Saturday, December 31, 2011

Long Overdue posting!

I never did blog about one of the most fantastic times on my trip which was Houston TX!  My sincere apologies for that.  It was once again a great adventure that took place at City Centre.  Thanks to Kresha Leigh, Joe Mills, Loco Bob, Dave Chien, Harley's Angels, City Centre, and many many more!

Houston topped everybody off with around $3000 in donations and took first place in the running!  Great Job Houston!  You said you were going to be #1 and sure enough you were right!

After I left Houston it was time to head to Nashville Tennessee for a Show n Shine with Jay Wasack of No Aqua Car Care.  Forgive me Jay, I forgot the name of the Ford Dealership we were at and I can't find the business card!

Before I hit Tennessee, I had a bit of an off the tour stop in Birmingham Alabama where I met up with the folks of Magic City Mustangs on the day of their picnic.  Thank you Deidra Quick Trammell for getting in touch with me! It was a great lunch and great donations in such a short time!  Look out TN and AL!  It looks like I'm coming back for 2012 and I'm bringing friends!

Next stop was Mustangs Unlimited in Atlanta for a small meet up and dinner with some Saleen owners. Thank you to Shane for getting that put together.  I may have showed up an hour late (oops forgot about those time zone changes) but I made it!

Then off to Charlotte NC where I finally met Frank DeFeo of Croftgate USA which I most graciously need to thank for cleaning that filthy pony of mine.  I know he has video cleaning my car and if/when I get my hands on it I will definitely have to post it!  She's still sparkling although she's put away for the year.

Buffalo To Burbank raised over $7000 for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For its first run it was pretty darn good!

I'm still looking for a clever name for 2012's trip and preferably one I can use year after year after year...  2012 plans are in the making for a two week trip up and down the East Coast.  Sorry Houston and KC, perhaps 2013? ;)

I owe many thanks to many people so here's the starting list:

Rod and Piston - - Joe Haniszewski
Howie you know who you are
SSBC  Brakes
Croftgate USA
American Classic Gauges
Joel Kopp - WNY Shelby and Mustang Club
Matt B
Pocketeer Billiards (Shameless plug- The Booby Cruise - September 16th 2012)
Saleen Club of America
Bass Pro of KC
Wild Pony Motor Sports
Five Star Ford
Skillman Ford
Max & Ermas
Incredible Pizza
Guardians of the Ribbon
Ruby's Diner
KHTS AM 1220
Planet Green
No Aqua Car Care
Harley's Angels

All the Mustang clubs that got cruise nights and other things going on the way

and most importantly YOU!  If it weren't for YOU we could not have accomplished this!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Buffalo to Burbank - Cruising for a Cause: Five stars to Five Star Ford in the Lone Star stat...

Buffalo to Burbank - Cruising for a Cause: Five stars to Five Star Ford in the Lone Star stat...: After yelling at my GPS for attempting to take me the long way to Dallas I pulled in last night only 15 miles from my destination. I was ve...

Five stars to Five Star Ford in the Lone Star state.

After yelling at my GPS for attempting to take me the long way to Dallas I pulled in last night only 15 miles from my destination.  I was very happy to be off the road by that time since I beat my own drive time record.

Nineteen days on the road I settled for a breakfast at IHOP while I waited for my room to be ready, compliments of Jacquie and Adam Hair.  THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for all you have done!  After checking in to my room, I went back out to detail the pony.  Starting with what I thought was the worst turned out to be the easiest to clean.  Thanks to Croftgate's detailing in California those rims were practically just wipe-able!

I met with Corey White and others of Five Star Ford. They did a great job getting my car cleaned up and ready to go.  It was time to get the show on the road.  Off to Hobby Lobby where I expected to meet a few other mustangs and stampede back to the dealership.  Lo and behold at least 8 to 10 Saleens all ready to go.  The drive was a cross between Chicago and LA . Go fast, then BRAKE! (SSBC Brakes that is). Suddenly we were back at the dealership where even more Saleens and other beautiful Mustangs were waiting.   There, Jacquie organized a bake sale and some items to be raffled off along with some char-broiled hotdogs and hamburgers provided by Five Star Ford. It was almost like being at home.

Once again I met some really terrific people!  It was a wonderful time and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation wins again! 

