Flip Flops and Big Blocks

It’s been a while blog world. I have had a busy summer filled with car shows, events, new friends, new jobs just life in general. Since I was last here, I have continued to conquer autocross and Louisa won a few car shows. But perhaps the biggest adventure of all was a trip to Pontiac, Michigan this past weekend.

Some of you may have heard of Woodward Ave, some may not. I was one of the people who had not. For those who don’t know, Woodward Avenue is the heart of Pontiac Michigan. It is said that this was where the first ticket for street racing. This happened in March of 1895. The road first saw big spoked wheels and wagons. But in the 50s cars changed into something more reliable and became something we used to get from point A to point B. This 13 mile stretch naturally attracted a lot of people. Drive in diners started to pop up all along the road. Unlike today, a lot of these places were family owned. Coupled with the long wide stretch of road and automotive lovers in the surrounding area, it has taken its place in car history.

When spending some time with my boyfriend at the shop where he works he mentioned the event ‘Roadkill Nights’ that was happening the coming weekend (August 9th and 10th) in Pontiac, Michigan. He said he wanted to road trip out there. Famous last words of mine, I said, ‘let’s do it’. The following week consisted of getting his Caprice road ready and a little more safe for us to travel in. We looked at the route, 11 hours, 685 miles, not too bad! Then we realized that was going through Canada which we couldn’t do. So instead it was 13 hours and 764 miles. Meh, still not bad.

Monday August 5th

I was sitting at work dying for it to be the weekend so we could head out. We decided it would be best to leave Thursday night in the early morning so we could get there Friday evening and have a little time to explore.

Thursday August 8th, 12:45AM

My alarm went off after only getting 3 hours of sleep. I was still pumped though and ready to go. We packed up really quick, loaded the car and were ready to go. I was in charge of the route. It was dark, quiet. It was 1AM. No one was around. We headed out towards Keene and hit a long stretch of road in Vermont, Route 9 (more to come on this road later). We stopped at some rest stops along the way, I slept through a lot of the morning driving. We stopped for breakfast in Weedsport, New York at a place called Cook’s Village Diner. Small, a lot of locals.

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It was good! Bacon makes any day better. We continued on in to Pennsylvania Welcome Center, took a quick break and hung out in the grass. You could see out into the distance forever. The day was beautiful.

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We stopped again in Erie, Pennsylvania at a place called Tasty Bowl for lunch. I had broccoli, rice  and chicken and tried sushi for the first time. (Yes, it was indeed, Tasty.)

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Driving definitely takes a lot out of you, or in my case, being a passenger takes a lot out of you. We stopped again in Avon Ohio for some nuggies at Wendy’s and a trip to Goodwill. Thrift shopping is fun, don’t knock it til you try it! By he time we left it was about 3:30PM. We had a little less than 4 hours to go until we would reach the hotel.

At 7:00 PM we finally reached destination number one Courtyard by Marriott. We checked in and it was definitely time for a shower and a nap. The schedule events for Friday were done, but we went cruising around anyways. There were some cool cars still out and about rolling through the streets of Pontiac. We went to a place called Moose Preserve Bar & Grill for some dinner and drinks. It had been a long 20 hours. But we made it. The fun begins tomorrow.

Saturday August 10th 7:00 AM

For someone who was only able to sleep for like 5 hours in the past 30, I was feeling pretty good. It was likely because I was just so excited to get started on the day. We had picked out breakfast the night before so we could just get up and go. We decided on a place called Kerby’s Koney Island. It was ironically right across the street from the place we went to the night before. The inside was cute, it looked it had been there for a while. We sat at the little counter across from the open kitchen. Staff was friendly, and you could tell that they had worked together for a long time. Requests were met with curiosity for their own personal cooking and carried out wonderfully. I’d come back again.

