60th Annual MTFCI Tour in Auburn, NY

July 16-22, 2016

Every year for the last sixty years the MTFCI has sponsored an annual national tour for it’s members.  This year the tour was in upstate New York in the Finger Lakes Region.  Dan and Ellen Killecut and their team organized a week long tour for just under 300 cars!  No small feat!  We went to enjoy the beauty of miles of rolling hills and farmlands as well as the Finger and Great Lakes.  Back roads took us to some interesting villages, wineries and museums all that were quaint and relaxing.  We met up with old friends and made some new ones too!  We certainly enjoyed seeing all the cars, each and everyone of them unique!

Saturday, July 16th

Once we arrived at the Holiday Inn and registered for the tour, we unpacked our car and went for a swim in the indoor pool.  We were at the pool a lot over the week.  We were glad to finally be in Auburn and we enjoyed greeting people as they arrived.  While Ross attended a MTFCI board meeting, the girls and I explored the town and had dinner.

Sunday, July 17th

Today the tour took us to Emerson Park on Lake Owasco.  There the group had a car show and a BBQ chicken lunch.  We took our tour picture and enjoyed the afternoon visiting with friends.  After a short drive around the area we were treated to a dessert party to welcome us!  Yum!

Monday, July 18th

We started the day in historic Seneca Falls where the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” was based on.  Rich in history, we visited a old Episcopal Church, that houses authentic Tiffany glass windows.   The Museum of Waterways and Industry had quite a few hands on exhibits which my girls enjoyed!  After a quick walk through the town we got back on the road and headed for lunch at Three Brothers Winery Complex.  A full morning left the girls tired out and they fell asleep in the car so we drove past the Rose Hill Mansion a National Historic Landmark built in 1837.  It looked grand, but not the type of place to take two tired children.  Our afternoon was filled with beautiful scenic drives along Seneca and Cayuga Lakes.  There are rolling hills and family farms everywhere!  Some of them are owned by Mennonites, and we crossed paths with horse and buggies a few times.  We then headed back to the hotel for dinner and special kid’s activities which included a Caricature artist!

Tuesday, July 19th

Today began with a tour of a Private Police Car Collection.  Then we were off to the MacKenzie-Childs factory.  They make unique hand painted decor and furnishings.  What is a Model T tour without a daily ice cream stop?  Today was no exception.  The ice cream is pretty good around here (not BlueBell, but good).  There are many dairy farms in the area.  Tonight the tour hosted a Bluegrass band and more playtime for the kiddos.  We have really enjoyed this tour so far.  We are lucky our little cousin, Jackson, is here having fun with us!  Model T’ing really is a family affair!

Wednesday, July 20th

On Wednesday we visited the town of Weedsport and stopped at the Weedsport Speedway Museum for a donut break.  Some of the cars on the tour even drove around the dirt track!!  Next, we got lost in the Oswego College Campus and finally made it to Lake Ontario for a boxed lunch  The lake was so big it was more like an ocean, with waves and a beach.  You couldn’t even see the other side.  Again, we missed the afternoon stop in lieu of a nap.  The Killecuts opened their home for us to tour their collection of cars and take a break from driving.

Thursday, July 21st

The highlight of today and possibly the whole tour was the Finger Lakes Live Steamers train rides.  This model train community has a great track going and was more than happy for us to ride every train, over and over again!!  Ross particularly liked the steam train that ran on coal!!  After being the last ones to leave, we continued on the drive along the Historic Erie Canal and into the Village of Palmyra.  The day finished off with the kids painting a Model T wooden craft and everyone helping themselves to ice cream sandwiches before the Youth Auction got on the way.

Friday, July 22nd

Starting with a full tank of gas, we headed to the Village of Skaneateles.  Today was their Curbstone Festival and sidewalk sale and the little tourist town on the lake was bustling.  We stopped just short of the village (and the crowds) and had a great sandwich lunch at a country store.  Vernak Country Store was a treat.  A couple of good hills today had us hungry!!  Skaneateles Lake is the highest and arguably the cleanest of  the main finger lakes.  It’s all the way downhill to Syracuse.  After the shorter day, we headed back for the closing banquet and a pizza and pool party for the kids.  It has been an excellent tour!  We have thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with friends, driving our cars, seeing the historic sites and feeling the cooler breezes on our skin.  Now, exhausted, we head back to Texas’ summer heat.