Horsepower Farm

Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog. Today we are going to do something a little different. I’d like to start interviewing people that I know and that I come across along the way and share their stories. I will be sharing what they do, how they got in to cars, where it all started and what exciting things they are working on now and will be in the future.

For my first one, I interviewed my friend Rick Serino. Rick has been a car enthusiast since he was a child. For him, it started with Matchbox Cars. He had “all” of them, and they were all categorized. I asked if he had any pictures, but cameras were a luxury when he was a kid.

We moved on to his first car, which was a 1976 Mercury Capri. For those who are unfamiliar, like I was, it was basically Mercury’s version of Ford’s Mustang. This was when Rick first started messing with Stereo Systems. His dad was an electronics teacher, so he got him into electronics at a very young age. He had access to tons of electronics that were broken when he was growing up, which allowed him to mess around a lot. He would take things apart and put them back together. “Like the Professor on Gilligan’s Island.” He would mess around with everything from speakers to lights. Hang them on his wall and wire them all together. Every ‘toy’ he had was taken apart and made his own. He attributes his talents and knowledge of how things work to his father. Without him, he wouldn’t know how to make the art he does today.

We chatted about Cruising Downtown 2019. For those unfamiliar with that event, just over a thousand car owners and a couple thousand car enthusiasts gather on Elm St. in Downtown Manchester, NH for one of the biggest car shows in the state. Rick set up shop with his welded art and collection of cars for the show.

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Mostly everything sold, except for just a few larger items. He went on to explain that the dismantling of electronics transferred to the dismantling of the electronics in cars. He always had an appreciation for the mechanics of them, but never quite knew what to do until his late twenties. At that point, he had the money to start buying stuff and messing around with them. After his first Mercury Capri, he owned a Subaru, and from there he got a Capri 5.0. This was his first muscle car, which he changed the exhaust, corroborator, wheels tires, and put his own big stereo in it. “Shit you can afford when you’re in your twenties. Rick then joined the military, sold the Capri 5.0 and bought a 1977 Camaro when he was out in Indiana. He pulled the motor, transmission, added nitrous, a new exhaust, wheels and tires, took out the back seats and put in a stereo. It had about 26 speakers from what he remembers.

One of the cars that Rick had bought was a Red and Black Chrysler 300

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The stereo was built by Traffic Jams, had Air ride and everything else. The car was unfortunately totaled when someone pulled out in front him while driving. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could have been done. One of his cars that I best remember him for is an old Ford Truck. He originally picked it up in 2001 and it was black with yellow and orange flames. It is now white with black and tan flames and looks bad. He built the transmission, drive train and rearend of that car, gutted the interior. Recently he blew the motor and put a whole new transmission and motor in, among a long list of other things. “Built from the ground up.”

He most recent project is his 1930 Ford

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Rick has about 6 spaces at his house for cars and then a few more at a shop up the road where someone helps him with his projects. I moved on to his MINI, as he did own one. Which was the reason that I had originally met him. I asked what made him get a MINI. His response was that he always wanted one, “car guy stuff.” He went on to say that every car guy wants one, and he doesn’t care who they are or what they say. In Rick’s opinion, the little compact British car is just missing 150HP, which is easily attained. From there, the little machines are unstoppable. His MINI had nothing too crazy done to it, exhaust, cold air intake, wheels, tires and of course, an updated stereo.

I asked Rick what was the most fun car he owned, and his response was the MINI Cooper. He raced it, met a bunch of people and went all kinds of places. The MINI community really is a force to be reckoned with. However, he followed with it’s not the most powerful or the most exhilarating, but definitely the most fun he’s had. The most powerful car he’s owned is his truck.

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I then asked what was the worst car he owned, and his response was his Subaru. They are fun, but the particular one he owned was nothing special.

He’s done a lot of car projects over the years, and the one that he has( and is) enjoying the most is his 1930 Ford. He just bought the body of that car and has been building it from the ground up. A “tin can.” He took the engine, transmission, tires and rims, brake system, and electronics from the Chrysler 300 (shown above) that he crashed and dropped the shell of the Ford right over it all. The challenges with this project now is just finding the time to work on it and the man power to help.

Rick has a full time job, along with the building of other people’s car that he does, and all the welding work that he does on the side.Welding art has always been something that he’s done, but he never really sold it. After his accident, he messed around with it and was posting stuff on Facebook. People were always asking how much his pieces were and they eventually grew in to people asking for custom orders. Before the Christmas of 2018, he had about 20 orders stacked up. It’s worked out though, and he has continued to create things. Here”s a few things that he has created.

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I asked him where he gets all the stuff for his creations and he said he’s been collecting stuff for 20 years. People drop off things here and there, but mostly it’s been collecting. Rick keeps himself busy, although sometimes he wants a break. Money is money, and you can’t say no to thousands of dollars. Plus, its still a lot of fun.

In the future, Rick would like to host an event at his place, which really would be attainable. He wants to be able to never leave his house and make money, which in a way, he’s already half way there. He’s living the dream.

So follow him on Instagram, @horsepower_n_goats and on Facebook, Horsepower Farm. And he also loves Tool, which was playing in the background of our interview.

Thanks Rick!

Conquering Autocross and the Kanc

What’s up everyone? It’s been a while since I posted last. It’s been a hectic couple months and I have a feeling that things may finally be turning around. Anyways, this past weekend was long and busy and so much fun. Two events, two days and loads of memories to share.

Saturday May 18th, 5:30AM

There is, of course, only one reason why I would be up so early and that is for something car related. Well, this would be my very FIRST Autocross event! I went along with the BMW Car Club of America, and they put on a fantastic event! Everyone is super helpful and friendly. The days leading up consisted of me getting things together that I thought I would need. Snacks, water, chair, helmet, and a variety of other stuff. EVERYTHING, needs to be taken our of your car that is loose, that includes the floor mats (which I did forget, but was reminded thanks to my friend Kathy!). So, the best way that everyone does this is to get a bin, a tote bin. I took to Amazon and found one that I thought was going to fit in the trunk… but it did not. So in to the front seat it went. 60611949_2320341514654384_7733489762098479104_n.jpg

I was excited for the day I was about to have. I had gone to one last year to be an observer and a passenger, and that was awesome too. My friend had told me that its much more stressful to be a passenger than a driver, and she was correct!

This past sessions started with tech inspect and helmet inspection. Your car is checked to make sure that everything is up to par, and helmets are checked to make sure they are within regulations. After that there is a drivers meeting and the Novices get a special walkthrough the course. Seeing it ahead of time and keeping in mind a few tips, I felt ready. I was in Run Group 2, which meant I worked the course first and then ran second. We then broke for lunch and did it all again in the afternoon! I was out on corner 5, and I will admit, that was not my favorite thing. Nothing hard, cone falls down, go and pick it up. Now… I’m not a very active person, so if three cones fall down in a row, its not a fun time. But whatever, its all part of the day. I will focus on the fun stuff.

When I was lined up for my run, it all kind of hit me at once. I was here, I was doing this. CRAP, I WAS DOING THIS. I considered backing out, I really did. I was unsure if I could actually do it. All novices are required to go with an instructor, which is super helpful. My first run was focused on the course, getting around and making sure that I stayed on it. I lucked out, the times were messed up and I got a rerun. So that first one really was a practice run. I’ll shut up now, and show you what I was up to.

What I gathered from this day, is that I need to keep my lines tighter and find the fastest way around, and pay attention to where I’m going next as to not overshoot a turn. There were several runs I did NOT film, where I almost spun out and was slightly off course. All in all, it was a super fun day. Tell me what you think! and if you have any questions, feel free to leave comments! Even though I had such a great day, I was super happy to get back home, take a shower and go to sleep. The next day was going to be just as long!

Sunday May 19, 6:30 AM
Not early, but still early. That extra hour of sleep and copious amounts of sleep the night before definitely helped though. Today was the NEMS Biannual Kanc Cruise to benefit Make a Wish. I had gone on it in October of lat year, which was also a lot of fun. If you are from the New England area, I recommend checking it out and coming along in October. Proceeds go to Make a Wish and it a fun day of driving and friends. Shenanigans, driving, lunch, more shenanigans, more driving, snacks. We all met in the morning and cruised to NHTI in Concord together. Once parked, it’s a waiting game. It’s nice to hang out and catch up with people I don’t see too often though. After that, everyone drives the planned route, or their own, to the lunch spot. After lunch, it’s a free for all up north, where the roads are twisty, and the sky was clear. Here is a short video from the day!