Pictures of the trip can be found here:

Tomorrow will be Houston TX at the City Center. I am looking forward to meeting some more great people for a great cause!

Kansas City/Olathe
Dallas - final count not in yet.
Redondo Beach

Friday, October 14, 2011

Buffalo to Burbank - Cruising for a Cause: Destination REACHED!

Buffalo to Burbank - Cruising for a Cause: Destination REACHED!: Days 11 - 14 After some white knuckle driving going through Flagstaff Arizona and various other mountains I finally crossed the border int...

Destination REACHED!

Days 11 - 14

After some white knuckle driving going through Flagstaff Arizona and various other mountains I finally crossed the border into California on the 11th.  For miles all I saw was mountain after mountain.  It was quite the brown state for miles upon miles on the highway to a point where I thought it would never end. 

I finally reached a city called Barstow before I settled for the night which is about 2 hours away from my hotel room.  It was the first major city I came to since crossing over the border.  I stayed at a Days Inn which was tucked away on a hill behind a gas station and "Subway".  It wasn't too bad for staying in.  I walked outside just after the sun set.  It was a pretty sight with the skys showing colors of red and orange over the city to the west and a full moon rising to the east.  I tucked myself in for the night after a long day of driving.


In the morning I headed to a town called Ranco Cucamunga. All these years I thought my father just made up that name and here I found myself in the center of town getting my car detailed by Planet Green compliments of Croftgate USA.  It was quite delightful to see the pony shining pink once again after all the dirt and tar from the roads. Thank you Scott Dufrane for getting her looks back into shape!

Once that was done, I was off to Corona CA, the town where SMS is located. As soon as I walked through the door, I was greeted by Adam of SMS and Molly Saleen herself.  She called my pony her twin. That made me feel quite honored. I had put the hood scoop back on it, backed it up next to hers and wetook some photos. 

We were chit chatting when Steve Saleen came out, asked me how the car came to be pink, what the year was, what color it was originally and then he was gracious enough to sign it for me. Molly had also signed it as well.  I want to thank everybody at SMS because not only did I get some autographs, but they also fixed my hood scoop and hood while I was there.  Once it was fixed, we backed the car up once again and took more photos with Molly, Mollipop, myself and "the east coast twin".  I couldn't have been more excited! Another shout out to Craig Cooper of Cleveland for making this happen!

Off to Burbank! 

While I was in New Mexico, heading to California, I had the fortunate conversation with an over the road truck driver.  When I told him I was heading to Burbank.  Since he had been all over the country, I had asked him about the traffic in LA and if it was worse than Chicago. He said it was. He also gave me advice to stay in the "slow" lane and I should be OK. Well, after driving through downtown Chicago during non rush hour traffic and driving through LA, Burbank, Santa Monica, Studio City, Hollywood etc during rush hour traffic, I will take LA any day over Chicago. (Here's a tip for anybody going west like I did.  Stay in the slow lane. It's sometimes faster than the fast lane). 

The difference between the two cities, is the way the freeways are set up. While there may be 8 lanes in each direction, in Chicago you might only have 1/4 of a mile to cross over 6 lanes to get to the exit that you need and the cars are flying 80 miles an hour one minute then find yourself in a parking lot the next minute.  In SoCal, you might only need to cross over 2 lanes and it just looks like a parking lot. The fact is you might only be doing 20 miles an hour. Staying in the slow lane, I was passing those cars that were 2 and 3 lanes over to the left.  Ok, enough about the traffic!

I reached my hotel and got settled in a bit after 6 PM. I unfortunately missed the Van Nuys cruise night.  They weren't expecting me so it wasn't so bad. It was still quite early so I headed to Universal's City walk.  It almost reminded me of Fremont St in Las Vegas without the casinos.  I took a walk around and headed back to the hotel for the night.

Yesterday I did some sight seeing before heading to the NBC studios for the Tonight Show which I had tickets for the studio audience.  After getting lost a few times and swearing at my GPS, I finally parked my car on Bob Hope Drive. It was time to go to the "waiting area" to get into the show.  There were still three hours to go before the show taping began. We (the audience) were sitting outside in 101 degree heat with only some shade.  At 2 PM the pages came out to greet us and slowly move us into the studio lot where we sat another hour but this time we actually sat in a covered area. Water and Lemonade was also available to us by this time.

