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3rd Annual New Hampshire Weekend Ramble/Drive/Rally/Lollapalooza!

Discussion in 'New England' started by BigHead, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    992
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Dennis
    Ferrari Club of America - New England Region

    New Hampshire Weekend Ramble/Drive/Rally/Lollapalooza
    Friday-Sunday, May 14th-16th, 2003

    YOU'VE HEARD THE LEGENDS.

    YOU'VE READ THE ARTICLES.

    YOU'VE SEEN THE PICTURES.

    Now here is your chance to live the adventure with the New England Region as we sally forth once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more! What will happen this year? Will the police set up THREE road-blocks in a forlorn attempt to delay us? Will we have an unwitting hand in the destruction of yet another historic monument? Will there be ANY Cuban cigars or 30 year-old scotch left in the Granite state? [A full recounting of last year's adventures can be found in the next post....]

    Come join your fellow members of the FCA/NER as we assault the legendary roads and gaps/passes of the White Mountains on our third attempt to get the entire club tossed in jail! Once again, the HQ for our little jaunt is the Mountain View Grand Hotel and Resort, located in bucolic Whitefield, NH.

    The Mountain View Grand, newly restored, has been known for its character and intimate comfort since 1865. This is a 400 acre colonial-revival style luxury resort, with fine dining, spectacular mountain vistas, English flower gardens, a spacious verandah, and a doubled-sided fireplace and piano bar. The first tee of the golf course is a pitching wedge from the front steps. It reopened two years ago on the weekend of our visit, and we are now one of their premier groups. Because we've had so much fun there, the Mountain View Grand has offered us a SPECTACULAR DEAL (see below)!

    As always, you do not need to drive a Ferrari for this event (we've had Mercedes, BMWs and Hondas), though, of course, it would be way more fun!

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    SPONSORED BY:

    INDEPENDENT FERRARI SERVICE, South Easton, MA (508) 238-4224
    and
    FERRARI MASERATI OF NEW ENGLAND, West Newton, MA (617) 559-0123

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    OUR MOTTO: NON CRANIUS-INVERTUS-RECTUMUS


    Friday, 5/14 -- Optional departure meeting from Ferrari of New England in West Newton, MA. Casual picnic lunch and garage tour at the compound of Sherman Wolf, noted Ferrari collector and enthusiast club member in Amherst, NH. You'll get to see his private collection of unique, rare and historic Ferraris (think Testa Rossa, California Spider, Phil Hill's 212 Barchetta, 340 Mille Miglia and many others) and Packards. From there, we'll drive up to the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield NH (you can meet us directly at the hotel), with reserved parking along the front driveway. We'll arrive at the hotel in time for a twilight round of golf, a horse ride through the countryside, or time to take advantage of the luxurious Tower Spa. We will meet for drinks and then dinner.


    Saturday, 5/15 - Breakfast at the hotel, then a drive/rally through the White Mountains. Our ***NEW FOR 2004*** planned routes take us through a bunch of notches/passes. We'll also have some ADDITIONAL NEW surprises. Our lunch is scheduled for the historic MOUNT WASHINGTON HOTEL & RESORT in Bretton Woods. After lunch, for those of you so inclined, the tax-free shopping haven (dozens and dozens of discount & outlet shops) of North Conway is only 25 minutes away. Alternatively, we'll engage in yet another surprise, competitive event.... We will return via another scenic route to the Mountain View Grand in time for an afternoon nap, a round of golf, or other activities (spa appointments, croquet, swimming in the Olympic-sized pool, and much more). The Mountain View Grand is sponsoring a cocktail reception for us, then we'll adjoin for another gourmet meal.

    Like last year, as part of the day's challenge, there will be a Poker Run - starting at breakfast, and at each stop throughout the day, each participant will draw a random playing card. At the awards ceremony, the driver and passenger who can make the best poker hand will win prizes. Horse-trading of hands is encouraged! We'll also be awarding door prizes and special trophies for memorable driving that day!

