Courtesy of our literary virtuoso, Mr. Damon Tolentino of www.scpoc.com!
This meet was the 2nd annual California Probe Owner's Club. CaPOC is comprised of the three existing Probe Clubs in the state, SaPOC (representing the Sacramento/Northern CA area), BAPOC (the Bay Area club), and SCPOC (representing Southern CA). The event was a trip to Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Since there were the Historic Races going on at Laguna Seca Raceway this weekend, along with a Concours show in Pebble Beach, there was no chance that we could make this a 2 day event. With this plan, Dan made it a single day event, just as it was last year.
Things started for us a little early. Jorge Ferrin and his girl Nelitza came up and spent the night with Stacey and I. They had to come up in their WRX because their Probe was in the shop getting some work done to the transmission (worn synchro). We all got together with Lino Sacman for dinner at this nice fish place in Orange (not too far from Dromo One). After dinner, we went back to my place and got some sleep before our long drive the next morning.
We got up around 4-4:30am to get ready and were out the door around 6:15. Stacey and I went in her car because mine was in the shop getting some body work done to it. That sucks because I really wanted to take it. Anyhow, we caught the freeway and made some incredible time driving at or just above the speed limit on the 101. I called Gil a few times because he wanted to go and he asked that I call when we got close to his place. Turns out he didn't answer and I left a few messages for him. He didn't call me back until we got to some Podunk town about an hour north of Santa Barbara. He had done some last minute work to his car and was waiting for it to finish up when he fell asleep and missed the call. He left just after hanging up with me.
We wound up arriving in Monterey just after noon, which wasn't too bad considering we left about an hour later than I had wanted and the traffic we encountered on the way up. We parked near the aquarium and went to go stand in line. Just as we turned the corner, I heard Sean shouting my name, so we walked over toward him and he was able to get us into the building via the group entrance. Once inside, we introduced ourselves to the BAPOC'ers. It was really nice seeing some familiar faces amongst their group and very nice to meet their newer members.
After our introductions, we took the time and looked around the aquarium. My first impression was that it was beautiful. I love the ocean and the animals that live in it. I'm always watching these types of shows on my dish and I've been in the Bay Area enough times, but I've never made the trip to Monterey until now. There were a few shows as well. The one we saw was presented by an intern and she was telling us about the sea stars and other invertebrates; very informative. When she was done, we went into another part of the building and saw a simulated tide pool, and some touching tanks. These were really cool, because visitors could touch many of the animals that inhabit the area around the aquarium. In one tank there was a school of rays and the kids were having a blast touching them. Stacey and I got some really cool pics of some sea slugs and other little animals. They even had a tank with a school of anchovies!
Everyone looked around some more, and after a while we caught up with Lino and took some pics in the darker areas of the building. Some of the fish in the larger tanks were HUGE! It was amazing to see the kelp forest as well. We strolled on over to the Sea Otter tank because I really wanted to see them. The pics below show them at their best. They are playful animals and spend their entire lives in the water and most of the time on their back. After we were done watching the otters, we headed out and caught up with the rest of the group. We had some fun with Jon because he had to wear this goofy looking penguin hat and we took the opportunity to catch an 'Icy Hot' moment. That brought back memories of MSD!
We strolled for a bit down Cannery Row and caught a snack at this small bun place before heading up to gather our vehicles and driving to Pebble Beach. Lino and Jorge caught a parking ticket. That was a drag, but not as bad as getting the car towed away, so they both dealt with it. Once we got everyone together, Billy had to leave, so he said his goodbyes. While he was doing that, Gil called me and said he was just near the aquarium. I told him just to meet us at the 17-mile road and he said he would. Stacey and Antone had to gas up, so we did that and caught up with the main pack at the road, or so we thought. Turns out the main pack was behind us and we actually got there first. We were already in the park and waiting at a vista point for them. While waiting for Gil, I had to do a small repair to Stacey's stereo wiring. Gil caught up to us and after some hellos, we headed down to catch up to Sean and the others, who took off before us and caught up with Scamper on the beach.
Once we got to the beach, we parked and got out to inspect the other cars. Tony and Stacey helped Jon install a FSB on Kristen's 96PSE. She sure made a cute hood prop (Kristen that is). Tony revealed a side of himself that was best left undiscovered (thanks Dan!). I caught a few pics of the many deer on the golf course and Lino tried taking some pics of the seals that were on a rock island not more than 50 feet from where we parked. There were a couple of guys who painted their intake manifolds and they looked good, heck one was even a bright green! Mike had a nice looking Pacesetter header on his 90pgl. It looks like the Racy one just found her next mod!
After gawking over everyone's cars, we decided to head out to the restaurant. Along the 17-mile drive, we encountered a Concours show taking place at the main resort. Seeing all the Ferrari's and other cars was a site. Of course, seeing Sean's girlfriend taking video of us while driving down the road was pretty cool too. I took some nice pics while hanging out of Stacey's car as well.
We got to the exit and made our way to Highway 1, which took us to Carmel and our eating destination: Toot's! Sean had called for directions (or was that Dan) and when we got to our exit, we couldn't go the direction we were told to (figures), so we headed west and found the street. Unfortunately there was no reserved parking, so we all had to scramble to find parking. Most of us parked pretty close to each other, with a few people able to park in a small lot. Someone noticed a couple taking pictures of our glorious entrance to Carmel. Turns out that it was SCPOC members Chris Laudermilk and Sharon Giles. They were finally able to catch up with us!
After some more introductions, we decided to go into the restaurant and get seated. We all ordered, ate, and took part in Sean's roundtable discussion. Some good ideas were mentioned and the torch for next year's CaPOC event was passed to me. I indicated that next year's event will be in San Diego, but that a final decision on everything won't be made until March of next year. When the meeting was finished, we paid our bill (which some people stiffed Sean and Dan on, and that was not cool), adjourned to the street and said our goodbyes. Lino, Jorge, and Gil followed Stacey and I home. We took some time out to take a small nap because Jorge was not feeling well and I was beat from the week leading up to the event. When we felt we had recovered enough, we took off and it was smooth sailing. Everyone made it home safe, if not a bit tired.
Our group had a wonderful time. I enjoyed seeing some old friends and making new ones. All in all, this is something I would love to do again.
So, until the next summer's CaPOC!
write-up by D. Tolentino, pics by D. Tolentino & L. Sacman