Next it was off to Woodward Ave for the main event. There were several lots off site that we needed to be shuttled to the event from. The shuttles were old schoolhouses, and I emphasize the word old. I’m more of a nervous person than not, I freak out on the T in Boston when it goes over a bump, this was something else. ANYWAYS when we arrived and got off the bus (and even little before that) we could hear the screeching of tires burning rubber. My boyfriend turned to me and asked if those were tires, I laughed and said “hell yea, I think so.”

First up, we needed to check in with MotorTrend, a subscription service to various car videos, builds, drag racing, you name it. Being a subscriber gave you access to the MotorTrend Lounge which was out of the sun, had free snacks and drinks and gave you one free beer (to start at noon). There were also a number of people who would be there throughout the day that you could meet and have sign stuff and chat with. The out of the sun part was the best to me. They also gave you a fastpass to the Dodge Thrill Rides, which was where all the tire screeching was coming from. In one section there were Dodge Chargers and Challengers drifting around course taking people for thrill rides. Our fastpass was for 2:30-3:00, so we had to wait a little bit.

First up was the concourse, the section set aside for people who registered and wanted to show their car. Most of them were Dodges, and rightfully so I suppose, but there was a lot of other cool stuff to see as well.

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Like this Prowler and Viper sitting pretty side by side

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77ish Trans Am

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72 Camaro

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70s Challenger

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Early 70s Corvette

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05 Charger

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67-68 Ford Mustang

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A mixture of things

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CJ 7

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My boyfriend and a sexy cop lady

We attempted to watch some drag racing, but unless you were in the VIP section or managed to score a seat high up in the bleachers you didn’t have much luck seeing anything. We wanted to get a glimpse of the starting line, but that turned out to be pretty difficult. So we checked out some merch, I bought a t-shirt and some stickers (of course). The day was winding down. It was just about 2:30 and time for the thrill rides. When we walked to that area, the line was so long we didn’t see the end. Someone in passing said that the wait was three hours long. Hundreds of people wee standing there. But only a handful were in the fastpass line. Thank goodness. The speaker keeping the crowd entertained had a great voice. He was talking to a kid who was in line, telling him about how they burn through thousands of tires a year, just regular tires too. They are allowed to come, make a mess of wherever they’re at and then go, no clean up required. I would guess there is someone else to do that? But who knows.

It was finally our turn to go. I started to get really nervous. Uncontrollable  laughter ensued. Queue ridiculous high pitched screeching as the Charger we where in took off and whipped around the cones. Here’s a video inside the car, and some photos I took outside.

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This was the ending of a ridiculously fun time. Here is the video of our time at the event.

We had seen all that we could and it was time to start the long journey back home. We took the famous 8 mile road back out. But there was one place I needed to stop before I left…

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Years ago I used to watch a show called Hardcore Pawn. One of those cheesy pawn shop reality shows. I hadn’t thought about the show in years, but when I was wondering what else we could do or see while we were in Detroit, this place popped in to my head. And you can bet your ass we visited.

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Maybe this isn’t cool to some people, but it was wicked cool to see. I had never been someplace that I had watched on TV. Inside was smaller than what TV made it look like, but still cool to see none the less. The owner, Les Gold, was even in the back behind the counter and I got to catch a glimpse. I was trying not to freak out, as this was just an everyday pawn shop for everyone else there. I had my fill and we left. A quick trip to Starbucks and we were back on the road.

Man, that 13 hour car ride did not seem so exciting since now we were leaving instead of going. But I was happy that we would be returning back home to the familiars of New Hampshire. It’s cool to watch how highways and scenes change from one state to the next, until you’re back where you know.

8 hours in to our excursion home, we stopped at Niagra Falls, the New York side. I know, I know, “its better on the canadian side,” but again, we couldn’t go through Canada. It was just about 6:30AM when we got there, so it was quiet, not many people were around It was the perfect opportunity to get some videos and some photos before the crowd rush came in. By the time that we reached the actual scenic view, the crowds were already starting to roll in. I did manage to grab few pictures before that though.

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Breathtaking is the only way I can describe it really. I hadn’t seen anything like it before. The view of the Canadian side was nice, and I will definitely be back again to see the opposite view. Heres a quick video of us walking around, there really arent words to describe it, so I’ll show you instead.