    Sunday, 5/16 - After sleeping in, we'll meet for Sunday Brunch. After packing-up and checking-out, we'll have a scenic drive loop that will leave us near the Interstate for the ride home.
    ------------

    The Mountain View Grand has reserved a limited number of UPGRADED, Majestic, Panoramic or Grand View rooms available for this event, at a special rate of ONLY $200 per room, per night, for TWO PEOPLE! This includes breakfast and dinner each day (but does not include 20% gratuities or 8% NH tax, for a total of $261/night). This $200 (with meals) rate is an astounding deal, considering that rooms alone for that weekend are going for $265/night! Suites are available for only $305 ($395 with tax and gratuity). Please reserve your room DIRECTLY at the Mountain View Grand by calling them at (866) 484-3843, and mention that you are traveling with the FCA/NER. You can take a virtual tour of the resort at www.mountainviewgrand.com.

    To register for this event, please mail your check for $125 per person, payable to FCA/NER, c/o Fiona Friar, Friar Associates, 281 Farmington Ave, Farmington, CT 06032. *** EARLY-REGISTRATION DISCOUNT: For those whose registration we receive by WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21st, the discounted registration fee will be only $95 per person! *** This fee includes lunch on Friday and Saturday, a welcome gift and plenty of hefty loot to walk away with!

    Questions? Contact Dennis Liu at BigHeadDennis@Earthlink.net. Our website will always have the most updated information: www.fca-newengland.org


    Name: Co-Driver:

    Address:


    Phone: Fax:

    E-Mail (important!):

    Make: Model: Year:
     
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  3. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    992
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Dennis
    =================================

    Friends, Romans, and Countrymen:


    Recipe for a memorable weekend:

    Simmer a couple of hundred miles of twisty country roads.
    Sauté with scenic gaps in the White Mountain range.
    Marinate with a collection of historic Ferraris
    Add a splash of a historic luxury hotel and resort.
    Bake for three days with twenty Ferraris.
    Stir in a pair of very fast Maseratis.
    Garnish with roadsters from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz & Honda.
    Serve to forty enthusiasts.
    (a spicy pinch by police is optional)

    Photos are here:
    http://www.photoaccess.com/share/guest.jsp?ID=A7003426C44&cb=PA



    PRELUDE --> TRUE STORY (I SWEAR TO GOD)

    On Friday, May 2, our group headed up to the grand hotel & resort en masse. We convoyed through Franconia Notch, New Hampshire, in the rain. As we drove by the Old Man of the Mountain, I got onto the radio and shared my newly-learned knowledge (from reading guide books in planning our route) about the history of the OMOTM and the notch itself.

    - (BigHeadDennis): "Hey, guys, did you know that there is a tradition in this one family of inspecting and repairing the OMOTM every year? They rappel down annually to seal cracks to avoid having water seep in, freeze, and break off pieces. The current guy started doing it when he was 11, and he's bringing his son now too. Oh, and the reason the 4-lane Interstate 93 becomes the 2-lane parkway here is because a NH congressman pushed through legislation to limit the amount of blasting in the notch, to avoid potentially knocking down the OMOTM."

    - (Bob "the Builder" LaRosa, owner of LaRosa Construction): "What? No way... if they did the blasting correctly, they wouldn't knock down the OMOTM."

    - "Well, the book did say that the OMOTM is geologically unstable -- apparently, there is no reason why it should still exist."

    - (Pete Lombardo): "Hey, maybe the sounds from our TUBI exhausts will knock it down as we drive by!!!"

    I so, so, swear to god this is true.

    END PRELUDE. <--
    ____________


    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    SPONSORED BY:

    FERRARI & MASERATI OF NEW ENGLAND, West Newton, MA (617) 559-0123
    and
    INDEPENDENT FERRARI SERVICE, South Easton, MA (508) 238-4224

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    * * * Friday, May 2, 2003

    For the 2nd annual New Hampshire Weekend Lollapalooza, 40-odd (some are really odd) members of the New England Region of the Ferrari Club of America returned to the scenes of our exploits last year but with the hope of avoiding police roadblocks this time around. Given the string of horrible spring weather on weekends this year, our fingers were crossed.

