Well, yesterday we hosted our Vancouver Island Miata club annual BBQ.  In the past years this was held at the Masonic Lodge in Nanaimo which is pretty much central for the club, but it pretty much is an indoor event, dining in a basement.  At the last Christmas party I suggested to several of the members from the north (Comox Valley) that we should agree to host the BBQ this year and build in a run.  Everyone agreed with enthusiasm to help in the organizing.

It turned into a little bit of The Little Red hen story plus an issue with the venue.  I had thought we would end the run and hold the BBQ at the Air Force Beach which has a pavilion you can rent with a BBQ.  Problem is you need to have an Air Force person to book it.  The general public can book it but only 2 weeks before and only if some Air Force person does not want it.

Fortunately we have several retired air force people in the club including our friend John who retired as a major.  So I used him to book it 2 months ago.  Then came the bureaucracy of dealing with a government organization.  They asked if there would be any alcohol served.  Now, this is an early afternoon BBQ so that people can drive back to Nanaimo if they want, but I know my guys and there would be a few BYOB beers in coolers.  When I explained this, the air force said, if there is any liquor at the facility the MPs will shut you down unless you have a liquor license.

So I go to the BC liquor board and they say you cannot get a license for BYOB.  So I changed my tune and said, yes we will be serving liquor.  Then I had to fill out a form that asked for details on how many people would be coming (which I did not know), how many would drink beer, how many wine and how many cocktails.  I made a guess.

Next, the air force said if you have a liquor license you needed someone to be responsible and have a Serve It Right certificate.  Basically a license to serve liquor.  So I took the course, took the test and I now have a certificate.

So, John took all these certificates and applications to the base and we wait for confirmation that we could book the facility.  Apparently everyone short of the Minister of Defense must sign the approval.  When Pat and I returned from our trip to visit the family we still did not approval and at that time we only had 12 people confirming they would attend.  So we made an executive decision and cancelled the pavilion and moved  the BBQ to our back yard.  Meanwhile, over the last few months, Pat and I have been driving around the country north of Courtenay to find an interesting drive where we could take a group of cars for an interesting run.

Last week we started to get lots of people signing up.  Saturday morning we now had 14 cars and 28 people.  On Friday, Pat and I tested the drive that started at the Visitor Center just off the inland highway and ended at our house.  A great drive in brilliant sunshine on country roads that took us past small farms on tree covered lanes with horses, sheep, donkeys and Bison to be seen.  Good test of the run and we spent the rest of the day shopping and cooking.  Plus setting up the tables and setting out games in the yard.

We were serving hamburgers, hot dogs and pulled pork (which we cooked and prepared on Friday) along with potato salad and a variety of other salads.

Saturday morning we woke up to an overcast sky and a threat of rain.  We drove to the start of the run with black clouds overhead for our 11:30 start.  I had visions of a run with the tops up but where do we put all these people if it is raining at our house?  The rain never came and the run was great, about an hour and half.  The clouds slowly disappeared and we ended with clear skies.  Only 12 cars but no one got lost and we ended together (which is always good).  For Pat and I, this was the first time we led a major run.

Everyone stayed longer that we had planned, and the last guests left at 9:30.  Everyone loved the day and hope we will do it again next year.  I suggested this might be a semi-annual event.

Now Pat and I face several nights of eating the leftovers.  Pat and I are happy campers tonight.