2010 Year in Review

Well, yet another year goes by in our lives. This one has been a really busy one. This year brought a lot of events done with new friends from the Free State Corvette Club out of Catonsville, Maryland. When we got our Precision Red 2005 Corvette C6 in August 2009, a friend mentioned that now we need to investigate joining his Corvette club. Little did we know that it would bring more enjoyment than we ever imagined. It has given us many opportunities to get out and do things and see places around Maryland we would not have experienced otherwise. Plus, most of the money they take in is given to local charities. The 2010 total the club is donating is an astonishing $45,000.

Alan started the year off still working down in Washington DC. The drive down there was very difficult; it was 33 miles each way, down into the heart of DC, right on to the Potomac River. Brenda received her Highlander on Christmas the month before so Alan was able to use it periodically to get to work when the roads were not acceptable for a Corvette. We also ventured down to Falls Church Virginia to have lunch with our friends the Lomax’s at the Sweetwater Tavern. Best rib eye, ever. Finally, we went to go see the Los Angeles Lakers play the Washington Wizards in downtown DC at the Verizon Center. Can you guess who we were rooting for? Can you guess who won? It was a great time with great seats.


Alan started a new job with a company called Serco North America in February, so that was something to get used to. He got off to a bit of a rocky start thanks to Mother Nature. The same week he was supposed to start at the new job, the massive record breaking snow came, nicknamed Snowmaggedon hit the mid-Atlanic region. We got 60 inches of snow in a 5 day period, thus delaying his start date by two weeks. It was record breaking for a number of reasons. But we were home safe and sound and despite being snowed in a couple of times, we never lost power, water, or thank goodness, Internet.

The Corvette club more or less shuts down during the winter. There are monthly meetings but most owners have their cars in storage until the spring. The first organized club cruise was not until March 21. About a dozen cars got together and cruised up to Olivia’s restaurant on the Maryland-Pennsylvania boarder. It was great to get out, and we were anxious to do things with our car! Brenda spent that week staying at her parents so she was not in attendance, but she had a wonderful time in Timberville Virginia. She drove herself the 320 mile round trip. In his spare time, Alan was planning and plotting an addition to the deck he built last year.

With his plans in hand, Alan attended the HOA meeting in April. His plans to add a 12’x10’ additional deck were approved, so he was then able to take the plans to the next step, the County. He got the plans approved by the County as well and that was the final hurdle before ordering the materials and beginning the build. We returned to Las Vegas in April. We stayed at Caesar’s Palace for the first time. While there we saw the Cirque de Soleil show Viva Elvis, and although it was not quite as spectacular as expected, it was still an experience to see. Las Vegas is nicer in the earlier part of the year because it’s not so hot then.

Back at home we were busy with lots of Corvette events starting back up. We went to a couple of wine tastings in April, and while it was still cool outside, it still provided us with the opportunity to make new friends and get more involved in the club. At the end of April, we went to Atlantic City, NJ for the Strictly Corvette Show there. That was cool, and we got to see just about every year of Corvette ever made.
In May, Alan went to Los Angeles for a few days. While there he saw Peter Gabriel at the Hollywood bowl. He also played cards with some old classmates (and cleaned everyone out), and had a good time reminiscing. By the way, Alan and a lot of his friend’s turn 50 this year, so that should be an interesting time. At the end of May, friends had their annual
Parade & Deck Party. Hosted in historic Sharpsburg, Maryland, the party was held on Memorial Day weekend and included a great small town parade. The highlight of the event was the wreath-laying ceremony. The next day the Corvette club attended an Outdoor Shrimp Feast, attended by over 35 cars. Both were very fun, and it didn’t take long to realize that this club really likes to eat! So, after almost every event, we go to dinner, and sometimes go out for dessert also!


Alan completed the deck addition! It’s a single step up from the deck he built last year, and extends
on another 10 feet in the back. We haven’t had a lot of time home to enjoy it this year, but in the next few months, we plan to add a fire pit on the back deck so we can sit out there when it’s cold.