We stopped for some yummy breakfast,

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and we were back on our way home. We still had 7 hours to go.

When we finally hit Vermont, we were feeling good. Roads looked more familiar. The air was fresh. Route 9 awaited us again, and this time, not in the dark. This last video is of Route 9 through Vermont, our last stretch to home.

The experience was amazing. A last minute road trip I would not have wanted to take with anyone else. More adventures await us in the future.

Motor on.

Cruising Downtown 2018

Hello everyone!

I have been super busy this past weekend and almost forgot to post about Louisa’s adventure!

Saturday September 2 5:00AM

There’s only one thing I could be getting up for this early. CAR SHOW! Cruising Downtown was the first big car show I went to with Louisa last year and it was so much fun! For those of you who have never been, Cruising Downtown is a huge charity event to support the Rotary Club. Cars and enthusiasts from all over come and join together for one common interest. Small businesses set up booths and show off their own array of customer’s cars.

Last year was a last minute decision. I was the last person to pre register. When arriving to Elm Street, the volunteer directing people where to go parking me right on the corner of the street where all the cars were coming in. Throughout the day I had people come over and say that they saw me coming in and had to come back over and take a look. Last year was a blast, and this year was no exception.

When arriving on Elm Street this year, a different volunteer wanted to park me right on the sidewalk. I said thank you, but my friend Jonny had saved me a space further down the road.

As I proceeded down Elm St., it was already busy and full of cars. People I had seen at previous car shows as well as Cruising Downtown last year waved at me. A few people came over as I was stopped, waiting for the cars in front of me to proceed.

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She looks so funny in between these two muscle cars!

All day, people came and pointed, asked questions, looked inside, and wanted to know more about the little MINI.

I must have talked to around 200 people throughout the day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Louisa definitely got the attention she deserved. The morning consisted of breakfast at Top Shelf Tattoo and then a pig roast in the afternoon for lunch. 7am – 4pm. A long day, but totally worth it as always. I made some new friends and had some ‘fans’ of Louisa come over and thank me for bringing her out again.

Here are a few photos from the day!

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Sunday September 3, 5:00am (AGAIN)

Whyyyy. Alright, today’s adventure is Seacoast Cars and Coffee!! I had to get there at 7am to help out, and with my tiny 21 HP engine, it takes a bit to get there on the backroads. The only good thing about early morning drives is that there is no one else around, and it you accidently run a stop sign, no one knows!

Another great day of car people and cars. I was in charged of the tent for the first hour while the founders and organizers of this great show could enjoy it together, something they often do not get to do!

Another 150 people came to the table to ask questions, purchase stuff or just to chat. A whopping 800+ cars roll in and out from 8am-11am. It is a huge show and at least a thousand people show up.

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There are of course more modern vehicles that go rather than classics, but I seek them out and make sure they get the attention that they deserve.

A short post after a crazy week. I hope you enjoyed the view. Until next time!

Motor On.

 

Tuna. Racing. Coffee.

The weekend has come and gone once again. There just are not enough hours in the day, are there?

It was certainly another weekend for the books. Friday night was a last minute event for me. I joined 30 other MINIs at MINI of Peabody to rally down to Cape Ann for the for the annual Bluefin Blowout Tuna Tournament. Being that Saturday and Sunday consisted of so much car stuff, the even slipped my mind. Luckily, I was reminded and was sure glad I was. 20180803_1854511741285558927070456.jpg20180803_1907543195410691772193948.jpg20180803_1859168513643359646186068.jpg20180803_1902336773764247412153313.jpg20180803_1907487487127578392591686.jpg

Here are just a few phots from the rally prior to the actual event. My phone died while I was there so I was not able to get a photo of 610lb+ tuna that came in at the end… Luckily though, David did!