The weekend was long and fun. I would do all again and not change a thing. Until the next adventure, whatever you drive and whatever you do, Motor On!

Universal Studios Orlando 2019

Hello everyone!

I’m back from my tip from Universal Studios Orlando, and boy what a trip it was!

A few things to start off with, yes, I went alone. Yes, I chose to go alone. Yes, I had a fantastic time, and yes, I would go alone again. I’m a very social person, but I need my alone time. It was great taking this vacation by myself, and there was nothing weird about it, at all! If you’re considering going somewhere alone, and are unsure about it, don’t be! Sometimes taking a solo trip is just what you need. Also while leaving for my trip I was emotional. It’s funny to think how things change, and to see how far you’ve come. I’m so grateful for all the chances I have been given thus far that allowed me to take this trip. Shit sucks, but this trip showed me everything isn’t always bad, and there’s bright days right around the corner, or in this case, just a plane ride away.

So let’s start from the beginning!

Friday February 1, 2019 10:30AM

I got ready and was all packed for my trip. My mom, sis and I all made our way down to Boston Logan International Airport. I drove down because I know my way around better and LuLu had to be taken in for some work while I was away (She’s all better now!). I got to the airport and got through security wayyyyy to early, and ended up having to wait around at my gate for over an hour! When boarding finally began, I got really anxious. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. I flew JetBlue, so I got to pick my seat ahead of time. I picked a window seat, of course, and got to board the plan first thankfully. I put my luggage overhead and settled in. Headphones in, volume up. Didn’t want to talk to random plane people haha.

A quick three hours with some catch up on Hulu made the plan ride a breeze. When I landed in MCO I did NOT get lost and found my way to the Universal check in point. I got a little zipper pouch with my tickets and some coupons! Sweet! From there I waited for the shuttle to pick me up to bring me to my hotel. I was so tired and hungry, I just wanted to chill out. The shuttle ride took a  little longer than expected, as it stopped at almost EVERY resort on the property to drop off the other passengers, it’s okay. This helped me out on the other end.

ANYWAYS. I checked in, changed and then grabbed some food at the hotel. It was called Urban Pantry, and was like a glorified cafeteria. I greasy burger and some fries was just the thing I needed before I turned in for the night.

Saturday February 2, 2019 8:00AM

GOOD MORNING ORLANDO!

I was never so excited to be up so early. I got ready and then head downstairs to grab some breakfast. To my delight, they had Eggs Benedict. My breakfast of choice. It was decent. I then went outside to wait for the shuttle. When I got there I was so excited, I could hardly wait to start my adventure. When we arrived, I was simply amazed.

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This is what first greeted me (besides the hoards of strollers and more security to go through) when I finally got in to the resort. Universal City Walk, as it is lovingly referred to, was filled with restaurants, movie theaters, clubs, shops, bars and carts to buy all the stuff you don’t need. I didn’t take many pictures when I was first walking through because I was taking it all in.20190202_094903-16193090320998902810.jpg

I took this one photo because, Hard Rock Cafe, a favorite chain spot of mine, and the Toothsoome Chocolate Factory, which will be discussed in depth later on. I decided to go to Island of Adventure first. OH BOY. Again, just breathtaking when walking in. There’s just nothing quite like an amusement park that isn’t built in 20 minutes the night before.

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This little alley of shops, including a Christmas store, a Cinnabon, and a boutique with tacky resort clothing.

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There was the Hulk roller coaster (no, I didn’t go on it), 3D Spiderman ride, Dr Doom drop ride, another big nope on the scale, arcades and more. This was a little kid’s, physical or at heart’s, superhero dream come true. The first day consisted of a lot of walkthroughs. I didn’t know where I was going, and was pretty much just taking it all in. I did a lot of shopping this day too. But I did go on a few rides. The first one I stumbled across was Skull Island: King Kong. I was only a 10 minute wait, so I said, what the hell. I’ll go in it.

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A 3D thrill ride exploring the island of Kong. You get on a little bus that takes you around the island. Combating giant Worms and other various creatures. The line itself was cool too, because there was lot of creatures in cages, and boxes making growling and hissing noises as you walked by. There were pitch black coves with people hiding in them, reaching their hands out to grab helpless line waiters. It was fun. I’m a fan for the 3D rides for a few different reasons. 1, I hate roller coasters. They are not fund, they are train tracks of fear and dismay. 3D rides allow you to be somewhere else, and even though you know you aren’t really there, its still fun. So after I fell off a rope bridge and almost got eaten by a T-Rex I continued my wandering.

Jurassic World is what I  came across next, I was going to wait in live to meet a Velociraptor, but I felt that WAS something better experienced with other people. Guess I will just have to come back!

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RAWR

Anyways… continue on I did into Hogsmeade. *tacky Universal music ensues*

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Wooo! I made it! Words do not really describe the pure enjoyment of this place. The attention to detail was incredible. And I got to buy an overpriced cup of Cream Soda with whipped cream. It was a great time. I have to admit, I didn’t take half as many pictures as I should have, but my phone was away for most of this trip. I wanted to enjoy myself.20190202_105122-18948971334510650771.jpg20190202_105928-16473260414696767267.jpg

I spent a little time in and out of the shops. I went in to HoneyDukes, because I don’t know, I had to?? Instead of me buying a chocolate frog in a cardboard box that I was never going to eat, I decided to spend an extra $8 and buy a glass jewelry box instead. This way, I have something that I WOULD use and can keep as a memory forever, and not a giant chocolate frog that would turn that weird white color that chocolate does.

My next stop on my list today was to take the Hogwarts Express in between parks.

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They had this one all set up and stationary for all your selfie needs.

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Here is a crappy video of the train because I was not prepared. The train ride to the other park was short, but not short of entertainment. The ‘windows’ had screens in them that opened up the woods and mysterious of the Harry Potter world. The sliding doors of the carts had screens as well, and you could see students walking around out in the halls of the train. Diagon Alley was just right around the corner.

I got off the train and was thankful that I was not waiting in the line that was on this end of the tracks. Here’s a few more sights that greeted me on the other end.

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Just a few more beautiful sights to be had.

I then ventured into the main attraction..

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Again, no words for seeing this for the first time.

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This guy, in the smaller bank. who ACTUALLY responded to questions.

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RAWR

Of course, one of the things that I needed to do was go to Olivander’s and buy a wand. The one that I chose was called Hawthorne. The description is:

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I didn’t get the chance to get on any rides this day, but not to worry! We are still only on day 1. The reason I did not is because I tried to go on the Escape from Gringots ride, but was told I could not bring my backpack, and I understood why when I finally did get to go on it (more to come on that). I went to wait in line to use the free lockers and promptly noped my way out of that situation. I decided that today would just be a day for exploring and shopping, and maybe a ride here or there if I could.

After watching a brief street show about the three brothers and spending much more money than I was anticipating to spend, I decided to venture around to the rest of the park.

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The Back to the Future train20190202_120901-13480359832594936634

No caption needed for this one.

I went on one more ride before calling it a day. FAST AND FURIOUS SUPERCHARGED. Hell yea.20190202_122604-16300801082835129628.jpg

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This is a car blog after all, so here are the cars ;).

Once again, another 3D thrill ride down the streets fighting Shaw and avoiding pieces of flying scrap metal and bullets. A high speed pursuit without actually moving in the ‘party bus,’ exactly my kind of ride. Here’s a few more looks for good measure.

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It was peaking in to late afternoon, and I had been up wandering around since early that morning. I had bought everything I could get my hands on, so I was time for me to venture back to the hotel for a little bit. I walked through City Walk to see what there as for food and such.

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The Globe!

20190202_143334-267446669142934230.jpgHard Rock, my favorite chain.

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This photo does not do this place justice. The largest Hard Rock Cafe in the world. It was a goddamn Colosseum, LITERALLY!

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This was some neat stuff too.

