Motoring and Mineral Spas Mix On the Central Coast

By: Rafael Roges and Debbie Smith

Motoring and Mineral Spas Mix On the Central Coast

On the weekend of October 18-19 our group of Ferraristi embarked upon a relaxing and refreshing weekend expedition to the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort just north of the Santa Ynez Valley. Naturally we were looking for back country driving, so early Saturday morning, we gathered at the Valencia IHOP, where Tino Mingori unveiled our 3+ hour driving route, highlighting those areas where the local Highway Patrol had been active on previous runs. With more than a dozen Ferraris assembled, dating from the early 60's to the mid 1990's, we attacked the secret back roads where wonderful scenery and light traffic brought out the best in our Prancing Horses.

Rumor has it that certain 30-year-old models motored through twisting turns and over undulating hilltops with such gusto that their hot smoking brakes produced an aroma reminiscent of fine Cuban "Monte Cristos." The pine-crested mountain roads twisted into beautiful California-golden meadows where straight stretches of road were exploited. After several hours of this "accelerating" experience, we were led by Richard and Joanie Cole to a delicious Italian lunch under the canopy of famous Cafe Roma in San Luis Obisbo.

New and old friendships were enjoyed as we relaxed in the tree-lined patio and reviewed each curve and vista so far encountered. This was an occasion to get better acquainted and find out how others spend their time when not held in the snug grip of a Ferrari bucket seat. The " V-12 vintage club" was well represented by Richard and Joanie Cole, Bill & Bonnie Inglis, Malcolm & Nola Schneer, Michael and Elizabeth Favorite, Tino & Lynn Mingori, Orwin Middleton, Mike Higgs and Ken Wollesen (visitors from Carmel) and ourselves, Rafael Roges and Debbie Smith. Driving Ferraris of the modern era were Murray & Rose Cogan, Brian & Carolyn Quadt, Peter & Maggie Noce, Ken & Diana Ciszek, Tom & Dorothy Elerding and Alex Kovach & Michelle Walker. The mix of cars was nice to see with at least 10 different models represented out of roughly 14 cars. (A 308 tied with several other models as the rarest example) Some of the owners

of newer models wondered aloud how theses "old" cars could "rumble" with the turns.

After lunch Richard & Joanie led the pack from the restaurant to our mineral spa destination with locals Michael and Elizabeth sweeping up the rear. (Fortunately there were no problems on any part of the trip, so the "sweeping detail" didn't have much to do but enjoy the ride.) Upon our arrival at the hotel we were surprised to find Vail Shelton and Ellen Jacobs as well as Chris and Chris Aber already indulging in the Inn's amenities.

You name it, we had it! From body massages that made you comatose to private spas in every suite, walks through the floral-filled forests and private mineral hot tubs scattered up the hillside, we all were fully detoxed from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Some even let the Resort pamper their "favorite gal," with a fully enclosed private garage for morning polishing.

That evening Tino, Lynn, Bill and Bonnie hosted a beautiful wine and cheese party in their private two-bedroom suite. Fine Italian wines -- including a special bottling of Old FCA Brand -- were served as we watched a comical video of the day's adventure.

Included in this article is a reproduction of the label describing the unusual qualities of our FCA Vintage wine.

An elegant dinner was prepared by the Inn in a private room, where friends shared anecdotes of the day's adventures and pleasures. To complete the evening and inspire a little energy for the next day's drive, we all watched the 8 1/2 minute documentary, "Rendezvous." The volume adjustment was set up to "11" so we coul