Cruise-In at Grand Oaks Resort - January 20th The Village Vettes Corvette Club and the Grand Oaks Resort would like to extend to you and your organization an invitation to our forthcoming “Grand Oaks Classic Car Cruise-In” to be held on Sunday, 20 January ‘19. The event will occur on the final day of the Grand Oaks Horse Winter Horse Festival, featuring the Horse Trials for the Extreme Jumping Competition. The setting are the bucolic grounds of the Grand Oaks Resort & Museum. (3000 Marion County Road, Weirsdale, FL 32195) Participating cars will be parked around the competitive venue with an unencumbered view of the event. Admission is FREE for all clubs and guests. There will be food, games, prizes, 50-50 raffle, and music. This is a non-judged event; however, specialty awards will be presented. Participating cars should arrive at 08:30 AM; but no later than 10:00 AM. Clubs desiring to park together, need to arrive together. You are encouraged to bring your folding chairs. Further details to follow. This looks like a fun event. They have extended invitations to all of the car clubs in The Villages.
BBQ Train Ride -----February 23rd Hi Zer's.....our next exciting drive is on Saturday, February 23rd. We are going on the "BBQ Limited Train Ride". Come join us as we sit in a 1948 dining car and enjoy your lunch while riding the rails. Train ride lasts 90 minutes and runs from Tavares to Mount Dora and back. The discounted price should be around $29.95 per person and includes meal, ride, service fee and tax. Beer and wine will be available for purchase on board. We want to reserve the entire train of 48 seats, so we need to get a head count ASAP. We need 20 or more people gives to get a 10% discount. Once we have that many, we will ask you to pay online at our website. PLease sign up on our website now so we can be assured that we get the entire train. The deadline for sign up is Jan. 31st. Menu: Chicken, pulled pork, baked beans, green beans, cole slaw, dinner roll and soft drink. So come join us for fun on the rails!
EARS Wildlife Sanctuary - March 16th Betty and Bob Lunsford have put together an interesting drive on Saturday, March 16th, to see the wild animals at EARS Wildlife Sanctuary. EARS (Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary) was founded in 1988 and is located on 35 acres in Citra, Florida.All of the animals have stories about how and why they we rescued. Animals to see include Lions, Liger, Tigers (Orange and White), Bears, Leopards, Bobcats, Cougar, Monkeys and more. We will take a slow moving guided tour by one of the volunteers who will explain how the animals came to EARS and how they have been care for. The sanctuary is completely supported by donations and memberships and staffed by volunteers. It would be appropriate for each of our Club members who are going to bring a donation. After the tour, we will be going to The Yearling Restaurant in Hawthorn, Florida. Established in 1952, The Yearling has become a Florida Landmark. They serve Southern Cuisine, specializing in the food rural Floridians have hunted, fished and prepared for generations.Located at Cross Creek, at little bend in the road, you will love it's enchanting unspoiled beauty. Here you'll find yourself back in time. In the canopy of granddaddy oaks, tall palms, and lush citrus groves, wildlife abounds. Inside and you'll be immersed in the ambience of the old South, genuine hospitality. You will be as taken with the flavor and spirit of old Florida. This is not just a restaurant, it's a destination.
Lake Sumter Landing BMW Z Club Car Show - April 8th We have been invited to display our wonderful BMW Z's around LakeSumter Square. We will convoy to the squareby model, hardtop/convertible Z4's first , then softtop convertible Z4's then Z3's. Bring chairs and refreshments. We will have a tent at the north end of the square to give information about the Club. You don't have to stay with your cars. You can park them and leave if you want. We want this to be a party atmosphere!
Coney Island Hot Dog & NJoy Spirits Distillery - April 26th Phil & Donna Wenzel want us to take a trip down memory lane as we visit the Coney Island Hot Dog Drive In in Brooksville for lunch. If you're from the New York area, you know how great Coney Island Hot Dogs are. Now everyone can taste them here in Florida. This drive in dates back to 1960 and boasts that Elvis ate there while filming in Inverness. After our tummies are full, we will journey over to NJoy Spirits Distillery in Weeki Wachee. The distillery is a family operated Florida whiskey distiller in the heart of the nature coast. They make Wild Buck Whiskey, a smooth, bold, handmade and bottled 100 proof masterpiece. They start by fermenting a mash of 100% farm fresh rye grain, then grind and cook it daily one batch at a time. There are no artificial flavorings or color and only purified, ultraviolet filtered rain water is used..We will take a tour of the distillery and then do some tasting (but not too much as we have to make it home safely!). So wear your blue suede shoes, grow some sideburns and comb your hair into a pompadour. (Thank you, thank you very much!)