When the magical hour of 3 PM hit, the pages started seating us.  My number to be seated was 12. They have a process of seating us that I still cannot figure out.  Although I was the 12th person to be seated, my seat was in the third row on the floor, opposite of the band side. There was Jay about 30 feet from my seat and when Gloria Estafan came out, I was only about 15 feet away from her. All in all, it was neat to watch how they taped the Tonight Show. Besides sitting in the heat, the only other downfall were the actual seats on the floor rows.  They were very uncomfortable and I walked out of there with a major back ache. 

After the Tonight Show, I was off to the walk of fame. The street itself reminded me of walking in Manhattan with all the big name stores near Times Square.  The only difference was that the crowd was walking on stars and not just plain sidewalks. Unfortunately my back was hurting so bad that I had only walked two blocks, turned around and went back to the hotel for the night.

Today started out right at the hotel where Lorin and her other half from Stangpede Mustangs came to greet me before we headed out to Wild Pony Motorsports.  Lorin driving a very nice looking silver pony with pink trim and her other half was driving a grabber blue Roush.  The three cars together looked quite nice in my opinion.

Off to Wild Pony Motorsports in Santa Clarita where I met Vicky Griffin.  She was quite an impressive woman who knows her cars!  I was also introduced to her staff. There we did a mini photo shoot and was interviewed by Brad Seidenglanz of KHTS AM 1220 in Santa Clarita.  After all was done, Vicky had the guys in the shop change my oil and check out the car while I was there.  Thank you Wild Pony Motorsports!!

I also have to give a shout out to my fellow co-worker Scott Felix for driving out to meet me there. We both use to work in Rochester NY side by side.  He moved back to California and I started working from Buffalo.

It's time to get moving to Redondo Beach!

Somehow or another I ended up taking the lead getting back to the freeway and I lost the other ponies in the caravan. No worries though, I made it safely to my destination.

The fog rolled in, I could barely see the Pacific Ocean but at least I could see it. It was getting cold and very damp but still many cars of all makes and models were there by the time I pulled in.  We did have some issues with a mix up with the venue but all in all we made it work.  A big thank you to Larry Neville and Ruby's Cafe for helping with the issues! The cruise came to an early end due to the weather but it was still fun and met a few people formerly of Western NY. Even still it turned out to be a good night.

I'm having issues uploading pictures but they will be posted!


Kansas City/Olathe
Redondo Beach

Next Stop: Dallas! I will be arriving there on the 19th.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Is this a Mustang or is this a jet ski?

Leaving Olathe KS, I did have some technical difficulties.  My hood scoop is currently off the hood.  I can't imagine what anybody was thinking when they saw me with a wrench under my hood taking it off.  Unfortunately the double sided tape that is used to hold it down came up.  This was causing the hood scoop to lift from the hood.  Somewhere between Olathe and Wichita, I found a Walmart, bought some tools that fit and took it off.  The pony looks a bit naked now, but at least I'm not in fear of it completely ripping off and going through the windshield or taking the hood of the car off with it.

After that 40 minute delay though I finally met up with some members of the Mustang club of Oklahoma at the last rest stop in Kansas.  From there we went to the Oklahoma welcome center and had our pictures taken in front of the Oklahoma sign.  We then proceeded to Route 66 famous barn and soda stop for more pictures then headed off to dinner. We were unfortunate to have some very bad weather on the way.

On the way to the restaurant (which I unfortunately cannot remember the name) the weather was scary.  I must say thank goodness for my SSBC Brakes!  There were walls of water coming up over the median on I-40 to the point that I couldn't see out of my windshield.  The Brakes worked very well for me when I most needed them!  Thank you SSBC!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Anyway, the dinner was good.  Thank you for the treat!  There was no cruise night planned so off to the hotel I went for a nice long slumber.    Thanks to Patty for putting this little get together on!

Buffalo to Burbank - Cruising for a Cause: Kansas City beats Buffalo by a long shot!

Buffalo to Burbank - Cruising for a Cause: Kansas City beats Buffalo by a long shot!: Due to my unfortunate connection problems with internet access over the last two days, there will be a few different blogs. Here is Kansas ...