Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Low Key Saturday

We've had a nice Saturday thus far - plenty quiet and only doing what we feel like. This may be the only day of the entire trip where we don't have a "plan" or "obligations" and can come and go as we please.
Breakfast at the Centrella was delicious (as usual!) Mixed berry french toast souffle was the overwhelming pick at our table, although Preston had to dissent and went with the ham and mushroom frittata. Then, it was a quick run to the Safeway to pick up some sinus meds for Dana and some snacks for the rest of us. We wrapped up the morning with a few hours walking around Ocean Ave in Carmel - mostly window shopping - although we did convince Presto to part with a whopping $25 for a t-shirt. Alas, he's learning it's much easier to make his money than to part with it.
Below are some pics from our morning sojourn ...

We now patiently await the arrival of our good friend Doc Brown from Sacramento!

Friday, August 14, 2009

2009 Concorso Italiano

A very busy morning of about every Italian car ever made, as well as a few surprises once again. though we saw every Lamborghini and Ferrari model, to me an old mustard colored Alfa stole the show along with the new Fisker Karma and Sunset. Holy Cow! If the future of electric cars is owned by Fisker and Tesla, the future is bright. Without design like this, petro vehicles could soon be dead.

It was nice to walk the golf course again, I am happy they decided to move the event fromthe Jet Center back to a nice green fairway and the event planners certainly made this even better than the prior years. There were more cars and a smaller crowd. A chance to see the Lambo Reventon, wow. Several Ferrari F40, F50 and Enzo's and the crazy, Bertone styled Bat cars (check the gallery as these cars are a must see!).
Not only were the Italians out in full force, there were many Porsche's, Audi R8's and even a Mosler... and Motorcycles too.
See the photo gallery here;

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Streets of Carmel

Though we've been to Pebble Beach and much of the Monterey experience, this is the first time on the streets of Carmel for the Tour d'Elegance... this is certainly a different way to see the cars. The streets of Carmel were flooded with most of the cars we'll see on the lawn of Pebble Beach on Sunday, but there were many more surprises on the side streets as well.
We arived early to poke around the shops and take in the beautiful european village feel of Carmel. We did a little shopping and then you could hear them as they came down Ocean Avenue... what an experience. Sure you can see these cars on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach, but seeing them drive down the street and allow the general public to interact with the cars and their owners was a joy. Bentleys, Bugattis, Alfas, Mercedes, and even an unrestored Shelby Cobra! People not only own and pamper these million dollar cars, they actually drive them. After all of my years revering vintage cars and living with the fear of breathing on them wrong, I am changed. These people have shown how cars should be appreciated. The are an approachable form of design, engineering and beauty. People need the chance to appreciate them.
Not only were the vintage participants a treat, the surprises around every corner were amazing. To turn a corner and see the prototype of the upcoming Tesla Sedan or the new Porsche Panamera in person or to see a special Versace Edition Lamborghini or the Maybach Landaulet parked on a side street or the Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead parked behind a UPS truck... everywhere you look, there was something special. There is so much opportunity to see and appreciate some of the most unique vehicles of the world located in one small area.
We look forward to another incredible day filled with Italian beauty tomorrow. Life is good.

See all of the photos at;

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Finally, we've arrived!

To briefly recap:
We had a GREAT flight (much to my relief!) from Mpls to San Jose
A LONG afternoon at the Enterprise Rent-a-Car lot
A brief trip to an In'N'Out burger
Two stops for Dana to feed his ever growing wardrobe at the Outlets of Gilroy
One wrong turn, resulting in a 10 minute detour


It's after 6:00 local time, funny thing is, that feels about right. Wait until tomorrow morning though, when we're both up at something like 3:00AM CA time - that'll be fun! Everyone was very patient today with a long day of travel and is just so happy to be enjoying the nice cool Pacific Grove breeze. Time now for our complimentary evening appetizers and some wine - seems like the perfect way to wind down a long day.

Tomorrow will be a busy day - Carmel in the late morning to catch the end of the Concours Tour and then an afternoon at Big Sur. More updates of cars, surf and hopefully, the World's Best Pancake tomorrow.

I'll leave you with a picture of the dutch door in our room - so perfect....


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Night Before Monterey!

It's the day before the trip to the Monterey peninsula for our week of auto fun. We've got an agenda drawn with some of the best auto events in the world... Thursday we will be taking in the Tour d'Elegance where the participants of the Concours d'Elegance will be taking their drive and winding up in downtown Carmel. I haven't been to this event, but really look forward to seeing these cars on the street, not the rarefied air of the 18th fairway. Friday will be our day dedicated to the art of the Italian cars at Concourso Italiano. Now that they are back on a golf course, it looks like we missed the best year as last year they were on the hot tarmac of the Monterey airport. We are hoping we run into Valentino Balboni at the Concourso... now that he is retired and has a new Lambo named after him, maybe he'll be at the event. Saturday is dedicated to just hanging around the peninsula, probably catching the auction crowd downtown and possibly the street event in Pacific Grove.
Sunday is the big day. I am anticipating the best Concours d'Elegance of my lifetime... with Bentley and Bugatti (my two favorite automakers) as the featured builders, I do not know how any other event could top this one.

Monday, July 13, 2009

34 Days and counting

So, after a one year hiatus from the Pebble Beach experience, Sarah and I will be returning to Monterey in 34 days (thanks to the iPhone app "Days Until"). We were planning on getting out to Laguna for the races, but those plans have been passed up for a return to Concorso Italiano and of course the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
While my father was alive he had never been to the Concours, I could not believe it. So, as an opportunity to make things right in the world Sarah and I have invited my mother and as a graduation gift to my nephew, we are bringing him as well... he was a car fanatic with my father. it seems challenging to bring more family with to such a special vacation and event, but I am optimistic about the shared experience.
In addition to the Monterey weekend, we will head up to San Francisco for a few days with a day-trip to Napa surely to be included. Anticipate exciting photos of all.
Good Luck.