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Holy damn! That thing was huge! Very impressive, and the very last catch of the night. Friday was fun, and a long day. But Saturday proved to be longer…

Saturday August 4, 5:00AM

My alarm went off and startled me awake it was so early. Heart racing after a mini heart attack, I hit snooze and rolled over. The sun was barely peaking over the trees out my window.. It was race day though! I had been looking forward to this day for a couple weeks now. I was invited by one of my friends to come and volunteer at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH with NER SCCA (New England Region Sports Car Club of America). It was quite the interesting experience.

Being the first time I had ever done something like this, I was pretty much just observing. Morning consisted of checking in, getting a wristband and then I headed over to the Chief’s meeting with my friend Charlie. Although I obviously was not a chief (yet) I was glad to listen to get a feel for what the day was going to look like.

Now, I could not explain all of the classes and types of cars that were there on Saturday. I couldn’t keep everything straight in my head as it was… A lot of Miatas, one MINI, open V cars and many more. The races started at 8:20 and went all the way until 4:40. The first half of the day consisted of me observing down in Pit Lane. Basically, that consisted of making sure cars were not coming in and out where they were not supposed to, and directing them back to the garage when their time or race was up. It rained most of the first half of the day, which was less than ideal..

Around noon, everyone headed inside for lunch, which was the only portion of the day where it did NOT rain. Go figure…

The second half of my day consisted of  of being on Grid. That was more interesting for sure. Grid consisted of a super crazy bunch of older ladies. All super nice with very big personalities. I liked them a lot. Down in Grid, they are responsible for lining up the cars according to their previous race times if its the second one. There are sheets with every racers number, time, class, model, name, and position. Their car number and position is really all that needs to be looked at in Grid. From there, it’s pretty easy. Match the car number with position number. Countdown the clock and then let them go!

I enjoyed myself down in Grid because you get to get up and close and personal with the race cars. Grid also consists of making sure all of their safety equipment of checked and properly set up, they are secure and ready to go! Here are two photos from one of the races.

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I was not tired enough last night to forget my GoPro though! I captured video of almost every race of the cars leaving the grid. Check it out on youtube below!

I know what you much be thinking, getting up close in race cars was the best part. WRONG. The best part of the day was definitely being able to ride in the pace car!

That damn little Toyota was fast. Had to be to keep up with the racers! Riding around the track was so much fun, I did it a second time! After the pace car rides ended, I went back to grid to finish out my day.

I obviously should not have stayed out past midnight the night before having to get up so early the next day, because I fell asleep on my jacket on a picnic bench. I was a little embarrassed, but I got over it. There are worse things that can happen. I could’ve lost my shoe! Ha!

Anyways, after the day was over, there was a feast! salad, pasta salad, egg salad, chips and salsa and pulled pork (my favorite!). I hung around for a little while longer, making connections and what not. Then it was time to head home. I thought I would go right to bed, but I did not. I guess that 20 minute nap on the picnic table did the trick…

Sunday August 5, 5:30am

Another early morning! Time for Seacoast Cars and Coffee. This event was one of the very first cars and coffee events that I went to almost 4 years ago. To be honest, I did not have a lot of fun and wanted to leave… Now, I work for them and could not be happier.

I met up with Carson at his shop down the street from my house. We drove to Epping to pick up one other MINI to meet with us. From there, we drove in to Newington through some great twisty backroads. The Tutto Italiano show at Larz Anderson was happening the same day, so the show was a little quieter, but still as busy as ever! I’d say 1000+ cars rolled in and out of the show for three hours. It was hot, but the show was cool. I look forward to these every summer. I took a few photos, but not many, as I did not get a chance to walk around much.20180805_0853484524676788870237815.jpg20180805_0850148069699258979263850.jpg20180805_0852481933692376955547523.jpg20180805_0849027465293029534669210.jpg20180805_0846553885495775693836915.jpg20180805_0834519068544103597529491.jpg

After the show, Carson, Brad, Dave and myself all went to The Friendly Toast in downtown Portsmouth. If you live in the area and have not been, I HIGHLY recommend. I went there for the first time earlier this year and can’t get enough. From there we cruised around 1a again. Two new traditions after Seacoast.

