ALL ABOARD!! The DMA is right on track with our annual 2009 Fall Foliage Tour! This year, the DMA selected beautiful and historical Lancaster P.A. as our location! Surrounded by great scenery, Amish heritage, and some of the most incredible history of the American railroad system, this year's event proved to be a very exciting weekend with tons of fun things to see and do all weekend long. Watch out for that horse and buggy... Hear that whistle blow... The DMA is in Lancaster, and READY TO GO!
DMA events continue to grow in popularity and attendance every year. This year we had 26 DeLoreans and over 50+ people attend, making it one of our largest Fall Foliage Tours so far!
The DMA officers were kind enough to provide a huge list of things to do and see in the local area to the point that almost half of the 50+ people who attended the event took the day off on Friday and came out early to spend the day in P.A. and see more of the sights.
We started out by going to "The Green Dragon", which is a unique market place with hundreds of vendors selling ANYTHING you can imagine!
After shopping our hearts out with all the great deals at the Green Dragon market, we headed over to Lititz, P.A. to tour the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery.
This historic bakery was established in 1861 and offered a first hand look at not only the history of the company, but also many interesting facts about the history of the town of Lititz.
Revolutionary in his time, Mr. Sturgis believed that while soft pretzels were very tasty, that a hard pretzel would be just as popular. He left his original employer after 10 years and opened this now famous Bakery which produced BOTH hard and soft pretzels.
The pretzel bakery tour was AMAZING! We learned so many interesting facts and got to see how things were done the old fashion way... BY HAND!
Everyone who took the tour got an opportunity to see some of the original equipment used in the every day baking of the pretzels.
As an extra added bonus, we got to use some play dough to practice rolling and twisting our own pretzels. An expert pretzel twister was the second highest paid job in town back in the 1880s earning a whopping seven cents per day and cranking out 40-50 pretzels per minute! The DMA crew was not quite as fast to crank out pretzels... but we tried!
With the completion of the tour, we were all given official "Pretzel Twisting Certificates" which validate our new skill set. Sadly, twisting pretzels is now an automated job done by machines, so our certificates will be mostly just for show.
After the pretzel bakery, it was time to head to our hotel and check in. Keeping in the railroad theme, the "Red Caboose Motel" that many of us choose to stay at offered a VERY unique opportunity to stay the night in an official railroad car that was converted into a hotel room!
After checking in, we all took some time to unwind and relax. More and more DeLoreans arrived as the early evening set in.
Next on our agenda was dinner at Lapp's Restaurant. The DMA officers had picked a great place for us all to hang out and get an awesome meal. We managed to fill half the place, but the hostess was kind enough to give us eight tables all in the same part of the restaurant, so mingling between dinner courses was not an issue.
After dinner, many members headed back to the hotel to continue to chat and catch up while a few brave souls battled the rainy weather that hit that night and went on the local "Ghost Walk Tour"
After a good nights sleep on Friday, we awoke early on Saturday to a bit of a drizzle in the weather. No matter! We didn't let that bother us! The fun was just about to begin!
A small group of members went to the "Shady Maple Inn" which is one of the largest smorgasbord breakfasts you will ever find! The food was awesome and the drive through the Amish farmlands was simply amazing. Special thanks to Stephen and Ruthie Card for coordinating this un-official part of the weekend. Everyone who attended walked away very full, and very happy.
Since the Red Caboose Motel could not accommodate all of the DMA members who attended, we had an alternate hotel at the "Sleep Inn" just down the road. This was to be the official starting point for the driving tour. At 11:00am all of the DMA members assembled in the parking lot for last minute details, and goody bags were distributed by the DMA officers which contained not just snack foods, but other nice surprise gifts as well!
With our maps, instructions, goody bags, and two-way radios all in hand and ready to go, it was time to start the driving tour of this beautiful countryside!
The driving tour this year included a stop for lunch at a beautiful country club. As we pulled into the club's driveway, everyone stopped to stare at our cars.
The lunch buffet in the resort's main clubhouse was a perfect pit stop to fuel our stomachs for the rest of the drive. The staff was friendly and courteous as we devoured our food and got ready to hit the road again.
Continuing on with our tour, we drove through several covered bridges and passed many Amish horse and buggies on the road. Truely this was farm country and the fall colors were in full bloom for all to enjoy.
Along our drive we stopped at a small shopping village that had many stores with Amish furniture, antiques and other interesting goodies. The tour had allotted us one hour to explore on our own and search the shops for unique treasures.
Along with the shops there was also an incredible pond with an observation deck. The pond was stocked with trout and several swans were swimming around as well.
Dinner on Saturday night was at the "Good and Plenty" restaurant which specializes in Pennsylvania Dutch foods. They served us family style and all you can eat, so there was NO SHORTAGE of food!
During dinner we had several speakers ranging from the DMA officers, to Ken Koncelik and James Espey.
Dinner was fantastic, and the dessert course that followed it was even better! If you are ever in the area and have a chance to stop in and eat at the Good and Plenty restaurant, we highly recommend it.
After dinner and our guest speakers, it was time to start the raffle! The DMA has always been fortunate to get some fantastic raffle prizes from all of our supporting vendors and members. This year was no exception. We had great prizes from BTTF.COM, PJ Grady, DMC Houston, DeLorean Car Show, Tiffany Olejnik, Gary Maise, Scott McMullan, and several other people. Many great prizes were up for raffle that evening, and the winners of the items were not disappointed! It is always great to see the members and the vendor help to support the club and make it possible for us to host bigger and better events. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR KIND CONTRIBUTIONS!
Among the many coveted raffle prizes were great 1:15th scale DeLorean cars from BTTF.COM which were replica Back to the Future II cars that lit up and made sound.
While we are very appreciative of these items being donated by Stephen Clark at BTTF.COM, we would like to remind those who did not win, or members who are generally interested in ANY of our raffle items to visit our supporting vendor's websites. All items donated for the raffles are also available for sale direct form the vendors and can be found on their website.
After dinner, we decided to invade the local Sonic Drive-in! Hey... like we didn't just fill up on all you can eat food? That was not the point.
It was awesome to pack the drive-in's lot with DeLoreans. As we pulled into the parking lot, we got many spectators who wanted to check our cars out and were amazed to see so many of them in one location. We all parked and ordered a milk shake and hung out for a little while and enjoyed showing our cars off to the public.
Sunday was a "YOYO" day... "You're On Your Own". Still armed with a very well documented list of things to do in the local area, a group of about 35 of us went to "Miller Smorgasbord" for some breakfast. The food was fantastic and even though the restaurant was packed full of people we were seated and served quickly.
After breakfast some people choose to shop or head home. A group of us decided to hit the railroad museum and take a ride on an old steam train on the short line railroad!
The steam train ride was a lot of fun, and really made you think about how people used to travel by train in the United States back in the early 1900s. With exhaustion setting in and long distances to be traveled, we all said our goodbyes and began to depart. The 2009 DeLorean Mid-Atlantic Fall Foliage Tour had finally ended, but the memories from this fantastic event will live on forever.
Thanks again to the DMA officers for their hard work and energy to make this one of the biggest Fall Foliage Tours to date! See you all at the DMA holiday party!