    Participants included:

    Charlie & Alex Vest 308 GTS Qv.
    Jeff & Barbara Jones 328 GTB
    John Nichols & Kim Fisher 348 TS
    John & Jayne Tirrell F355 Berlinetta
    Bob & Sandy Hatch F355 Berlinetta
    Dennis & Jamie Liu F355 Berlinetta
    Bob & Carmela LaRosa F355 Berlinetta
    David & Fiona Friar F355 Spider
    Ira Gold F355 Spider
    Pete & Rosemary Lombardo 360 Modena
    Andrew Bass & Judi St. Germaine 412i
    Bob Gagnon & Pat Bennett Testarossa
    Gary & Suzanne Hiniker Testarossa
    Sal Messina Testarossa
    Glenn Farrell & Denise Tousignant 512 TR
    Peter & Pamela Rogal 575M Maranello
    Frank & Pamela Carnovale Maserati Coupe GT
    Nick & Tammy Scelsi Maserati Spyder
    Dan & Andrew Kary Porsche Boxster S
    Shachar & Debbie Tauber Mercedes-Benz SLK 320
    Chris & Kathy ***as Honda S2000
    John & Sophia Kang BMW M3 (filled with three gorgeous kids)

    Friday dawned sunny and hot. A dozen cars rendezvoused at Ferrari & Maserati of New England to begin our journey. The incredibly affable Nick Scelsi, Maserati sales manager, and his charming wife, Tammy, led our group away and towards our first stop - the manicured lawn of Sherman Wolf, one of our regions most enthusiastic Ferrari collectors. Sherman upped the ante from last year, this time erecting a tent and providing a catered lunch for us as we parked our cars all over his backyard and wandered through his collection. He himself even made meatballs for us. Hey, check out the California Spider! Wait, isn't that the Phil Hill 212 Barchetta? Would you rather have the 288 GTO or the 166 Mille Miglia or the 500/F2 Monoposto? Would I fit in the Testa Rossa (two words)? He drives all of them regularly, from thousand mile rallies through Europe to showing up for one of our Sunday drives in the 288GTO and plowing through snow and salt. After lunch and much chatting, we said goodbye to our hosts, Sherman and the ever-hospitable Lisette, as we drove off in the hazy sun towards Northern New Hampshire.

    As we make our way through the tolls, the sky darkens ominously and the heavens open up. There is a bit of a scramble as spiders make a dive for the shoulder to erect tops. Full credit must be given to modern performance tires, though, as we continued our journey through the pouring rain at considerable speed, with our tires evacuating multiple gallons of water every minute. As we pass through Franconia Notch, the rain has lessened enough for us to roll down the windows and hear the TUBI exhausts bouncing off the mountains.

    We arrive in cloudy but dry conditions at the Mountain View Grand Hotel and Resort, our headquarters for the weekend. Built over a century ago, it was newly restored last year and reopened on the weekend of our region's first NH assault. We enjoyed it so much, we've returned to this little 400 acre gem [check it out at www.mountainviewgrand.com]. We took over the entire front driveway, parking Italian machinery everywhere. Some of us scurried inside for their luxury spa appointments, while others (of course) took the opportunity to clean their cars.

    After cleaning up, we had a casual dinner together and watched some videos of Ferraris and Alfas running at Lime Rock the weekend previous. Everyone also received their first presents of the weekend, really nice embroidered sweatshirts and CD-ROMs containing dozens of historic and modern Ferrari owners manuals. After dinner, the more enlightened (ok, odor-resistant) of us retired to the verandah for scotch, where Peter & Pamela Rogal had once again brought enough giant Cuban cigars for everyone.

