National Acura Legend Meet 2019 Recap & Videos: 5,600 Miles Round-Trip to Florida

Odometer (Legend):  572,169

Trip Distance:  5,600 Miles

It’s about time.  I’ve been home for over a week from the longest trip I’d taken since 2016, but I’ve been trying to play catch-up.  Below is some event coverage I’ve put together already that you may wish to peruse.

If if you’re more a watcher than a reader, you can fast-forward all the way to the bottom of this post because there are 4 YouTube episodes there for your viewing pleasure a total of about 40 minutes’ worth of runtime.  How about that?  You get to experience a 13-day road trip in a fraction of the time.  You’re welcome.  Haha.

NALM – the National Acura Legend Meet – has led me to various parts over the country over the course of its now-15-year run.  From New Jersey in 2011 to Sacramento in 2017 and Milwaukee in 2012 to Houston in 2015.  Which reminds me, I need to rummage through my closet and see how many prior-year NALM T-shirts I still have.

This year’s voyage was unlike any other.  As time goes on, long-distance road trips get more challenging:  I’m older, the car’s older, parts are tougher to come by, and it’s more and more difficult to break away from work for such an extended period of time.  But the reward – or the juice, as my boss likes to say – is totally worth the squeeze.  In other words, if it’s NALM, I’ll be there.  Plan it in Tierra del Fuego if you want to.  I’ll probably drive there.

I stayed with a variety of friends throughout the trip, which took me through 7 states as I stayed on (or close to) Interstate 10 the entire way.  One night was spent in the luxurious garage of Jason from Pawela’s Garage.  A couple of days later, I got to drive the Guinness World Records “Longest Continuous Bridge Over Water” (that’s a lot of qualifiers) which runs 23 miles over Lake Ponchartrain in the New Orleans area.  I’m a sucker for “world’s largest” anything, and most of you know that about me by now.  And I got to meet a long-time blog reader and friend named Carlos in Miami who proudly showed me his stack of records on his 2005 TSX.  Thanks, Carlos!

Key West, Florida is a destination that had been on my Excel “road trip bucket list” for some time now.  It felt like something I should probably cross off since I’d already be in the same state, so my trip was lengthened by 2 days in order to allow me to visit the Southernmost Point in the Continental United States.  And that side-trip was 100% amazing.  Coincidentally, I had a couple of Arizona friends in the area who invited me on a catamaran for a sunset ‘dinner cruise’.  Thanks again for that, Hy and Linda!

I checked in for the NALM festivities during dinner on day two of the event, while everyone was chowing down on tacos at Jimmy Hula’s in Ormond Beach.  My favorite part of the program happened the next day, when our Legends swarmed Daytona Beach – on the beach itself.  Daytona is one of the few oceanfront areas in the country where you can still drive your personal vehicles on the sand.  I guess when you consider I had my Legend in Los Angeles earlier this year, it pretty much drove from the west coast to the east coast this calendar year.

And perhaps as a reward for that achievement, my car was one of five Legends allowed to park inside the showroom at AutoNation Acura North Orlando, where General Manager Rob Breedlove was gracious enough to roll out the red carpet for our entire pack of Legend fans.  He staffed the BBQ grill outside while our group was addressed by Honda Brand Culture Champion Charles Schnieber about the history of Acura and some fascinating trivia.  Thanks Rob!

All too soon, it was time to conclude our festivities with a beachside pizza party & awards ceremony.  I was awarded a certificate for having the cleanest floor mats in the group, which admittedly was a little unfair because the mats I had in the car are only used for shows and I don’t actually daily drive with them!

My last stop before making the marathon trek westward was to visit an Acura enthusiast in Jacksonville named Andrew, who I can only describe as “me, but on the east coast.”  Andrew has a significant collection of cool cars, including a Honda Odyssey, Honda Ridgeline, an Acura Legend, two Acura CLs, and an Acura NSX.  He and his wife rolled out the hospitality in a big way and I felt right at home.

On my way home, I stayed another night with Jason in New Mexico – this time, celebrating a milestone with him.  (We’re kind of making this a habit).  This time, the achievement happened in his now-100,000 mile 2014 Lexus IS350.  I was happy to be able to celebrate with him.

You’re all asking:  How’d the car do?   Well, it delivered 27 mpg and performed pretty flawlessly for its age and miles.  The only maintenance items worth mentioning were a bottle of power steering fluid used up, a pair of new tires installed for precaution (they’d been a worn before I even left Arizona), an oil change, and replacement of a taillight bulb.  My comprehensive fuel log is posted below – totaling about $640 in fuel expense.

And in Excel form for the nerds in the house.

When it comes to adventures, this was definitely one of the most memorable I’ve had.  And I thank you for coming along on the journey with me!

Jason’s garage

“Prada Marfa” – a worthwhile offbeat destination in rural Texas:  It’s a fake Prada store in the middle of nowhere.

This sure felt like a marathon.

