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.

Late Night Drive

Good morning!

Mondays are always dreaded and this past one was no exception.

I’ve been having a rough couple months. Everything seems to be falling apart at once, and I’m not sure what to do.

One of the good things I had happen recently was me buying a new car.

Say hello to my 2001 Mazda Miata MX-5 Special Edition.

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A couple weeks ago I decided that I wanted to get another car. Yes. Another car. The reason this whole seed was planted in my head was because of a track day I volunteered at previously. If you want to read about that you can check out my “Tuna. Racing. Coffee” post.

I decided then and there that I wanted to do this, someday. But was told over and over that autocross was a great place to start. I did a little research, which wasn’t even needed really, as the car that kept coming up and the one I kept seeing was everywhere. Miatas.

So I started my search. This was the first time I had looked for a vehicle really. My 2013 MINI, LuLu, was something I knew I wanted and was easy to find. My Classic MINI, Louisa, was something that fell into my lap. I had to work for this one.

I found one in Lancaster, MA. A 2008 MX-5. I went and test drove it in the rain. I discovered that these rear wheel drive cars were not made for rainy days. I like the car, a lot. But the seat was so low, and being a shorty, I couldn’t reach the pedals comfortably. In addition, after being so used to driving my classic’s standard, I suck at modern ones.

I really liked the car though. But there were other issues preventing me from buying it, which included the price. I decided to wait and do a little more digging. I found this beauty at a dealership in Kansas. Country Hill Motors. My mom and I dealt with Julio the whole time and he couldn’t have been any nicer.

I decided this was the right car for me and we made magic happen. What felt like forever was only two weeks, and he was delivered to my doorstep. I was so excited!

Since then, I have thought a lot of the car and the reason that I purchased it. Was it really for autocross? Were my intentions as simple as that? I’m beginning to think not..

Over the past few months, a lot has gone wrong. A lot has changed, and I’ve been trying to find a way to deal with it. For starters, I’m not sure what I want to do anymore. Do I really want to pursue my Masters? I’m not 100% sure of my job. Part of the reason I took it was BECAUSE of my Masters. So do I really want to stay? My home life. My family. The only thing that was solid and stable in my life, has recently gone to shit.

I have no solace. No place that I can feel comfortable. The tense atmosphere at home and at work is getting to me. My uncertainness is weighing on me. I feel so unattached from myself, from what I want to do, from what I should do.

Recently, my only solace has been driving. Driving away. Driving to someplace. Driving to nowhere. Last night was my most recent drive. So much had gone wrong this past week and I wanted to leave, and I was going to. It would be so easy for me to pick up and leave. But would it?

It’s Tuesday now. I went home last night, finally. Being someplace that does not make you comfortable is hard. When a home just becomes a house, it gets tough. When your place of solace and sense of security is ripped from you, you feel lost. Hopeless. At that time, you begin to questions every other decision that you’re making. If something that was built for 25+ years can so easily break, than what of your decisions that you make now? Will those so easily break in the future? Will you arrive at where you want?

I needed to clear my head. Sunday morning I had a car show that went less than ideally. I went home and no one was there. I cleaned up and left the house. There was a party I had to attend to. After that, I took off. I drove to the coast. I thought about everything. What was I doing?

I passed a sign I had seen before but never really thought much of it. It said, “Where are you heading?” Good question. That got me thinking more. Where was I heading. What is going to happen? These next few months are so out of focus and blurry. I need a plan. I can’t move forward productively without knowing what is happening, without knowing what will happen. It was all overwhelming.

After work on Monday I still didn’t want to go home. I drove. I drove around aimlessly, not knowing what I was looking for. I felt hopeless. I had hit rock bottom. The only place I felt at ease was in my car, driving. That may sound silly, but it’s true. I ended up getting lost. My phone was on airplane mode and I didn’t want to be bothered, and i didn’t bother to check my google maps to see where I was. I didn’t care. I wanted to disappear so I wasn’t anyone’s problem anymore.

I ended up taking a call, that I can say pulled me out. I ended up at my friend’s place. All that aimless driving had me heading somewhere it would seem. After a long talk I expressed my frustrations and felt a little better. I went home.

I woke up today feeling better. Feeling a bit refreshed. There is still so much that is wrong and that is bothering me. But I guess it’s time for me to get back on my feet. Set my head straight and focus my energy on good things. I still don’t see my potential sometimes, and my future is still a bit out of focus. I’m hoping with more positivity it will come into view.

