanta Club outstanding.
Then John Monzo surprised our trip Queen Paula Vopelak with a plaque to thank her for the royal job she did in arranging this Fall cruise. John also had a plaque for member Bill Corn for his support in helping a fellow member resolve mechanical issues he was having with his car during the trip. Had it not been for Bill; this members car was all but done for the trip. Long time members and new members from three clubs joined together for a wonderful and memorable Allante’ experience that they will be talking about for years to come. It was the largest group we have had on a cruise.
Thanks to all who attended and all of us in the Allante’ Atlanta Club hope you will join us for many future adventures enjoying our gorgeous cars. See you next time!
Linda and Norman Penfield
Paula and Russ Vopelak
Brenda and Art Sevelius
Kathy and Bill Winkler
James Sebastian Jr and Sandy Harazak
Bill Corn and (Guest) Mark Corn
Jeannette and Phil Waldrop
Steve Garrity and (Guest) Connie
Collen and Sal Caravello
Darr and Budd Neidig
Beth and John Nash
Ralph Sevelius and (Guest) Cely Pasco
Kathy and Paul Bertorello
Kelly and Scott Mumford
Vicki and Lewis Kelly
Barbara and John Monzo
Deanna and Tim Collins
Anne and Stephen Zeleznik
Linda and Rod Moore
Cathy and William Winkler
Ann and Ron Stokes
Candace and Al Weigand