New Jersey Miatas is having its annual season opening meet and cruise at the Cheesequake Service Area exit 123 on the Garden State Parkway.
spread the word:
Every time I’ve taken a trip down i78 through Pennsylvania whether my last road trip to Florida or the trips to Alabama and Virginia before it, I thought: “Wouldn’t it be cool to organize a Yuengling Brewery Tour Miata Cruise?” Yes! Yes, it would… Today we made it happen. My buddy Bill and I headed out first thing in the morning, on this freezing cold day where my whole car was covered in frost. But the weather warmed up, and we had a blast.
I wanted to invite as many Miata people as would come, but realizing that this is potentially a “Drinking & Driving” event, I didn’t want to open the door for any irresponsible behavior. So neither Bill nor I really drink alcohol, it was reasonable to have a small sampling of beer paired with fine Pennsylvania Dutch food before and after the brewery visit.
First stop was Dutch Kitchen in Frackville, PA off of I81 for some Gingerbread Hotcakes… Mmmm yummm!
It was soooo delicious! Now we were ready for the tour. I’ve done the Yuengling Brewery visit before a couple of years ago, and since then there’s been some changes. For one, the building across the street has been turned into the Gift Shop and the starting point of the tour. It’s the old Yuengling Ice Cream building, which looks really neat. But the actual brewery place rocks. Very educational experience and I enjoyed it very much. Could really appreciate how such a small operation can have such a big reach along the Eastern Seaboard.
Of course the sampling of beer on tap was outstanding.
I asked for the medicinal option since I am once again fighting the flu. Not sure if it worked, but it was delicious.
My favorite experience was the photo op with the Miatas.
After this sobering photo shoot in the freezing cold, it was time to warm up driving some twisty roads to Hawk Mountain and checking out the bird sanctuary there…
From there we were hungry enough for the final stop of the day: lunch at Deitsch Eck – Dutch Corner in Lenhartsville, PA
Not sure what part of the day was my favorite… everything we did had it’s awesome highlights! We actually planned on doing much more but unfortunately ran out of day light. Next time perhaps we’ll incorporate a visit to the Pocono’s on this trip, checking out Jim Thorpe Twp called the Switzerland of the US, or maybe checking out Amish country and sampling some of their delicious hoke-cooked food. Not sure but I definitely want to do this trip again! Summer time would be ideal, but Fall Foliage season would be even better.
Thanks to Bill for this awesome Pennsylvania Road Trip…
A beautiful Saturday to spend the day cruising with fellow Miata owners around Northern New Jersey. Mark from the New Jersey Miatas facebook group organized a meetup in Livingston with a destination in Hewitt in mind, to do lunch at Utopia Grill and Suzie’s Pizzaria. We met at the Livingston Mall in Morris County and zoom zoomed our way up to Passaic County.
A good turnout for a winter event with four NC Miata’s in attendance, three NA’s and one NB along with three miscellaneous cars. The lunch was great too!
More cruises to come before it starts snowing…
Greetings from the New Jersey Miatas end of the season meet at the Cheesequake Service Area exit 123 on Garden State Parkway.
The usual spot for the twice annual Miata meet that’s somewhat central to most New Jersey Miata owners and visitors from both Pennsylvania and New York. The event got rained out last week and our make up date was almost rained out as well… luckily the precipitation was limited to a mist mostly. Though that was enough to keep a bunch of fair weather Miata owners away. Nevertheless, there was quite a few cars in attendance… somewhere around 50 to 60 cars by my guestimate. And I’m happy to say many more NC Miata’s this time than any of the previous times I’ve attended. Sadly no Fiatas to be seen… Boo!
Here’s the pix:
Happy to see my buddy DollarBill!
Oooh… another Copper Red from Pennsylvania… an NC2
Aren’t all Miatas Powered by Unicorns?
Love how bright this Torch Red is
A very pretty shade of Blue too
Hey Chris showed up!
Best license plate of the event:
Hey Mickie showed up!
The profile of this vintage of modern Thunderbird reminds me a lot of the original Mazda Cosmo 110S
No meet would be complete without people swapping stuff, fixing stuff, etc… pedal covers do look cool, but are sometimes a pain to put on… especially on the small Miata brake pedal.
By the time Bill and I went to get a warm drink at the service area, most of the people from the Miata group left… it must have started raining while we were inside. So we decided to do lunch of our own… and some spicy Malaysian food was just what the doctor ordered:
Love this place! We had one in Lodi across from the Mazda of Lodi dealership on Route 46 but unfortunately the restaurant close. Their Edison, NJ location on Route 1 though was delicious!