Tarpon Springs Dolphin Beach Cruise - May 16th Join us on Spongeorama Cruise Lines for the ultimate Tarpon Springs Dolphin Cruise. Experience Florida’s natural beauty while learning about Tarpon Springs’ rich cultural history. The captain has been navigating these waters for over 30 years and will be narrating the tour. We will cruise out to the Gulf of Mexico and the Anclote State Preserve. First we travel down the Anclote River and out to the Gulf of Mexico in search of dolphins, manatees, and other wildlife. Enjoy viewing the Historic Anclote Lighthouse, and other Tarpon Springs historic sites, as well as some of the best views that nature has to offer. Then we will disembark and explore the Anclote Island, look for shells, go swimming and get up close and personal with some of Florida’s rare wildlife, such as: the American Oystercatcher, Bald Eagle and Piping Plover. See the historic Lighthouse built in 1887 and still in operation. For your convenience, there are snacks, cold beverages, beer, wine, and margaritas on the boat. For your added comfort restrooms are available onboard. There will be many photo opportunities so don’t forget your camera. After a day on the water and at the beach we will have a late lunch at Yianni's Greek Restaurant. Yianni's brings a style of preparation of eclectic dishes to this Greek area known as the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks offering the traditional Greek cuisine along with adding spectacular American dishes with Mediterranean flair, adding height, color and texture to your palate.
Poker Run - June 12th Join us on the BMW Z Club Poker Run! The run will include 5 locations. We’ll start at Rohan recreation center where the first card will be drawn. The 5th and last card will be drawn at Gators Dockside in Brownwood where we will have lunch in a separate room for our club. The 3 stops in between will be mystery stop to explore Mom and Pop’s local businesses that will represent a part of what I call the heart and soul of old Florida. Plenty of open road to enjoy the beauty of our Z’s. Price for this ride is only $10.00 per car. All proceeds will be distributed to the best 3 poker hands from the run. The more cars....the greater the pot. So let's see how lucky you can be (skill not required!).
De Leon Springs State Park - July 24th Time for a fun day at De Leon Springs State Park on July 24th. This is a drive we did back in January of 2018 that everyone enjoyed.....so let's do it again! De Leon Springs State Park is the mythical source of "THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH"! The outstanding feature of the 625 acre park is the spring, overlooking beautiful Spring Garden Run, producing 19 million gallons of water a day at 72 degrees year-round. After entering the park, we will go for breakfast at the popular Sugar Mill Restaurant, located in a 100 year-old replica of the original 1830s sugar mill. It features cook-your-own pancakes or eggs at your table and freshly made bread and cookies. Then it's time to board the Fountain of Youth Eco/Heritage boat tour aboard the M/V Acuera for a 50 minute trip through Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, where alligators, manatees and birds abound. For those more adventurous, there's trails for birding and wildlife viewing, or you can rent a kayak to paddle along the the river feed by the spring. You can also hike along a 1/2 mile paved trail around 600(!!) year old trees. You can even go swimming or snorkeling in a protected area in 72 degree crystal clear water away from the alligators. NO lifeguards, but outdoors shower and changing rooms are available. To get to the park, we will be traveling on nice curvy roads for about 59 miles to the park. So come hungry for a hearty breakfast and an educational eco experience through the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge.