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.

Here are a few photos from Sunday!20180902_0929376162148745459883345.jpg20180902_092914401413970986500865.jpg20180902_0928544251304131546475353.jpg20180902_0929534395496136311874849.jpg20180902_0954442380388663821591527.jpg20180902_0930238565780958814954853.jpg20180902_0935331492681992654430627.jpg20180902_1003434209195580051746859.jpg

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.

 

Welcome Home to a Year of Adventure

Heyo again everyone! I know it has only been a couple days since my last blog post, but today is a very big day.

One year ago today, my parents and I started the journey to New Brunswick, Canada to retrieve who we all refer to as BabyLou. I remember the day like it was yesterday. So, for those of you have not yet heard the story or for those who would care to relive it, I’m going to share the journey I took to go get her, and the adventure that we have had together since then.

Thursday July 13, 2018 7:30am

Usually I am not one to wake up early, but I could not sleep this day. I kept waking up every hour looking at the clock. In just two short hours, my parents and I would be leaving for New Brunswick, Canada to go get my new classic car. I could hardly believe that this day had come. Shawn and I had talked for the past few weeks, and before long what started as a mere transaction became a friendship. I was looking forward to meeting him in person as much as I was looking forward to seeing the car in person.

As Shawn and I talked the weeks leading up to this day, we discovered that we had met in passing two years ago at MINIs on Top 2015. I purchased a duck whistle from his wife who was selling them for a charity. I did not think anything of it at the time. As we got to know each other some more it was clear that this situation did not happen by chance, we had a lot in common. We both decided that it was meant to be, I was meant to pick up Louisa, formerly known as “BabyBlue.”

The drive up was no joke. We left the house at around 9:30am. It would take us around 12 hours to reach our destination. 511 miles to pick up the precious cargo who was awaiting its new owner. We stopped several times along the way, for gas, food, and just some breaks in general. We stopped for dinner around 7:00pm, but still had about two and half more hours to go. I messaged Shawn who told me not to worry, that we would get there when we did.

I remember that feeling at dinner. So close to that moment that I could taste it. Louisa was within arms reach…

11:00pm

When we pulled up to his house, Louisa was parked out in the driveway.

Wow. Words could not describe how excited I was to be here and to be seeing this car in person. I chatted with Shawn and his wife Angie for a little while as my parents were turning the Uhaul around on the street to make our departure easier. A beautiful car, truly. It was a cold night and her windows were beginning to fog up. She was not used to being out in the cold weather.

Loading her up on the Uhaul proved to be a daunting task. The wheel base barely fit on it. My excitement was dwindling for a few moments as I thought we might have driven all the way up here just to not be able to get her on the trailer to go home…

Of course, we did it though and just was up and on and ready to make the journey back home.. Before we left though we got a visit from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I guess there had been a few calls that came in with concerns about a potential robbery. The police were all very nice about it once they were reassured there was no robbery going on. They were then very interested in the car and asked some more questions. They told us good luck getting it back home and went on their way.

I said my goodbyes to Shawn, and promised I would take good care of Louisa. I had the duck whistle I bought from them in my pocket and placed it on her little dash before we took off again.

510 miles back, 9 long hours later, we arrived back home around 9:30am the following morning. Unloading Louisa back off of the trailer was also a very daunting task. There were a few guys on our street who were taking a break from mowing the lawn across the street from my nana’s house. One of them was nice enough to come over and lend us a hand. He back the uhaul down the driveway, and helped us unload my precious cargo.

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Here is first photo I ever took of Louisa, safe and sound in my nana’s garage after a long journey back home.

I was so tired.. I had barely slept in the last 24 hours. I went home, took a shower and got into bed. I still couldn’t sleep though. What just happened? Was this real? Am I dreaming? I took a nap for a few hours. But as I’ve said before. There is no rest for the weary. I had organized a Pipe Dream Brewing get together for MINIs of New Hampshire that evening. All of my friends in multiple groups was going to be there, and there was no way I was going to miss that…

Friday July 14th 5:30pm

On my way to Pipe Dream!

