Weekend in Maryland: A Meet & A Milestone Along the Susquehanna River

Odometer (Legend):  552,429

Twins.  Check out those T-shirts, and check out the cars!  This was summer 2015 at the National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) in Houston, Texas with my friend Chris from the Baltimore area.

In January 2016, Chris flew to Phoenix for the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.  It just so happened that his trip also involved a special 150,000-mile rollover for my car which we celebrated at Papago Park near the Phoenix-Tempe border.  In a fitting second half to the story, I’ve now flown to his neighborhood on the east coast and rolled 150,000 miles on his Legend GS.  Cool, right?   By now this kind of nerdy behavior shouldn’t surprise any of my readers.

Piggybacking on this special weekend event were some other activities, including a visit from a few of our friends at Redline Reviews with a brand new 2018 Acura TLX and a taste of some of Maryland’s finest crab cakes.  Sexy cars and tasty food – that’s my kind of vacation.

Friday afternoon’s PHX-BWI flight was delayed three times, making a painfully late arrival even worse (as in, 1:00 in the morning the next day).  When I finally got on the ground in Baltimore, I opted to catch an Uber to a shady nearby motel rather than having my friend Chris drive the 50 or so miles to come pick me up at that hour.  Room 241 of the Motel 6 on Nursery Road smelled a lot like an ashtray, and when I got up the next morning, so did all my clothes.

That didn’t matter though, we had an action-packed day ahead.  The first unexpected twist was that Chris picked me up in his wife’s Chevy Cruze as opposed to a Legend or a TL, but it all made sense later on.  We made our way northbound through a series of bridges & tunnels to get to his place in Havre de Grace.  The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, at 1.4 miles in length, takes drivers underneath the Patapsco River.

Chris had milestones on the brain, and I ended up rolling one on EACH of his two Acuras.  The first was in his 2008 TL Type-S – a car in many ways a twin to my own recently-purchased TL.  It has, however, a few things that set it apart:  20,000 fewer miles, a black interior as opposed to my ivory, and some special aerodynamic equipment in the form of an A-Spec body kit.  I rolled the odometer to 78,000 miles on the way to the local grocery store in Havre de Grace for donuts.

Not long afterward, loyal Legend lover Kevin from Georgia arrived on the scene.  He was wearing a blue T-shirt commemorating my 2011 milestone in my coupe.  Looking good, Kevin!

We prepared our roll-out toward a burger & shake spot called Arctic Circle (much more “hometown” than the chain I had pictured it to be) where a few other friends were already there waiting for us.

Right off the bat, I recognized the “Still Night Pearl” Acura TLX A-Spec that Sofyan Bey, Redline Reviews’ host, had driven up from Virginia a couple of hours south.  The TLX was his tester for the week – fresh out of the gate from a media launch in Kentucky and fresh in automotive news as it barely debuted two weeks ago at the New York Auto Show.  We were lucky to catch a first glimpse.

The next stop on our tour took us to the picturesque Susquehanna River where recreational fishermen and boaters were taking advantage of the unusually warm and humid April afternoon.  There were so many visitors, in fact, that we had to travel another couple of miles up the road to a grassy picnic area in order to find parking that would accommodate everyone.  Chris’ Legend GS rolled its 150,000th mile at precisely the designated spot – arrival at the boat ramp.  A few more folks had showed up for the party, including Marc from New Jersey in a pristine 42,000-mile 1995 Legend coupe, Karna in a 2001 Honda Prelude SH, and Jaysen and Davey in their Legends.

I got the chance to take the wheel of a couple of those cars and it’s always a treat when a friend entrusts me with his or her pride and joy.  Chris had arranged for our group to visit “Legends Vineyard” in Churchville, Maryland.  For $7, we were able to sample about 10 different wines.  It seemed appropriate that most of the cars parked out front during our visit were Legends!  A few of the other guys had to depart shortly thereafter, but Kevin, Chris, and I dined at MacGregor’s in downtown Havre de Grace where I sampled the most popular menu item:  crab cakes.  They were divine.  These pics are for you foodies!  (Looking at you, Brad and Tim)

Tartar sauce & cocktail sauce on the side.  That potato, though!

As the sun set on our busy Saturday, we admired the scenery from the Havre de Grace Promenade at the waterfront.

