Archive for the Misc Travel Category

Beyond the Border in Banff: Canadian Rockies Hikes & “RAD Garage” Visit

Posted in Hikes, Misc Travel, Vigor on August 13, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  566,458

Trip Distance:  3,000 Miles Flown via WestJet

I fell in love with Alberta, Canada this past weekend.  The scenery, the food, and more than anything else, the overwhelming hospitality of the people there really swept me off my feet.  I was able to spend 4 days and 3 nights exploring the area – an idea hatched back in April that would give me the chance to reconnect with a long-time friend who lived in the area as well as see some of Canada’s most breathtaking features of the Rocky Mountains.

From the moment I landed in Calgary after my flight from Phoenix on Thursday afternoon, I was whisked away by Jeff and Lucas to Banff National Park about 90 minutes to the west.  While I snacked on snacks in the backseat of Jeff’s Mazda 3, I got a chance to learn a little about the area and enjoy the scenery along the way.  After entering the park, we made our way to a trailhead at Hector Lake.

The 40-minute hike required us to cross the a river multiple times, but I didn’t mind getting my sneakers wet because I felt like I was living in a postcard-perfect landscape.  We also made a stop at Peyto Lake, with its characteristic turquoise blue water and an upstream glacier.

My wake-up call in Calgary at Jeff’s place on Friday came as the clock struck 4:30 a.m., which was 3:30 a.m. my time.  I was a bit of a zombie as we made our way back to Banff, but when we parked at Lake Louise, my eyes lit up with the scenery:  The 127-year old “Chateau” hotel overlooks what has to be one of the most gorgeous natural wonders in the world.  We were surrounded by 360-degrees of pure perfection.

Luckily, my shoes had dried out overnight because they were about to get some pretty hardcore miles put on them.  We took the trailhead alongside the lake that started an immediate ascent – initially a moderate grade with pavement, then gravel, then becoming eventually a narrower pathway that zig-zagged its way up the mountainside.

Our destination was the Devil’s Thumb – a scenic lookout point about 3,000 vertical feet above the lake itself.  One waypoint along the path was the Lake Agnes “tea house” – a log cabin structure where they serve food and drink provisions.  From the tea house, the level of technicality grew and at some points of the hike, I scrambled on all fours to get traction and work my way up the mountainside.  The panoramic view from the top of Devil’s Thumb was 100% worth it!

We hadn’t yet burned all our energy or daylight by the time we returned back to ground level, but we recharged our batteries a bit by enjoying the view from lounge chairs before hitting up another short hike, to Silverton Falls.  Jeff introduced me to the town of Banff itself – crawling with tourists like me.  Of all the dining options, Mexican food sounded best to me so we stopped in at a saloon-themed place called Magpie and split a delicious pulled pork enchilada with some chips, salsa, and guacamole on the side.

The rest of the weekend was spent right in Calgary, where the sun didn’t peek out from behind the clouds on either Saturday or Sunday, but that was perfectly fine with me – I enjoyed the temperatures and the light drizzle.  In perfect fate, there was a “Taste of Calgary” culinary event taking place in the Eau Claire part of town so we took advantage of the chance to indulge.  The buffalo chicken poutine was to die for.

Capping off an already-incredible weekend was the chance to shake hands with someone who I’ve idolized from the automotive community for a few years now:  Rick from RAD Garage.  Rick’s detailing “theatre” made from his 2-car garage in suburban Calgary is a place of dreams for anyone who takes pride in maintaining the condition of his or her vehicle.  What started 9 years ago with the installation of a tool chest and the hanging of a few photos has transformed the space into a comprehensive mecca of detailing paradise.  Every product, every brush, every solution for every type of detailing challenge resides there.

An Adams product for every need – and then some.  My favorites were the Cars & Coffee, and the Pumpkin Spice spray.

My friend Zach was kind enough to shuttle me to Rick’s place in his 272,000-kilometer 1994 Acura Vigor GS – I felt right at home from the passenger seat.

Canadian-spec cars got heated seats, heated mirrors, and a trunk ski pass-through as standard equipment!

Rick and I had the chance to share a bit of Q&A for our respective channels and I enjoyed picking his brain a little about how his garage had evolved over the years.  Here is the video that he put together:

And here’s my version:

I enjoyed a phenomenal couple of days with the people and places of Canada.  It was enough to make me not want to come home – or at least to start thinking about making another epic road trip to our northern neighbors from behind the wheel.  Maybe I’ll be able to set something up soon.