I walked around and back to the shuttles and went back to the hotel for a couple hours to decompress, process everything I had seen for the day and get ready for dinner. I was not sure where I was planning on going, but ended up deciding on Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.  20190202_191615-25018941983966174264.jpg

Nice view of the entrance at night.

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The size of this place was nuts. It was awesome. The steampunk theme inside the restaurant was awesome. I don’t have many photos of the inside because I didn’t want to disturb anyone’s dinner. I took a few at the bar though. 20190202_192434-21442086249521551905.jpg

So pretty, so much chocolate alcohol.

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CHOCOLATE CHERRY MULE. Not to sound like an alcoholic, but I’ve had my fair share of mixed drinks in my short time since I turned 21. This drink was, BY FAR,the BEST drink I have ever had. So far. I have plenty of time for more adventures after all. I ordered myself a Filet Mignon, which was the best meal I’ve had so far too. For dessert, I ordered the Chocolate Mousse, I dark rich plate of deliciousness. I would fly back to Orlando just to eat here, if you get to go, or go back to universal, this place is a must.

After dinner, it was a late night walk back to the shuttles and a short ride back to the hotel. I turned in for the night, ready for another full day.

Sunday February 3, 2019 7:30AM

Good morning again!

I was up even earlier this day because I knew I had a lot of ground to cover in such a short amount of time. It’s funny though, time. I sit here and think to myself, wow, last week I was so excited to go, and now it’s all over and is just a memory. A great one, and one that I will no doubt experience again.

Day 2 was going to be ride day. I didn’t take my backpack this day so that I could get on and off the rides as I pleased. To my delight, a few of the rides had single rider lines, lucky me! The first ride that I was heading to was Escape from Gringots, since that was the first one I sent away from the day before. On the way there though, I stopped at the Transformers ride, the wait was short.

Walking through the bank was super cool, and again wicked detailed. However, while stationary waiting in a section of the line, you can see how the line winds through the back of the building, so far out, I couldn’t see the end. I CAN’T imagine how busy and how long this line gets during busy season. As it was, the ride broke down while I was standing in line, and had about a 75 minute wait.

Once I was in there though, more 3D action ensued. Except, this time the ride had some drops.. Let me tell you, when Bellatrix smashed our tracks and I was teetering off the edge, I was screaming. The older couple next to me did not make a sound the entire time, and I was yelling my head off. Ah, a good time. Worth it though. Super fun. Here’s a few pictures from inside, and the dragon again. Rawr.

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I ventured out of Diagon Alley and walked around to the Men in Black:Alien Attack. This was a shooter game as you go through a course with a laser gun. I will say this, Universal made the waiting in lines bearable. There is a lot of cool stuff that they have set up to look at, take pictures of. I wasn’t able to take too many pictures because it was not that busy for the most part. The line was always moving. I did snap one blurry pic from inside the line though.20190203_115358-17752202431022408211.jpg

I walked around a bit more and caught a glimpse of the Despicable Me characters. Minions!

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In this same area, there was a diner with a bunch of old cars outside it.

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Naturally, this was a cool spot for several different reasons. Cars, of course. And they actually run! The day before when I walked by these were not outside. The place was also my favorite color. 20190203_095026-15601775673989769687.jpg20190203_095038-17880006924249613787.jpg

I was done with Universal Studios for the morning and walked around to the other park, Islands of Adventure. I didn’t realize that the day before I had not walked around a whole different side of the park. There was a Dr. Seuss section!

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Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, books of my childhood, movies I loved, and still do. For nostalgia purposes, I did go on the Cat in the Hat ride through, which primarily little kids went on, but I don’t care, it was awesome.

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The next section was of the Lost Continent. It was filled with large rock statues and old temples. Again, the attention to detail on some of theses structures was just incredible. I ate at Mythos for lunch, which was supposedly the best amusement park restaurant two years in a row. But. in all honesty, it could have been better.

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That fancy butter though…

Beforehand while I was waiting, I went into a little shop across the way that had the pick a pearl gig and pick your setting. Me, being the sucker I am for jewelry went and got one, and I’m glad that I did. 20190211_1326362158914600137308142.jpg

Buying junk and props are great and all. I”m a bit of a collector of all sorts of stuff myself. But having something that can commemorate an experience that can remind you of it everyday is cool too. This was my gift to myself.

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The rest of that afternoon was filled with sights like these and people watching. An even more interesting pass time in an amusement park. I played in an arcade for a little while. Because how can I resist that??

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And naturally, I won this guy out of a claw machine game. The master, even in Florida.

Ah, the walks back are always nice.

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After a long day of my endless roaming around, it was time to head back to the hotel. It was Super Bowl Sunday after all. I had some homework I needed to get done and I wanted to watch the game. What better way to enjoy homework AND the Super Bowl all at once? I will give you the answer…

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A rooftop bar. Drinks. Wings. Giant TVs. I don’t think anything could have been better. OH WAIT. The Pats won their 6th Superbowl. That definitely made it better. WOO! GO PATS! Time for bed, and time for my last day here.

Monday February 4th, 2019 8:00AM

TEARS. I was sad that it was my last day, but I had my fun and was glad that I went. Breakfast consisted of leftover wings and fries, which surprisingly tasted better cold than it did warm the night before. Oh well! There were still a few things that I wanted to do that I had not done the last few days. Today was going to be a shorter day.

I wanted to go on the Forbidden Journey ride in Hogsmeade, so I head straight there. The previous two days the line was more than an hour and I just was not about that. The line today was only about 20 minutes. Soooo, I was not overly prepared for that ride. It was not a roller coaster and was not scary. But all the omni theater stuff and flying around made me a little dizzy. It also did not go upside down, but it tipped you pretty far back when flying around the spider cavern. It was awesome 10/10 would do it again. That was the last ride I did at Universal Studios. But I did a bit more exploring.20190204_105743-26242097629492998868.jpg20190204_105758-22886786007667788408.jpg20190204_105801-2302471294845924096.jpg

I circled around to the Jurassic World exhibit, where I got to watch a dinosaur hatch. There was a group of friends, probably around my age, and one of them was absolutely freaking out about this. Once it hatched, she got to name it. It was great.

After some more people watching I stopped in for lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp before continuing on to the last few rides. 10/10 would eat there again. SO good.

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Literally some of the BEST shrimp I have ever eaten in my life. Highly recommend.

I got to keep that glass too, another cool token of my journey. After Bubba Gump, I ventured over to Island of Adventure again for the last few rides of the day. The first one I went on was not something I was planning on originally, but decided to give it a shot, Race through New York with Jimmy Fallon. As one of my favorite late night hosts and cities combined into one, why not? It was another 3D adventure through Times Square. Again, although you aren’t really moving, it definitely feels like you are. We ended up on the moon and rode a roller coaster back to earth. Fantastic.

Revenge of the Mummy. I had seen the ride on the map the two days prior, but like some of the other ones, it had a long wait time. Today, it only had like 15 minute wait. Now, I thought this was another 3D ride, or just a ride through with scary mummys and stuff. And I was right… about half of that. The first 10 seconds you ride through and mummys jump out at you and then. you go up a hill, and theres only one way back down.. backwards. Let me tell you, I was not prepared for that indoor, dark ass roller coaster, that was NOT 3D. The lack of 3D glasses while waiting in line should have been a hint, but it was too late when I realized it…

WELL, I was done for rides for the day anyways. That was enough screaming and heart attack for a lifetime. The rest of the day was lowkey, taking in the sights of the park before I left.

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My mom told me she had come to this place when she was on her honeymoon. Ironic timing.

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I bought an overpriced slushie for my walk back to the shuttle too!

It was bittersweet for sure. I hung out in my hotel room, packing up my stuff for the flight home the next morning. I swear my suitcase weighed twice as much as it did while I was packing than when I had arrived.

I went back up to the rooftop bar to take in some of the sights I did not get a chance to the night before. I’m not a huge fan of heights, but being able to see everything from high up never gets old for me.

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It was quiet up here. Even with all the rush of cars and people below. I was sad to leave. I could’ve hung out up there all night.

There were not many places I was interested in for dinner. So I decided to go back to Toothsome Chocolate Emporium for my last meal in Orlando. The Cherry Chocolate Mule did not disappoint again, not one bit. For dinner, another Filet Mignon, why not.