Sunday’s events were a lot less structured in nature, and that made for a nice low-key day.  Chris & Kera served up scrambled eggs, sausage, & toast which I washed down with some super-smooth chocolate milk from a dairy up the road in Pennsylvania.  Chris and I decided to check out one of the local salvage yards but it had only 3 Legends in inventory and they were already pretty well picked-over.

It was already time to start making our way toward the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, so we cruised down I-95 toward the city, stopping for a bite at Chop Pit Beef for lunch.  It’s a historic spot that I’d describe as “Arby’s but a million times better.”  I had the ham & beef combo sandwich with the house BBQ sauce.  To Die For!

Many thanks to Chris for being such a great host and to the many friends who came out to play.

IN OTHER NEWS…

For years (about 7, to be exact), I tried getting ahold of the license plate “ACURA” for one of my cars.  The Arizona DMV’s website always told me that the combination was unavailable, which came as no surprise.  Initially I settled for “THACURA” which had my initials in it.  But miraculously one day, it popped up.  I snagged it and proudly put the plate on my 1994 Legend GS sedan.

The story got even better this past weekend, when my friend Dan had me over to his home in Mesa to show me his new 2013 Viper.  In the trunk of the Viper was a gift for me – a vintage Arizona license plate with ACURA on it.  A real plate, mind you.  Last registered in 2001.  What are the chances?  And the best part is that the design is period correct for my car.  According to AZPlates.com, this maroon style ran from 1980 through 1997.

The DMV issued me a new registration sticker and allowed me to put the old plate back into use – some 16 years after it had last seen the roadways!

Few more pics from the Maryland trip below!

Signing Kevin’s trunk liner.  This has become a tradition.

Rear 3/4 view of the new 2018 TLX A-Spec.

TLX interior.

Too excited for my own good.

Looking northward from the bank of the Susquehanna River.

Geek mode, activate.

What better place to take a convoy of Legends?

Parked outside…

Party time at Chris’ place!  Set up like bowling pins.  We just needed another one front & center.  Maybe next time I’ll drive out and play frontrunner.

Quick pic with Marc before he headed back to New Jersey.

29 Responses to “Weekend in Maryland: A Meet & A Milestone Along the Susquehanna River”

  1. I didn’t think I could love the sedan anymore than I already do… but then, that maroon plate was affixed and the love grew even more. SO COOL!

    • Right?! I might actually have people thinking I’m the original owner of the car now, since the plate is the same age as the car itself. Awesome how things work out like that sometimes. Hope your work week is off to a splendid start. And I wish my east coast travels would have taken me a little closer to you!

  2. Such an awesome weekend. Seemed like everyone had a great time. Can’t wait to see which milestone rolls around next!

    • I have all sorts of milestones yet to be had this year. ILX 200,000. Legend coupe 555,555. TL 100,000. Maybe Integra 240,000. Just give me an unlimited Shell gas card and an open road.

  3. “Sexy cars and tasty food – that’s my kind of vacation.”
    Add all these nerdy car guys and that’s MY kind of weekend!

    Oh that TLX V looks so pretty 😍😍

    Tyson.. am I missing something? You have two vehicles with the same plate name… how is that possible?

    • Haha. And hmm, no duplicate plates here. Legend sedan: ACURA. Legend coupe: 6 SPD. Vigor: 5 CYL. NSX: SQURRL. Integra: GOTVTEC. ILX: ILX. TL: Top secret still! The only thing that happened in this post was that the design of the plate changed on my Legend sedan. It went from the modern cactus background, to the 1990s maroon background.

  4. Cool post! Seems like a great trip, and the Havre de Grace area of Maryland is absolutely gorgeous. It’s very cool that the Legend community is so tightly knit, even though it’s been 22 years since you could last buy one new. As an aside, the front end of the TLX is so much better than the previous one!

    And yes, I approve of that much more detailed food report and photo!!!

    • Yes I loved the sense of community in Havre de Grace and also the fact that a lot of the travel around that area is on scenic two-lane back roads with very few stops. Plus – so green! According to Chris, it’s only been in the last couple of weeks that the landscape has awakened from its winter slumber.

      The Legend fanclub is still very much alive – in fact, we are gearing up for the (13th annual) National Meet coming up the first week of June in Sacramento, California. You can bet I’ll be there!

