In moving West this August, I have immersed myself in the local Mini club. It’s what we do as Mini owners – we get together, we talk cars, we turn wrenches, we share meals, we go for drives. The Portland club has been around, in one form or another, for as long as the new generations of Minis has been. And with that, so have their organized run – planned events and drives, wherein someone marks out a route and leads others on a drive, usually because of the value of the route itself. Mini owners like curves, they
Having driving across America west twice this summer, and as someone who likes to drive because I like to go to twisty roads, I am someone who relies on maps and, these days, my iPhone and iPad for navigation more and more. But not all navigation apps are the same, and at all times, using data isn’t always necessary.
Twice this summer, I drove West across America, as part of our relocation from Charlottesville to Portland, OR. Twice. I know a lot of people who haven’t done it once, and I had the good fortune of doing it twice such in this golden summer.
More about what I’m doing during my R&R in Hawai’i.
The kids and I made one last Mini adventure today: Ka’ena Point Satellite Tracking Station. Me, at the far point. If you remember, about a month ago the kids and I went to ride bikes at Ka’ena Point State Park and had an awesome time. When we were doing that, I noticed some odd structures up on the ridge above the point itself — one of which looked like a giant golf ball. Look for the golf ball. Today, we went to that golf ball, and to pretty much all of the other stuff up there. A guy I
The wife and kids and I went to MINI to the Max at Aloha Tower on Sunday morning, here in Honolulu. It was a mix of a Mini car show, toy drive, and sales event for the local Mini dealership. It was sponsored by the dealership, the local Mini club (Hawaii Mini Motoring Club), and a few others. One thing I did get a chance to do there was talk about my Mini, and Minis in general. Not hard to do — I love my car, and I love the Mini. And I love my Mini adventures — I
The wife and kids and I snuck off for a long weekend on Maui. We took the ferry over, which meant that we also got to take along Tess Turbo, the coolest Mini Cooper S in all the Pacific (if not the world). It was a fantastic trip. Truly. Great weekend. We were the guests of Robin and her family, who treated us like royalty and with whom we had a ball. (She blogged about the weekend, here. And the flubber recipe is here.) But this weekend made me think about a few things going on in my life.
K and the kids and I headed off this AM for coffee with the Hawaii Mini Motoring Club. I’d been in touch with some of the gang online, so it was a chance to say hello and put faces to names, and to ask a ton of questions. Today was, apparently, the smallest gathering in known history. We counted maybe 15 or 18 Minis. Last month, they did a drive across the island — 51 Minis. While there, a few of the folks said, “Oh, you should go drive up to Tantalus. It’s really pretty.” So we did. K
We went and got her from the port today. She’s got two new and tine scratches on the passenger door — the shipping folks acknowledged that the scratches are new, so we’ll work out something to get her fixed. It’s why we have insurance. I was thinking earlier that the arrival of Tess Turbo marks the closure of a pretty good summer of motoring. Since late August, Tess Turbo and I made it through the Nordschleife at the N?rburgring, across the Alps, onto a boat to Baltimore, across America to Kansas City via Hermann, MO, and then on to
Hey, Tess and I made it onto Killboy’s blog (here). He’s the photographer at the Dragon, the best and the best known. He posted me and RudyT — pretty cool.
I drive a 2006 Mini Cooper S. I am, in every sense, just your typical Mini owner, in that I am as fanatically obsessed with my Mini as the next guy or gal. I love my Mini. I love driving my Mini. And I love my Mini adventures. I’ve got a running list of adventures that I’ve had in my Mini. It looks something like this: * Going full throttle on the autobahn * Driving the Odenwald * Sunday drives the Black Forest / Schwarzwald * Driving the Black Forest from end to end * Driving Poppa Bear Point
It only took 34 years to get around to making another Italian Job movie. What brought that about? The return of the Mini, of course. This isn’t a sequel, and it’s not a remake, per se. Mark Wahlberg plays Charlie, Donald Sutherland plays his mentor, and the ever beautiful Charlize Theron plays Steller, his daughter and Charlie’s love interest. They go to Italy with a crew to pull off one more job, the one that will let them all get out of the business. And they pull it off — only to have Ed Norton, as Steve, double cross
Look what I passed today! I need to go back, just for a cup of coffee or something. Maybe they can make some small upgrades to my Mini — Gatling guns, flame throws, or something. Here‘s my trip.
In case you had not heard, I’m on the road today, headed north to Deal’s Gap. Tomorrow, I’ll be driving the Dragon with a bunch of other Minis. Should be good. So, to honor that glorious event, I decided it was high time to went back and watched The Italian Job again. Yes, the original one.
I see this around town about once a week. I took it as a sign, when I first saw it. Originals on Flickr, here.
I went up to Atlanta for the weekend.? Went to see A & T & their daughter, MacAttack.? T and I went to college, and being as it’s only 120+ miles to their house, it seemed to close to not do.? Awesome, awesome weekend. Let’s see. There was: 1.? The new iPhone. 2.? The trip to the mall. 3.? Dinner at Ted’s. 4.? A morning of unlocking the iPhone and T’s iTouch. 5.? A lazy afternoon of looking at the new iPhone like it’s a naked lady who moved in across the street. So, bear with me — this
So, where was I?? Oh yeah — Baltimore. Wednesday night closed out well. JB and I went down the street to a tequila bar for some food and a drink (or two).? Yummy food, and wow, good drinks, er, I mean, drink.? Bartender took pity on us, I think, or at least found humor in serving up drinks, er, a drink to a guy who’d been living out of the country for so long. So.? Thursday.? Wow.? Drove a lot that day.? 600+ miles, from Baltimore to Louisville.? After two nights of about 4.5 hours of sleep each night.?
I made it to Baltimore on one piece.? Good trip, actually. United guy at the airport was good.? I gave him my two bags, he weighed them, and then asked, “Are you military?” Turns out that he knew the secret code to plug into the HAL9000, so that he would not have to charge me for my over-weight bag (yikes).? I ended up on a 767-300, in the Economy Plus section — next to a smelly guy, of course.? He moved over after we were in the air (when the lady on the other side of him fled), and
Next week, I?ll make the 1000 or so mile drive from the port in Baltimore, to Kansas City, MO. After a week there, I turn SE and head to Georgia for a ~100 day course. After that, or during that, I need to get my Mini Cooper S on a boat and pointed at Hawaii, so I can hop a plane myself and head to the islands.
All good trips need a name. Tess Takes The States (TTTS) ? I think that?ll work.
Some great videos, here. MotoringFile is a great Mini related site. All kinds of good information there, including all the latest news on Minis and future Minis (Opa, it’s where I am tracking what’s going on with the plans for a 4WD Mini), plus a great section on do it yourself stuff. They also have a comprehensive buyer’s guide for Minis, broken down by not just by model but also by year (which is a fantastic idea). The Mini Challenge (translated) is a Formula 1 style series of races for some seriously hopped up Minis. Think stock car racing,