I got there kind of late because I napped longer than I wanted to. When I walked in, everyone asked me what the hell I was doing there and why I wasn’t asleep. But for those of you who know me well, you know how I am. I couldn’t have NOT gone to the event I had put together…

I recounted my journey to my friends, had some food, and then promptly when home when it was all over. My journey was over, but the fun was just getting started…

Since that day, Louisa “BabyLou,” and I have gone on some amazing adventures and met so many people. It was truly an experience getting to know this little car, and adjusting to all of attention it was going to bring. Car shows, cruise night, dinner get togethers, ice cream runs and more. I hope that we have many more years together and make many more new friends and memories. Below are photos from our year together, and just a glimpse into the world of being a car girl.

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Duck whistle I was referring to earlier20170715_2021216808479772606916242.jpg

Louis and LuLu meeting for the first time20170715_2021472751592462907773546.jpg20170715_2021514377654738648269007.jpg20170715_2022062430800048328352562.jpg20170715_2022263165649378140377256.jpg20170715_2022578280173384858623748.jpg20170715_2023317696313140188981099.jpg20170717_155130113903074458449930.jpg

Some of the first photos I took of her.20170723_0905448520301887204050490.jpg

Her first Cars and Coffee! #snhcarsandcoffee20170725_1927532728420626741477533.jpg20170725_2034047912872333716760637.jpg20170725_2035012436162999346185376.jpg

Her first GTG with MoNH!20170801_214257660497826468038508.jpgHer second GTG!20170820_0827466605673309345534482.jpg

#snhcarsandcoffee again!20170806_1102218145208101880942649.jpg20170806_1102305652302622151702065.jpg

Seacoast Cars and Coffee!20170909_1338184329114327503321912.jpg

Kiwanis Car Club show in Concord, NH 2017fb_img_15052471850448494651289498745598.jpg

#seacoastcarsandcoffee20170824_1948284253748938038631695.jpg

MINIs of Boston GTG20170902_0917022565375664975505649.jpg20170902_101805577538825391379251.jpgfb_img_15044828322655549709978226284189.jpg

A few photos from Cruise Downtown in Manchester, NH 201720170902_1632413385467615599067593.jpg

Her little award for being a car show favorite at Cruise Downtown, and her first one of many!fb_img_15044828352446306217085848242481.jpgfb_img_15044828379696209929179643335767.jpg

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More Kiwanis Car Club show, and her second award! 2nd place in the british classfb_img_15008486241804158047734003822377.jpg

#snhcarsandcoffeefb_img_15008486345417557311424290615957.jpgfb_img_15008486382002839317465676668411.jpgfb_img_15008539689228801797546901612010.jpgfb_img_1500853976935615689149926704439.jpg

#snhcarsandcoffeefb_img_15008540804056234716415208223949.jpgfb_img_15008548791935878352871646750864.jpgfb_img_15008548838578490142074529397393.jpgfb_img_15011168406098438963165556122459.jpg

#snhcarsandcoffeefb_img_15022183457603495315842785884901.jpg

#seacoastcarsandcoffeefb_img_15069091424485655049969918154193.jpgfb_img_15069091581206761302591795698312.jpg

More Cruising Downtown, and theres me in the background! And yes, I did match on purpose20170923_131148(0)4531036773690398963.jpg

SNHU Gearheads club showfb_img_15069095332857767374195876601147.jpg

#snhcarsandcoffee #madcowphotographyfb_img_15069095403313948643609615680622.jpgfb_img_15069095467242231909201273776945.jpgfb_img_15069096347001169318526813665616.jpg

#snhcarsandcoffee #madcowphotographyfb_img_15069096418459005254529572094319.jpgfb_img_15069096381871932760916833659015.jpgfb_img_15069096518153740263119548879713.jpg

#snhcarsandcoffee #madcowphotographyfb_img_150690973132465641815797482313.jpg

SNHU Gearheads Club show20180301_1402122842864047997674078.jpg

Her first drive after a long winter! #201820180326_1906534600245780945017125.jpg20180413_1130285452158744881115599.jpg

Took her for a spin to school!20180422_0938365405063946159949880.jpg

#snhcarsand coffee20180422_1003388920733636012270167.jpg20180422_1221101606993917708497889.jpg

Breakfast after #snhcarsandcoffee with the knights 🙂20180422_1221197938263768911386347.jpg20180422_1325596802625834411365.jpg20180422_1326143146470625772374159.jpg20180422_1326363671427934854767119.jpg

A few photos of a quick spin around Masabesic lake!20180422_1341576495484496630351084.jpg

