Tour of the Last Green Valley

CTAROC and the New England chapter of AROC (AONE) joined up for a fantastic lunch at Jim DeWale’s residence in Woodstock, CT. Each chapter drove a separate route, with AONE choosing to incorporate a gimmick rally into their drive. Fortualty we had a break in the previous two weeks of rain. A big THANKS! To Jim for hosting this fantastic event.

Two Roads Diverged In A Yellow Wood

Another Wallingford start at 10:30 AM with a fifty plus mile route to Essex’s historic Griswold Tavern. Some of the same routes from Apples and Oyster were used but in different sequences. The autumnal foliage presented well though the weather was a bit chilly. The route was designed to have cars coming from opposite directions, and leaving intersections by different routes. At one point participants followed the rallymaster off course. Cars failed to keep the one minute interval urged by the rallymaster in the route instructions and tended to convoy, defeating the design. One memorable road was Weise Albert Road that seemed to wander all over Middlesex County. Participants falsely boasted of their exploits as well as reliably predicting the election results at a thumping good lunch at the Gris. Rallymaster: Jim Trowbridge, route checkers Dee and Mark Palmieri who were our breakfast hosts. Special thanks to Dee Palmieri for coordinating the email traffic.

Tour of the Last Green Valley

A beautiful day greeted our group of 11 cars for the second annual tour. The “Last Green Valley’ is a National Heritage Corridor area incorporating 35 towns in Connecticut and Massachusetts, with 1,100 square miles of irreplaceable historic and natural resources. Seventy-five percent of the area is in forest and farm lands. A group of us met for breakfast at Charlene’s Diner in Jewett City while others awaited us at the starting point at the Green Onion Pizza parking lot. After a brief drivers meeting the group headed North on Route 169 through the towns of Canterbury and Brooklyn, crossing Routes 6 and 44. Beautiful farm land and several private schools bordered the route. In Woodstock the group attended the Roseland Cottage Fine Arts and Craft Festival. This craft fair is one of the best of the fall season, offering 175 artisans and their wares: jewelry, woodworking, pottery, etc. were on display. Tours of Roseland Cottage, a 1840s Gothic Revival cottage were offered. The group then headed off to the Traveler Restaurant in Union, Connecticut. A long table was set up for us and the group had a leisurely lunch talking about our cars and other common interests. After lunch several of the cars left for home while the rest of the group continued the drive back South along Routes 89 and 97 to end up in Occum, CT. All in all, a spectacular fall drive. Thanks to Roger for helping to make the Second Tour of the Last Green Valley a great success. Submitted by Frank La Sala

Apples & Oysters

This event started at Wallingford at 10:30 AM and ended in Guilford at the Ballou Wine Bar off of the Guilford Green. The weather permitted top down running. The route followed many TSD rally roads from the past. Among the highlights of the fifty mile plus route were the descending curves on CT 150, the Whirlwind Hill climb in East Wallingford, the Lyman Orchard hill climb in Middlefield with a panoramic view from the ridge top, Durham center, CT 148, and the twists and turns (not to mention ledges) of Emanuel Church Road in Killingworth. The only disappointment was that the event was about of week early for apple blossoms. Rallymaster: Jim Trowbridge; route checker Michael Davias; breakfast hosts with the mostests, Dee and Mark Palmieri.

Brunch at Brushmill By The Waterfall

We returned to the Brushmill by the Waterfall in Chester, CT for our 4th Saturday Brunch this October.

The event started, as all do, with a gathering of Alfas. Seven Alfas graced the parking lot along with some newly carved pumpkins. Fred and Lois Kleykamp joined us, with their red 2nd series Spider.

The Restaurant, which manufactured brushes up until the mid-1960’s, offered a fine brush, err--- I mean, brunch menu. The food was great and the Restaurant was not crowded. Some of us toured the small museum on the second floor. Did you know that the brush was one of man’s 10 basic hand tools--yes I know, the first was the hammer.

After a great meal, a short drivers’ meeting was held by Rick Citrak. We elected to forego the ferry and take the bridge, eliminating a very windy crossing. Spray on the cars--you know!

Leaving the parking lot we were greeted with a drive down a road completely covered with fallen leaves . This was a leafy tour, wasn’t it? With the top down I was occasionally hit by falling leaves and a rare tree nut. Connecticut is a beautiful state.

