Ft. DeSoto Event on Saturday, May 26, 2003.  Write up was done by Jim.

Even though the day was gray and cloudy, our intrepid group went out to Ft. DeSoto Park for a picnic of sorts. Everything was so up in the air, I don't think anyone knew what was going to happen, including the weather.

Your illustrious guest writer (jvrabel) started out the day thinking that we all would be leaving around 10 or 11. Well, FLS2K wanted to go get his tires balanced before the event and he was running a little behind. My wife, Susan was getting her hair done and Scottl, Hygiene Boy (Troy) and JustBlaze (Steve) were leaving Scott's house at noon. So I just sat around, twiddling my thumbs (like I usually do when I don't have anyone to play with). Finally, I decided to go to the store, pick up an overpriced bucket of chicken and head to Scott's.

When I got there, Troy was happy with his new car mod, door edge trimming on the front grill. I thought it looked really good. I saw this on S2Ki and contemplated on doing it. Troy would help out later on mine.

Steve showed up with his great new rims. WOW! Big 17" gunmetal rims with the red powercoated calipers glowing underneath. They looked great with his black/red car. We also found out that Steve's top was folding incorrectly, much like yours truly's top. Steve, you have to get that checked out.

Before we rolled to FDS, Scott wanted to go check on his blue beauty. This part makes me sad (cue the sad music). There it was, sitting at Race Related with the hood off. Engine pieces placed on four shelves next to it. It looked like someone did major heart surgery and then was called out in the middle of the procedure. Truly sad. We all know that it will rise again, better than before. For now, Scott has to look to others for his S2K fix. Tidalwdave helped him with that later. Before leaving Race Related, Troy was doing his work on Steve's grill even though Steve wasn't 100% sure about it. It looked good though. I think the jury's still out with Steve.

So we finally get to FDS to find Tidal, Quarters and Andy (our Porsche and S2Ki lurker) there. They had snagged a pavilion since the weather was crappy. Too bad they chose the "screaming/crying kid" pavilion. Excuse me waiter, check please! It was OK though. Since no one knew if we would have a grill, most brought cold sandwiches. Too bad there were like 15,000 open grills. Oh well.

We were soon joined by our Sarasota contingency. SarasotaRed (Steven), LondonRam (Guy), Kirby Krause, Bluewing, Peter Hoffius.  They had a good drive up and did not hit any weather. Today was not a day for the boot cover. Jcarlton (Jeff) and his wife Teresa showed up around the same time.

After lunch, we all sat around and BS'ed. Tidal gave some rides to listen to his exhaust. FLS2K finally showed up after "waiting for the weather to break" so he could have a nice ride over. Nice. My chase vehicle finally showed up (Susan in the stock 2002 CRV). I got to drive FLS2K's banana to listen to his exhaust. Yea! Everyone was here (almost).

We took some photos in the parking lot of everyone and before I knew it, people were leaving. It sure went fast. Tidal, Quarters, Jeff, Dave and I hung out a little longer waiting for the last of the group to show up (Lisa, Michelle, Lisa's sister and three pugs). We alternated from the freezing pavilion to the blazing afternoon sun. No happy medium. One thing did warm our hearts because love was in the air. We watched two seagulls go at it in one of the many ponds around us. WORK IT BIRD! That gull sees more action than me!

Finally, the pug crew showed up and my wife abandoned me for her friends. We hung out longer until Jeff decided to call it a day. On his way out, he ran into August who was washing the love bugs off his car. Welcome August!! Funny story. When Tidal was going to get sandwiches at Publix that morning, he saw a Sebring in the parking lot. He left a business card telling about the group. August went home and saw that we were meeting that day at FDS. Being the road warrior that he is, he set out to find us. All in the same day! Too bad he had to come to St. Pete from Brandon to meet us. Tidal and August live about 2 mins from each other, weird! Great work guys. We had saw him earlier in the day but couldn't catch up with him (he gave us the slip). We also saw a white in a parking lot at FDS. We left a card, but (s)he never joined.

After August left, we decided to pack it in. We wanted to go to the south part of the park to take some sunset photos. But, would you believe it, from the north end of the park (sunny and warm) three miles to the south end, it looked like crap. Oh well. There'll be other days for sunset photos.


Thanks again for the write up Jim!  Yeah, the rain that night and early in the morning really helped us out.  The park was suppose to have been all booked up and should have been a busy weekend. The earlier rain scared everyone away and the place was pretty much deserted. There were areas where the picnic tables were almost under water due to all the rain. The pavilions were still full, but we did find one that had a group that was a no show, so we shared it with a few other smaller groups. Parking, vacant tables, and grills were available for as far as the eye could see!

Okay, I just want to know, was there anyone besides Jeff and Andy that didn't drive my car that day? Man, we sure ran our cars up and down that street in front of the picnic area all day. Thanks Andy for the ride in your Porsche to 123mph and then slamming on the brakes, about throwing me through the windshield! Dude, learn how to drive ;-p

Thanks to the group from Sarasota for coming up!  Hope I didn't seem rude while taking photos and moving people out of the way. If you know me, I'm really not rude : )  I was only playing. I'm not rude, am I Steven?

See you guys in Boca if not before!