Daytona International Speedway All-Access Tour - August 1st The Daytona International Speedway is heaped in history and glory. It began in 1953 when Bill France Sr. realized the days of racing on the beach were numbered due to spreading land usage of a rapidly growing population and huge race crowds. France put his plans for the future of racing in Daytona Beach, Florida in motion on April 4, 1953 with a proposal to construct a permanent speedway facility.The famous 31-degree highbanks were included in the design of the track at the new facility so higher speeds could be achieved and to make it easier for fans to see the cars race around the 2.5-mile tri-oval. After traveling through the beautiful Florida countryside, we will embark on a 90-minute All Access Tour,where we will have a unique opportunity to explore the 2.5-mile Speedway from a variety of vantage points. We will come face-to-face with the track as we visit the well-known start/finish line and 31-degree high banks or ride down pit road to get a close-up view of the pit stalls. This tour provides an unprecedented access like a visit to the media deadline room, a photo in Gatorade Victory Lane and a look inside the venue as we hop onto one of the 40 escalators and are transported into the frontstretch seating for a stunning view of the trioval and infield. End the day by standing next to the car of this year’s DAYTONA 500 champion, left in the same condition as the day it conquered the World Center of Racing. Following the tour, we will tour the new Motorsports Hall of Fame of America that is now housed in the DIS Ticket and Tours Building, showcasing spectacular displays honoring all forms of motorsports: Stock Cars, Sports Cars, Open-Wheel, Motorcycles, Drag Racing, Land Speed Records, Powerboating and Aviation. Of course, will end the day with lunch at a place TBD.
The Tail of the Dragon Drive - September 16th -20th The Tail of the Dragon is a mountain road in North Carolina and Tennessee that is 11 miles long and has 318 turns! This is a 5 day trip through the North Carolina mountains. Here's the itinerary:
3rd Annual Villages BMW Z Club Z Fun Fest - October 24th It's time to get excited about our Annual Z FunFest!!!!! Yes....the name has changed, but the fun and excitement are the same. This is a private party on the grounds of the Whispering Oaks Winery. There will be food, spirits, games, door prizes, 50/50 drawing, and live music for dancing! Come enjoy a complementary glass of wine, iced tea or lemonade along with delicious grilled chicken, burgers, fixin's and dessert. The Club is also providing additional bottles of wine for those extra thirsty members. (cash bar also available) Again, this year, we will vote for the Members Choice Award, for the best liked BMW Z's in the Club. But this year we will be expanding it to 5 awards! We will vote on the best Z3 (1995 - 2002), the best 1st gen Z4 (2002 - 2008), the best 2nd gen Z4 (2009 - 2016), the best 3rd gen Z4 (2019 - 2020) and the overall best Z King of the Fest! So come hungry and ready to party!
BMW of Ocala Gathering - November 6th Once again BMW of Ocala is hosting our November Club meeting. This year they are providing a sit down dinner, introduction to the new Z4 and BMW logo raffle prizes. Members of their sales, service and genius staff will be available to answer all of your BMW Z questions.
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Tail of the Gator Drive - November 12th It's called "THE TAIL OF THE GATOR (or GECKO)", otherwise known as The Ozello Trail.This twisty gem is tucked away in the middle of the state and has a personality all its own.Whoever planned this road must have owned a BMW Z! Scenery reminiscent of north Florida and southern Georgia leads into several tight right and left-handers. Smooth braking with a late apex lets you roll on the throttle exiting the tighter turns. This is when you remember how much fun a twisty road is in a BMW Z!On the way, we will stop at Peck's Old Port Cove Restaurant. This iconic restaurant features one of the few blue crab farms in the U.S. The daily harvest of these delicacies brings people for miles. Order mouthwatering coconut shrimps, soft-shell crabs and stuffed crab. Leave room for tasty key lime pie, banana pies and banana split. And don't forget to order good wine, draft beer or rum.
Annual Villages BMW Z Club Holiday Party - December 5th It's a party you don't want to miss. If you think the Z Fun Fest and the gathering at BMW of Ocala were great, wait to you see this year's HolidayParty! It's the most FUNNEST party of the year! We're talking about FUN, FUN, FUN! The past HolidayParties have been well attended and so much fun......this year's party will be that and more! The HolidayParty Committee has been hard at work for several months putting together an unforgettable event! Here's what to expect from this year's HolidayParty:
A delicious multi-course buffet dinner catered by Lil Bits Cafe.
Entertainment by Rock Solid featuring Lisa Beck.
Holiday portrait photos for everyone by our own Phil Burt.
To die for homemade sweets baked by our members.
And who knows what other surprises the committee has cooked up! Again we will be donating non-perishables (can goods, etc) to the Wildwood Food Pantry. Let's make this year's Holiday Party the biggest and best ever!