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Again, some of the best food I had ever eaten. I bought one more item to commemorate my journey, and of course a chocolate bar.

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One last view of the two places that were perfectly set next to each other if you ask me. A little contrast is sometimes a good thing. *Sigh* Goodbye Universal City Walk, Hard Rock Cafe, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, Bubba Gump Shrimp, and the rest of it all. It was fun. Until next time.

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The lights of the night life faded in the distance and I ventured back to the hotel with a weekend full of memories. Time for an early flight the next morning.

Tuesday February 5th, 2018 6:00AM

Ugh… waking up early, and not for fun reasons. I was thankfully the last pick up before heading to the airport, so I didnt have to have a tour of the whole property like when I had arrived.

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Pusheen and I are heading home!

The plane ride felt like 5 minutes, unlike the one there.

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Unlimited snack on JetBlue!

I had a great time. I was so glad I went, and happy I went solo. Trips alone are fun and sometimes needed. It was nice to be able to do my own thing at my own pace without having to worry about other people. Goodbye is just a see you later, I’m sure I’ll be back again to make even more memories.

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Hear Me Out

Picture this.

Imagine something you love. Or someone you love. Imagine that thing that makes your heart sing. Imagine that thing that you would give anything for, your time, your energy, your everything. Imagine that thing there with you, and imagine how happy it makes you.

Now imagine that same thing in a different way. Imagine that thing or that person that you love is not good for you. Imagine that object is toxic to your overall wellbeing. Imagine that although it makes you happy, it is ultimately not worth your time, your energy, you everything. Imagine that thing is right in front of you, so close, but yet, you are not able to reach it.

Would you walk away? Some things in our life are very hard. And sometimes not everything is in our control. It is hard to imagine something that we love so dearly ultimately not being good for us or hurting us. It is these hard decisions that we need to make everyday. We must decide what is worth fighting for, what is worth our blood, sweat and tears, and what is not.

On the flip side of things, sometimes a risk is what we need in our lives. Playing it safe all the time never got anyone anywhere. Sometimes we are unsure of what we love and what we want, so we don’t bother to pursue it. A few years ago when I attended my first car show, I hated it. I was so bored, and did not want anything to do with it again. I gave it another chance though. I took a chance, a small one, but it was still a chance. It opened my life to a world I could’ve never imagined. But every year something changes, I find new things that pique my interest and new risks that I want to take. I take on too much sometimes, which is not always a bad thing. But ultimately, there are other things in my life than just car show which require my energy as well.

My personal life is in shambles. There are only so many thing we are able to control as I mentioned earlier. A lot of what is going on is out of my control. I need to make some hard decisions. I need to see what is worth my time, what is worth my energy. I need to put myself on a good track for what and who I want in my life. What was once making me very happy is draining me. I have unrealistic expectations sometimes, and it is not fair to anyone.

I am a firm believer in the ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ cliche. I also understand that sometimes we do need to walk away. It is not always easy, but sometimes it needs to be done. People and things come and go, but it is ultimately our decision what we put an effort towards to keep in our life. Maybe that thing or person you love is not worth it. Maybe it’s time to walk away.

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!

MINIs on Top 2018!

Hello everyone!

Wow.. I have been like the energizer bunny since my last blog post. Keep going and never stopping! There is not rest for the weary I suppose, and all those there cliche sayings about being busy…

Okay, on to the good stuff. This past weekend marked my fourth, I can’t even believe that, FOURTH, MINIs on Top(MOT) and it was a blast. For those who are not familiar with the event, it happens once a year around the second weekend in June. It is a time for people from all walks of life come to enjoy each other’s company, and the one thing we all have in common.. our MINIs!! 150+ people gathered in North Conway at the Red Jacket Hotel for the fun filled weekend. This years theme was Pirates of the Kancamagus, and some people went all out! Event organizers did a wonderful job as always, and the weekend was certainly another one for the books..

Friday, June 15th, 12:00PM

Friday was a busy day. I had decided a couple months ago that this year I would bring my Classic MINI up North with me to experience MOT. I seemed help taking her up north but no one was able to assist me. I was on my own. So I sucked it up and rented a Uhaul and ended up getting a fantastic deal. I loaded her up on the trailer at around 4:30PM and began my trek up North. Two hours was nothing compared to the 20 hours I had spent in a Uhaul last year to go retrieve Louisa(My classic) from Canada. As tough as it was, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

I arrived at the Red Jacket Hotel at about 7:06PM. After stopping several times on the way up to make sure she was alright and tell her she was doing great, I finally made it… No one was around, so I was on my own yet again unloading my precious cargo. Slowly, and carefully, she got off the trailer and her tires touched pavement again. I could feel her excitement! I unloaded my luggage from the Uhaul and into Louisa’s tiny boot and made my way to the entrance. I checked in, dropped off my bags, parked her out back amongst her MINI friends and went to the Friday night gathering. I only spent a little time socializing as I had been up since 5:30am that morning and needed some sleep. I turned in for the night and couldn’t wait for the morning…

Saturday June 16th, 7:00AM

UGHHH… Mornings will never be my thing. But they are a little easier knowing I have a fun day ahead of me. I loaded up all the necessary items for the day, ducks, gopro, charger, water, ukulele. Time to go! I was headed off to Loon Mountain Resort where everyone gathers to show off their MINIs and check out the boot sale! For those who don’t know, a ‘boot’ is a MINI’s trunk.

Here are some photos of Louisa before I arrived at Loon.

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I can’t express how much fun it was to drive the Kanc in my classic One of the best experiences I have had in a while. The weather was gorgeous and the skies were clear. It couldn’t have been a better day. Video below!

Loon Mountain is always one of my favorite parts of the weekend and also one of the longest. But this year the time absolutely FLEW by. I enjoy talking to people, but I LOVE talking to people about my car. It is always a new experience to see people’s faces light up when they see Louisa. To be amongst people who already have a love of MINIs and have a different appreciation of her is a wonderful feeling. 20180616_0931138659838575636478526.jpg

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“Look at how tiny it is!”

“I have to show my grandkids this!”

I like to stand back sometimes and just watch how people react. Its nice standing on the side lines and letting Louisa have the attention that she deserves. Loon was packed full of MINIS which is always a site for me to see. 20180616_1102193832983787554918175.jpg20180616_110222236038697263689759.jpg20180616_1102271798834131931137232.jpg20180616_1104185309723582289699592.jpg20180616_110424223758406562468363.jpg20180616_1210268313286290371347188.jpg

From Loon, everyone picks a rally route and motors around Northern New Hampshire in big groups. I sat out of the rallying this year as Louisa would not have been able to keep up with the younger and more hip MINIs with all their fancy upgrades. So I ventured back down the Kanc with her, just enjoying the nice day and the views. I explored around a little bit and eventually ended up back at the hotel to just unwind and spend some time with myself.

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The view from the room was gorgeous and the hotel had a nice little porch type area out side with a little chair to enjoy it even more.

3:30PM rolled around and I ventured back out to head to that base of Mt. Washington. Mt. Washington is where everyone gathers to share stories about their day, adventures and endeavors, have a meal and just chat with friends before ascending up the mountain. My ride to the base got interesting when my little baby began to smoke badly.. I pulled over and the couple that was following us said told me what he saw. I checked my oil and I had almost non left… We weren’t that far out from the base and I just wanted to make it there.. Maybe someone had some spare oil they could share. Luckily, my friend Tom and one other guy had some to spare, and I felt better about the whole thing. As long as I could make it back to the hotel, she would make it home okay… I was not alone during this bump in the road thankfully, my close friend Dave was with me to help. Now on to the fun stuff…

20180616_1831328294328276575505331.jpgThis year was extra fun for me, even though I had a malfunction on the way there… Each year they give out award for different categories. Newest MINI, Oldest Driver, Most MINIs, etc. Two year ago, at my second MOT in 2016, I received a medal for Youngest Driver. This year, because I brought Louisa, I received a medal for Oldest MINI. 20180617_1719051636819464045479308.jpg

Louisa was the only classic there, and although I saw it coming, it was still fun. After the awards and raffles were given out it was time to venture up to the summit of Mt. Washington. Last year was my first time ascending the mountain and I still get emotional thinking about it. It was so gorgeous last year, and it was just as gorgeous this year. BUT, no tears were shed this time.. because they froze before they could leave my eyeballs once we were actually at the top. Wearing shorts was obviously a poor decision. But again, totally worth it. I got to ride to the summit in my other friend Kathy’s teal convertible.

