Open Forum in The Villages, Florida

Your Front Seat to Florida's Mercedes Benz Club Adventures

August 11, 2023 Mike Roth & Bill Goldberg Season 4 Episode 11
Open Forum in The Villages, Florida
Your Front Seat to Florida's Mercedes Benz Club Adventures
Open Forum in The Villages, Florida
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Ready for a road trip? Buckle up and join me, your host, as we journey into the world of Mercedes Benz enthusiasts in central Florida and the villages areas. This episode is a deep dive into the lively M Benz Club's activities, exciting trips, and exclusive member perks, featuring Mercedes aficionado, Bill Goldberg. From guided tours to the Titanic Exhibition in Orlando to riverboat cruises and visits to Pearson, Florida, we're mapping out the club's grand adventures for 2023 and 2024. And it's not just about the journeys, it's also about the pit stops! We'll talk about vendor partnerships that offer members special discounts and amenities.

But the M Benz Club isn't just about driving—it's about community. We need to fuel up on more member participation for our upcoming events. Let Bill Goldberg navigate us through the intricate planning of a road rally, and explore some captivating locales including the Gypsy Banner Horse Ranch, the Equestrian Center, the Stetson Museum, and more. Plus, get a taste of the activities and food options at Desert Land, and gear up for an insightful talk on the Diminished Value of vehicles. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride as we shift gears into the fascinating world of the M Benz Club.

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Emily:

Welcome to the Open Forum in the Villages, Florida podcast. In this show we talk to leaders in the community, leaders of clubs and interesting folks who live here in the villages to give perspectives of what is happening here in the villages. We hope to add a new episode most Fridays at 9 am. We are a listener supported podcast. You can become a supporter for as little as $3 per month or you can choose to pay more. To become a supporter, go to openforminthevillages. com and click on support in the black box. There will be shoutouts for supporters in episodes.

Emily:

In season 4, we have made some dramatic improvements and changes. First is a clarification of the podcast's title. It is open forum in the villages, florida. To make clear that this is a regional show, independently produced for folks who live in central Florida and the villages areas. It is a dramatic increase in the use of AI in the creation of each episode. These include a transcript of each show. Please understand that there may be errors inserted by the AI that may not be caught before the transcript is published. However, this is a dramatic step forward. We will now include chapter markers for each show. The show description text will be AI generated. In fact, the show's announcers are now all AI voices, including me, emily. Hope you enjoy this is Mike Roth.

Mike Roth:

I'm here today with Bill Goldberg with the M Benz Club. Thanks for joining us today, Bill, my pleasure. Thanks for having me, Mike Good, I thought we'd ask Bill to share with our listeners some of the activities that the M Benz Club has done in the past and we have planned for late 23 and early 2024.

Bill Goldberg:

Well, mike, we're a pretty active club and we enjoy our new members joining us on all these trips. So if you'd like to join us, please join the M Benz Club. You don't have to own an M Benz. All you have to do is be an enthusiast of Mercedes Benz. So, knowing those rules, come and join us at a meeting second Tuesday of the month at Rohan Rec Center. Now let me tell you about some of the cruises and some of the tours we're going to be taking in the rest of 2023 and 2024.

Mike Roth:

That's fair, Bill, and you know, as you mentioned, you don't have to own a Mercedes to be a member of the club. We have several people who are members that own things like Audis, where there is no village club for Audis.

Bill Goldberg:

Well, not only that, Mike, but we have the ends at Mercedes Benz of Gainesville to help Mercedes enthusiasts and people who want to own a Mercedes to buy one and get it taken care of and buy it at the right price.

Mike Roth:

Fair deal Right, whether it's a trade-in or a new car or a certified pre-owned. And the other side of it is, we have a series of recommended vendors that provide our members some place between a 10 and a 15% discount on services. And for us here on the villages, a lot of us get curb rash. That's where the edges of your wheels get to hit the curbs on the roads, mostly done by the women in our lives.

Bill Goldberg:

So we have a vendor called Total Recon. This vendor will make your wheels look like brand new, like you never even touched a curb. I have a car right now my Mercedes. I have two what I call little dings in the wheels. He is going to repair them and when he's done, you won't even know they were ever there. He does a fabulous job of detailing cars ceramic coating and also detailing the inside of your car.