    * * * Saturday, May 3, 2003

    After worrying about the weather all week, Saturday dawned cool and clear. Those of us without hangovers had a great breakfast downstairs. The group gathered in front, where Nick gave everyone some gifts from Maserati of New England. This was when we heard the news -- the Old Man of the Mountain had collapsed the night before!!! A bunch of stared at each other, slack-jawed, wondering just how much we had contributed to this tragedy....

    Everyone received the route book, trivia quiz sheet and Maserati t-shirt, and we saddled up. The morning's drive took us even further North, almost to Canada, as we meandered through valleys and hills. At various intervals on our route, participants had to answer assorted questions relating either to Ferrari history or roadside items. Samples: "Which Ferrari production model was the first with ABS brakes?" "How many Ferrari production models were turbocharged?" "What is Enzo Ferrari’s middle name?" "What does the “4” in “308/GT4” stand for?" "What is Schumacher’s favorite restaurant in Maranello?" And the tiebreaker: "What is Dennis’ I.Q. combined with his age (in years), his height (in inches) and his weight (in pounds, before breakfast)?"

    At one rest stop, a few drivers conferred to realize that they had missed counting the number of statues of the Virgin Mary a mile back, so they told their spouses that there was no time to, uh, freshen up, and roared back to circle around and count statues. The group moved on and passed through Dixville Notch. One crest in the road in particular was so much fun, the route instruction consisted solely of "Mile 61.0: WHEEE!" Rumors of Charlie & Alex Vest getting all four wheels airborne are entirely true. As a side note, I fully expected Mr. Trans-Am race car driver, Peter Rogal, and his long suffering wife, the gracious Pamela, to stick to my bumper for the entire ride in their 575M. What caught me a bit by surprise was, well, do you remember Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid? When they're being chased by the posse, and trying to get away but the posse keeps catching up to them? When they realize that they aren't losing them, turn to each other, and say, "Who are these guys?" Well that's the way we felt about Frank Carnovale and Pamela Reed in their Maserati coupe. They stuck right to us at the front of the line, like white on bread. Dang!

    The group arrived safely in North Conway for lunch. This time, no body cavity searches from the friendly North Conway Gestapo! We dined at the friendly Red Jacket hotel. The lunch of stuffed lamb, chicken in pastry shells, grilled sea scallops and much more was served with a commanding view of the mountain range we had just crossed. Poor Nick was even sunburned from driving the Spyder with the top down and no sunblock. Afterward, the wussier among us headed out to the dozens upon dozens of designer boutiques and outlets in North Conway. A few returned to the Mountain View Grand for more spa treatments (Andrew Bass: did you enjoy your pedicure and aromatherapy?). The more hardy and manly of us instead went to play kamikaze competitive timed team miniature golf.

    The rules were simple. We divided up into five foursomes, with a shotgun start on the first five holes. Yours truly happened to bring a stopwatch and an incredibly annoying whistle. At timed intervals, each foursome, if the hole was not complete, had to pick up and move immediately to the next hole, with each player taking an "8" for the hole. The pressure was on. Amazingly enough, Dennis did not end up with a putter wrapped around his throat, despite blowing the whistle much too frequently (nor for making one too many jokes about his wife, the very pregnant and still lovely Jamie (tm), not being able to see the ball she was trying to hit). Bob Hatch came in with an amazing 41, though his "teammates" kept trying to distract him. Kim Fisher and John Nichols tied for second with 44. For the WORST golfers, tied for second were Jamie, Carmela LaRosa and Fiona Friar. The worst golfer? Sad to say, your hmbl & obdnt srvnt, who despite massive amounts of cheating (rumors that I didn't blow the whistle until *I* was done with the hole are entirely untrue and you can't prove it anyway), still managed to suck big time.