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I didn’t take any pictures at the summit because it was so cold and I was focused on getting back to the hotel with some light. I made it back safely with our friends and then it was time to put her up on the trailer and head to the pajama party. Success! Got her up on the trailer with no problem, and with an audience… It happens. Louisa is gorgeous, what can I say?

It was good to be back at the hotel talking about the day some more with MINI friends. Some drinks and pizza ensued. The tables in the MOTOroom as we call it, were decorated with loot and gems. At one point in the night we saw how many chocolate coins we could stack on top of each other and then tried to stack rubber ducks on top of that. It was fun. I ended up knocking them all over at one, ON ACCIDENT, and I felt bad.. oh well, at least someone got pictures…

I was sad that the weekend was coming to a close as I turned in for the night, and was not really looking forward to the two hour drive home. I drifted to sleep pretty quickly because I was exhausted from the MINI adventure I had.

Sunday June 17th, 9:00AM

Okay, 9am, a little more bearable. I reiterate the fact that I don’t like mornings at all, so if I get up to see you or do something, it must be important.. A few of us were going to get together for some breakfast. We all met at Red Fox Bar and Grille.. Bar and Grille? For breakfast? I was a lift skeptical as we pulled in, but once I saw “All you can eat breakfast buffet for 8.99” mu skepticism disappeared. The good was delicious and I highly recommend it if you’re every in the area and looking for something to eat. From there it was time to go home… We stayed together for a little bit and ended up on this GREAT road, that would have been 20x more fun had I been driving either of my MINIs. Oh well, maybe next year, right?

Once again, as I write about my weekend and all the great people I spent time with, I’m ever more thankful that I met these people and decided to get a MINI. I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done. Being part of this community is something I’m not sure I would have been able to experience had I decided to get another car. Until next time my friends…

Motor On!

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I went to DISNEY!!!

Hey everyone! It’s yo girl!

I’m waiting in the airport in Orlando, Florida right now as I start typing this. It’ll probably take me a week to get all me thoughts and photos together to make this blog post as spectacular as my trip was. I’ll start with Sunday….

Sunday May 6th 2:00AM

UGHHH. I tried to go to bed at a reasonable hour on Saturday after attending TWO car shows all day, but I was unsuccessful. The excitement of the trip was too much for me to handle and I didn’t fall asleep until 12amish. My mom came in and woke me up and I was not having it. But nevertheless o got up, got ready and grabbed my stuff to go.

Good bye LuLu!!!

The airport was an experience, I had never been on a plane before let alone through a security check. I forgot that you can’t take liquids and stuff on the plane and I had all my sunscreen and lotion for my sunburn, that I already had from the car shows, taken a away by an asshole with a ponytail. I’ll remember you…

Okay, 5am rolled around and it was time for food. Standing in line BEFORE a Dunkin donuts opened was probably something I’ll never do again. We waited some time longer and then it was time to get on the plane. I was honestly a little scared, I had never been on a plan before, but I was so pumped and ready for this trip.

I was fine when the plane started moving until it hit the runway. I was NOT prepared for that. Once we were off the ground though I was good. The plane ride took us a little over three hours, and because of the sheer exhaustion of having to be up at 2AM, I slept through most of it. When I did wake up though, the view out the widow was breathtaking.

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Once we got off the plane the airport was a lot to take in. There were shops, carts, restaurants, and a bunch of other stuff that we rushed passed as went to get out luggage and find the Magic Express that would take us to our resort.

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DISNEY!!!

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We stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, which was also absolutely gorgeous and huge!

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I did not get a lot of pictures, but this was just the ‘lobby’ building. We checked our bags at the hotel after we had arrived around noon. Our rooms wouldn’t be ready until around 5PM, so we headed over to Disney Springs. Again, it was absolutely gorgeous. Here is one photo of a beautiful view off a bridge.

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We were starving at this point. Our last meal had been at a dunking donuts at 4AM. We stopped at a place called Cookies of Dublin, which was a pub style place. I ordered big greasy burger with fries, and it was absolutely delicious.

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We walked around a bit more after lunch. There was a huge Lego Store around the center of the Springs. Among other stores, there was a Rainforest Cafe and tons of other Disney stores where you could get pairs of ears and customized t-shirts. There were also these cool little boat cars that you could ride out on the water in. I’m not sure how much it cost, we did not take a ride for it. They were so adorable though, and I definitely want one… someday.

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A couple more hours went by and our rooms were finally ready. We trekked back to the hotel and grabbed our bags and headed to our room. We had to meet behind out building in just under an hour for a group dinner. An hour to get ready after being up for 20 hours was not very fun… We had dinner at Tu Tu Tango which was awesome and all, but it was a little disorganized. At the end of the night, we were just glad to be back in our room to sleep… The week started tomorrow…

Monday May 7th 8:45AM

Yesterday was a long, long day, but that was good, because it was going to prepare me for the day that I was going to have. We had planned to get up early to try and get to Magic Kingdom, but that didn’t exactly go that way. After our alarm went off at 8:45, we continued to lay in bed for another 3 alarms, finally leaving the room around, 10:30. We walked down to the bus stop, and man was it HUMID. I still don’t understand how people live down there…

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Here we all are before it became sweat city… The bus that took us to Magic Kingdom was air conditioned. AMEN. Amen for those air conditioned busses.

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The Castle!!! Breaking view after breathtaking view. I am truly grateful that I got to experience this. But I’ll save that for later. Food time… We stopped at the first place that we could sit inside. We stopped inside at the Starlight Cafe, where I had ANOTHER burger. I’m on vacation, right? Diets don’t count. I also got a Mickey straw!

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Next we headed over to the Swiss Family Treehouse. It was nice and cool under the big tree and in the shade. It was cool. Next we went over to the Jungle Cruise. Our boat driver had plenty of puns and it was really funny. It was a good time. We made out way back over to the Castle and spotted the Fairy God Mother! There wasn’t much of a line, so we waited and then she disappeared. A few minutes later the Evil Step Sisters were there, so we met them instead.

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This was the best photo we took before we all got really sweaty…

Next, we waited in line for the Pirate of the Caribbean ride. 40 minutes flies by a lot faster when your playing Heads Up. If your going to be standing in line for a long time and you’re with a lot of friends, I highly recommend it, you’ll make a lot of great memories.

Haley had been talking about the Dole Whip all day so we went and picked up some of that and then waited inside, WITH AIR CONDITIONING, of the Country Bears show. I don’t exactly remember what the name of it was, but it was something like that. BUT, it was hysterical and I recommend it for adults. When we got outside the PARADE WAS GOING ON!! I was so excited, we had seen clips of it on the Disney Express bus that took us to our resort, but weren’t sure if we were going to be able to see it or not. Here are some photos I took.

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So that fire breathing dragon was super cool, and actually just recently caught on fire after we left Florida..

On a side note, this park is absolutely HUGE. Next I think we went on the Haunted Mansion Ride because we had a Fast Pass for it. The wait for this ride was short and when we got on it was really dark. For future references, I hate the dark, and anything that jumps out at me, so I was a little nervous. Once we got in and went around it was fine and most of the ride was funny. BUT, halfway through the ride it STOPPED. At first, I thought it was part of the ride, but then Haley said “This has never happened before.” Allow freak out to commence. After just a couple minutes it started up again, and we continued, but then it stopped AGAIN. At this point, I was a little annoyed, but it was fun overall. Once we got off that ride we headed over to the It’s a Small World Ride. My nana had told me that it was her favorite ride when her and my papa and mom went when my mom was a teenager, so I had to go on it for her.

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After this ride we broke for lunch and stopped in Pinocchio cafe place. I ordered Chicken tenders off the kids menu.. Haha! That was funny. From there we circled back around to Tomorrowland and went on the sky ride that I also cannot remember the name. It was a nice break, relaxing. There was a nice breeze, and it was high up enough that you could see other parts of the park at certain points. There was also a great view of the castle.

