On Saturday, Dan and I went to the big 100th meetup celebration of the SoCal Smarties, the local Smart Car meetup group that we joined last year.
We have been on several meetups with the group. Not only are they a fun, kind group of people, but we have done some really great activities. None have been a clunker! The organizers ( a huge thanks to Bob and Patti) did a great job at planning and executing the 100th, including keeping it veiled in mystery until just a few weeks ago.
The suspense nearly killed us.
For the hundredth, the organizers got SmartUSA to pay for a dinner boat cruise around the Channel Island Harbor in Ventura. They also secured tons of raffle prizes donationed from several dealers and organizations, including Smart in Oxnard, Smart in West Covina and Smart Madness. I can't imagine all of the work that went into planning this event, but as far as I am concerned, it will be hard to top!
Dan and I started out our day by meeting with the Burbank caravan in the Fry's parking lot, organized by Jon and Debbie, owners of the Smiley Smart. There are many great people in our group and Jon and Debbie top the list. They brought yummy donuts and Debbie gave me some smiley stickers while telling me the History of the smiley face. Did you know that the inventor of the smiley face, Harvey Ball, never patented his creation and barely earned anything from it...then a guy from France patented Ball's design and made millions?
The highlight for me was watching Debbie's enthusiasm as she attempted to explain the ins and outs of Gilligan's Island to Dan, who has never seen the show. This was important information, as we were about to embark on a three hour tour.
The Caravan moved to the Albertson's lot down the road and picked up a few more members. Then in an impressive feat engineered through radio contact, we joined forces with a larger caravan already on the freeway. Dan and I used our GoPro to capture the whole thing, but the video is a huge file and needs tweaking. I may add it at a later date.
I had no idea that there were so many nice homes and restaurants by the Channel Island Harbor. It was really pretty and a place that we would like to return and explore.
We were directed to park all of the cars on the grass right by the boats, perfect for photo ops. We love our photo ops in the club.
After catching up with friends, including meeting several new members (welcome!), it was time to board the Scarlett Belle.
The Scarlett Belle is a super cute paddle boat with two levels. The first level filled up quickly ( We have Smart people in our group, this is the level with the food and bar!), so we moved to the top deck. I would say that this was the quieter part of the ship, except for we were the loud, fun table. That's right, I claimed the "Fun Table" title, so there!
We had some drinks, ate croissant sandwiches and mingled. As much as I have enjoyed our more active meetups, this was a really nice chance to get to know other members, just relaxing and talking. It was a beautiful day out and being on the water was a treat.
In addition to a pen and a tee-shirt, Dan and I won one of the major raffle prizes..a car cover! Very exciting. We will have to buy one for the other car, so it doesn't get jealous.
As the sun started to set, we managed to get some beautiful pictures.
We even got to go see the captain, who built the Scarlett Belle himself.
As we headed back to the dock, the fog got really thick. Here are a last few shots of the Scarlett Belle in all of her nighttime glory.
We returned home safe from our three hour tour. I was kind of hoping to see the Harlem Globetrotters.
The 100th Meetup was a ton of fun. A huge thanks to Bob (Happy Birthday and Anniversary), Patti, Smart USA, Smart of Oxnard, Smart of West Covina (great to meet Tammie and J.D.), Smart Madness, Jon & Debbie( great caravan organization) and the Captain and Crew of the Scarlett Belle. We had a wonderful time catching up with everyone and can't wait to see you at the next meetup!