Mike Roth:

Well, they also do the cosmetic interior work in terms of the upholstery tears in your leather or vinyl, and they do replacement convertible tops.

Bill Goldberg:

He's the best around. All I can tell you is that I have never been disappointed in any of the work he has done for me or on my cars.

Mike Roth:

Right and we have shops locally that can handle the minor repairs, the oil changes, the need a new alternator, a radiator, and all of that work is with vendors that we know and trust and they have done a good job for the past four years for our club members. And that's not to mention that we have a dealer that sends a service truck around from the dealership here in the villages, so you don't even have to bring your car to the dealer.

Bill Goldberg:

But not to get into this subject, let's get back to Trips and tours when we're going, right. So what we have going on right now is on August 23rd it's a short notice trip, but we're going to Pearson, florida. Most of you have never heard of Pearson. We're also going to Barberville, florida, which is six miles down the road. We are going to the Barberville Lawn Ornament Emporium. They have the most unusual lawn ornaments around. They have acres of little dodads. I like to call them chuchkas. That's my. Do that Boston coming out? Yeah, do that. And we're going to spend about an hour and a half there. After that we're going to the best seafood restaurant outside of Boston Essex Seafood House in Pearson, florida. This place has just got the best seafood. I have been there three or four times already and have never been disappointed. But to move on, we're looking at a September 20th trip to Orlando and we try and keep our trips within an hour and a half driving time for our members in Orlando.

Bill Goldberg:

Day trips, day trips. What we're going to do is we're going to go to the Titanic Exhibition and have a guided tour and spend about an hour and a half there, and then we're going to the Brazilian restaurant FUGO de CHAR, which is about a mile and a half down the road called . We've been there before and the restaurant is outstanding and everybody enjoyed themselves, so we're hoping to have a lot of participation. Now, that's not all we're going to do. We're already planning out a riverboat cruise for October, and that's going to be out of Sanford. We're looking at that's the St John's River.

Bill Goldberg:

St John's River Boat Tour. We're looking at three hours of touring time with lunch, and then we're going to get out and there's a shopping center there for all your significant others and your loved ones to go spend some of your money. So we're just trying to make everybody happy, not only the guys driving because they want to get their cars out on the road, but for the women who are being dragged along so that they can have something that they can enjoy.

Mike Roth:

Right, and the riverboat has an enclosed cabin for 40 people that we've reserved for the Mercedes Benz Club owners.

Bill Goldberg:

Right and we're going to basically have our own room, so we order our dinner beforehand. They cook it right on the boat. It's just really well done. We've done this cruise before and the last time we had 53 members who showed up and that was really an outstanding tour that we took and everybody enjoyed themselves.

Mike Roth:

In fact you can see a picture of the people before they got on the boat. If you go to mbenzclub. com, that's the opening photograph you see on the homepage.

Bill Goldberg:

And at the end they were all smiling even more. So it was a really good trip, and Sanford is a great little town for people to just walk around. We have our own parking there, so your cars are going to be safe. So please come and join us, and once again, you don't have to own a Mercedes to become a member of the M. Club. We're a very, very active club and we'd like you to come join us. Tuesday at four o'clock, Rohan Rec Center. Come on down, it's the second Tuesday of the month, second Tuesday of the month and we'll be happy to have you there. We're also looking to do the Yingling Brewery Tour and possibly the Hard Rock Cafe afterwards. Some of the other trips that we talked about was Desert Land, which is in Orlando, and that's an entry fee, and they have hundreds and hundreds of unusual automobiles there. So if you're an automobile enthusiast I heard it was close to 2000.

Bill Goldberg:

Well, hundreds and hundreds will make you up to 2000,.

Mike Roth:

Mike, right, right, mister Dezer purchased them all and took over all the space in a Mall except for a movie theater, I believe and stuck in all kinds of vehicles. They have an airplane inside, they have a tank, they have like every vehicle that was in a James Bond movie. They have replicas of the golden gun and that's quite a museum within a museum.