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We stuck around Tomorrowland and did a few of the other rides that were there. The Carrousel of Progress was really interesting to see. Although its not technically a ‘ride,’ it was interesting to see the progress that we went through since the early 20th century. Next we went to the Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, and it was really funny. They pull people from the crowd and have a camera that kept going back to this one guy. It was a good show. Next, we waited in line for the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. The wait for this ride was almost an hour, so it was time to whip out the Heads Up app again. It passed the time quickly, and we even got a few other families to ask what we were playing and a couple downloaded and started to play themselves. I got a score of 86,000 dominating my friends’ scores. But of course, I AM the best..

Next we went to Space Mountain. This ride had a wait of an hour and a half, and I was fine with that. Another thing that I am not fond of is rollercoasters… Heads up took up the time again and we got on the ride. I was NOT prepared for that. But it Was a lot of fun. Two minutes of being whipped around in the dark can give someone quite the rush. When we got in line for the ride it was light out, and when we came back outside, it was dark. The fireworks show was going on and we got to catch just the end of it. The castle was also lit up and it looked absolutely gorgeous.

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BUT, because of the fireworks show parts of the roads around the castle were closed and we had another FastPass to get to in 20 minutes. So Jess took the lead, and we all held hands as she navigated through the crowd, LIKE A PRO. I tripped over a carriage folded up on the ground though, AND had a bruise to prove it. Once we got out of the crowd we ran over to Thunder Mountain. Another ride I was not looking forward to… We got in the FastPass line and waited for about 20 minutes before the moment of truth came… At the end, it was not that bad. But then they wanted me to go on Splash Mountain. NO WAY. Big drops are the WORST. I gave in though.. Live a little, I guess. Who knows when the next time I’ll be there would be… They definitely fooled me though, a smaller drop made to be the big drop… It was not… It was funny, and the huge drop was funnier.. Splash Mountain was the last ride of the day. It was 11:00PM and we were absolutely exhausted. The walk back to the bus stop was AWFUL, and the bus ride back was even worse. I am not used to standing on a bus, and almost fell on a mom and her kids. Once we got back to the hotel it was a wonderful feeling to take my shoes off, take a shower and go to bed… Sleep and do it again tomorrow…

Tuesday May 8th 8:45AM

Day TWO! SO pumped for the day.. Not really, my feet still hurt a little from the day before. Also not looking forward to another day in the heat. Today, we were off to Epcot to drink around the world!

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The weather was a little nicer out, there were some clouds to block out the sun off and on and then there was a nice breeze every now and again. Epcot was probably my favorite day.

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The ball!!

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Stitch!!

We decided to go to the Test Track first as its a car ride, and being who I am, I wanted to do that one. The wait for that ride was an hour and half. But DAMN, was it worth it. First, you get to build your car. And then it will be tested for capability, efficiency, responsiveness and POWER. So the first three stages of the ride were fin, simulating a car drifting and what not. But then the last test came, you come through a tunnel with lights that lead to a door that open to reveal an outside track that goes around the building. The light blinds you, the ‘test car’ takes off, and the wind is blowing in the breeze. HOLY DAMN, it was so fast and so fun. If you’re going to take a trip to Epcot and have never been on this ride, I highly recommend it! It was my favorite. Next it was time to DRINK AROUND THE WORLD!!! As were walking along, there were gorgeous flowers EVERYWHERE. They were all perfect and beautiful and the air smelled wonderful and I couldn’t breath because of my allergies.

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We then went to go check out the Croughnut, a donut croissant hybrid. It was delicious and it was even better because it was free. We got them for free because we were wearing “Celebrating Graduating College” pins, and the girl at the booth was wicked nice of course.

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Yummy!

We stopped under an umbrella table and chilled out for a second. A little duck was following us and I couldn’t help but give him a piece… and a name… Charlie. Charlie wouldn’t go away after I gave him that first piece, so he hung out and I gave him my last piece before a little kid came over and chased him away. It was nice to meet you Charlie!

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We took off and ventured around the world, and what started with drinking, ended with eating.. here are a few photos.

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We stopped to eat at Via Napoli in Italy. We ordered a prosciutto pizza and I ordered a Moscow Mule of course!

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We continued our adventure around the world and then headed back to Disney Springs to eat for dinner. We went to the Rainforest Cafe, which was good. But the time there was an adventure in and of itself. First, I was not very hungry at all after I had been eating all day. Second, I did not really enjoy my Moscow Mule, nor was there a lot of alcohol in it because it was primarily pineapple juice. Yes, you read that correctly. Pineapple juice. THAT DOES NOT BELONG IN A MOSCOW MULE. So back to the Rainforest Cafe.

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FIYAHH!

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And here is my happy drink. This dinner night turned in to a very interesting one. I become extremely honest and a little too outgoing when I’m tipsy. When I’m drunk I just overcompensate and am awkward.. So, Tipsy MaeLynn decided that it would be a GREAT idea to leave her number for the waiter, Salvatore…. Now, I intended to leave and get out of there before he came back to pick up the check. But Jess was taking pictures with her cousin and while we were still sitting at the table waiting, Salvatore came over and grabbed the check. SHIT! I turned to Haley and said that I wanted to be out of here before he came back and picked it up.. Laughter ensued.. she turned to look, “He’s looking at it!” More laughter ensued. Eventually he came back over and told us he heard the giggling. “Thanks,” he said, “now don’t forget to pick up your souvenir glass, you can take this one too (One of the table), I don’t give a shit. You ladies have a good time.” WHEW, that was awkward, but it as funny and I was too tipsy to care. End day two..

Wednesday May 9th, 8:45AM

I had a blast in Epcot the day before and today I was really looking forward to the Safari ride in Animal Kingdom. Here’s our obligatory selfie (I made that face in all our photos all weekend…)

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I didn’t know what to expect today, another fun filled day though was for sure. Amen again for air conditioned buses. Today was even better, weather wise, than the last couple days. It was overcast, but not too bad, and there was an even better breeze. Animal Kingdom has trees covering a lot of the paths, so there was always a bit of shade from the sun. The Tree of Life is what welcomes all the visitors to its kingdom.

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An absolutely gorgeous sight, no pictures I took this week do any of what I saw any justice. It was truly remarkable. The tree was carved out of all different animals, and extended down to where this photo was taken. As you can see, on the right is a buffalo. How cute! We took some more photos and then ventured over to the Safari line. 90 minute wait… My patience was definitely put on trial this week. I hate lines and waiting. BUT, it was totally worth it… Again, me talking about what I saw doesn’t do much for you, so here are the photos I took that are worth sharing.

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Here was our safari bus!

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A cute little rhino. It looks like he is looking right at the camera!

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HIPPO!

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Snap jaw…

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A fleet of snap jaws..

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I don’t remember what these things were called, BUT they are super cool because they hold liquid in their horns and circulate it into their body to keep them cool.

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Chilling and grazing

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This giraffe was literally right next to he bus.. This photo is not zoomed in much..

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This one is not zoomed at all..

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Elephants!! And the little baby elephant, super cute.

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Some flamingos, and according to the little boy behind us, there were ten.

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There was this Ostrich, that did not give a shit about the bus, us, or the wait time. It walked right in front of the bus, right up to the OPEN windows and strut its stuff.

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And this one, giving us all the side eye…

Truly another incredible experience to get up close and personal with animals that I would otherwise never get a chance to see. Next we walked around the conservation and rehabilitation area. There were a whole bunch more animals, lots of gorillas and chimpanzees, toads, snakes, birds, fish, and everything in between. But my favorite, were the meerkats..

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I MEAN COME ON, ITS POSING FOR ME!!!

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“Humans, I demand you make me your leader.” Sure. Would. They weren’t really doing much, but I could’ve watched them ALL day. Super cute, life long bucket list item – see meerkats. Check!

Next stop, food. It was lunch time, and also time to snack.

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Mickey Pretzel!

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This beef and lamb gyro, ugh, sooo good. I’m hungry just looking at the photo..

