International Travels

Odometer:  498,790

When most people think of visits to theme parks in Florida, they immediately think of Disneyworld, but I found a place that far surpasses Disney in its appeal to me — I’ll call it ‘Legendland’!  About 75 miles west of Orlando in a one-stoplight teeny town called Floral City, my Acura enthusiast friend Alan and his wife Nancy have a beautiful piece of property and four (yes, four!) Acura Legends.  It was a slice of Acura heaven that I got to experience this afternoon before flying back to Phoenix from Tampa.

First off we got a VIP tour of the property including Alan’s spare car parts inventory which would rival any Acura dealership for its completeness and organization.

Alan has a sirius white pearl 1994 Legend GS 6-speed, cashmere silver metallic 1993 LS coupe 6-speed, granada black pearl 1994 GS sedan automatic, and milano red 1994 Legend LS coupe automatic.  This guy is a true collector!  He hosted us for a lake-side BBQ this afternoon after my friend Matt and I took his pedal-powered boat out for a quick spin on the lake.  Alan also let me drive his 1979 MG convertible:  a peppy little 4-speed manual that turned more heads in the 3 miles it than my Legend coupe has in the 400k miles I’ve driven it.

Here’s the group shot.  In addition to Alan’s four Legends, two others showed up to make this into a full blown enthusiast meet:  Moses in his 1994 granada black pearl GS sedan 6-speed (gorgeous!) and Alex in his 5-speed manual converted sherwood green 1994 LS coupe.  Alex allowed me to test drive his car, “Annie.”  She’s a mean beast with plenty of aftermarket goodies including a K-Sport suspension, full exhaust, and a short-throw shifter that makes rowing the gears effortless and fun.

All six Legends made it into this picture if you look closely.  Left to right:  Tyson, Alex, Alan, Moses.

I made Alan dig out the straw hat for this one.  That hat has become a staple at Legend meets across the country.  Anyone who’s seen Alan at one of the National Acura Legend Meets knows what I’m talking about!

Florida’s one of the few states I haven’t driven my Legend coupe in yet.  Over the years I’ve taken this old Legend to vast and varied places in the United States, but some of my most memorable travels have taken place outside the border.  The 2006 drive to Fairbanks, Alaska, and back was especially adventurous because it was the first chance I had to really exercise my kilometers-per-hour reading ability on my speedometer.  My dad and I traversed several Canadian provinces on our way to the far north.  It also was interesting to buy fuel by the liter instead of the gallon.

Then there was the time in October, 2006 when I road-tripped south of the border to “Puerto Peñasco” (Rocky Point), Mexico in order to visit my friend Pam and her family who were RV’ing there for the weekend at the beach.  Rocky Point was about 70 miles south of the US/Mexico border.  I purchased Mexican auto insurance (print-at-home) for the 48 hour trip and set out for Mexico.

This was actually the second time I had driven the Legend into Mexico.  The first was in February, 2005, when I went into Algodones, Sonora, Mexico just west of Yuma, Arizona. Border crossing!

Doing a little shopping.

Crazy drivers, every which way, backing up in a thru-lane.  And I didn’t have Mexican insurance at the time.  Things could have been bad!

The line to get back into the U.S. was about 1/2 hour wait.

How about a place that’s pretty much not only international but intergalactic:  The teeny town of Rachel, Nevada just outside Area 51 in the rural desert of southern Nevada.  I took this picture in 2005 while cruising along the “Extraterrestrial Highway” (State Route 375) just before also snagging a picture at the “Little A’Le Inn.”  Unfortunately, no sightings of life from outer space during my day trip adventure.

Population:  Humans, 98.  Aliens, ?

Self parking for UFO’s!

And yes, I parked the Legend there!

Not a bad looking spaceship if I do say so.

Or finally how about the time I drove right to Santa Claus’ house in North Pole, Alaska, in 2006?  My dad and I even took the opportunity to buy a plot of land (one square inch, to be exact) to give to my mom for Mother’s Day.  Yes, we got a deed to it!

No trip to the North Pole would be complete without a quick pit-stop at Santa’s house, right?

My dad and I are sitting in the sleigh while the Legend looks on.

This post has turned into a novel but I also need to mention that I’m not the only one in the high mileage game – in fact, lots of people have met or exceeded the 500k mark.  One in particular is Joe LoCicero from Maine – also known as “Million Mile Joe.”  His 1990 Honda Accord today hit 1,000,000 miles.  Honda has recognized him on the company’s Facebook page.  Check it out!  Huge congrats, Joe!

So, I’m back at home after a fun weekend away and happy to be back behind the wheel to finish out the drive to five.  Let’s get a move on.

5 Responses to “International Travels”

  1. Kevin Amoth Says:

    Tyson, you a re a true celebrity when you get invited to the
    Alan Jackson compound! My wife and I were there earlier this year when we drove my Legend the 420 miles from Atlanta to see Alan and Nancy. Of course coming back to Atlanta with parts for two other Legend owners made the trip worthwhile! 500,000 miles is within reach now.

    • Kevin, it was an experience to be remembered! Alan was actually on the phone with you when I pulled up to his house in my rental Mustang. Wish we all could’ve enjoyed each other’s company – it was a great afternoon.

  2. It was great seeing you tyson! i wish i could make it to the big event! come back and visit soon, and as always, glad you have fun taking Annie for a spin!

    ps. watching you guys trying to undo the boat from the dock was the funniest thing ever! glad you found your wallet too!!! >.<

    • Yeah we struggled with the launch the boat! Fail! And the wallet scare definitely threw me for a loop. I think I’m losing my mind. Alan and Nancy are the best for letting us all come visit. I’m still laughing at how you guys had three covers over the milano coupe.

      • it was pretty much my idea, and after we put them all on, the thought came into mind, that you would probably pull all 3 covers off at the same time and not notice it! and that’s exactly what happened!

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