Saturday, 3/1/03 we had a great time! It started with the meet before the meet, originally planned as a scouting trip with maybe 3-4 others. It turned out to be a meet in it's own, with ten of us showing up at the beach in St. Pete. Quarters (Dave), FLS2K (Dave), and I (Dave/Tidalwdave), got together for the drive to the beach. Once we hit the St. Pete area, we ran across JCarlton (Jeff), who joined us for the final few miles to the meet at the beach. Once there we joined XconZ (Eric), Scottl (Scott), Hygieneboy (Troy), JustBlaze (Steve), jvrabel (Jim), and njtripface (John).

We have planned on doing breakfast, but my group was running late, then by the time we got to the beach, talked, and checked out each other's cars, it was about 11-11:30, so we went to The Hurricane and did lunch. The plan after lunch was to go to Ft. Desoto and do some scouting for an upcoming meet, but we were running late and others had plans to leave and pick up wives/girlfriends, so we just went for a very quick photo shoot, then went our own ways.

As unusual, our XconZ got split and followed the wrong group out of Ft. Desoto. Quarters, FLS2K, and I tried for a while to direct him to where we were over the phone. We put a stranger on the phone to try to help him, but no luck.  Eric ended up on the other side  of St. Pete somehow!  So, our group of three went to Sloppy Johns for some pool and a few beers. We met up with Palmateer there, who I didn't know was part of our group when we pulled up. I though he worked at Sloppy Johns and was directing traffic or something! Doh, sorry!  I didn't expect him to beat us to the bar and had no idea he was already there.

So, we went into the bar and to the room with the pool table. Every time I've been to this place, this room is always cold with the a/c going. This particular day it was hot and muggy back there, no a/c.  After a while, they did turn on the air, it got better then. Soon after that and me whipping a few butts at pool (yeah, you know it, scratches count towards wins), Just Blaze and his wife showed up (Carla?). I then proceeded to show Steve how it was done and beat him in a game of pool.  Soon I will be touring with ESPN for their pool tournaments!  

Sorry if I over hyped this bar when I called it a dive bar, but hey, I like the place!

After my dominant display of pool shooting, I had no more volunteers for another game, so we headed outside to get ready for the drive to Grillmarks. Guess who shows up at the last minute?!  It's XconZ (Eric)!  I tell you what though, he was very calm and collected. If I had been driving around lost for the last hour and a half, I would not have been as calm and cool as Eric was.  That's why he's the man and we are glad whenever he can join us!  When I was his age, I didn't know my way around very well either, and I didn't even live in a city as big as the Tampa area.  My home town only had 100,000 people in it! So I do have to give Eric a lot of credit and we do enjoy having him as part of our "regular" group, even if I do pick on him sometimes : )

Well, to avoid anymore people getting lost, Palmateer lead our group (which now was made up of Palmateer, XconZ, Quarters, Just Blaze, FLS2K, and myself) to Grillmarks. Once there we meet the rest of the group.  Below is a list of the others we meet up with:

Sarasota Red (Stephen) and wife Vivian


LondonRam and wife Cheryl

joser and wife Bobbie


jcarlton and wife Teresa


Scottl and his wife/girlfriend (sorry, I forgot)




jvrabel +1

Hope I didn't forget anyone, that's 19-20 total right? We got together and lined up for our drive. We stayed together for the most part and went to Sand Key Park for some photos. The fog and low clouds were getting worse by now and there wasn't much good lighting left for the day. We lined up the cars for a shoot inside the park, then made our way for the park exit. Once we were at the exit, all off us stopped and waited for our photographer to be taken to a nearby bridge where she'd wait and take photos of us driving up the bridge. During the time she was being dropped off, our group was still lined up at the park exit, holding up all kinds of traffic and drawing attention to ourselves (man, I hate that attention). Once our car got back from the drop off, it was time for 19 of us to exit the park. We had on S2000 pull out and block oncoming traffic from one direction, and another S2000 pull out and block from the other direction. They did a very good job!  Our group left the park as one!

We made our way up the bridge and past the photographer, but once past, we had no idea what the plan was. Our lead guy (Quarters), took us on a tour of an apartment complex parking lot, as we drove into the lot, circled, regrouped, decided on a plan, and then left. We then drove through the beachfront of Clearwater. Engines revving, horns honking, and waving as a big crazy group, again drawing unwanted attention to ourselves : )

Next up was a photo shoot at the end of a road with a gazebo at the end, overlooking the water. It was a nice spot, but the weather wasn't the best, but I feel we still got some nice shots. Somehow we ended up losing a few of our group, so the photo shoot was a few short.

After that, it was off to Grillmarks for dinner. We had a great time eating, drinking, and just talking while taking it easy after a long day. Thanks to Pappy and Red Blur (both named Nick), for their hospitality.

I'd also like to thank Jeff for the CD! Thank you to Troy for beating me to the Aaaooogaaah horn that I've been trying to find on the internet : (  There's one more thing I can't add to my car because it's already taken!  Oh well, I may still get it anyway, it's way better than the "beep" stock horn we get. Thanks to Palmateer for guiding our lost Eric (Palmateer, where do you go after the Sand Key Park shoot?).

Also, a BIG THANKS to all those that showed up and made this a great meet!  We were fortunate to have not gotten rained on, even though it was cloudy and foggy at times, we didn't get a drop all day!  It sure was nice having the top down all day! Let's do it again!

Click on the photos in the left frame to open up a larger image here.