Photoshoot!20180422_1342137738938828863545531.jpg20180422_1348564704716228841838916.jpg20180422_1349348936692158894315243.jpg20180422_1444143153696601261944939.jpg

Tiffany and Co. key that matches so perfectly.20180503_1900594677495189185188613.jpg

Candia First Stoppe weekly cruise nightfb_img_15254859795634747770039175452114.jpg20180503_1915257827485357574239275.jpgfb_img_15254859747558867607366141789401.jpg20180422_210216649705648659378959.png

#snhcrsandcoffee heading to breakfast again!fb_img_15254859820187803698523668981451.jpgfb_img_1525485984760834782043963083394.jpgfb_img_15254859871317564519067255747714.jpg20180505_1146216859880472148110723.jpg20180505_1259231308314437290017680.jpg

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MA Illest I believe? I was one of only 3 classics there..fb_img_15256973334325824613632596949331.jpg20180517_1807226697993559096113198.jpg

More Candia Cruise night20180517_1830061147369661017192961.jpg20180517_2011344255698567224809044.jpg

My PERFECT picnic basket from my friend Jonny!received_22430583457117821469459981082425026.jpeg

Hey look, our first photo together!20180521_1722303917968189543371166.jpg

Pusheen!!20180521_1839084389968801877929369.jpg

Manchester Firing Line Cruise Night20180527_1010413901755997878535201.jpg

#snhcarsandcoffee20180528_1701328638292336024287547.jpg

Manchester Firing Line Cruise night20180531_1815535575066574482971855.jpg

Louisa made a little friend at Candia First Stoppe cruise night!20180531_1844296003611356973485116.jpg20180531_1857078348037578696998639.jpg20180531_1858578936812943760031012.jpgreceived_22630833637092801200366187203478757.jpeg

Still at candia! Different show this time20180601_1745283512363538508954072.jpg

Giving her a little bath20180601_1820513662532499974871010.jpg20180602_0954084679262728640245282.jpg

Rotary Show in June in Goffstown, NH!20180602_1058267563349362317132168.jpg20180602_135906931483881588364405.jpgAnd she got second in her class again! 😀20180603_0851002979781306350836604.jpg

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More Candia Cruise night!20180610_1848435075641674472842958.jpg20180614_1851562724089864087430428.jpg

Louisa getting cleaned up at Carson’s shop #DetailNewEngland20180614_1857482808639807310568219.jpg20180616_0831237821571839734315974.jpg

Her very first photo at the White Mountains for MINIs on Top

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Duck Displays!20180616_1101414064495124977907568.jpg 20180616_105753(0)6456564310409291389.jpg

MINIs on Top at Loon Mountain20180616_1101468432544918708493472.jpg

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Photo on the Kanc courtesy of EZ RIder Pics!

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Castle in the Clouds Car show just last weekend!20180707_112019-11641790699396254773.jpg20180707_112415-11021546327962345708.jpg20180707_120526-16116031979330863419.jpg20180707_163139-12926220758510855120.jpg

British Car Squad20180707_163115-12091099015472304207.jpg20180708_104529-14107927464122032562.jpg

#seacoastcarsandcoffee Louisa was front and center20180708_105546-14090453319214206132.jpg

She made another classic friend!20180708_105615-19099663751605254565.jpg20180708_105638-17352297055387277307.jpg20180708_114348-18706599048209889671.jpg

Louisa wants to come to The Friendly Toast too!20180708_134919-12045646614651404091.jpg

Colt and MINI20180708_135008-16936792849143279467.jpg20180708_135043-11024844915807802873.jpg20180708_135118-11256078687251126562.jpg20180708_135135-13730841158300090313.jpg

 

This past year has been crazy. And it would not have been as much fun without all of the amazing people that I have met along the way. I am so thankful I was able to make this happen. It was a long journey to get her and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks Louisa for a year of great adventures, I can’t wait to see where this next year will take us!

Until next time. Motor On.

First Bite Of The Big Apple

What’s up everyone! The time is 12:11AM, Monday April 16th. This past weekend marked my first trip to New York and boy what a trip it was!!

Friday I met up with some other MINI friends and we drove down together. Lots of highway driving and pit stops along the way made for a very long night. We left around 6:30, and arrived at the Wellington in Manhattan at around 11PM. Here we are arriving. courtesy of Tom!