Looking forward to my drive to Florida starting tonight…!
Until next time.
First, forgive me for being a selfish prick and not sharing the news of the event sooner. I forgot to remember until… and of course the actual date (today) got rained out! So see you all next week…
The peeps behind this event seem to focus on two major events per year… the season opening meet and end of season meet like this one. Not sure if anything happens during the summer but I’m really glad they organize these ones. Often with prizes given away from vendors that support Miata events around the country like Moss Miata and Flyin’ Miata. (possibly others)
Anyway, I’m especially happy to see Modern Fiata’s invited to attend, and really hope to see one at the next one.
For me it’s going to be a crazy day next Sunday. I was scheduled to pick up a rental car at LaGuardia Airport in NYC and drive down to Florida for the Historics (HSR) races at Daytona International. But I don’t want to miss out on this little gathering. So I’ve re-booked my rental car for 8pm… which should give me enough time to chill down the shore, go home to park my Miata. Take public transport to the city, a shuttle bus to Hertz, and bring the rental home before leaving for the thousand mile journey first thing Monday morning.
Should be fun!
Come join us…
Seems like everyone went down the Jersey Shore today!
Hard to believe the weather was so nice I actually put the top down while cruising to a familiar spot on the Garden State Parkway to join a bunch of Millenials Miata owners for one of their mid-winter get-togethers and a cruise to the beach for some barbecue. I may be exaggerating a little. Not everyone was a young millenial, and we didn’t quite make it to the sandy beach, more like a town that has “beach” in it’s name… or close enough anyway, but you get the picture. It was a whole bunch of young Miata owners hanging out and having fun. Many of them I’ve met before at the New Jersey Miata’s events held at the same
Chesapeake Cheesequake rest area on the GSP (I previously posted Chesapeake which is actually in Virginia, I meant Cheesequake which is in New Jersey). But this impromptu event felt different. I felt like an old fart and it was kind of cool to hang out with the kids. Trying to see if we still have something in common… cringing at the sight of some of the car mods. Hoping the cops don’t show up when some started doing burn outs and donuts. But obviously connected through the common denominator of our car choice: the Miata. And agreeable foodie tastes: a BBQ joint for lunch! It was refreshing especially since it’s still February and many car events are months away.
Naturally I took a ton of pix:
The turnout was impressive… I was hoping a few cars would show up, but they just kept on coming and coming. I think I counted 28 Miata’s in total and about half a dozen other cars that came along. For the longest while mine was the only NC that wasn’t like all the other NA’s & NB’s, but after a while a beautiful ND showed up, so we had at least one of each models represented (though no RF yet and no 124 Spider or Abarth… yet).
A very appropriately labelled loud piece.
Not quite sure what Miatagang is but they came out in numbers!
This was one of those non-Miata guest vehicles… a beautiful Ford-powered Jag replica/kit car. Looked, sounded and drove great!
Don’t remember if I’ve commented about this before, but truck-nutz type toys hanging off lowered cars is definitely a “thing” nowadays… like this pink colored “poop” emoji plush toy.
Oh yeah… and no rear bumper is definitely a “thing” too now… this was one of three or four without the rear bumper.
If this is a true drift car, it is by far one of the cleanest I’ve ever seen (no dings, dents or scrapes to be found!)
And away we go…
Do all Millenials skateboard? I think so…
After lunch the majority of the kids headed to another car show a few towns over while I convinced a few North Jersey owners to detour our way home via Ocean Avenue… somehow I was elected leader and I fucked up several times trying to reach the correct Ocean Avenue, getting lost in places I got lost as a leader at previous events last year. You’d think I would have learned, but no! I know exactly why I made the same mistakes now I did last time. I convinced myself I knew where I was going, and instead of firing up the GPS and not looking like a fool, I totally embarrassed myself.
Oh well… ironically we didn’t really get to see much of the beaches driving up to Sandy Hook as the main road was a few blocks off the Boardwalk and heavy with traffic. So that was kind of a fail. My apologies to the folks that followed me. I should really improve on this considering how much I’d like to make this sort of thing a business one day with my International Motorsports and Miataland-like tourism ideas…
What a beautiful day for a little drive with the top down to a Miata meet and cruise down the Jersey Shore. Big props to the organizers of another truly wonderful New Jersey Miatas end of season meet at the Garden State Parkway Cheesequake Service Area (exit 124) and especially the cruise down the shore for some amazing food.
I had such a blast!