Next we traveled over to Kali River Rapids. The wait, again, was another hour and a half. This wait however REALLY tried my patience. A group of 5th graders and their irresponsible chaperons were behind us and were bouncing off the walls. THERE ARE ROPES BLOCKING STUFF OFF FOR A REASON LITTLE GIRL. Anyways, whatever. About 40 minutes in though, an announcer came on the speaker and said that there were some technical difficulties and the ride had stopped. Okay, time to sit, and down I went. The wait was only about 15 minutes and the line was moving again, but then the ride was down again. Oh well, no big deal. I had already waited an hour, what was another 15 minutes. We got up to the section where they let the Fastpass people go and then a few of us ‘standing’ people. Well Ms. Chaperone did not approve of the “MILLION” of Fastpass people that they were letting go. The poor kid working the line was saying that the ride was down, and they have the right away BECAUSE THEY HAVE A FAST PASS. Well, Ms. Chaperone did not approve and was swearing up and down in front of her band of hellions, one of which was her daughter. We all said to the kid that he was doing his job, and couldn’t help the ride malfunctioning. I always feel bad in those situations, he was doing his job and deserved someone on his side. We all moved along, and thank god there were so many of the hellions that we were put in a separate boat. Our company for the ride was MUCH more friendly. And of course, Haley and I got SOAKED. I didn’t mind, it was hot, and it felt good.

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A few waiting in line photos.. has to keep myself occupied somehow… else I was going to punch a kid.

From there it was my dreaded hour… Exhibition Everest… I REALLY did not want to go on that ride. But we had FastPasses, and I had too, so in the line I went. So, we had done all the parks with the mountain rollercoasters, and this was the last one. I KNEW that one of them went backwards and was praying it was not this one. That prayer was not answered though… We came up to the hill where the tracks drop off and my only thought was, “Oh. Shit.” and backwards I went. I had my eyes closed for most of the rollercoaster and my picture down the last big hill was horrendous. BUT, I had fun, and would probably go on it again. At least I would know what to expect. There were a few other things we did over in Dinoland, and not the kid part. This one ride was an underground travel back through time type ride where we had to find a specific dinosaur and bring it back. Well all there was on that ride were T-Rex left and right. It was pitch black for most of the parts and they would stop you right in front of one and then flip the lights on to reveal it. Again, great ride, hilarious really, it was fun. That pretty much did it for animal kingdom, we walked around some more looking at some more animals and other stuff and then headed off to Hollywood Studios.

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The vibe of this place as we walked in was awesome, very 50s and 60s. I loved it. Tower of Terror was on Jess’ agenda, we waited in line with her but promptly went out to wait once she got on. There was NO WAY I was getting on that one..

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The inside of the ‘line’ area was really cool though. It was set up like an old hotel, for those who don’t know, and everything was covered in cobwebs and really old and vintage looking, and I loved it. Old stuff is the best kind of stuff. So Jess crossed that off her bucket list and we went to explore a little more. Unfortunately, some of the park was blocked off so we did not get a chance to walk around much. But then the best thing happened. ALL week, since the first day at Magic Kingdom I had been looking for one of those Mickey balloons. And we finally found them. I saw them from a distance and immediately went running over towards them. 5 years old again? Yes, I was, and I am not ashamed.

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I WAS SO HAPPY ♥

Next we went over to the Star Wars area, which was not really my thing since I’ve never seen any of the movies (I know, I know, close your mouth). Haley was so excited, she got to meet Chubacca, and I got to meet BB-8 for my mom. She loves him. That did it for Hollywood Studios, there were only a few rides, a lot of food and a lot of shopping. It was time to turn in for the day. And so ended the three days of Magic in Disney World…

Thursday May 10, 10:00AM

There was no way in hell we were getting out of bed early this day.. uh uh, no way. We had to check out by 11 though.. Today was going to be our last day, and our down day before we had to head back to the airport to head home. Lunch was the first thing on the agenda since by the time we got up and got there it was almost noon.

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We stopped at a place called the Polite Pig, which was a BBQ place. IT WAS DELICIOUS. Again, I’m hungry just thinking about the place. I got Sausage with cheese inside and waffle fries. It was absolutely wonderful and I wish there was one around here…

Next we walked over to Amorette’s Patissere, where I HAD to get the pink champagne with Minnie ears on tops.

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Keepin it classy at the springs.

We had seen it on the first day we were there when we arrived on Sunday, and it was something I had always wanted to do anyways. THE HOT AIR BALLOON!

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Hell yea, I was so excited. It was only $20 to take a ride in the hot air balloon, so why not? Jess wanted to ride it too, but Haley was none too excited. The ‘basket’ was a circle, the pilot(I don’t know what a hot air balloon driver is called) made sure that we were all evenly distributed around. Time for lift off. It took about 2 minutes to get all the way up, and I don’t know exactly how high we went, but the view was awesome. 20180510_145101-12035419821092296663.jpg

You could see all of Disney Springs. It was up on this balloon ride that a whole lot of realization hit me… My college experience was over. I had made it through four years of classes, tests, projects, presentations, events, memories, struggles, and accomplishments. I had grown as an individual, a young professional, a friend, a leader. I had become someone that I never thought I would be. At the beginning of my college career I didn’t think much of myself, I did not do much. Today a few of my accomplishments are that I help run a car club, I run my own event in New Hampshire that has a following of 820 people, I own a classic, and I was graduating college. I had just taken a trip to New York a few weeks before. If you had told me a few years ago I would end up standing in a hot air balloon at Disney Springs thinking about all of this, I would not have believed you. I thought about where I had been, and where I was now, and I was grateful, SO grateful. I was grateful to be here, to be with friends, to know that I would be going back home to a family that loves and supports me, and more friends who would be celebrating my graduation in just a few days. It was all a little overwhelming, but it was a great feeling to have.

The balloon descended and my flight was over. I touched the ground and came down off of my high. I was happy, life was good. We walked around the springs some more before we had to meet back at the resort and head to the airport. The TSA and boarding process was not as exciting as it was when we were leaving to go to Disney. Although I was sad that the trip was over, I was glad to be going back home to my roots.

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Again, pictures that I took during my trip don’t do anything I saw any justice. Our flight back home was at night and it was absolutely gorgeous to see the city lights below us.

Friday May 11, 1:00AM

The flight back was a lot quicker than the flight to get there, and I never thought I’d be glad to arrive back in Manchester. We all waited for our luggage and then said our goodbyes. Haley and Jess were picked up at the airport, and I boarded the bus that would take me back to SNHU. My mom picked me up and I was so happy to see her. It was good to be home.

My Friday was not as exciting as the rest of my week was. I finished up decorating my cap, got my nails done, and went to bed super early. The next morning I would be graduating college. Commencement was a lot of fun. The speeches were short, sweet and to the point.img_20180511_140259_5802152982039720490298.jpg20180512_1216521426552595262814115.jpg

It was over in a flash, and then it was on to my graduation party. Again, loads and loads of fun. My mom, dad, nana and my sister all put in a ton of effort to make the day super special for me. 20180512_132209-14536774255304693234.jpg

Pusheen and Stormy!! ♥♥20180512_1759124460530153757709065.jpg

Flowers from my family, Haley, and Dave.

The excitement is over now. It has been almost two weeks since I went to Disney and since graduation. I’m currently going through training at SNHU to be a student finance counselor. I’ll be applying for the Masters program here shortly and will continue on my adventure. Until next time…

~Adventure Awaits

Testing My Limits…

Whats up everyone?? This post of mine is going to get a little more personal. But there are a lot of things that I feel that I need to write down and discuss with myself in order to sort out my thoughts.

A lot has occurred over the past few weeks that have me arguing with myself. Arguing with myself over what step I should take next. Arguing with myself if I should have just said no. Arguing with myself if I should have said yes. Arguing with myself if I should have said anything at all. Arguing with myself about the choice I made to have cake for breakfast was a good idea. (I did’t actually do that, but you get the point.) There have been a few points in my young life that I felt the universe testing me, and right now is another one of those times.

Looking back at the other times that I felt this way, my ‘problems’ that I was experiencing seem so trivial. And the thing I always end up thinking back to is that someone else always has it worse off than I do, and someone will always be better off. So what am I complaining about? I complain because that’s what we do. We’re human, we have feelings. We want answers. Answers to questions that we can’t have, and maybe never will. Are the choices that I make right now the best ones for me long term? Are they the best for me at all? Or are they just what I want right now and five minutes later that will change?