  5. Good to see you again Tyson. Glad you made it back to AZ safely.

    • Likewise, Marc. I appreciated you throwing me the keys to the Legendary 1995 LS with 42,000 miles. I even kept myself from touching the metal plate on your shift knob! Gotta drive that car carefully 🙂

  6. Eric E Says:

    Looks like a fun time. . .I’ll save my disappointment with the TLX for another time. MDX grille? Really?

    • I know. Sides and back of the TLX – I enjoy. Despite the fact that those gorgeous round exhaust tips aren’t even really attached to the muffler 🙂 Just for looks! The front end – still a little frumpy in my eyes. The good news is it’ll prob only last 2 model years, then get a whole new bodystyle for the 2nd gen in 2020.

  7. Brad Heffran Says:

    The crab cakes meal looks perfect! Great, now I’m starving. Thanks a lot 😛

    • Yes! Mission accomplished! Oh man… you know what, I was talking with someone whilst in Maryland – I can’t even remember who – and we got on the subject of Kenosha, Wisconsin. I said, “I’ve been there! With my friend Brad!” And as I recall, the sangria at that Mexican joint wasn’t half bad.

  8. autoscribe1974 Says:

    Hi Chris, and congrats! And that plate, I have no words…

    • I’d forgotten that you met Chris during your visit earlier this year! The world keeps getting smaller. Thanks for reading, Mark. And I’m sure Chris will appreciate those congrats. On some future trip to the other side of the country I’d like to see your car collection.

  9. Wish I could have joined y’all! Looks like a fun time was had by all. We don’t see many Legends in the yards around here, so not surprised how your presumed Crazy Ray’s trip went… I’ll have to meet Chris up his way and check out those crab cakes!

    • I’d almost fly back out there JUST for the crab cakes. Try ordering something like that at a restaurant in Arizona. For that matter, try ANY seafood in Arizona. Lol. It has to get trucked in from hundreds of miles away and could probably never compare to what you guys get along the coastline. I saw a pic of your M3 sideways on the track. I would expect nothing less 🙂 Sounds like we both had weekends doing what we love, haha.

  10. Looks like loads of Acura fun! That old-school AZ plate is a nice touch to the ‘sedan. TLX looks hot, but I can’t stir up any interest for the lack of a third pedal. 😦

    • I know, darn it all! A real shame since Honda & Acura have historically put out some of the best manual transmissions in the business. (Acura, are you reading this?) Lol.

  11. First I’d like to say glad you had a good time. But… since when do you believe any event like this is not worth taking along one of your own? 😉

    BTW nice find on the vintage “Acura” plate. Still have both my original maroon “HIP” plates (one still new). Not a fan of the latest trend of non-embossed flat plates though.

    I hear California is re-issuing their vintage plates for anyone interested… anything to turn a buck I suppose.

    Let’s do a contest I’m going to guess your TL’s plate: “Acura II” or “NOT A ILX” ?

    • So this brings up a question. HIP is on the TSX, and the TSX didn’t come out until 2004. The maroon plate was discontinued after 1997. What vehicle wore it when first issued to you? The 93SE, before it became LLP? Inquiring minds want to know. The TL plate is a pretty good one, I think. About 4 weeks from now I’ll be able to share it with everyone.

      • My first new car (no laughing please) was a ’77 Camaro that I drove here from back east. It was the recipient of the maroon plates in ’79.

        Eventually they migrated to the 89 SE-i and ultimately landed on the TSX.

        Actually I was first issued the generic AZ yellow & green plates but within 2 weeks after ordering the personalized plates the maroon showed up instead…

  12. Such a fun trip. That TLX though, I think it looks pretty sharp!

    • Yeah it’s not too shabby. I think I’m just a sucker for that color more than anything else! Maybe we’ll get one of those babies in the PHX fleet in the not too distant future. Hi Davis! Pretty please! Haha

  13. Loving the vintage number plate Tyson, such a great fluke that it came available and that Dan actually had a plate he was willing to surrender. What a great friend! Hope your week is going well!

    • Thanks Adam! It’s been a great week. I just got checked into my hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada where I’ll be attending a 3 day Acura NSX convention called “WestFest.” We have about 60-70 cars coming, I think. Should be fun. Hope your week is great too.

  14. I held out on reading these posts until I had some down time, when I could absorb all the details — which are many! Well done. And I love that you ate at MacGregor’s! The authentic license plate is almost too good to be true. You have great friends!

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