We went on our first Mystery Cruise with our club. This year, the annual event went to Rocky Gap Resort near Cumberland Maryland and there were about 50 cars altogether. We went on a train ride from Cumberland to Frostburg, then drove to Rocky Gap and checked into the resort. That night, we were totally surprised when an Elvis impersonator showed up and put on a very entertaining show. The next night, we made s’mores by a bonfire and the next day, we learned all about owls, as they brought some over from the wildlife preserve near there that had been hurt and rehabilitated. It was a great trip, all in all, and at the end we went to a castle and had lunch. It was a magical trip!

At the end of June, we went to see Peter Frampton also at Pier 6. He was fantastic! The band Yes was also on the bill, but we left early because Alan had to work early the next morning. Frampton was great and played all his hits.


July 3 was the Catonsville Maryland Independence Day Parade (why it was rescheduled from July 4th was a mystery to us). We were amazed at how smoothly everything went. On July 4, we had an Independence Day concert at Westminster, MD. July 10 was the FSCC picnic. The food was delicious! Of course, it rained again. I hadn’t realized it had rained so much this year.

The next week Brenda and Alan celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary a bit early. We had a night out on the Potomac River in the heart of Washington DC aboard the Odyssey Cruise Ship. This was an awesome experience. The ship is build so that pretty much anywhere you sit you have a scenic view out a window. We sat against the windows so we were able to take in all the beautiful views of our nations capitol while wining and dining. There was live entertainment and they announced our anniversary to the whole ship and we got up and danced along with the other couples celebrating their special day.

In the middle of July, we ate dinner with some good friends in the Inner Harbor and then saw B.B. King at Pier 6 in Baltimore. All in all, the concert was good and we had great seats. But B.B. is getting older, and he wound up talking a lot more than he sang, but was still very entertaining. The next night we went to Wolf Trap in Virginia, where we saw the B52s. They were great! We had great seats for our first time at this venue, and the band sang all of their hits.

The next day we left for Anna Maria Island in Florida. We spent 10 glorious days there with Brenda’s family. This time, Alan rented a scooter and we scooted up and down the streets there. July was a very busy month!

In August we had good friends from North Carolina visit for the day. They came and ate lunch with us on the new deck, where we BBQ’d hamburgers and hot dogs. Although the visit was short, we appreciate any little bit of time we get to spend with special friends during the year.


In mid-August, we went on a Corvette cruise all the way to Detroit. Michigan. This was a five-day trip. The first day was just a travel day and put us well into Ohio. The next day we all headed out to the Mid-Ohio race track. There we all took a couple of laps around the track, then some of the passengers got out (including Brenda, as she doesn’t like to go really fast) or switched into the drivers seat, and the drivers got to go a few times around the track again as fast as they liked. Alan had our car up to 106 mph on the back straightaway! We had about 18 cars in all. After the track, we had lunch and then made our way to the Detroit Michigan area. On day three, we went to Woodward Ave, where people drive their old cars up and down the street, and have a big festival there. It’s called the Woodward Dream Cruise. It rained the whole day, but that didn’t dampen our spirits (we actually brought a popup canopy which came in REAL handy). We hung in there and had lots of fun despite the rain. We saw the largest group of DeLoreon’s we’ve ever seen in one place, as well as all kinds of old cars as they traveled down Woodward Ave right in front of us. On day four, we all left Detroit and started the log trip towards home. We stopped off at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio, where Brenda watched and waved thru the glass at her favorite DJ from Sirius Satellite Radio, Norm M. Nite. He plays 1950’s oldies on the radio. And finally on day five, we were off to see the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. All in all, it was a great trip and we were happy to be part of it.

At the end of August, Alan attended VMWorld 2010, a convention for computer geeks (Brenda’s words), so we both went to San Francisco. In the daytime, Alan would go to the convention, about 2 blocks from where we stayed, and Brenda rented a mobility scooter so she wouldn’t have to walk a lot. She went shopping (shocking!) and to the Museum of Modern Art across the street. Alan got to see the band INXS at the VMwowld party where he got up close, and even had a word with the lead singer. When Alan finally had the day off on Friday, we went on a tour bus to Twin Peaks, the Mission District, The Golden Gate Bridge, and Golden Gate Park, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf, and rode a cable car. It was a real memorable trip for both of us.