Arriving Hector Lake

Peyto Lake

View looking upward to the canyon above Peyto Lake

Agnes Lake

Jeff showing the way as we ascended toward Devil’s Thumb

A friend pulled up my location on “Find My Friends,” and sent me a screen shot.

Making the descent

Lake Louise in the background

Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Banff

Walking tour of Calgary with Jeff

Know what that is?  The elusive Acura 1.7 EL!  We didn’t get those in the States.

Riding to Rick’s in Zach’s Vigor

I loved the foam drawer liners in the toolboxes at Rick’s – custom fit for each tool present.

Overview of Rick’s garage

Zach’s Vigor

“French Toast Pie” (and a bag of bacon) for breakfast at Chix in the East Village of Calgary

Calgary Public Library internal architecture.  Amazing innovation!

Mountains, Beaches, & Cheers: MA, NH, & ME Three-State Weekend Adventure

Posted in Misc Travel on July 28, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (S2000):  44,444

Trip Distance:  500 Miles

This past weekend, I got my Rocky Mountain High!  Err, I mean Appalachian Mountain High.  I guess I need to re-write a version of John Denver’s 1975 catchy song to apply more appropriately to region that I visited.  Either way.  In a matter of a short 48-hour summer vacation, I checked off a lot of boxes:  Three new states, some roadside destinations, a spirited cruise in a Honda S2000, a quick dip into the Atlantic Ocean, and a crash course in U.S. history at one of the most iconic cities in the nation.  I’d say it was a success.

The trip was all made possible to my friend Conor, who recently bought a beautiful home in Boston’s “South End,” just minutes away from all sorts of attractions and entertainment.  I traveled via American Airlines – both ways at 5 hours each in a middle seat, mind you – but still got to spend some time behind the wheel during a 500-mile tour of New England in Conor’s beautiful Silverstone Honda S2000 6-speed.

Our main destination for Saturday was New Hampshire’s famous “Mount Washington Auto Road,” a 7.6-mile, 11% graded, mostly-paved two-laner that snakes its way up to a summit at 6,145 feet in elevation.

The S2000 wagged its energetic tail at the opportunity to exercise VTEC and completed a 44,444 mile odometer reading as we approached the Toll House via New Hampshire’s Highway 93 as well as the Kancamagus Route 112.  Conor let me take the wheel for the ascent, and I gripped the wheel tightly – much like during the Pikes Peak drive at NALM in Colorado last July.  Pikes, by the way, was 14,000 feet.  The Rockies don’t mess around.

While locals lamented the apparent heat wave, I was enjoying the temperatures and they got even better once we reached the summit, a full 20 degrees cooler than at the base of the road.  We got the chance to wander around and admire the view.  Oddly, when I signed in to the guest book, the entry just before mine was that of a tourist visiting from my hometown in Utah.  The world is way too small.

After a quick fill-up in Conway, we took to the backroads and car-swapped with other friends who had joined for the ride.  I got to row the gears of a BMW 340i xDrive for about 70 miles as we made our way toward the small southern Maine town of Ogunquit.  It’s a seaside destination popular for summer homes and weekenders who come up from the big city for a bit of fresh air.  We dined at Rose Cove right in the heart of town, then walked down Beach Street to catch the view of the Atlantic right at sunset.  Fittingly, we went to a little bar called “Maine Street” to cap off the night.

Sunday I got my dose of U.S. history as Conor introduced me to sights like Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, Fenway Park, and the Old State House (built in 1713, and still standing today although it’s dwarfed by skyscrapers on all sides).  But perhaps the most exciting destination for me was the set location for the filming of the TV series “Cheers” which starred Ted Danson and Kirstie Alley and ran from 1982 through 1993.  Cheers had over 200 episodes and became one of America’s favorite TV series.

The location where was filmed, in Beacon Hill, was formerly known as a bar called Bull & Finch.  Today, it’s renamed Cheers Bar and has two different attractions:  The downstairs bar which served as the set for most exterior shots, and the upstairs bar which was the interior set.  I passed on ordering a “Norm’s Pilsner,” but enjoyed wandering through the gift shop and pulling up images from the TV show to try and figure out if I could place their modern-day settings.

All-too quickly, it was time to make my way to the airport for the long haul back across the country.  I’m pleased to report that I aced the crossword puzzle in one of the back pages of the American Way Magazine while aboard the Airbus 321 that brought me home.  Maybe I’m ready for a run at being a Jeopardy contestant after all.