Bill Goldberg:

Well, the only thing I'd like to see is that one woman that was in the James Bond movie I believe her name was Pussy Galore Pussy.

Mike Roth:

Galore yeah, that's who I'd like to see. Oh yeah, she'll be there for you, okay, we also have some other trips planned.

Bill Goldberg:

They're not on the calendar yet but, just to give you an idea, there's an elephant sanctuary in Gainesville. We got a holiday party, which we need to talk about, because we've done this for three or four years in a row now, right, and it's been extremely successful.

Mike Roth:

This is a limited seating event at the holiday party. It's the, I believe, the 12th of December, the second Tuesday of the month. It's going to be at Colony Recreation Center. We're going to have a catering of the meal by Past Affair and it will be a yummy, really good meal and we will have some, some selections which are vegetarian friendly.

Bill Goldberg:

Not for me. Okay, I, I. You want to meet. I want to know where's the beef. Where's the beef?

Mike Roth:

And, in addition to the joviality of members of the club, we're going to bring in one or two barbershop quartets and they're going to do about an hour program telling singing for our members. Now we also have before you do that, let, let, let me ask, let me tell you this Okay, go ahead A little joke. Why was the broom late to school? Why was the broom late to school?

Bill Goldberg:

If I guess the right answer, do I get a prize? Oh sure, I don't know the answer.

Mike Roth:

Oh well the answer. Is it overswept?

Bill Goldberg:

I can't laugh that loud Okay.

Bill Goldberg:

That was very nice and very appropriate for all audience members. So we'll rate that as a G. That's a G rated joke, yes, but one thing I did want to talk about was our January trip planned for Gainesville Mercedes. We are planning a trip for our members to go up there. We're going to get lessons on the electronic system, which is called MBUX, Mercedes-Benz user experience. We are going to also have lunch there, provided by the Gainesville Mercedes dealership. We are going to be talked to by the GM, the sales manager, the technology people there, so we're going to get really good information about how to use our cars, totally not just navigation, but how to really use your electronics in the car.

Bill Goldberg:

Now, some of the older cars in the club may not have everything, but you know what? Someday you may have one that's going to have all the electronics in it and you're going to need this information. So it's good to learn it now. Right, and they're very accommodating to us, plus the fact that, who knows, maybe we're going to get Christmas sales in January, so they may be doing some specials. So join the club. I tell you you're going to just. You'll not regret it, you'll enjoy every minute of it.

Mike Roth:

I believe in January they're going to have some test drives on their newer models available.

Bill Goldberg:

Yes, yes, they're going to be. They have the electronic cars up there which both Mike and I own and we're loving it, especially as we watch gas prices climb. And Mike took a rather long trip and a very adventurous trip up to New York with his electric car and had no problems in charging the car, in getting the car to his destination. It took a little bit longer but I know there were significant savings versus an ICE car which is an internal combustion engine car.

Mike Roth:

Right, we figured the cost of the internal combustion engine would be at least $450. And in the electric car, had we stuck with the electrify America charging stations from Mercedes Benz, which are free for the first two years, there would have been zero. However, along the route we wanted to make stops at the places we wanted to make stops, so we used some other other brands of charging stations, like EV go and charge point, and we spent $95 for fuel, electric electricity along the route, which was extremely reasonable. It was also funny that in Long Island, Smithtown, Long Island, I wanted to have the car charged up to a hundred percent before I got on the ferry to go to Bridgeport, connecticut, and I parked the car at City Hall. They had a couple of low speed seven KV chargers that were free and charged it up there. Well, my daughter, the come pick me up. And that worked out just fine. Just fine, bill. So we have some cruisers coming up in the Mercedes Benz Club, don't we?

Bill Goldberg:

Well, we're looking to. We did a cruise last year, a four day cruise to Bahamas and to Key West, and we had about 20 people from the club join us and it was really a very enjoyable trip we had. We got really great rooms at really great prices. So we asked our member who was a travel agent to see what they could find coming up for the end of 24, beginning at 25. And right now we're looking at possibly anywhere from a four to a seven day cruise with exceptional prices for both balcony and just window state rooms. The dates have not been set, the destinations have not been set. We're looking just to find the right cruise with the best amount of rooms that will accommodate our members. So we're looking for price and we're looking for destination. That will be coming up in 24.