Relatively speaking September was a quiet month. After all the stuff in July and August, we needed it! In early September we participated in an All-Chevy car show right here in Columbia. Towards the middle of the month we attended another car show, Corvettes for a Cure up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Toward the end of September we saw the Baltimore Ravens play the Cleveland Browns at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The Ravens won!


On October 2, Alan went to breakfast with some of his buddies in the Corvette Club and that night we went to a meet and greet for the Baltimore County Corvette Club. We met some wonderful people from the BCCC. As we went to leave their event, we discovered that we had a dead battery. A lot of the guys in this club stayed with us while someone took Alan to the Auto Parts store and bought a new battery, then went back to the parking lot and put it in for him. What a great club! We are still thanking them for what they did for us that night. The night before that we had a flat tire on the Corvette, so it was not a great two days for REDBULL.

Later in October, we went to a Roger Waters concert. We had VIP tickets, so got to eat a catered dinner before the concert, then got posters and other exclusive collectables and tee-shirts in the mail afterwards. We saw Roger do The Wall in its entirety from the fifth row. It was quite an incredible show!

A couple of days after that, we were off to Ocean City Maryland, to help with an event that’s the epitome of our club’s yearlong work. Every year the Free State Corvette Club host Corvette Weekend. The event includes a car show shows, rallies, and a parade where all the Corvettes get to drive down the boardwalk and all the people are stopped alongside the left and right sides of the boardwalk, and in the stores, and up on their balconies at restaurants and hotels waving at the cars. Everywhere we go, we make a spectacle of ourselves. It rained last year, so we were all ready for a good DRY time. It was rather windy this year, but we managed to get it together and raise thousands of dollars for our charities: Spina Bifida Association of Maryland, The USO at BWI Airport, and the Howard County Therapeutic Riding Center. A good time was had by all who went.

At the end of October, we went to Bras for the Cause, a fund raiser which was part of National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The sponsor of the event gave a dollar for every bra donated, then hung them up all around their RV Center. It was spectacular! They ended up giving over $11,000 to the cause. The bra’s were later cleaned and then donated to local women in need.

The month ended with a Toys for Tots toy drive hosted by the Shenandoah Valley Corvette Club. After the ceremony, we went on a “cruise” thru the Shenandoah Valley to look at the fall colors. This turned out not at all like what we expected. What we expected was a long, slow caravan of Corvettes through the Valley, patiently taking pictures of the beautiful scenes as we traverse up the mountainside. What it ended up being was a full-blown speed run up the mountain! That was hair-raising driving Corvettes thru the mountains there, and Brenda kept her eyes closed all the way! She started out filming the run, but as soon as the G-force creeped up, the camera went down and she retreated into survival mode. It was a great run.


For the first weekend of November, Brenda spent another week visiting her parents in Virginia. When she got back we went to the annual Corvettes for Chip Show in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It was a fund raiser in honor of Chip Miller, the man that started Corvettes at Carlisle years ago, and a long time Corvette enthusiast. We saw Lance Miller, Chip’s son, and Cris Angel’s brother J.D. who were both there to support the fund raising. There were 385 cars and they raised $11,250.

Probably one of the most rewarding things we have done this year is going to Bea Gaddy’s Family Center with the Baltimore County Corvette Club and the Baltimore County MOPAR Club in the middle of November. We had a police escort from M & T Bank Stadium to the family center, where we all brought boxes upon boxes of food for those in need in the Baltimore area. Outside the center, we were treated to some great entertainment including one group was called Smooth Teeze. They were a doo-wop group and had every person there singing along to their songs. They had a whole block full of Corvettes with people standing in line to donate. It was a delightful day!

After Thanksgiving, we all got lighted up and drove in the Westminster Parade then went out to dinner there. It was pretty cold for the people who were spectating, but Brenda in the passenger seat was all bundled up in her quilt, all comfy and cozy. Heated leather seats helped too.

We went to the Ravens vs the Tampa Bay Bucs game in late November. We left early and tailgated. Alan grilled hot dogs and sausages and ate macaroni salad and chips. It was freezing that day, but we had a good time, nevertheless. The Ravens won that game, too!