Here are a short video and a few more pics from the adventure.

Arrival at Boston airport on Friday night

Getting one of Conor’s babies out of storage.

Conor’s parents have great taste in automobiles.  I can see where he gets it.  The TL pictured here has over 270,000 miles on it.

Approaching the Toll House at Mount Washington.

Claim to fame from atop the summit:  A 231-mph wind reading.  Which I guess is the highest ever recorded, if you don’t count hurricanes?  I’m not sure where the logic is here but I’ll take it.

Group shot from atop Mount Washington.

Despite multiple warnings about brake temperatures, the Volkswagen Atlas driver ahead of us was roasting his brakes because we could smell them the whole way down.

Hehe, this Legend didn’t really go to MW, but it can pretend.

First time in Maine!

Night life in Ogunquit at Front Porch Piano Bar.

The light fixtures were inverted microphones.

Conor’s street in Boston, with, you guessed it.  A TSX.

Sunday brunch spot.  The “hash” was amazing.

Tyson, Patrick, Brendan, and Conor

Boston skyline

The Old State House has been around for over 300 years.  It was the site of the Boston Massacre.  Today, you can enter the subway from its basement.

Outside Cheers bar

Heading down the the stairs to Cheers

Tyson, Corey, Conor

Barn Finds & Egg Hunts: Easter Holiday Weekend in Utah

Posted in Car Show, Misc Travel, RLX, Utah on April 24, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (RLX):  23,456

Trip Distance:  $80 Round-Trip Flight (Gasp)

With all the fancy paint jobs and gleaming chrome at the 34th annual Easter Car Show in Hurricane, Utah last Saturday, the car that most stood out to me was in fact the dirtiest.  It was a 1963 Chevrolet Impala that had literally been pulled from a 20-year-slumber in a barn in Milford, Utah the day prior.  The only things touched prior to its entry in the car show were the tires, which needed replacement in order to facilitate transport.

A registration renewal sticker on the back license plate confirmed – this car was last on the road around September 1999.  I was a senior in high school at that time.  It seems like eons ago.

Even the interior remained filled with dust and had a crusty paperback book sitting on the backseat.  There is something so fascinating about a “barn find” vehicle – a certain mystique, like the feeling of encountering buried treasure.  I’m sure it took a lot of restraint for the owner, Brent Pearce, to resist wiping off the dashboard or at least running a vacuum through the carpet.

I neglected to take a look at the odometer (I know, of all things) but given this car’s condition, it looked to be a low-miler.  I’m sure it will take some time, effort, and money to get its V8 engine to awaken from a deep 20-year-slumber.

My second favorite thing about the car show was this $6 sloppy joe.

I had an enjoyable weekend in southern Utah with family and friends, especially since mom (pictured below) let me borrow her “new” Crystal Black 2016 RLX as my rental car for a few days.

I enjoyed tooling around my old digs and doing it in style.  The seat belts make a satisfying “tug” at you when you buckle them, and when you take a corner at a moderately high speed.  Fit & finish are top notch, and the audio system rocks.

The other noteworthy vehicle at the show was my brother’s 1954 Ford F-100 pickup.  It’s powered by an engine from General Motors, which is a little odd.  The supercharged “LT4” V8 was tuned to 650 horsepower by Blake Foster from Speed Tech Performance.

Body work is perfect, and that “Snapper Rocks” paint color is one of BMW’s offerings.

Here’s a short walkaround along with Q&A with Blake who was there representing his business.

We got the family together on Sunday morning for a 500-egg (!) Easter hunt.

Luckily some of the eggs were bigger than my 4-month-old niece Ava, so they were easy to spot.

Thanks to my friends David and Matt for their recent visit!

Have a great one!

Flicks for Days: Visit to the Sundance Film Festival 2019 in Park City, Utah

Posted in Misc Travel, Utah on January 30, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (SLX):  178,483

It’s rare for me to get on a plane, but somehow I still find a way to get my dose of high-mileage even when I do.  My friend Matt picked me up from the Salt Lake City airport last Friday in a 333,000 mile Honda Pilot.  Now that’s my kind of shuttle.

Once a year, each January, a piece of the cinematic world descends upon and revolves around a small ski town about 30 miles east of Salt Lake City, Utah in the Wasatch Mountains.  The main street of Park City Utah bustles with celebrities, media, and film-goers as over 100 independent films are shown over the course of a 10-day festival.

The Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States.  It draws nearly 50,000 attendees per year and has been around for over 40 years now.  Acura came into the picture in 2010 as a major sponsor along with Chase Sapphire, YouTube, Stella Artois, and other companies.  This year, I scored myself a media credential to attend the festivities as a journalist.

In all, I spent 2 full days in northern Utah being a part of some of the events – and action-packed they were!  My seatmate on Friday afternoon’s 90-minute flight from Phoenix to Salt Lake was working on a film script via laptop computer.  I made it to SLC that evening in time for a reunion with AcuraConnected‘s Chris Tobias as well as a local friend named Shaun.  Another friend, Chandler, flew in later that night.

Our day on Saturday morning started out with an ascent up Parley’s Canyon on Interstate 80 in Shaun’s RDX.  The traffic approaching Park City – a place accustomed to a mere 9,000 resident population – was heavy, and we knew it would be.  The hub for press credentialing was the Marriott hotel on Sidewinder, so we checked in there briefly before making our way to Main Street.

Park City’s beginnings started as a silver mining boomtown in the 1800s, but today the community thrives thanks to its ski industry and year-round recreation.  Most of the infrastructure along Main – and other adjacent streets – is completely overtaken for Sundance.  Entire art galleries are cleared out and every inch of square footage is replaced with hospitality venues for the thousands of people who will come pouring in.

The Acura Festival Village – a large but temporary set-up – was comprised of a few tent-like structures, a public bathroom, and a trailer where interviews & panels were being held.  On display out front were 5 Acura models including the NSX, MDX, RDX, TLX, and ILX (the latter 4 in A-Spec trim).  Chris, Chandler, and I had omelets at The Bridge Cafe to fuel ourselves up for a busy day before making the rounds.

Luckily for me, I had my heaviest winter coat and some well-insulated shoes, because despite the fact that the sun was shining, our max temperature for the day didn’t go beyond freezing.  A helpful reprieve was the “hot beverage” bar at the Acura village, where I picked up a cocoa and we participated in a photo booth & interacted with a few friends from the Acura leadership team.

The Egyptian Theater nearby, completed in 1926, had a crowd & line out its doors for the entire day.  A variety of other theaters throughout the Park City area were also bustling with similar activities.  Our press credentials gave us access to a balcony-level view of Main Street at one of the venues where we hung out and enjoyed the scenery.

We took a break from the epicenter of activity to catch an Uber over to the Utah Olympic Park.  It was built between 1991 and 1997 and later hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.  It features a ski jump, bobsled track, and other infrastructure that supported the Olympic activities of 17 years ago.  Salt Lake City, by the way, is in the running for the 2030 Olympics too, so all that equipment may get used again.

Another destination on our list for the day was a high-end resort nestled high up a mountain road called the St. Regis at Deer Valley.  Standard room rates there start at around $700 per night.  On the plus side, the hotel does have a free cocoa & s’more bar in the main lobby.  I fixed a tasty hot chocolate complete with chocolate bits, marshmallows, and whipped cream to sip on while we enjoyed the sunset from the lounge.  I don’t know if the pool was heated, but it sure looked inviting.

Here’s where our logistics took a little snag:  An incoming Uber from Park City that was supposed to arrive in 6 minutes was seemingly stuck, and 20 minutes later, we decided to abandon wheeled transportation altogether and walk the mile and a half downhill on a snowy sidewalk.  It was actually not all that bad.

Our arrival back on Main was just in time for a somewhat comical attempt to find dinner.  We approached six different restaurants about our wishes to get a bite to eat.  One told us there was a 3-hour wait, and a few told us we were simply out of luck unless we had a reservation.  Finally, we happened across “Flying Sumo” which seated us in about 45 minutes and served up a tasty plate of teriyaki salmon.

We spent the evening back at the Acura Festival Village for a party hosted in conjunction with IMDb and 3 cast members from the Showtime series “Shameless.”   It was a rockin’ event, complete with energetic DJ’d music on the patio, beverages from Stella Artois, and a swag bag for every attendee.  Chandler got a little star-struck when he saw Shanola Hampton, who plays Veronica Fisher (“V”) in Shameless.  He was able to get a selfie with her.

The night grew late and we’d spent a full day on our feet, so we summoned a Lyft and made the descent back to Salt Lake for the evening.  It was a memorable way to spend the day.  On Sunday, I connected with family and friends in the Salt Lake area, and on Sunday I spent about 12 hours driving my dad’s MDX about 720 miles home to Phoenix.