Since we took the Chester-East Haddam Bridge, Rick could not resist taking us on that special road that runs by The Devil’s Hop Yard. The road was fast and our “shocks and brakes” got a good work out. Kathy D. started a roller coaster hands up, going over the small hills, so we all followed suit. Crazy!

We drove by Hamburg Cove (actually twice since one was not enough) to see those beautiful yachts anchored there. We drove past Sterling Farm and took a “line up shot” of the cars. Kathy did a great job finding great views of all the cars.

Next stop – Beaver Brook Farm. The group toured the wool shop and then sampled cheeses in the market. Many of us purchased cheeses, prepared soups and meat dishes. Rick surprised us all by handing out his wonderful heirloom garlic that he grows himself. They were Italian and German garlic strains, which will go very well with the lamb cuts that some of us purchased.

We left with our coolers full of produce and proceeded down to US 1, then over I-95 and on to Shore Road. We stopped at Great Island Boat Ramp, a bird viewing area that is located at the end of Smith Neck Road. Here you can see a great line up of our cars. Amazingly, we all drove Alfas but everyone was unique. A layperson would be at a loss to recognize that they all came from the same manufacturer.

Turning to the estuary we had great views of the Connecticut River and water craft traveling up the Connecticut River. Far to the west was Fenwick Island Lighthouse. The wind was blowing out of the Southeast keeping the temperatures comfortable but not to the point that we wanted to stay long.

Final stop was the beach at White Sands. Here we parked on my former in-laws property and walked down to the beach. Here I took the photo of the group with my back to the waves. No, I did not get wet.

It was a good day for a drive. We will look forward to next fall for the Third running of the Southeast Connecticut tour and garlic festival. (Only kidding Rick)

Thanks to:
Fred and Bev for getting the ball rolling,
Rick and Laura for planning such a nice route and stops & garlic,
Billy Nichols for use of their beach house parking,
Kathy Davias for contributing some of her photography, and
Dee Palmieri for getting the word out and proofreading my prose.
Frank La Sala, President AROC-CT

Tour Participants:
Frank La Sala – 1960 Giulietta Spider
Marc & Dee Palmieri – 1986 Spider Veloce
Mike & Kathy Davias – 1985 GTV6 Callaway Twin Turbo
Joe & Jessey Palumbo – 1985 GTV
Rick & Laura Citrak – 1969 Duetto Spider
Roger & Karen Carlson – 1959 2000 Touring Spider
Fred & Lois Kleykamp – 1985 Spider Veloce

CTAROC Brunch East at Brushmill Inn

With the twice monthly CTAROC brunches located in the western part of Connecticut, club President Dr. Frank LaSala decided to try a more Eastern location for the June 9th 2013 brunch.  Unfortunately Dr. Frank was unable to attend due to a conference call with AROC, but he would have been very happy with what transpired.

The rain finally ceased falling from the heavens and gave way to beautiful sunshine and provided us with a spectacular rush of water over the falls at the Brushmill Inn - our chosen eastern location in Chester CT.  The beautiful setting also provided us with ample parking and encouraged "tire kicking," cigar smoking and lots of catching up with fellow Alfistis.  Dan Goldman and Annette Wong, of the New York chapter traveled all the way from Long Island to attend in their beautiful black spider.

After our parking lot greetings, we sat as a group at a large table amongst the workings of the old brush mill.  The extensive menu for both brunch, lunch, desert and spirits was a pleasant and slightly more costly variation on the standard brunch - but as a once-in-a-while occasion was very acceptable. 

As we had the entire dark wood lined room to ourselves, conversation was easily heard and relaxed. The meals were quite enjoyable with much discussion of the the fine desserts that had some pondering if a brunch could solely consist of dessert!

Following the brunch we traveled as a group to the historic Chester ferry that crosses the Connecticut river. We all were able to squeeze aboard the small vessel; thanks to the efficient size of our beloved marque.  Once on the other shore, we drove a short distance to the former home of actor William Gilette. This home/castle is now open to the public. Several of the group decided to tour this strange and wonderful attraction as others enjoyed the fantastic views.

Thanks to the following for attending:
Laura and Rick Citrak
Kathy and Michael Davias
Karen & Roger Carlson
Jessey and Joe Palumbo
Annette Wong and Dan Goldman
Marie and Alex Gouras
Mark Ziburis
James Trowbridge
Dee and Marc Palmieri
Beverley Fisher and Fred Frey