The weekend is over once again, but more great memories were made. I made it through another crazy busy one! Until next time my friends.

Motor on.

 

Louisa’s First Place First

Hello everyone!!

Happy Monday, or in my case, not so happy Monday… It’s already a rough start to the week, but it can only go up from here… right?

Anyways, this past weekend was filled with car events once again. Saturday morning I had to work, so my good friends Steve and Nancy were kind enough to come and pick up Louisa and bring her to the Show of Dreams hosted by British Cars of New Hampshire. The event ran into the afternoon and I was able to make it towards the end. There were so many AMAZING British cars there. Here are a few photos.

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Louisa took home first place in her class, 1960-1969 British Cars. She was up against a few other cars, two of which were other MINIS.

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I am a proud mama.

Sunday AM was also a car day. My humble little show in Salem, New Hampshire at The Coffee Factory started early at 9AM, Southern New Hampshire Cars and Coffee.

I have been trying to get the show to be a little more professional and get myself out there. Up until now, I was just behind the scenes and no one knew it was I, *gasp* a lady, who was organizing the events. To my surprise, most everyone who started to realize it was me, was very supportive of that fact. For that, I am very happy.

My friend and sponsor Carson of Detail New England, helped me out at the show. Walking around, making connections, and manning the tent. It was a really great time! Quite a success, and I am happy with how far the show has come. Here are some photos from the day.

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Saucy! #DNE

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Short blog post this time. This coming weekend though I will be helping out at the SCCA Race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH on Saturday and then Seacoast Cars and Coffee on Sunday. It is going to be one hell of a weekend, but I am very much so looking forward to it. Until next time everyone!

Moto On!

Castle in the Clouds Car Show

Wow, it’s almost been a month since MINIs on Top. It’s hard to believe! I’ve been super busy since then, cruise nights here and there. This past weekend though was a huge car show up in Moultonborough. New Hampshire, the Castle in the Clouds Car Show! A few of my friends had gone years prior and told me that I definitely should go if I could.

With the oil issues I had previously with my classic I was hesitant about the hour and half drive to the castle. I decided that I would get up early, drive part way, get some breakfast and give her a break and then continue on my way…

Saturday July 7th, 7:00AM

Blahh, mornings are never easy for me. But breakfast AND a car show did make it a little easier. Louisa and I started our journey around 7:30 up to a cafe in Pittsfield for breakfast. Jitters Cafe was quite the interesting place. It was early and there were only a few people in there. But I have never seen a place serve breakfast, pizza, beer, mimosas and cake all one place. I was skeptical about it, but it was too late to go somewhere else. I was pleasantly surprised though with the food, as well as the people who worked there. I was clearly locally owned. The owner (I assumed) was sitting at a table with a couple who must go there often. They were talking about their grandkids and what not. THe wait staff was chit chatting about their kids, making ends meet, etc. It was a community cafe and I can appreciate that.

I finished breakfast and continued on my journey. I regretted not using the bathroom before I left… But oh well!

I pulled over another half hour later to give Louisa another break. As I was pulling out of the parking lot to continue, a group from British Cars of New Hampshire passed by. My good friends Steve and Nancy were hanging out the side of their MGB “Mushy-B” waving to me as they passed by.

I caught up to them at the main entrance of the Castle. The road going up was gorgeous, and I was kicking myself the whole way up because I decided not to take my GoPro with me… 20180707_100229-12389918967331415298.jpg

Here is just a snapshot of the dome shaped horse drawn road that had been there since the early 20th century. It was the perfect road for small british cars. I didn’t get out of second gear the whole way up. But it was so much fun. Luckily, Nancy got some shots of my driving up as well…received_23369330463243111936550331379286378.jpeg

There’s me in the back!received_23369335429909281599145409256563328.jpeg

And me in the back behind a tree! Haha.