Mike Roth:

Right, and let's take a quick break here and listen to a Alzheimer's tip from Dr Craig Curtis. Is there a seminar that you do that people can attend to learn more about Alzheimer's?

Dr. Craig Curtis:

disease. Yes sir, I usually give two to three seminars per week in my office and if folks would like to just call my office, they can register for the next available seminar. And usually they're on what days? Tuesdays, wednesdays and Thursdays. Great, thank you, you're welcome.

Warren:

With over 20 years of experience studying brain health, dr Curtis's goal is to educate the village's community on how to live a longer, healthier life. To learn more, visit his website, craigcurtismdcom, or call 352-500-5252 to attend a free seminar.

Mike Roth:

So, bill, let's get back to talking about some of the events that are going to happen in 2024 in the M Ben's Club.

Bill Goldberg:

Okay, Well, we've got some events that we did that we'd like to repeat, one of them being the Gypsy Banner Horse Ranch, which is in Ocala. We're also looking at the Inquestion Center to do a guided tour of the equestrian center, but we're looking for events to be going on at the time, so it could be a dog show, it could be horse show, but we'd like something to be going on so that not only are we taking a tour but we're also be able to see one of the events up there.

Mike Roth:

I understand they have an extremely good restaurant at the equestrian center.

Bill Goldberg:

They have a great pizza place outside. Really, absolutely. The restaurant at the equestrian center is rather pricey. We ate there twice. I'm thinking that we're better off having pizza for lunch. Whatever, we're also looking at Stetson Museum for next year maybe pre-Christmas, because they decorate everything up so nicely. Cape Canaveral there's another opportunity for us to take an hour and a half ride to Cape Canaveral to a tour. We're looking at all these different venues so that our members will enjoy themselves.

Mike Roth:

We haven't really planned overnight yet, and that being because Well, we did one that turned into an overnight down to Toppin Springs, right Okay, and there were about 20 couples that went on the trip and 10 of us stayed over, and it was just fine.

Bill Goldberg:

Well, we're looking at Toppin Springs again. We had a guided tour last time, which was really good, but now we know the town. The town is relatively small, so there's two venues that we have to really make reservations at. One would be lunch, because lunch and food are very important to our members. They love to eat Right. It's like oil for a car, exactly, or gas for a car and then Electricity for a car. We wanted to be able to take either a Spongeboat tour or a tour out to the shelling areas on the barrier islands out there. So we need to make those reservations Again. That's something that we'll plan for in warm weather, not mid -summer, because it's just too hot, but maybe September, october of next year, so that our members will be back, because we do have a lot of Snowbird members and we want them to be able to participate in some of these fun events.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, I think Sarasota might be a good destination as well to look at yeah and Ponce de Leon. State Park. Oh, make your own pancakes. Yeah, they're open again.

Bill Goldberg:

Yeah, I heard that, so there's another. We did that one before. We had a great time. We took a scenic ride on a tour boat. Everything just worked well Good food, good ride, everybody had fun. We were back in the villages by no later than three o'clock in the afternoon.

Mike Roth:

It's when you get to a venue that's going to take five or six hours, and Cape Canaveral may be that venue where it pays to go in there, take the tour, have dinner, stay over and go an overnight Right. Yeah, and maybe they'll even do an overnight launch for us.

Bill Goldberg:

There's also. We were talking about something that's rather interesting and it's very difficult to put together and that's a road rally. We need to look at trips and where we want to go and what type of rally we're going to do. It's not going to be a speed rally. It's going to be just a timed rally to checkpoints so that we'll keep you below the speed limits. You don't need to rush to complete it Right.

Mike Roth:

In fact there are penalties in those kinds of rallies for arriving at the finish line early.