We quickly checked in, grabbed out room keys and hit the streets.

Here are the first few photos I took of the city. It doesn’t look like much but it was something to see. I’ve never been to a big city outside of Massachusetts or New Hampshire, so this was truly spectacular.

Colbert Show!! We headed down to Times Square, the view was incredible. Talk about sensory overload. I had a hard time taking it all in. There was so much to see, so much going on, it was amazing. We walked through. The weather that night was gorgeous, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

It was late, so we stopped in to the Hard Rock Cafe, had some snacks, a nice cold drink and then hit the streets again. We walked around and doubled back to the hotel but not before stopping for 99¢ pizza at a hole in the wall. I did not have any Friday night… Saturday was a different story. We got back to the hotel around 2AM and went to bed. I couldn’t wait to get up Saturday morning…

Saturday, April 14, 8:30AM.

Sleeping was a struggle after getting back so late and taking in all the energy of Times Square, but waking up the next day was not a problem at all. I was up bright and early and ready to go. SOME people though took a little longer… Oh well, all good. We stopped for breakfast at a place I cannot remember the name, it was tasty though. And off we went. Priorities first… NINTENDO STORE!!!

I

felt like a kid. The one and only Nintendo store in US was everything that I thought it would be. Expectations met. Aside from the kids running around, the store was awesome. All the lastest games, older games, original systems, new systems, and a whole display case of all the amiibo, EVER.

 

I bought a generic red Nintendo Store tank too, and I was satisfied. Next stop, LEGO STORE!!!!

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ne of two Lego stores that we saw in our travels, but the only one that we went in to. As I write this, I may venture there tomorrow (Monday) before heading home to get the sets that I was eyeing but didn’t feel like carrying around. From there we took an Uber over to the High Line, where we got some gorgeous shots and a gorgeous view of the city.

There was a lot of construction going on everywhere, but it was still awesome. We walked that for a little bit before hopping off. From there we went to the Lomography Store.

Since I bought my Diana F+ camera, I was in need of a flash for it. It just so happened that there was a sale going on this entire week (what luck!) So I didn’t hesitate to spoil myself. Next up was Forbidden Planet, a comic store.

There was a Pusheen in there, but I reframed from buying it because, again, I didn’t feel like carrying it around all day…

By this point we were all pretty beat and just wanted a place to relax. So we headed to Arts & Craft Beer Parlor. I don’t drink beer, but a nice cold soda was just what I needed. The weather was gorgeous, but it was really warm with all the walking. A quest for sure glasses was also proving to be difficult, but we eventually found some. The Beer Parlor was the last stop before heading back towards the hotel. From there, it was nap time before Bar Bacon with the crew!

Before you ask, yes, it is exactly what you think it is. Bar. Bacon. And everything in between. Pretty much everything on the menu was bacon themed or related in some way.

A plate of bacon, drinks, and a quaint looking front. I will definitely go back here again when I come back to New York. Still the city called me, so we headed back towards Times Square. Test guys all wanted(needed) to watch the Bruins game, so we stopped in a pub for another drink and to watch the game for a bit. Most of the group split after that, but the Friday crew held on strong and we walked over to Times Square for a bit.

It was almost midnight and it was time for 99¢ Pizza!! I got a slice that night, I had to. And for 99¢ it was some damn good pizza. I was very intoxicated at that point, so the pizza was downright delicious. Ha! One of the crew came arrived late Saturday, so we stopped for Cheesecake. I did not indulge in any cheesecake seeing as it was almost 1AM, but it did look good. The walk back to the hotel was short, and it was time for two hours of sleep before waking up for the rally on Sunday.

Sunday April 15, 4:30AM.

UGHHH. Was all I had to say, and a few other choice words when my alarm went off the next morning. Shower. Hair. Clothes. Out the door. No makeuo this early. My roomie was still sleeping away by the time I was finished… Ha!

We met everyone down in the lobby of the Wellington and off to get our cars we went. One by one, the valet pulled them up out of the garage and lined them up. LuLu and I got the lead the group for a little bit before someone else took over. We arrived at Grant’s Tomb a little bit before 6AM. The air was brisk to say the least. It was cold. It was dark. And I was tired. Oh well. It was rally time. I set up my GoPro and off we went through the streets of New York. TWO classic MINIs also joined in on the ride from New York. It was incredible.