The field was already packed when we got there, and boy was it a sight to see.20180707_1025442597503266410421429.jpg

The weather was absolutely gorgeous! And with all of the humidity we had during the work week, I was super grateful that it was 75 degrees, no humidity and not a cloud in the sky. A truly gorgeous day. Here are a few photos that I took of the show!

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I handed out some Southern New Hampshire Cars and Coffee cars to a few cars that were in the Salem, NH area and who I thought might enjoy coming. After walking around, Nancy and I took the trolly up to visit the castle. The carriage road that only allows the trolly on was gorgeous once again. But, the view from the castle was honestly too much to take in. 20180707_1300239003531389413768824.jpg

Can you imagine walking out in to your backyard to see this every morning? And the house had been there since the 1920s. I can’t imagine how different it must have looked back then. The furniture, clothing, and dishware inside the house was all from back then too. Here are some photos I took of the castle and inside.

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As I walked through the house, I tried to imagine what life would’ve been like living here. I tried to imagine the people in and out of this house and the memories that we made. It’s cool for me to think that they made this place their home and now people are admiring and appreciating it almost 100 years later.

I was so in awe of the castle, that I decided that I would leave an offering of my keys and wallets on one of the benches. I was sitting back down at the show before I realized I didn’t put the, back in my car… Back up we went! Luckily someone had brought the, down to the Carriagehouse so it wasn’t so bad.

After the show was over I went cruising around northern new hampshire with a small fleet of other British vehicles. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. 20180707_1556404016694008354835985.jpg20180707_1607042472008056493730571.jpg20180707_1607164879636396988283630.jpg20180707_1607123939064239536079414.jpg

We finally stopped in Deerfield at Elliot’s house. I was again in awe… 13 cars sat in multiple garages. All different, and all perfect to him. It is awesome too see someone who appreciates such a diverse array of cars. I loved it. 20180707_1636237893615109696504447.jpg20180707_1636148185431305238361110.jpg20180707_1631394082552165153661386.jpg

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From there I took off to a friend’s house for a BBQ. I turned in early though because Seacoast Cars and Coffee was the next morning! Good night…

Sunday July 8th, 6:00am

Why do car people like to do things so early in the morning???

Oh well. I met up with my friend Carson of Detail New England and we ventured to Epping to pick up some other MINI owners. We rolled into the show together and it was already packed! I didn’t get a chance to take too many pictures while I was there because I was working the show and helping out at the booth. But here are a few.20180708_0936188170759536777655809.jpg20180708_0935146722617536186673619.jpg20180708_0937071430314740809432524.jpg20180708_0933267422528026935626002.jpg20180708_0933465774967320464471963.jpg20180708_0935063309983524003828208.jpg20180708_0935137923648767273802291.jpg20180708_0924088288686381233637404.jpg20180708_092614(0)2148154482092289659.jpg20180708_0923432229400763925093231.jpg20180708_0930597692770744854316534.jpg

AND Louisa did get to meet another Classic MINI friend. 20180708_105615129542793231829806.jpg

The blue car on the right is a 1988 998CC engine gorgeous little limited edition. The owner Jason had just picked it up a few months ago. Such a gorgeous little MINI.

It was a long morning of helping out and what not. I got to park front and center so I could watch all of the people admire BabyLou.

After the show was over, Brad, Carson and I all went for breakfast at the Friendly Toast in downtown Portsmouth, NH. It’s always a treat to eat there. 20180708_1143487843913507077425234.jpg

Hehe, so cute.

After breakfast, we took a cruise around route 1a. I love seeing all the looks as we drive around. We stopped for a photo op as well. 20180708_1349182281323305691864179.jpg20180708_1350423233724001259955943.jpg20180708_1350084679674352670521473.jpg20180708_135118955357081878369372.jpg20180708_1351334462344712996853067.jpg

It was a great car weekend filled with more memories made, old friends and some new ones! This weekend I have a get together with the MINIs of New Hampshire group and then maybe some sun at the beach on Sunday.

Until next time. Motor On!