May 08, 2006

I got a tattoo, so Eloise wanted one too! posted by Jess

As a casual observer noted, "That stripe adds 10 horsepower right there!"

Whaddya know, he was right. :-)

The decal on the back is by happenstance... the vinyl was originally set for the window at my new place, however, it was much too small. A new one was ordered, and Matt said, "Well, I know a perfect spot for the old one!"

Whaddya know, he was right too. :-)

November 06, 2005

Burning Mini's II - Haverhill/Ipswitch, MA posted by Jess

I promise I won't talk about Mini's exclusively... well, I'll try!

This saturday Matt, Reboot and I drove up to Haverhill, MA, where another Mini run was taking place.

The weather was perfect, the foliage was on fire, and it was a great day for driving. We drove all around Haverhill and Ipswitch, stopping for lunch at Essex Pizza.

The first stop was at Mini of Peabody, where a shipment of Mini's was arriving just as we were.
Eloise finally got her Union Jack license plate frame.

The next stop was at Russell Orchards and winery in Ipswitch. What a day for the apple orchard! There was a marketplace, some farm animals to pet, free cider tasting, and a fantastic live bluegrass band.

The next stop was at Kimball Farm to visit the Llamas. Reboot really wasn't sure what to make of the llamas.

But then again, if I was a dog, I'm not sure what I'd think if I saw this towering in front of me. But what nice posture!

Finally, we winded back to the farm where we started for a nice cookout and bonfire.

Great people, a great ride, great scenery... a great day all around. Both Reboot and Matt were fast asleep the whole way home. :-)

View the complete day's album here.
There's some more great shots.

October 26, 2005

Haunted MINI's 2005 posted by Jess

"Something Mini This Way Comes..."

That was the theme of my first Mini Cooper event, from the Ocean State Mini Club last Saturday night. And yes, it was pouring and muddy. And no, I didn't really care!

33+ Mini Coopers and their owners gathered in Chepachet, RI to line up and go for a run. We made five stops that night to various haunted locations in Chepachet, consisting of old haunted factories, dams, and trees. Tom D'Agostino, a historian and investigator from the RI Paranormal group was our guide, and did a fantastic job of telling in-depth stories and answering questions at each stop.

Tom, dressed up and telling a story at a stop:

A nice touch for Halloween: costumes for us and the Mini's were encouraged. I decided to theme it this year (though Matt couldn't put together anything in time, this was short notice) - Eloise was Serenity, I went as Kaylee, the ship's mechanic, and Reboot, well, she was the good Shepherd, even though she didn't go on the run. :-)

The people that had organized the entire run gave us all goodie bags as favors for the run, consisting of a "Haunted MINIs 2005" window cling, and a CD of horror movie theme music. We were told to listen to the CD during the run, to add to the creepy atmosphere.
Once the run was over, we all gathered at the local pub for a buffet dinner.

This was me and Matt's first time meeting everyone, and they were such a great bunch of people. Everyone made sure I knew where I was suposed to go, and even let me borrow a two-way radio so I could stay with the group.

Oh, and did I mention it was raining and muddy?

Because it was night, the pictures are a little dark, but you can certainly see a small chunk of the total Mini's all lined up. It was definately a fun experience, especially seeing 33 decorated Mini's lined up on the side of the road at each stop! The reactions of the passers-by were nice to see, also.

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September 30, 2005

Meet Eloise - my 2002 Mini Cooper S posted by Jess

Here we are... me and Eloise. Well, and Reboot, of course.


Eloise is a 2002 electric blue Mini Cooper S. She only has 23,000 miles on her. As you can see, she's an adult, but has so far taken the gentler side of life. I think it's time for her to show the world what she can do... there's definately a party girl in there.


She's cute in a geeky, saddle-shoes sort of way. However, don't let the light-blue exterior fool you. Once you get behind the wheel and drive - there's SO much more going on behind the scenes and this girl needs to and should be taken seriously.



I think me and Eloise will be able to bring out the best in each other. Or maybe we already have?

I got to do my first "Mini wave" today. Matt and I saw the navy blue little guy zipping around town a few times this morning while we were doing errands. On the way home, there he was, a few cars ahead. We caught up, and zipped by and waved. He was already giving us the "thumbs up" as we drove past.

There's an Ocean State Mini club, and a few other local regional clubs. There's hardly a weekend where there isn't some sort of Mini rally going on. They get together, go for a nice drive, and usually end up having a picnic lunch somewhere and visiting a tourist spot.

How wonderful just to get out of the house and doing something fun with new people... I just can't wait. It just keeps getting better and better!

Oh, here's something funny, pointed out by Cindy.

Here's Cindy and Nate's 2002 mini Cooper standing next to MY 2002 Mini Cooper.


My 2002 Mini Cooper requires oil changes every 6k-10k miles or so. Cindy and Nate's 2002 mini Cooper requires changes also, though a little more frequently than mine.

So anyway, hopefully you'll be hearing more about some "Mini Adventures".

September 23, 2005

The automobile(s) saga ends with some new additions. posted by Jess

Yes, that's right. Additions. Two. As in, Matt traded his not-running-$3k worth of repairs needed Saturn. And, I traded in my lemon-no air conditioning-barely running-worth less than Matt's car Pontiac.

Here's the story. And it was meant to be.

Saturn of Warwick is, IMHO, the best car dealership I've ever been to. The salespeople are friendly, and salaried. They don't work on commission. They have a great selection of non-Saturn cars. You can even purchase 100,000 mile warranties on any used car. As far as Matt and I were concernced, there wasn't anywhere else we were going to buy a new car.

Anyway, on their website, we found a 2004 Mazda 3 with low mileage. It looked perfect, so we called. The car was in their Boston dealership, but that was no problem. Saturn of Warwick bought it, and sent it down to Rhode Island specifically for Matt to drive on Saturday. Seeing pictures, and reading the stats, both Matt and I had a really good feeling about the car.

Saturday came, and we showed up at Saturn, met the salesman Matt had been talking to all week on the phone, and walked to see the car. Because the car was there specifically for Matt, Bob (the salesman) didn't want anyone else to stumble upon it, and parked it in its own small lot around the dealership.

The Mazda 3 was beautiful. 4-door, and a nice silver/grey color. It's a really sporty looking car. It just screamed "Matt!" It also had a factory installed 6-disc internal changer, and a red-colored racing interior. Drove beautifully, we knew it was going to be Matt's.

A bright yellow Mitsubishi Lancer was there also for him to look at. The color definately put Matt off, but driving it put him off even more. It had that boxy-sedan feel to it, even as a 5-speed manual.

Here's the thing. Way back, in the farthest corners of the Saturn lot, yet 2 cars away from the Mazda, was a 2002 light blue Mini Cooper S (6-speed manual), with 23,000 miles on it. I went and peeked in the windows, but I didn't say anything - this was Matt's day.

Matt asked Bob if we could drive the Mini. He looked at me and said, "This car is YOU!" I drove it, and it was amazing. Again, Matt, being so great, said that we would do what we had to to get me in that car.

To make a short story long, in one of the more crazy things that Matt and I have ever done, two days later we left the Pontiac at Saturn.

Matt drove his Mazda 3 home, and I drove my Mini Cooper S home.
I'm sure Matt will blog about the details of his new baby. And I'll introduce you all to Eloise.

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