I have never been one to worry about things long term. Sure, I have goals and dreams and aspirations, but I have always been one to live in the moment. Today is now, make it count. It is what it is until its not that way anymore, right? Wrong. Maybe? I just don’t know. I wonder now, just a month away from getting my undergrad, if I went to school for the right thing. I did not get to explore a lot of what I loved for a while, like car shows, and being a leader, and having people look up to me for events, because I was trapped with someone who could not have given a shit less what I wanted or what I liked. That was one of the major tests in my life. I have learned a lot about myself over the past four years though. I have learned how strong I can be. I have learned that people suck. I have learned that I know what I want and what I don’t want. What I will put up with and what I will not. One thing I have not learned though is to have confidence in my decisions. Confidence in myself.

Confidence is a funny concept. I walk around trying to act cool. Trying to be unfazed and just go about my day. When in reality, my head a whirlwind of thoughts and scenarios that have happened, that may happen, that may not happen? What can I do to get what I want? How could I have made that situation better? I overthink to the point of exhausting myself and I still end up back at stage 1. An over thinker. Perhaps that will be my demise.

I confess that behind my calm, collected, and confident exterior is someone terrified of making the wrong decision. Is terrified of losing people close to me. Is terrified of the general unknown that life is. Is someone independent but terrified of being left alone. My only solace is the fact that I truly believe that things happen for a reason, and tests of life are there for a purpose. They are there to make you stronger. They are there to make you wiser. We are all here for a reason. We are here to fight our own fight and deal with our own demons. Nothing worth the fight is worth your time. It is not worth my time. Things that don’t make sense now, can end up being things that make sense in the long run. I’m taking one thing at a time while trying to keep my sanity. But nothing safe is ever worth the drive…

Nobody beats Town Fair Tire… NOBODY

Hey everyone!!

First off, if you read the title and laughed you also probably cried. If you have no idea why I decided to title the blog post what I did, then you did not experience the pain and suffering that World of Wheels goers and participants endured for three long days… What a weekend!! Saturday consisted of the Brewery Rally with the MINI club, and Sunday consisted of not one, but TWO car shows. I’m ready for a long nap…

Sunday morning started with my little show, Southern New Hampshire Cars and Coffee that I run in Salem, New Hampshire. Because I am not a morning person, I was a little late to my own show, and by late, I mean 9:04AM. By the time I arrived, the parking lot was already packed, and I was lucky I found a spot near my fellow MINI drivers. I met up with my friends and we went to get some coffee from local coffee shop sponsor, The Coffee Factory. Highly recommend if you have never been, they brew all their coffee same day and breakfast sandwiches and sweets are made fresh. While that wait is long because of all the people, its worth it. I am also glad to bring business to the local shop. By the time we got outside, the show had just grown bigger and cars were still rolling in. 20180325_09403320180325_094035

Here are two images that I captured to show the overwhelming support the show had for its season opener event. The air was brisk and it was col, but that didn’t stop 200+ cars from coming out to enjoy themselves with friends. Nothing will stop car enthusiasts in New England. While many still had their cars locked up in the garage, the daily drivers were out in full force. But we did get a few cool things to show up…

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This Rat Rod has shown its support last summer, and we are glad to see it back out here again! I think my favorite part about this one is that there is a car seat bolted into the back.

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Spot number two goes to this Rolls Royce with the interesting color combination. I like the colors, but I am not sure that it goes with this car. Still, an awesome sight to see!

Afterwards, the Knights and I went over to Rockingham Cafe for our monthly breakfast after the show. A little hole in the wall place that will serve you Eggs Benedict and Beer at 11 in the morning. Welcome to New Hampshire! #livefreeordie

From there I drove down to the Seaport District in Boston Massachusetts to attend my first World of Wheels. No one was able to go with me, so I was flying solo for this one. Getting there was easier than I thought it was going to be, and I didn’t get lost. The Seaport World Trade Center is a perfect spot to showcase these spectacular cars. It was unreal. My friend Jonny had his Dodge Charger registered, so I stuck with him for the afternoon. Here’s his baby in all her glory…

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Pictures just don’t do some things justice, and this is one of those things. I’ll get to take it for a spot this summer… hopefully…

This show made me both super happy and super sad. Sad because, A, because I wish I would’ve known about it soon because I would have brought Louisa, my 1962 Morris MINI-Minor, and shown her off, and B, because I wish I had money to own more than one classic vehicle. But we all need to start somewhere.

The event really was spectacular, the cars from Fate of the Furious were there lined up, in all their move prop glory. beautiful on the outside, but not so much on the inside. The Chop Shop featuring Gene Winfield was there doing a demonstration, and there were also special guests like, Tony Stuart, and John Schneider. The age of spectators ranged from people in their 80s to little kids being held back by their parents so they don’t touch the half a million dollar car. Me talking about the event won’t do it for you, so here are a few photos of some of my personal favorites from the show…

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This 1059 Austin Healey Sprite, which was one of the only smaller cars there.

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The contrast of this rusted exterior and pristine interior had me at first sight. ❤ 20180325_135052

This 1930 Ford Hot Rod. I can picture myself driving this bad boy, hell yeah.

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This Dragster that I would have loved to see doing its thing back in the day. Which according to the ropes surrounding it, did its thing pretty good.

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Having a cold one with the boys…

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And this 1971 Corvette Stingray… This will be the next classic that I will probably buy impulsively.

World of Wheels 2019 better watch out for Louisa and I. The weekend was a success, and perhaps the best part was being able to breath in all the fumes at the end as I recorded most of the cars leaving the show. Link is provided below. Enjoy!

Brewery Rally 2018!

Good day everyone!

It was a cloud day, but that did not stop me or some of my good friends from hitting the road on today’s adventure. The morning began, very early, at The Riverhouse Cafe in Milford, NH. An adorable little spot at the Oval. I ordered a half order of their Eggs Benedict and will definitely be returning for a full order. From there, I joined MINIs of Boston on their first rally of the season, The Brewery Rally! We took some great backroads through, Leominster, Westminster, Fitchburg and Framingham. Myself and about 20+ other cars all drove together to several breweries in the area. I know what you’re probably thinking, drinking and driving? A recipe for disaster, but A, I do not drink beer (I’m a whiskey kind of girl) and B, most everyone who was had a passenger who could take over for them. So it was all good! Our first stop was Wachusett Brewing Company in Westminster, MA.

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WHERE ARE THE MINIS??

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Oh, there they are!…

It was a quaint little place for a Brewery, plenty of space and a very unique looking bar. While I don’t drink beer I can’t tell you if it was any good there, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it, so I’d say it is worth checking it out if you are into that. The bar area was a hallowed out trailer. Available drafts were posted on old license plates above, a very unique idea. Very creative. On the other side there were picnic tables, in addition to the many available tables, where everyone could sit and relax. There was a band stage set up for live music, lights strung up on the ceiling, and a disco ball hung above. And they also serve food! I had a taste of their fried pickles and they were delicious.

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From there, we all hopped back into out cars and took off to the next Brewery. We attempted to go to Jack Abby’s for lunch and some more beer, but there was a parade of strollers in the way and people passing their baby around the table. Who brings their baby to a brewery? Don’t even get me started. We all hung out there for a bit while we tried to figure out where we could go for a sit down meal WITHOUT having to worry about getting run over by a stroller.

One of the crew pointed out Ken’s Steakhouse, and before you ask, yes, like the dressing. The group arrived and took up two tables in the back part of the restaurant. It ended up being a very good choice. It wasn’t too busy yet so it was relatively quiet, and we could get a little noisy too if we wanted to. VERY good food, I had scallops wrapped in bacon, mmm my favorite, and a BLT. Most everyone else had steak and it all looked delicious. They also serve an array of desserts from Creme Brûlée to Canolis! I had a bite of their Canoli’s from a friend’s dish and it was delicious. After a nice lunch with the MINI family we all went out separate ways and traveled back home.

There is still a lot of snow on the ground and day was sort of dreary, but I still took a some video of our rally, a link is provided. I hope you enjoy! Next stop will be Southern New Hampshire Cars and Coffee tomorrow, and World of Wheels!