First, the turnout was excellent even though there were apparently other events happening on the same day around New Jersey and the neighboring states. Nonetheless several dozen cars showed up including a big convoy of Miatas from NYC. Lots and lots of NA’s, a bunch of NB’s and a handful NC’s. No ND’s that I saw… I parked next to a beautiful NC1 Blue soft top whose owner I never got to meet. But the other cars that pulled in I got to chat up the owners and we ended up going on a foodie tour of the shore instead of heading with the rest of the group directly to Sandy Hook.
The plan was BBQ but while driving past a Mexican place we couldn’t resist the amazing smell of their sizzling beef… I think most of the table ordered burritos which were extremely tasty. From there some of the folks in the group broke off to head out home, others went for a little drive and a group photo shoot… more people broke off after, and about six of us continued along the shore towards Sandy Hook… I think it was my first time seeing one of the draw bridges open for a fairly tiny boat coming in from the Atlantic Ocean… there were several classic car and bike shows along Ocean Drive, but otherwise the cruise was nice and scenic. Really enjoyable to watch the architecture of the various summer homes people have close driving distance to NYC and other parts of New Jersey.
At Sandy Hook we had another small photo shoot and instead of standing around talking about cars went to a little seafood place right in the bay at the foot of Atlantic Highlands. The view of New York City in the distance was crystal clear as we rolled up via one overpass, but there was no good place to pull over and take a good picture of this view. The seafood dinner at the restaurant was finger lickin’ good! The patio seating outside with boats bobbing in the marina was pretty neat. The moon rise was really nice to watch and more plans were made for future MX-5 get togethers.
Awesome Sunday through and through.
And of course here’s a million pix from the day:
Does MGB stand for Mazda Great Britain?
And the cruise….
I should have brought more 1,000,000th Miata stickers, what a great idea to get everyone to sign a few of them.
Finally at Sandy Hook with two 2007 Copper Red GT’s
…one more thanks to the organizers, I had such an amazing time!
Can’t wait to do this again.
What a great day for a car show! What a great day for a cruise… Started bright and early this morning, setting my alarm clock to 7am to wash the car from all the damn pollen in the air.
And then hit the road for the Jersey Shore. The New Jersey Miata’s facebook club organized a nice little get together at the Cheesequake Service Area on the Garden State Parkway where I saw more MX-5’s then I have ever seen in my life. Mostly NA’s and NB’s but there were certainly plenty of NC’s too that eventually went back on the road bound for Sandy Hook.
The funny bit on the cruise we blew past the exit that leads to the Highlands. The leader of the pack that we were following had some spirited driving in mind along the twisty roads of Central Jersey, but I don’t think he expected so many cars to follow him. But it was nice to see a convoy of Miata’s snaking along the neighborhood.
We made a scenic stop at the Navesink Twin Lights which was great because on a clear day like today NYC and the rest of Long Island was clearly visible in the distance. And then proceeded down to Fort Hancock at the tip of Sandy Hook for a few photos.
The good thing was there were Miata’s everywhere. Everybody was driving at their own leisure, people were coming and going. The crowd was acting smart and mature and there weren’t anybody getting in trouble for doing silly things…
From Sandy Hook we went down route 36 to Long Branch for lunch, convoying with the Delaware Valley Miata Club to Max’s Hot Dogs. On the way I hear a bit of a ticking sound bouncing off the curbing, and sure enough as we parked our cars I noticed a screw sticking out of my left front tire… great! Luckily it wasn’t deep enough to actually puncture the tire so I got to drive home for the next hour and a half without too much of an issue. (There was traffic, that wasn’t cool) I’m really thankful for the good folks at Del Val Miata Club for being quick to offer a helping hand, including pliers and a tire repair kit ready to fix it as there were probably no gas stations able to do this job on a Sunday afternoon. The car wasn’t pulling in any direction, and when I checked the pressure upon arrival it was normal, so luckily I didn’t get a flat! Phew….
Special thanks to TF$ Motorsports for organizing the event and providing all the attendees with these cool stickers:
A blow dryer… how appropriate!
Of all the photos I saw from the event posted on facebook, this is the only shot that actually has my car in it, and a nice panoramic view:
Moss Miata donated some giveaways for which the organizers of the meet held a raffle. My buddy with the silver NC PRHT won a set of Roadster rubber pedal covers. Nice touch, thanks Moss Miata!
All in all excellent event, that I’m really glad I took the time off work to come out and have some fun. IT was the first time I had the convertible out on the highway with the top down… and there were three other cars just like mine (PRHT) with the top down doing a convoy… everybody passing us by was checking the cars out, and quite a few were taking pictures or videos of the cars. Glad to see that, for sure.