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  • PCA Escape Sun Peaks - September 9-12 2010

    The 2010 PCA Escape was an incredible success. The attendance was more then double the attendance of previous Escapes! When the idea was first presented, they thought there might be 150 people maximum. Turned out 370 people participated, it was a sold out event! It drew lots of attention and even though the event was bursting at the seams, the staff at Sun Peaks, the organizers and volunteers of the event made the weekend go off without a hitch, a flawless weekend of fun and lifelong memories for everyone.

    It began on Wednesday, there were a few groups of WRR members making their way west that morning. The lucky ones who could get out there early were undoubtedly treated with some relaxation, the calm before the storm! There were a few more groups that made the trek on Thursday morning. Those who arrived early enough enjoyed a soothing soak in the hot tub. The event registration was efficient and we picked out table settings for the dinners as we registered. It was unexpected how the table seating was organized - it was a "first come first serve" basis and we did not know who we were going to be seated with - but in the end, it was an excellent opportunity to create good friendships with people from other regions. I rather enjoyed the table set-up. I would have never gotten the opportunity to get so close to the couples from San Antonio, Texas. It was a great way to allow us to get to know other people outside of the WRR bubble!

    There were a few tours on Thursday and the feedback I heard was that the scenery was outstanding. We all know how beautiful the countryside is over there and with the addition of 30 Porsches, a line of cars stretching as far as the eye can see, it would have been a sight to behold! There was also a golf tournament on Thursday and judging by the photos I saw, the participation rate was high and people really enjoyed themselves. Thursday evening was the welcome reception on the golf driving range. It was outdoors and although a little chilly outside, the sky was blue and all 370 people were kept warm with wine and other beverages available for purchase. It was a great kick off to the start of the weekend and the vibe was buzzing with energy and hype!

    The Thursday welcome dinner blew everyone away. The grand ballroom was so elaborate, there were 37 tables and it filled the room corner to corner. They weren't exaggerating when they said they couldn't allow anymore registrants! The program began with a welcome speech by our own member, Martin who was also the MC for the event. Martin was the perfect MC, he is so eloquent with his speaking and it's nice to have the WRR well represented in the Escape chair! (Speaking of having the WRR well represented, the WRR banner was erected during the car show high above the cars for all to see! We were the only region that did that, everyone definitely knew who we are! The banner was also proudly displayed over the hotel balcony so we certainly made our presence known!)

    The dinner buffet was very grand, just like you'd expect from a 5 star resort. The theme was Bavarian food, which was so fitting with the theme of our German cars! The delicious buffet included bavarian fare such as sauerkraut and bratwurst's (I believe that's what they are called, my terminology of German sausage may not be correct!) Desert had 5 or 6 different kind of cheesecake. Yum Yum!

    After dinner was social time and we mostly chatted with new people we met during the day, everyone was so friendly friendships formed so easily! Another popular spot was the parking garage. Down there truly was a sight to behold. It's safe to say that 99% of cars there were Porsches. People would wander in complete awe at the collection of cars. I spent quite a bit of time down there and there were so many other people who had the same idea that it was a great social spot!

    Friday was tour day. Most of the WRR took a driving tour. We all met at 7 am in the parking lot and they had it so organized, you would arrive and they would direct you to the line up for your specific tour to wait for departure. It was so incredibly organized, hats off to the tour organizers there was no confusion, only fun and a lot of photo opportunities! I participated in the wine tour. There were 25 cars on the drive! It was a very fun day, we drove on some very twisty roads that had very little traffic. Later in the afternoon, the groups were divided in 2 so that it was easier to enjoy the tours and tastings at the wineries. We traveled very far, about 5 hours of driving. I enjoyed the gas station stops, can you imagine what it would be like to be standing there and have 25 Porsches come and circle your gas station? We had to triple park in the parking lot there were so many cars! We were like a circus on wheels! We arrived back at 5:30 pm, just in time to wash the car in one of the 4 car washes in preparation for the car show the next morning.

    The Friday night program included an introduction to the charity which the silent auction benefited. It was the British Columbia Childhood Cancer Parents Association (BCCCPA). It was worthy charity, we were shown a video that made us realize how lucky we are to have the fellowship, families and the things we have. The video introduced us to parents who lost their children to cancer. They explained their family and financial struggles after the children were diagnosed with the disease. It's a sobering reminder that life is precious and that it can be taken at any time, we're so lucky to have our health and we should give when you can to help others who are less fortunate. Our hearts went out to these families. After the program was the dinner. It was buffet style again and the food was fantastic. We were treated with 3 different kinds of salmon among other gourmet selections and of course, a delicious dessert buffet to complete the evening.

