Saturday, January 14, 2023

Unexpected Southwest Airlines Southwest Road Trip: Day 1

As some of you know, I was caught up in the Southwest Airlines mess over the holidays. After spending two weeks with my in-laws in Florida, we started flying home on Christmas Day. We thought we were being clever by flying on Christmas Day because we expected it to be chill and relatively easy. We were wrong. We landed in Kansas City and when we were looking for our connecting flight, we saw the pandemonium. The crying gate agents, the sea of abandoned luggage, lines of people not moving. We were stuck in Kansas City. After two days of canceled flights, we decided to rent a car and drive home.

Our goal for Day 1 was Tucumcari, New Mexico. We did not want to go straight west because we did not want to hit the mountains and snow of Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.

Here we were, waiting for the hotel shuttle bus on Christmas Day when our connecting flight was canceled. We had no idea what we were in for.

On the first night at the Kansas City airport hotel, I ordered a wedge salad and a steak. The steak was actually not bad.

Okay, back to the road trip. This was the morning of Day 1. We drove through rural and very cold (around 15 degrees F) Kansas. 

This part of Kansas was much hillier than I imagined.

We had a nice breakfast in Wichita at a place called Homegrown. The low cost of living here was insane. I filled up our Kia Sportage rental for $28!

After breakfast, it was more driving. Rural Kansas was like another world. Every small town had multiple urgent care centers for some reason. Most of the work trucks were Dodge Rams. And they all looked like they were worked hard. Formal rest areas were rare, so the kids just peed on the side of the road.

For late lunch, we went to Asian Market in Liberal, Kansas. It was all takeout and the food was very spicy and had a Southeast Asian influence. We stocked up on Pockys and shrimp chips. The town of Liberal is majority Latino and has a huge beef processing plant. The largest helium facility in the world is nearby as well.

As an addendum, about a week after driving through Liberal, one of my mentors passed away. In reading his obituary, he was born in Liberal!

We drove through slivers of Oklahoma and Texas. It's just cattle and oil wells.

We arrived in Tucumcari, New Mexico after sunset. We gained an hour because we entered the Mountain Time Zone. I was determined to take advantage of the local food. I had this enchilada plate with green chiles at La Cita

Exhausted, the first few hotels we called had no vacancies. Lots of stranded Southwest passengers were driving along Interstate 40/Route 66. We got a charming room in a mid-century modern motel called Motel Safari. We watched old America's Funniest Home Videos before we went to bed.

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Revs Institute car museum in Naples Florida

We spent two weeks with my in-laws in Southwest Florida. We spent most of the time hanging out in the condo, on the beach, and in the pool. But I made sure to visit the Revs Institute.

This is probably the best all around car museum I have visited. Others may have more cars, but in terms of the importance of each car on display, the themes, the presentation/curation, and the dozens of knowledgable docents on standby to answer your questions, this museum has it all. It's even built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane!

The "owner" is a Mr. Collier. The museum is in Collier County. His family developed much of the area, hence the $$$. 

The museum's website is also worth checking out. Every car is documented with high quality photos and sometimes even videos.

The first car you see in the lobby is this green McLaren F1. That is quite a statement.

Collier had some kind of relationship with Cunningham, which I am wholly unfamiliar with. There are quite a few Cunninghams on display.

I learned about these 1950 Cadillac Series 61s that entered Le Mans. So much effort was put into modifying the second car for the race (aerodynamically and losing weight-wise), and yet it finished one place behind the stock version.

4.25, 6.5, and 8 litre Bentleys.

1928 Hispano-Suiza chassis.

1964 Abarth, Porsche,  and Alfa.

Eagle F1 car.

The Porsche collection speaks for itself.

Chrysler Airflow!

Silicon Valley AV!

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Berkeley Cars and Coffee photos

I've heard rumors about this clandestine car meet for a while, but I never checked it out. Until now. I've been to countless shows and am quite jaded, but this was a very fresh show with a fascinating combination of cars.

On the way there, a Lamborghini Miura S passed us. I got so excited and handed my phone to my son. Whenever he rides with me and we see something interesting, I ask him to take photos for me. 

It even got off at the same exit as us.

First, I met AutoNerdery and his Saab. I recently asked him to make two little cars for me. They are ready and I just need to pick them up. I am excited!

There's always a Biturbo at a car show, but I love them! They were $8,000 used when I was 16 and I so wanted one. But the price was too steep for this Arby's cashier making $5.00 an hour.

Rchen's Citroen XM. Some of you may remember that I delivered it to him from Portland.

TelstarLogistic's Japanese fire truck. My son adores this machine. He grabbed my phone and started snapping shots.


Hey, it's the Miura!

How many Montreals show up at Cars & Coffee?

M5 wagon.

I told my son that this Alfa is my wife's favorite car, so he got to work.

Then, this Carina pulled in. I was gobsmacked. I had never seen one in America. This was the car I was brought home in from the hospital in Yokohama. The owner bought it from the elderly original owner recently. I was floored.

Well? Cool show, right?