There’s only one problem with all of this:  I went to a film festival and didn’t see a single film.  All the more reason to go back next year and experience it for a little more time!  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the short video & additional pics below!

“Little America” hotel in Salt Lake City

Acura Festival Village lineup with a stunning Still Night Pearl MDX A-Spec on the end

Photo from the “Winter Wonderland” photo booth

I scored tickets to a film!  Sadly, we didn’t have time to get there before it started.

New ILX A-Spec with sport underbody kit in the distance, and of course a Thermal Orange NSX

Group shot at the “Shameless” party later in the evening

The only skiing I did was on this fake billboard!

Sunday morning meet-up with Sunny and his 2014 TSX Special Edition

And then Ryan in his 128i

And Jason in his Civic Si

And Nate in his Tacoma

Ryan and I met up with friends and family members at “Legends” Pub & Grill

Dad & stepmom came to join the party, too

 

Visitors from CA, FL, and MA – and a Thanksgiving Trip to PA!

Posted in Blog, Misc Travel, NSX on November 26, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Sedan):  160,454

It’s common for me to have a guest in town from time to time, but rare for 3 to arrive simultaneously – and that’s what happened this past week when Brian, Jason, and Conor flew in to spend a few days with me and the rest of the Phoenix crew.  Brian’s from Orlando, Jason’s from San Francisco, and Conor’s from Boston.  My guest book is getting a lot of new entries lately.  I think I’m on page 27.

Conor and I started things off right with a drive to the neighborhood Starbucks in the NSX.

Jason arrived in his 1987 Volkswagen Scirocco 16-valve.  He’s had the car for over two decades and it has gone through 9 engines during its 130,000 or so miles.  The level of dedication that Jason has for his Scirocco is unmatched!  Reminds me of someone else I know!

Here’s a sneak peek at his comprehensive maintenance spreadsheet, which doesn’t just include a maintenance summary, but also miles per gallon (every fuel up since he’s owned the car) – with graphs – as well as dyno results, weight & balance information, alignment specifications, you name it.  This guy gives me a run for my money.

Other visitors stopped by just this past weekend, including my NSX-owning friend Brent and his family members from southern California.

I’m Legend-sitting for a friend for a few months.  My friend Branson left his 1995 LS coupe 6-speed with me while he has some garage improvements underway at his home in Utah.  Cayman White Pearl is such a sweet color on these cars.

The 1990 Accord EX celebrated a small milestone at 137,000 miles.  I used it as my work commuter for a couple of days.

Check out this article I wrote for ClassicCars.com

https://journal.classiccars.com/2018/11/19/how-one-car-led-to-my-lifelong-fascination-with-acura/

If you get a chance, swing on by my friend Xavier’s YouTube channel called “Sit n Clutch.”  He has some great talent in filmmaking and exceptional taste in automobiles.

Thanksgiving was a little different this year.  I haven’t talked about it on the blog before, but a health condition called hemifacial spasms has kept me on edge for a few years now – it’s an intermittent, involuntary twitching of the eye & mouth on one side of my face.  You already knew I was messed up in the head, but this just made it clinically official.  Haha.

After a great deal of research & preparation, I underwent neurosurgery last Tuesday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

For 6 days, I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in the “Oakland” area just east of downtown Pittsburgh, which was walkable from the UPMC campus.

Local friends rolled out the warmest hospitality, including my friend Carol and her husband Jeff who took me out in the Waterfront district for dinner one night.

Luckily I was prepared with my heaviest winter coat – which I don’t think I’d put on since Detroit Auto Show in 2017.

The procedure – called “Micro-Vascular Decompression” (MVD) involved the creation of a surgical access port into my cranium behind my right ear, wherein my doctor was able to go in and microscopically re-route the artery that was causing me trouble.  I was under anesthesia for over 4 hours.

But the next day, miraculously, I was released from the hospital and back to sightseeing, if you can believe it.  Even brain surgery can’t make me sit still more than 24 hours.  My friend Adam had flown out from Phoenix to keep me company and we checked out the sights.

The capstone of my visit to western Pennsylvania was a cozy Thanksgiving dinner hosted in this 1930s home in Forest Hills owned by my friend Drew.  He served up a full homemade feast.  The fire was crackling and the food was fantastic.