    Social time followed and the banquet room was loud with all the chatter and laughter from the new friends getting to know each other and sharing stories about the day's tours, laughing and just loosing themselves in the moment of pure bliss and fellowship. Later that beveling, many WRR members gathered together for some late night drinks and snacks.

    Saturday morning we were up and ready at about 7:30 am to set up for the car show. Again the organizers impressed everyone with their incredible organization, as we carefully and slowly backed our cars into place with the help of volunteers, the excitement built as these beautiful Porsches, all makes and models, young and old were displayed amongst the beautiful backdrop of the village. It was truly a wonderful sight. Final estimates showed there were 127 cars entered in the show. From 9 am until 3 pm, we mingled around with our new Porsche friends and even the locals who flocked up to see the cars in all their glory. There were many spectators and they loved looking at our cars as much as we loved talking about them! It was a great opportunity to hear the stories behind the machines. We voted on our favorites out of 5 categories and the public got to vote as well. The day was chilly but we were so fortunate because originally the weather called for rain. The sun was out a little bit and there was hardly a sprinkle.

    Cars were moved back to the garage after the show. Some people enjoyed a swim in the pool and others went to the wine and cheese tasting. I did not go but by looking at the flushed faces and wobbling posture of the PCA and WRR members who did attend the tasting, it was a good time and there many different types of wine to sample! Another activity was tech talk about winter driving and tires, which I did not attend but those who did said it was very informative. Later on, everyone prepared for the formal banquet and we were dressed to the nines and flocking to cocktail hour at about 6:30pm. During this time was a silent auction benefiting the BCCCPA, guests bid on various items that were donated by sponsors.

    The formal banquet was a grand evening!! The silent auction winners were awarded and a few promotional videos were shown for the new anticipated GT2 RS and a video summarizing the events of the past 3 days. Awards were presented for the winners of the car show. The WRR members really did well on the car awards, Fritz, Ian, Eric and Steve all won awards for their respective car categories. Out of 7 awards, we came away with 4. Good job guys! The Porsche of canada CEO Joe Lawrence was the guest speaker and he had a nothing but great things to say about the event and the brand. He talked of the future of Porsche and it made everyone feel like they are a part of the greatest car club in the world.

    The highlight of the gala had to be the live auction. I don't recall the auctioneer's name but he blended talent and comedy into his auction process and it was so much fun. A good amount of money was raised as the 6 items were auctioned off and everyone was at the edge of their seats with excitement and laughing from his hilarious comments as the bids went up and up!

    There were many door prizes given out during the 2 nights and they culminated to the grand prize, a trip to Porsche's winter driving experience in Montreal. This prize was won by one of our own, congratulations Ted "Buck"! The dinner was table service and consisted of 5 star food once again. The highlight was the beef tenderloin, so thick juicy and cooked absolutely perfect. How they managed to cook 370 tenderloins so perfectly and have them served to each person hot and in a timely fashion is beyond me. During the evening we gave the hotel and restaurant staff a standing ovation because the service was impeccable, they were gracious, attentive and always polite. Very well done. The formal gala was a great success, everyone had such a great time.

    After, the WRR rented a room as a gathering space. It was extended to others outside the club and we brought our friends, the 1 bedroom suite was crammed to the rafters with people enjoying good cheer, fine wine and friendship. The noise and revelry continued well into the night until we were too tired to think, and off to bed we went, on the high of a great event!

    Sunday morning, many people chose to depart early but for those who stayed, myself included, we were treated to possibly the best brunch buffet I have ever seen! There were hot and cold selections, the biggest mound of blue cheese I've ever seen and at least 4 different types of cheesecake. Cheesecake for breakfast? I felt so spoiled! It was wonderful. There was a farewell speech by Martin, and as everyone finished this incredible buffet, we checked out of the hotel and made our through 7 hours of rain to return home.

    This was such a success, Being a new member I've never had the opportunity to attend an event like this before but I could tell by the looks on people's faces and their comments that this event was paramount. The chair people of the PCA could not express enough how successful and fun this event was. You haven't seen the last of zone gatherings, I can promise you that! Flying high on the heels of success, there will certainly be gatherings with other clubs because now we have friends from all over Canada and the USA who are excited for the next time we can all make a trek to meet and repeat this incredible experience again. This weekend proved that the Porsche club's motto is not just a saying - it's reality. Come for the cars and stay for the people. That's exactly what we did and this will remain in memory forever.

    Photo credits:
    - WRR members forum contributions
    - CWR member Flickr page
    - Escape 2010 Facebook page