Just look at their cute little butts!

LuLu’s butt is still the cutest though… Photo courtesy of fellow MINIACs!

I have to say though rallying around the streets of New York at 6:30 in the morning was an awesome adventure. Talking about it, does not do it justice. So I have prepared this video from the rally. Enjoy!

The fun didn’t stop there though. Around 9AM, we all stopped and had breakfast at Opry City Stage. The food was alright, I do not recommend though.. but onward!! The weekend still didn’t stop there. Myself and a couple others headed over to Museum of Modern Art. Much different from the museum’s I’ve been too around NH and MA. I thoroughly enjoyed it though. It was awesome.

This particular one (above) was my favorite.

After MOMA we headed over to Junior’s Restaurant & Cheesecake for lunch. A huge Chicken Salad BLT filled me up. Also, it’s not a bad thing to have a Moscow Mule at 2 in the afternoon right? As they say, it’s five o’clock somewhere. After that we jumped in an Uber and headed back to where we had parked out cars after the rally. As we said our goodbyes to the last MINI member who stuck it out, I was still not ready to leave. Luckily, my good friend Dave and his son were kind enough to let me stay with them for a night so that I could experience New York for one more day. We headed back to the hotel, and at this point, it was time for a nap…

Fast forward a few hours, and I was ready to go again. I fixed myself up and headed downstairs to meet up with them. We decided to take a visit to Madame Tussauds wax museum. I have to admit, it was really strange at first. I could not get over how accurate they looked. It was scary, but also really cool. here are a few photos. 20180415_1914201799150071.jpg

Madame Tussauds herself20180415_1907261217468383.jpg

Marilyn Monroe, her famous dress thing was an accurate representation of what my Friday night was like as I decided it would be a great idea to walk over a bunch of grates in the dress I was wearing. 20180415_1916532025897009.jpg

Emilia Airheart!20180415_191114485972402.jpg

WOOPIE!20180415_191729978966024.jpg

The Kennedys20180415_1917391285213330.jpg

Pope Francis20180415_193533776932119.jpg

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And Ed Sheeran

The day was almost done, and it was time for one more Moscow Mule before bed.20180415_2053341985313655.jpg

BUT, the fun didn’t stop there. We decided to head over to Dave and Buster’s that was right next door for a little bit, before heading back to the room. I had to g out again though and stop for some clothes as I stayed for another day.

Monday, April 16th, 7:30AM

No.. I want to go back to sleep. Monday mornings weather was MISERABLE. It was pouring rain and cold. I did not want to get out of bed. I decided to watch some Good Morning America. Do you know how weird it is to watch show that is going on live a five minute walk down the road? Wicked. When I finally decided to get up and out of bed I headed to Sephora to get me some makeup seeing as I somehow lost my eyeliner (and then promptly found it as soon as I got home…). After that it was off to B&H Photo Video Pro Audio. The store was incredible. Every piece of photo, video, audio, surveillance, digital drawing, you name it. It was in there. It took everything I had in me not to buy everything I saw. I settled on a nice pair of headphone though… The rain was still miserable, and as I walked to get some Starbucks to wake myself up, I decided it would be a great idea to step in a lake on my way there. Shoes soaked, spirit sad. I waited for my shoes to dry a little and then headed back to the hotel. I changed and tried to blow dry my shoes. I still had not seen everything I wanted to, but the weather was killing me.

I waited for a about an hour or so, and to my surprise the rain started to let up, and the sun came out. I was thrilled! My shoes were pretty much dry and I went to leave. As I opened up the door, Dave and Luke alms gave me a heart attack as I was not expecting to see them there. We talked for a few minutes, and they were soaked too from their endeavors. I headed over to Fifth Avenue so that they could clean up.

Tiffany and Co. As beautiful as any store I’ve ever laid eyes on. I did not take any pictures in there as I just in awe of how beautiful the store was. Everything was my color. That Tiffany Blue is iconic, and I love it. I spoiled myself. And unlike in B&H, I could not contain myself and bought a pendant and a small wallet. My salesman was quite the charismatic guy. William, from Brazil, was making small talk. Asking where I was from, and what brought me to New York. Naturally, I started talking about the MINI club, and the fact that the car charm they had looked just like my classic. So obviously I had to take out my phone and show him some pictures of my babies, and from the rally the previous morning. He thought it was awesome. Turns out William also likes cars and has a Ducati himself. I told him I liked the car charm, but was hesitant as it was not quite a MINI. He gave me his card and told me that if there was ever anything MINI related that he would give me call, as he would definitely remember me. Okay, William. You probably sweet talk all the ladies who come in to the store. But can I pack you in suitcase?

