Monday, July 11, 2011

Winnie goes to the Drive In

In searching for information on MINIs, one of the most useful forums is run by the So Cal Mini Maniacs... a car club for Minis and MINIs. (There is, actually, a distinction-- the MINI is the new version, and the Mini is the old version) That forum has a lot of good reading regarding every aspect of the cars, with real life experience and enthusiastic help. What did we ever do without forums? So, of course, I joined the club.

A week after Winnie came into our lives, we found ourselves joining a club event way up in Ontario, California. Saturday afternoon, everyone met at the MINI of Ontario dealership, who supplied hot dogs and hamburgers, and various snacks (and a grill that someone cooked lovely salmon on for the crowd also) Our first foray into all of the MINI products from the official product line, and we were still a bit broke from the down payment, so all I indulged in were two nice keychains and a set of valve stem covers with Union Jack flags on them :-) We brought home a couple of accessory books to dream over, also... think Sears Wish Book for MINI owners! We met several people who were very nice, mostly new members also. Then everyone headed to the Mission Tiki Drive In, in a long line of Minis (maybe 50 cars?) of all vintages. Instead of the freeway, we drove the surface streets to show off our cars and enjoy driving them together. People stopped and stared as we drove past, a long serpentine line of little cars. At the drive in, we all parked together right up in front, and pulled out the chairs and tables and stereos, and had a tailgate party for the next couple of hours! (no grills, though) Here's Winnie at the drive in:

 The guy who parked next to us had this little vintage 1971 Mini in yellow:

This is another vintage Mini, I love its little 'face'...

 A new version, with a racing number and stripes, and EYELASHES (click on the photos for larger images)

A lovely vintage Mini, in red:

Here's a very racy one, someones pride and joy:

The old ones are just so CUTE! Uncomfortable and super small, but CUTE!

The longest Mini.... oh no, it's a GTO.... gorgeous:

This MINI was a special edition of 50, but I can't recall the name of the edition:
 As the sun went down, we settled in to watch the movies. It was a surreal vista, watching Transformers 3 on the screen, and seeing the Minis with their little scoopy snouts pointing upward, as if they were watching the movie too. I quite liked Transformers, though I had not seen the earlier ones. Lots of special effects, though they didn't show off as well on the drive in screen as they do in a theater. I kept thinking that the plot was either extraordinarily simplistic, or exceptionally subtle... guess which one it was?
We also saw Super 8... it was okay, but I wouldn't have gone to see it in the theater. Can't put my finger on why it was not as moving as some of Spielbergs previous moves (ET anyone?) except that the ET here was not cuddly, and you didn't know whether to fear it or cheer for it, so you never really got on its side.
We spent the night in Ontario and met Jeanene Bernardin and her trainer Tammy, had lunch and exchanged horse boxes, and then headed home. Quite a nice weekend. Oh, and Winnie has some new decals...

 Applying the decal, using the back of a plastic spoon to burnish it

 This is on the chrome button that opens the glove box:
I also bought an "Eject", a "Boost", and an "Escape". Of course, I don't drive like a racer, so they are pretty much just silly. :-)  It's okay to be silly with a MINI, dress it up and have fun with it. I'm looking at larger, more ambitious graphics when we have a bit of dosh to spend again!

While I was applying these decals just now, Mandy from MINI of Escondido called to check up on Winnie and us. We've been so pleased with Mandy's help and with MINI of Escondido, it was a very pleasant buying experience and she has called several times just to see how we are doing. (waves hi to Mandy)

On the way home from Ontario, we took Hwy. 74 instead of going straight down 15. It was Craig's idea... he who always wants to take the fastest and straightest route!! So we detoured, just because we could! And we drove Winnie on the twisty turns behind a Corvette. I couldn't keep up with the Corvette usually but he had a few cars in front of him, so the pace was generally at the top end of my comfort level on twisty roads, and well above what I would usually do. (though still within the speed limit, sort of.. mostly...well, sometimes.  :-) Craig pushed back his seat, cranked up the 70's channel on the Satellite radio (free one year subscription!) and we drove JUST FOR THE FUN! He's sort of getting into this whole MINI thing, but don't tell him that you know! ;-) Winnie took the turns like she was built for them.. which she was!!


Lauren said...

Sounds like such a blast!

Lauren said...

Hey, I just realized my friend just posted a blog about the Mission Tiki Drive In recently, too! Funny! His is sans minis, though ;)

P.S- love the fun buttons. hehe.

Joanie said...

It was a great drive in, Lauren, and very 'retro'... We hadn't been to the drive in for a long time! Forgot the quirks... car alarms or horns going off, headlights in your eyes, kids running around... it just added to the surreal aspect. Cheap way to see a movie if you have a big family! Thanks for the link, I'll read it tonight. Hugs!

Stewey said...

Winnie - that sounds like you had a great ride!!