I hope all my readers had a great holiday!  Stay tuned for weekend adventures as I take the 1992 Integra sedan to this coming Sunday’s “Radwood” car show in Los Angeles.  It’s gonna be totally tubular.

Monterey Car Week – 2019 NSX Reveal, The Quail, and Japanese Automotive Invitational (JAI)

Posted in California, Car Show, Integra, Misc Travel, NSX on August 27, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Coupe):  563,515

Odometer (Integra Sedan):  72,199

Kids today will never understand the struggle of juggling 3 of these bad boys in the car during a road trip:  Huge compact disc albums, each holding 96 sleeves for seemingly unlimited playlist material.

How else do you think I was able to stay entertained long enough to drive 500,000 miles?  Little did I know when I picked up Jewel’s “0304” album in 2003 that I would be standing next to Jewel herself at a private concert 15 years later.  It’s one of my faves!  I loaded it back into my 6-disc CD changer just recently for good measure.

There she is, in the flesh!

Once again it was my turn to hobnob with society’s elite – even if just for a day.  As I did last year, I attended some of the “Car Week” festivities along the Monterey Peninsula in the Bay Area of central, coastal California.  The Integra got to ride out there on a transport carrier, but I caught a flight on Thursday afternoon and skipped the drive (I didn’t have time for a 24-hour round-trip adventure, as much as I would have loved to do it).

This year was the first time for a new event called the Japanese Automotive Invitational.  It’s no mystery that there is an up-and-coming appreciation for cars that historically haven’t been considered part of the “classic car” community.  Shows like the Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) and Radwood are designed around capturing some of that movement.

JAI has taken things to an even greater level.  The scene in and around Pebble Beach, California is dominated each August by supercars with six-figure pricetags.  But how cool is it that now a 1992 Acura Integra – an $18,000 car when new – received a VIP invitation to be parked in the same venue?  I was thrilled at the opportunity when it arose.

Last Thursday evening, I attended a private Acura event at the Carmel Valley Ranch.  It took me longer in traffic to drive the 80 miles from San Jose airport to Monterey than it had taken me to fly 800 miles from Phoenix to San Jose.  Gotta love rush hour – but at least I was driving a Ford Fusion Hybrid rental car that pretty effortlessly delivered 40 mpg.

The private grounds of the Carmel Ranch provided an intimate setting for around 100 attendees – select media, Acura enthusiasts (10 members like me from the NSX Club of America), Acura personnel & support teams, and the entertainment.  Four-time Grammy Award nominee and singer-songwriter Jewel Kilcher (better known as just “Jewel”) took the stage and shared her talent with the group – both in dialogue and in song.  Jewel was an engaging speaker and I was a little star-struck to be just a few steps away from her platform.

The star of the show – though Jewel was a crowd favorite – was the 2019 Acura NSX.  Now moving into the third model year of its second generation, the latest NSX is receiving suspension & chassis enhancements as well as a broader palette of available colors.  During Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda’s remarks at the podium, the cover was pulled off a vivid “Thermal Orange Pearl” NSX.  It was stunning from any angle.  I enjoyed admiring its lines while in the company of friends and colleagues.

On Friday, I met with representatives from Motor Trend to assist with load-in of show cars at the JAI show venue.  There were roughly 40 vehicles anticipated, including noteworthy models like the Nissan GT-R, Infiniti Q45, Lexus LS400, and a few Acuras:  My Integra GS-R, a 1990 Legend LS coupe, and a Formula Red NSX.  Over the course of the next couple days, many friends stopped by the display and sent me pictures of/with my car.  I especially loved the phone of automotive journalist Jason Cammisa (bottom right).

My next stop on Friday was The Quail Motorsports Gathering.  For 16 years, The Quail has brought out some of the world’s most famous and exotic vehicles.  Tickets are limited in availability and usually priced upwards of $600 apiece, if that tells you anything about how exclusive the venue is.  But for many, the event isn’t just about the cars.  It’s also about the culinary pavilions and opportunity to bask in an environment of manicured lawns and important (or at least wealthy!) people.  I felt out of my league but enjoyed myself either way.

Within 24 hours of picking up my rental car at the San Jose airport, I turned it back in.  This trip was the pure definition of a “whirlwind,” but an enjoyable one it was.  Enjoy a collection of photos and a video below!

I knew I was on the right track when I spotted a 2019 MDX A-Spec ahead of me on the interstate ramp.

Orange was the name of the game in all decor!

