Where We Go For...

Right about now, I’m starting to feel like the guy killing time tap-dancing on stage, waiting for the next act to come up, who’s running late… Let’s hope we’re on for this Saturday because I can only dance so much.

I’ve been watching the forecast for May 4 since we posted on Thursday and the weather is moving in the right direction. We may be setting a trend of always a month late, exactly like the water bill in college. Thanks for your patience with all of this. We’ve had surprisingly little hate mail about it this season’s weather delays which is nice for once. I always fear the verbal wedgie.

Where we go…

A lot of you ask where to go after E@RTC, and where to drive. Some stay at the mall where there are some new food choices that are very good. Don’t forget to move your car to a normal spot after 11. This is important otherwise you kind of look like a football-headed douche-canoe taking up two spots. Park in the South-east corner and you’re fine if you’re worried about door dings.

Most just go home… the yard pass was only good for a few hours and staying out is… just too costly. Besides, some don’t want the miles on their cars.

Some go up to Salish Lodge where you will be pampered rather nicely. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s the exterior of the lodge from the famous show Twin Peaks; not to be confused with that other “twin peaks” you once dated. She was lovely. She excelled at T-shirt.

If you’re heading up to Salish, please call the valet stand in advance 425-831-6539. Again, as a reminder, they do not let you park your own car because they are crazy-busy on weekends and can’t take the time to give you special treatment. They are the very best valets in the Northwest so treat them well. I stayed there recently and the newly-remodeled rooms are very nice! The food is fabulous. A huge shout-out to Chris and the other valets for always making us feel welcome.

If you want to do something super-cool at the lodge, get a group together and do the “Chef’s Studio” dinner with about a dozen of your closest friends. It’s where Chef Benjamin Riggs hosts a small dining room downstairs and comes out and explains what you’re eating. Surprise! I could not have been more impressed by his work and we all had a great time. He takes what he does very seriously and you will learn a lot. Thanks again Ben for an extra-special dinner.

A lot of people head down to America’s Car Museum in Tacoma to see more cars. This is the thing to do when you have people in from out of town. The museum is constantly changing their rotation of cars and it’s always improving. The food in the cafe is surprisingly good. It’s far superior to the prison-quality food served in most museums.

We have a lot of hidden spots we like to visit without a lot of fanfare. Some want to be seen in their cars while others don’t, and just want to meet up with a few friends, have some laughs, and call it a day. The trick is always about parking when considering your choices. You don’t want some dude standing on your car taking a selfie while you’re at lunch.

In case you’re wondering, yes, there was a time when we went to Barking Frog, but in spite of all our efforts to work out a great continuous relationship, they treated us like a nuisance as a group, so we stopped going. It was once our favorite spot until a different manager took over and reservations became tedious. We miss the late James Simkins a lot. We just avoid the place. There are too many other great choices.

Kirkland is full of them. Park in the library garage and nobody will bother your car. Trellis closed, at the Heathman, but a new place is about to open called the Hearth which should be good. It’s a great place to walk around. It’s kind of festive, but parking in Kirkland is otherwise a real PITA.

If you want to put on some miles, it’s fun to drive to Leavenworth. It’s about two hours each way and it’s a beautiful drive. If you’re thinking about the Cascade Loop, plan on about twelve hours from start to finish. It’s eight hours of solid driving and four hours of stops. It’s a lot of miles. It’s also fun to stay at Sun Mountain and do the wagon ride down for a ranch dinner. The views are unmatched. In Leavenworth, the hotel of choice is The Post Hotel.

I like the Whidbey Island loop, where we cross from Mukilteo to Clinton, then head to Langley, then up to Coupeville, then Deception Pass, then the Anacortes Lookout, then down to La Conner, then home via the back ways, of which there are a few. It doesn’t take all day either and it’s scenic with lots of great places to eat.

Some go to the lovely town of Snohomish, but parking is not always easy either. A few like Palasades, but it’s kind of known as the poser palace, meaning you’re not there for the food, you’re there for the entrance, which is too bad. They have lots of parking. The food is good too. We otherwise stay out of Seattle.

If you’re looking for really good food, Cunio’s in Clearview is outstanding, but not at all fancy. It’s in a tiny strip mall at a gas station. There is plenty of parking, and it’s damn good food. Take a look at the menu if you don’t believe me. Filet Mignon Sliders! Yes that’s right, F-I-L-E-T M-I-G-N-O-N S-L-I-D-E-R-S! Hey, not far away is the Maltby Cafe… but it’s a grave lot and the lines can be long. The cinnamon rolls are bigger than those twin peaks I was talking about.

I kind of like Buzz Inn Steakhouse at the Snohomish airport on a nice sunny day. It’s fun to have a cheap steak and watch terrified newbies jump out of planes followed by that massive grass slide at the end…speaking of wedgies. You can hear the screams of terror on a nice sunny day. It’s something different. No, not the best food, but it’s cheap and it’s novel.

Just remember one thing, when you go places in an exotic or rare car, be nice. Never ever treat the valets or wait staff badly. Word gets around and we learn who the jerks are who are rude and don’t tip and generally are not nice to wait staff. Yes, we get the calls sometimes when someone is especially bad.

One exotic owner got mad at hotel because the valet moved the seat. It was as if the earth just ended! Yes, we heard about that stuff. Well, it was a different driver retrieving the car who would have zero idea where the seat position was to begin with and the original driver could only guess where it was. Getting upset about that makes you look like an entire tool bag to just about everyone. Even a complete douche would call you a douche. Just be nice. It’s not that hard and you will feel better, I promise. It only takes a few to create a reputation none of us want. It’s why we have a zero-tolerance policy for the results of bad parenting at E@RTC. We’re not going to let a few ruin it for everyone.

Oh, and those of you who are nice. We hear about that too! Someone will tell me, hey such and such was super nice to us! We think it’s wonderful and you’re great ambassadors for exotic and rare cars everywhere. We do all we can to make everyone feel welcome at E@RTC even if you’re not an exotic or rare car owner. While we have to draw the show line somewhere, our goal is to always make both spectator and participant feel welcome and a part of the family. We’re all about community and with that comes a few standards of conduct, but not a lot.

Okay, the next time you hear from us is on Thursday afternoon when we make our weather call. We do it around 3:45 PM, right after the weather update for Saturday is posted. We’ve made it this far, a few more days won’t kill us. Well, it shouldn’t anyway.