Bill Goldberg:

But the biggest obstacle that we have in planning these trips is we need more member participation. We need our members to help us to plan these trips and make the phone calls, because right now it's limited to a few people that are doing it. Personally, I've been on the phone for the last three or four days for hours talking with people, getting information, making reservations, talking with Mike, getting his blessing to do the trips. So what we really need to do is we need more members in our club who would like to actively participate in planning these trips. It isn't as much a big deal as it would be if you were doing it alone, so if you're doing it with a group, there's always somebody there to help you get you through the sticking points.

Mike Roth:

Right, right, and you know, a thing like Dezerland is not only a car museum. There are other activities there. They have bowling alleys, they have Bumping cars. Bumper cars yes, it's kind of a Axe throwing. Axe throwing yes, I participated in the axe throwing and I was not standing in front of you when you did. That's a good thing. It's a good thing you're standing behind me when you miss the thing and the axe bounces back at you. You gotta sometimes move a little bit fast, but it was very, extremely safe. And they have instructors there on axe throwing to make sure that you know how to throw the axe and where to stand. But the various activities at Desert Land make it rather unique. And food yes, they have a couple of restaurants.

Bill Goldberg:

We can't forget the food. Our members are definitely foodies.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, I think we ate at the James Bond Lounge. Very nice. What did you eat? Shake and not stirred.

Bill Goldberg:

Okay, that's reasonable. I think that we do have a lot of great trips planned. We have a lot of activities planned. Our members are really active in the club, so that you can find a spot to join us All right and we have interesting talks every month at four o'clock on the second Tuesday. We have a gentleman coming in this coming Tuesday.

Bill Goldberg:

And many of you may not know what you're entitled to on your insurance, but we have a gentleman coming in who's gonna talk to us about Diminished value Diminished value of your vehicle. If your vehicle is in an accident and it's reported to the insurance company and it shows up on a car fax, your car is no longer worth what you think it is and the insurance company is responsible to make up that difference.

Mike Roth:

Right, you know. Let's say you had a minor fender bender and they replaced the front bumper cover and a fender. Your insurance should pay for the repair of the car. But because the car fax is now gonna show that it was repaired, it's diminished value. Yes, and there's a law firm here in Florida that specializes in that kind of claim and they're gonna be speaking to the club. We've had people talking about body shop work. We've had people talking about engine and car repair. We've had people talking about senior fraud. We've had people talk about Alzheimer's disease.

Bill Goldberg:

We've had health experts at the meetings, which were phenomenal.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, we even had a lady come in and talk about how to create a butterfly garden in your yard.

Bill Goldberg:

So it's not all about cars. It's not, and I think you just heard the secret word for New Englander's cars. But pay no attention to my bad accent and, admittedly, will become frick &amp frack. You know, it really is important that we offer different venues to our members. It's not just about your car, although cars are the main ingredients that we join the club and the camaraderie of people with similar interests to our own. Once again, you don't have to own a Mercedes to join the club, you just have to like them.

Mike Roth:

Right, right, and we have a lot of fun built. If someone wants to find out more about the club, how do you think they should do that?

Bill Goldberg:

Go to wwwmbenzclub. com and our website will pop up for you. And guess what? All the information that you need is right there. You'll get to see some of the members, you'll get to see some of the trips we were on, you'll get to see the people that are involved with the club. So take a quick look.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, there's lots of pictures.

Bill Goldberg:

Cost nothing, right? You're sitting in front of your computer anyhow, probably playing the game, so go to our website, mbenzclub. com.

Mike Roth:

Great Thanks for joining us today.

Bill Goldberg:

Bill my pleasure.

Mike Roth:

Thanks, Mike.

Emily:

Remember our next episode will be released next Friday at 9 AM. Should you want to become a major supporter of the show or have questions, please contact us at mikeatrothvoicec. om. This is a shout out for supporters Greg Panjian, tweet Coleman Dan Kapellan Capellan Ed ed lvin lvin alvin Stenzel and major supporter Dr Craig Curtis at K2 in the villages. We will be hearing more from Dr Curtis with short Alzheimer's tips each week. If you know someone who should be on the show, contact us mikeatrothvoice. com at mikeatrothvoicecom. We thank everyone for listening to the show. The content of the show is copyrighted by Rothvoice 2023. All rights reserved.

Club Activities and Trips
Club Events and Member Participation