    We meandered our way back to the Mountain View Grand and cleaned up. The hotel threw us a great cocktail party, and everyone had an opportunity to lie, cheat and steal. Why? The poker run, of course. Throughout the day, each Driver and each Navigator drew a card at various stops. No wild cards, but since we used multiple decks, people were coming up with amazing hands. Lots of horse trading, lots of mingling. Some AARP-qualified people were running around, drinks in one hand, cards in the other, acting like children, begging, pleading and even stealing to make better hands. Others even got their children to run around, look all helpless and charming, only to squirrel away needed cards. Peter Lombardo won this competition (no surprise; that b*st*rd manages to win something at EVERY event he attends). Jeff Jones and Dan Kary tied for second place. We also awarded prizes for the WORST poker hand, for those who actually bothered to read the rules. Charlie Vest had the worst possible hand, but the remarkable second-place winner was Denise Tousignant, who managed to have the second worst hand despite not knowing how to play poker and giving away all of her high cards to the lampreys encircling her.

    Dinner was served for us in a private dining room. Before the prize ceremony, each driver received two spiffy certificates, designed by Friar Three graphic arts, suitable for framing and certifying their completion of the strenuous mountain drive that day. We then handed out the loot, donated by Ferrari and Maserati of New England and Independent Ferrari Service. We had so much stuff to give away, it needed to be shipped up to the hotel in four giant boxes! The winners of the golf and poker contests received their awards, and we gave out prizes to the winners of the trivia contest. Since John & Jayne Tirrell were a sponsor, they didn't get anything, despite coming in first! Bob and Carmela LaRosa finished second and received "The Complete Ferrari", a concise yet encyclopedic volume covering all Ferrari road cars. Third place winners Dan and Andrew Kary received an incredibly rare official Ferrari calendar. Literally, everyone received a prize, including lots of TUBI paraphernalia, shirts, caps, rare posters, mugs, even official Ferrari shoes, belts and socks. If only Philippe had donated his official Ferrari thong, someone could have dressed himself in complete Ferrari regalia. And every one received scale model Ferraris too! We gave Nick & Tammy Scelsi the Cannonball book by Brock Yates to thank them for being such a help in their first year with Maserati in New England.

    Some interesting trivia question answers were read. When asked, "What was the first Ferrari Grand Prix car (1948)?", Peter Rogal answered, "1949". "What is Schumacher’s favorite restaurant in Maranello?" Alex Vest was sure it was "Ruben's Reubens." Sandy Hatch, a huge Formula 1 fan, was convinced that Jean Alesi won his sole F1 victory at the Grand Prix of Le Mans. In 1957. "What is Enzo Ferrari’s middle name?" Glenn Farrell answered, "Bill", Andrew Kary chimed in with "Scuderia", and, my favorite, Sandy Hatch's contribution of "Friggin'". Chris and Kathy ***as even managed to hit the tiebreaker EXACTLY on the head (though I feel obliged to note that I am NOT 42 years old, nor do I weigh three times as much as the alluring Debbie Tauber).

    * * * Sunday, May 4, 2004

    The diehard Formula 1 fans among us awoke early to catch the GP of Spain. The hotel even went to the trouble of wiring up Speed in all the rooms for us for the race, but many of us gathered in the dining room to munch on brunch and watch Michael duel some more with Juan Pablo. Some more inclined to leisurely pursuits went out and played golf at the Mountain View Grand's course, laid out in front of the hotel. After brunch, we said our goodbyes, packed up our cars (with all of the loot we got, it was a tight fit) and hit the road for the drive home. Ironically, we had to take some back roads as a detour around all the traffic jamming up I-93, coming up to pay their respects at the site of the Old Man of the Mountain. If only these thousands of people knew who was responsible for its downfall....

    Again, thanks to EVERYONE who came along and made the weekend so wonderful. As nice as the cars were, and as much fun to drive as they are, what really made this trip fun and memorable were the people. As always, I'm proud to call all of the participants my friends. Come with us next year!

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  4. racerx

    racerx Guest

    Nov 23, 2003
    879
    Hey Dennis,
    i hope you have dragon naturally speaking or keep a bucket of water next to your keyboard.
    T
     

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