After that adventure I walked around Rockefeller Center some more. It had turned in to an absolutely gorgeous day after the horrific rain that morning. I then met up with Dave and Luke at Bryant Park. Another gorgeous spot. ON the walk there I passsed by Radio City Music Hall.20180416_1459321391325232.jpg20180416_1508491485368324.jpg20180416_152527146270602.jpg

It was later in the afternoon, and we headed to the Empire State Building. All I could think of was the movie Elf when we walked in. 20180416_1709041809080562.jpg

The views from the 86th and 102nd floor was incredible. Truly breathtaking to see the whole city form that high up. 20180416_1643061237686512.jpg20180416_164528172691762.jpg20180416_165108643075199.jpg

After that we headed out to eat, and then sadly back over to the hotel. Dreading this moment since I left for the city on Friday, it was time to go home. I think about moments in time, and how horrible it is to wait for something fun to happen. But don’t ever wish the time away, is what my mom always tells me. Because before you know it, it’s there and it’s gone again. I gathered my car from the valet, who was taking a peak at my puddle lights as he got out. Everyone loves LuLu. 20180416_2007302142283905.jpg

As I drove out of the city, and away from the millions of lights that make it what it was, I thought about the weekend that I had, and the experiences that I no doubt would never forget. My first trip to New York was such a success. I had an array of mixed emotions. I did NOT want to leave that city. It was everything that I thought it would be, and then some. Good to visit. But I don’t think I would ever live there. I like my little pond out in the middle of nowhere. The weekend was filled with great friends, cars, experiences and food. I will definitely be back to visit you again.

Until next time…

 

Welcome to the starting line…

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. My name is MaeLynn. I love cars, old cars, new cars, cool cars, weird cars. I love old stuff, cameras, furniture, keys. My favorite place to hang out right now are old fashioned Speakeasy type bars that I find in my area. Maybe I’ll open my own one day, but that’s a different story. I created this blog because I want to document the journey that I believe this year will start for me, but in order to explain why I created this, you must first know my story…

The year is 2013, my senior year of high school. I went to get my license and I was so excited. I was moving away from having mom drive me around and felt like I was gaining my first bit of independence. The day also happened to be my Papa’s Birthday, September 18, I’ll never forget it. After I completed my driving test I went back upstairs to wait to take my picture, get my little paper license and go pick up my new car.. However, things don’t always go as planned. As I was sitting there waiting, my mother and I heard the people behind the desk say that their systems were down. WHAT? I immediately became upset. We had an appointment at the dealership in about an hour, and I couldn’t drive the car off the lot without my license. We waited around for a little bit longer, but had to leave. Thankfully, my dad was in the area and picked us both up and drove us over to the MINI Dealership in Bedford. Now, this had been in the works since that Summer. I can remember being the pool when my mom made the first phone call to the dealership. The color was picked and the search was on. Several weeks went by and the dealership finally called and told us that they had found one. She was destined for New Jersey, but was being rerouted for New Hampshire. I still remember how I felt when I first laid eyes on her…

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She was beautiful, she was perfect and she was mine. So the process started, and Cliff, our dealer showed me around the car and all her features and flare. I didn’t stop smiling the entire time. My mom and I hopped into the car and I drove her back to the DMV. We had another hour before they were supposed to close and figured that it wouldn’t hurt to wait a little long in case their system came back up. And guess what… IT DID! I took my picture, signed my name, got my paper license and drove my brand new car home by myself. And so it all started…

Since that day, I added personality to her, and gave her a name, LuLu.

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Her first sticker! (There have since been MANY more added..)

I went to MINI Takes the States the following summer, a national event where hundreds of MINI owners come together and travel the country, making stops, making friends, making waves. A truly wonderful event. Sadly, I only got to join in on the fun at the last stop in Boston, Massachusetts. Here are a few photos from the party.

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A MINI DJ Booth!

