Sunday, December 13, 2015

Road Trip via The Land Yacht

We decided to go on a road trip, to see Joyce's family in Pennsylvania, and prove to them that we still actually do exist. The first order of things to do, in preparation for a 1400 mile each way trip, was to find the perfect vehicle. We considered a van, an economy car, and several larger cars. We considered buying an older car, something cool, like an old caddy or something like that. We wanted to surprise Joyce's brother John, with something really special. He is having a tough time right now, and spent his entire career around cars and garage equipment. We wanted to drive him around in something really fun, something different, something cool. Then one day, it happened that we were in Coconut Grove where the marina is, and we were looking at all the really high end vehicles driving by. Miami is a big city, but not like some, where there is no place for automobiles. Miami is a place where the car is a status symbol, and there are a lot of cool, expensive cars here. Think you are cool cause you drive a Beemer, Lexus or Mercedes?


This is entry level stuff here in the Grove, and it is a very common sight to see Porsche, Maserati, Lamborghini, Lotus, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Bentley cars every day. Any one of these would be fine, but we need some room for both Joyce and I, and Guincha the wonder dog, and lots of supplies and suitcases and stuff. So, we were thinking something big, like a vintage era caddy would work. Then one day, I found an ad for a Rolls Royce Silver Spur. It sounded perfect: big as hell, cool as shit, and totally off the chart, top of the line, and the King of Hell-Yes-It's-Comfortable because it is a Rolls after all. We went and looked at the huge car up in Jupiter Florida, the second owner showed it to us. He bought it from the original owner, a German chap that he also bought his yacht from. (Notice how I threw in the word Chap, it came with the car). It seems that this German fellow spent half his time in the US, and the other half in Der Motherland. He religiously transported the car back and forth each year, and kept it in a climate controlled garage wherever it was. When the guy in Jupiter bought the yacht, he told the German fellow that if he ever decided to sell his Rolls, he would buy it. The yacht and the car are both in perfect condition, a testament to the dedication and love shown to each by their previous owners. These cars were built by hand, in Crewe England, by the best craftsmen in the world. The engine compartment looks like new, a menagerie of shiny black and stainless. The interior is a sea of hand-matched Connelly leather and wool. The wood is real burled walnut, each piece cut and fitted by hand. The cars VIN number written by hand on the back of each piece, before being sent off for hand finishing with urethane. Chrome is everywhere, the hood ornament known simply as The Spirit of Ecstasy perched atop the massive hood riding out in front of you as you glide along, announcing to everyone how special this vehicle is. The carpets are real wool, and sit below lambs wool mats that seem to swallow your feet in a caress of soft opulence.

. We gave him his asking price, didn't even haggle about it. We took the car to the dealer, a risky and expensive proposition. We wanted the car checked out, because our plan was to hit the road for a three thousand mile trip, in a car that we didn't know. The dealer checked it out, and only suggested a new set of tires, which we had already ordered from The only tires that fit the car are the original Avon tires, and we got a set ordered the night we bought the car. The tires that were on it were perfect, still had the casting nubs on the sidewalls, but the casting codes on them showed that they were manufactured the 27th week of 2002!!! Time for a new set I would say. So, off to the tire store to get them mounted, and a front end alignment for good measure. We tried to get the oil changed too, but nobody would touch it, shop after shop said they couldn't do it. Buch of chickenshits I say, it's just oil after all.

This write up is pretty good, and gives a good idea of the whole Rolls Royce experience.

We loaded up the old girl, and headed north to north-eastern Pennsylvania. The trip was perfect, and we didn't have any trouble at all with the car, which was a relief. We only drove the car a few miles before the trip, which was probably not too smart, but it worked out in the end.

We enjoyed spending time with the family, and seeing the area. We finally got the oil changed on the car, by John's friend Jay, who has a garage with a lift in his backyard. Show off. Anyhow, thanks for the help Jay, now a certified Rolls Royce mechanic. If you are ever in Wilkes Barre with your Rolls, go see him, he will fix you right up.

We saw some old friends and had a great dinner too. Bonnie and Joyce have been friends since school, and were roommates in Florida back in the eighties. I don't think they have changed a bit since then, they are still looking great, that is why her husband Jeff is smiling so big.

We had a chance to visit with Joyce's aunt, Helen, who still lives in sight of Joyces mother's house. We had a great meal together, and left her some home-made ice cream we made from pineapple that we grew in the yard in Florida. She still looks pretty cool at 88, leaning on the hood, don't you think?

The time went by pretty fast, as time seems to do, and before we knew it, we had to go. So we gave some hugs, some kisses, and got going, southbound back to Florida. Guincha loved the backyard, and was last to get in the car. We had to promise her that we would see some cows along the way, she loves those, otherwise she would still be sniffing around the backyard. We waved and said so-long, pointing the long nose of the car South, toward the open road and the promise of some warmer weather. It was sure great to see everyone, especially John, and we are praying for a speedy recovery for him. Thanks for having us!

Back to the boat!