Precision Crafted Cocktail, anyone?

Actor Jesse Metcalfe was one of the event’s attendees

An orange so juicy I want to lick it.

Jewel behind the wheel of the NSX.

NSX Club of America Vice President May “May Purple” Lee.

Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda

Automotive journalist Carlos Lago & his wife

I’ll take it!

Nightly stay at the Hyatt Regency Monterey

The Infiniti display near Pebble Beach at the Japanese Automotive Invitational

This weather was a shocker, especially when coming from August in Phoenix.

More from the Infiniti display.

My friend Jerry’s 1990 Legend LS coupe at JAI

Arriving The Quail and seeing a lineup of friends’ NSXs

Acura was giving away orange hats at The Quail.

With Charles Koch from Acura Shows & Exhibits, and fellow NSXCA member Ed Somers

With Motor Trend’s Karen Brown at JAI

Couple quick sidebars:  Thanks Jhae for the limited edition pin!

And I saw this 1G CL on craigslist.  Did you know that if you rearrange the letters in an ACURA emblem, it can spell CAR?  (see top left).

Have a great week!

Travel News Bits: St. George, Prescott, Canyon Lake, & Upcoming Monterey

Posted in Accord, Integra, Legend, Milestones, Misc Travel, Road Trip, Vigor on August 20, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  563,514

Odometer (Vigor):  111,707

Hours (Boat):  4,000

Trip Distance:  225 Miles

Let’s get up to speed on some of the last few weeks’ activities as summer winds down here in Arizona.  In late July, some friends and I traveled to southern Utah for a few days at my brother’s newly-remodeled home. The pool was pretty inviting!

Headed northbound in Kyle’s 2008 Pontiac G8 GXP 6-speed.

James drove up in his tester of the week, the 2018 Accord.

We also took a quick jaunt to the mountains of Payson, Arizona a couple of weeks ago with 8 attendees and 6 cars, including 3 Acuras, a Mazda, a Pontiac, and an Infiniti.  Leading the pack in power and presence was Vlad’s 2017 NSX, recently customized with performance exhaust downpipes from Science of Speed.  I was happy to bring up the tail – my 1994 Vigor is a fun and nimble machine, but its tired suspension, old Michelins, and 176-horsepower motor were no match for the others in this group.

Lunch at Prescott Brewing Company.

Fueling up at the Mobil in Wickenburg.

After 3 years of ownership, I finally had the Vigor’s upholstery worked on.  The driver seat “Cognac” leather was torn along the side bolster, so I had Naro from TrimFit in Phoenix clean it up for $250 last week.  He succeeded masterfully.

I also got around to having a lot of small dings removed from the 1992 Integra GS.  Jorden of Anytime Dent had the car for about 4 days and cleaned up every panel.  It came out looking perfectly.  I snagged a pic while at Starbucks parked next to a 1989 Legend.

This past Saturday, we took Kyle’s new (well, 1993 model year) boat out to Canyon Lake which is about an hour away from my place.  Contrary to popular belief, Arizona does have its fair share of lakes and waterways.  This one is a reservoir formed by the Salt River which is Phoenix’s primary water supply.  The spot is noted by the red marker at top right here.

I tried my hand at riding the tube.  Two days later, I realize I must have been clutching to it pretty aggressively because my arms are realllllly sore.

And yesterday, I took the Legend GS to church and it rolled 160,000 miles.

My Integra GS-R is getting ready for a trip to the California Coast.  It will be featured as one of about 40 cars in Pebble Beach at the inaugural “Japanese Automotive Invitational” show this Saturday 8/25 and Sunday 8/26.  The space belongs to Infiniti, who has partnered with Motor Trend to bring everything together.  Participating vehicles are being brought in from across the nation, including an exceptionally clean 1990 Legend LS coupe from Florida with only 54,000 miles on it.  Pick up is anticipated for sometime this week!

I’ll be attending part of the ‘car week’ activities as well, as I’m scheduled to attend an Acura private reception this Thursday at the Carmel Valley Lodge.  I’ll be flying in and out of San Jose.  I’ll bring you a full report next week.

That’s a wrap on recent news for now!

Check out this plexiglass magazine display that I picked up!  Soon to be fastened to a wall inside my house or in the garage.

Looks like a car-party at my house.

Beautiful Payson, AZ summer afternoon.

Evening meet-up with Michael (ILX) and a few other folks at Tempe Town Lake Marina.