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For those who know me, can you find me? 😉

Later on that year, 2014, I joined some Facebook groups and found a home club here in New Hampshire. MINIs of New Hampshire! I went to my first dinner get together in the fall and everything took off from there. I made new friends, all of whom I still talk to today and have just continued to make more. I now Admin the Facebook group MINIs of New Hampshire, alongside my good friend Mike. I have attended countless dinner get togethers and rallies with my home club, and our sister club MINIs of Boston. The past few years have been filled with memories, new friends, and old friends. I have no doubt these friendships that I have made will last a lifetime.

In 2015 I attended MINIs On Top, another event that takes place in the Northern Part of New Hampshire. Hundreds more MINI drivers gather for a weekend with enthusiasts. The main event is Saturday evening where we all take to the road and make the drive to the top of Mount Washington. I have since been to three MOTs and am sure I will be attending many many more.

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Here is LuLu last year(2017) at the top of the mountain!

My love for cars started with the MINI. I went to car shows here and there, but I never thought that it was for me. In the fall of 2016 I set up a Cars and Coffee style event with a local coffee shop in Salem, New Hampshire. I invited some friends, who invited some friends and we had a turnout of about 30 people. Some I knew very well, and some I did not know at all. Several were asking when the next one would be. I decided that I would set up a Facebook page to keep the events going, and going they did. Since then, my Facebook page has 700+ likes, and our first event for 2018 is turning out to be a big one. Check us out on Facebook! @snhcarsandcoffee .

While I enjoyed myself in my MINI world for several years, the real adventure began in June of 2017, right after MINIs on Top. While browsing Facebook one day, my attention was brought to a ‘For sale’ post that was published to the MINIs on Top Facebook group. The sale post was for a classic MINI, a coveted item in the MINI community. I had dreamed of owning one, some day, and often browsed posts to see what they were selling for. All of them were far out of my price range. I clicked on the link for kicks, and fell in love with the little Baby that appeared on my screen…

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A beautifully restored, 1962 Morris MINI-Minor was looking for a new home. Her previous owner, Shawn, who lives in New Brunswick, Canada was searching for someone who love and take care of her. Impulsively, I reached out to him via Facebook message and asked about the car. Would he negotiate price? Would he deliver? How would he accept payment? After having a very promising conversation with him, the gears began turning in my head and they wouldn’t stop. The price was doable, I had been saving money since I started working at 16, my credit was great if I needed a loan. I made a plan. I made it happen..

On July 14, 2017, after a long 24 hours in a Uhaul to Canada and back, BabyLou, formally Louisa, came home.

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LuLu and Louisa meeting for the first time!

The rest of last summer consisted of me scrambling to get her show ready. Registration proved to be a process, multiple trips to the DMV. After a couple weeks, she was inspected, registered and ready for her first show. She was a show stopper, no doubt. Everyone loved her. It was a wonderful experience, however, it was also a discouraging one. When I thought about buying the car, I thought about how much fun I would have driving her around, getting waves, taking her to shows, having everyone love her, and while that did all happen, something else did too. More than a few people, too many in my opinion, questioned if the car was mine. “Is this yours?” One would ask to my male friend standing next to me, or a random man observing the car. “Where is your boyfriend?” Excuse me? Sir, I don’t have one, this is my car. “You don’t see too many woman who know how to drive stick,” and so it continued. And while not everyone was as narrow-minded as some, there were enough that I felt the need to point it out.

I also met a lot of spectacular people, and earned a lot of support. Louisa’s first big show was at Concorso Italiano at Tuscan Kitchen in Salem New Hampshire. While my attendance to the show was last minute, I was unable to register. However upon arrival, Louisa got waved in and was added to the array of cars being shown off.

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Cruise Downtown in Manchester, New Hampshire, was the next show where she won her very first award. I was a proud mama.

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Her next big one was the Kiwanis Car Club Show in Concord, New Hampshire, where she placed second in her class, British Cars. I had a lot of support from the Cobra Club that I was asked to join, at the previous show.

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The summer continued with car shows here and there, and in November (Surprisingly) I had to put her away for the winter. In the few short months with my brand new car I had experiences that I will never forget. I will no doubt have more this year. I will be sharing my adventures with LuLu and Louisa here. I will be posting videos, pictures and maybe even some interviews. My first big car event that I will be attending is World of Wheels on Sunday, March 25th in Boston, Massachusetts. Louisa will not be shown, but I will be going to check it out. It will be my first time attending this event, and I can’t wait. Car show season 2018, BRING IT!

~MaeLynn