Checking out my friend Michael’s TSX Sport Wagon in San Antonio

Dinner group at Flying Saucer in San Antonio

Rolling 567,890.1 on the coupe with 234.5 on the trip meter

Tire replacement needed in Tallahassee – Discount Tire had my size & brand in stock!

Carlos’ TSX and DJ’s MDX in Miami

Headed out on the “Overseas Highway” to Key West – remarkable scenery

My two-night stay in Key West – highly recommended

Southernmost Point!

Unreal sunsets on our dinner cruise

I stopped by Acura of Pembroke Pines on my way back through the Miami area, and one of the individuals I met was Jon in his gorgeous Monte Carlo Blue NSX

Sean stopped by too – he’s a NALM veteran, as he and I attended the first event in 2005 together!

Sunrise view from host hotel, Coral Sands Inn, in Ormond Beach

Daytona Beach scenes

Chris and his 1994 Legend GS 6-speed.  He authored the last post on this blog.

“World’s Most Famous Beach”

No car club event is complete without plenty of good grub.

Dealer day photos

Presentation from Charles, with my Legend in the foreground

Houston meet-up with Josh and Mark

Home at last!

For your viewing pleasure!

Episode1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

17 Responses to “National Acura Legend Meet 2019 Recap & Videos: 5,600 Miles Round-Trip to Florida”

  1. Hello Tyson. You definitely needed new tires. Those tires may be functional in dry weather like Phoenix has but you are asking for a heart attack in Florida’s wet weather. 😦 I got two new front tires a couple of days ago myself. First time I ever get Pirellis. I am very happy with them. 🙂

  2. Andrew was less than 2 hours away and didn’t bring that G1? Awwww c’mon!

    • I know, when we had the realization that none of our attending cars were G1s, in hindsight we regretted not asking Andrew to bring his red coupe! Although, the black G2 was pretty sweet too.

  3. Wow — what a trip! I’ll check out the YT vids as well. When you say this was the longest since 2006, is that time wise, mileage, or both? I remember you doing that big Alaska trip in recent years, which I figured was more miles anyway.

    • That comment about 2006 was in reference to the longest trip (time and mileage wise) since 2006 for the Legend coupe specifically. In 2016 I took the ILX to Alaska (as you mentioned) which was 16 days and 8,000 miles.

  4. Absolutely fantastic post! Between the post itself, the articles, and the videos, I feel like I was along for the ride. It was so cool seeing the old Legend coupe running at highway speeds and criss-crossing the nation. Some of the views (especially the skies in the Florida Keys) were absolutely amazing. One of my favorite parts was the “Legend Parade” on the beach. And that had to be the most rain your Legend has seen in quite a while!

    Given that you’ve had the car since the early 2000s, what would you say the biggest difference is behind the wheel now as opposed to when you first bought it?

    • I’m glad you liked the Legend parade! I was glad that our club member Kelsey was able to capture that. It might have been my favorite part. Honestly – to me the Legend feels so much like it did in 2003. I think one thing that’s definitely changed is that there seems to be a little more play in the gearbox, and the clutch pedal is definitely more firm to depress. The electronics, controls, and everything else still operate as new. Thanks for reading and watching!

  5. FANTASTIC summary of the “marathon” to FL! So much good stuff here. Every year when I read up on your NALM meets, I keep thinking I need to get in on that action. Granada black coupe, please! Glad I could accommodate on your first and last nights on the road and thank you again for helping out with the 100k on the Lex. So glad you got to drive on that Lake Ponchartrain bridge! Grandpa and I did the shorter leg via I-10 back in 2011 in PAM. I just might take her back to do it right. Happy weekend!

    • Yes happy weekend to you as well! And, if we play our cards right, I might be able to get you to a NALM in the coming future! It’s probably a lot like the SVT community – a nice sense of “family.”

  6. Hello Tyson. For the record, I have a 2005 Acura TSX. It is not from 2004 as your blog mentions. The 2005 model included satellite radio from the factory. It has been one of my favorite features of the car. Satellite radio was not available for the 2004 model year. Also, the 2005 avoided mechanical gremlins which existed in 2004 TSXs. I may be a little biased, but I believe the 2005 model was the best Tsx ever produced. 😉

  7. What a fantastic post Tyson and certainly a trip to remember – I’d love to be able to do something that distance.
    Very impressed!

  8. I’m sporadically able to squeeze in updates of you 3 blog so sorry for not replying sooner but as you know “Home Improvement” rules my life for the foreseeable future…

    In retrospect it was good Linda & I took our vacation when we did. Especially since the timing couldn’t have been better to meet up with you on the other other side of the country.

    So happy our schedules were in sync and we had time to get together! So what do you say we do it again in Tierra del Fuego? 😉

    • Haha, I’ve looked at the routes to TdF and it’s a challenging destination to say the least. But definitely I think it’s a fun idea to connect like we did. We need to get together so I can see the 00EXV6. I’m around this weekend, maybe we can align schedules (as long as you provide me a dust mask to enter the construction zone at your place).

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