On the third and final day a Mini Golf event at Disney’s Winter Summerland was scheduled for 11am but Ian and I after having breakfast headed off a bit early and headed to Disney Village for some shopping andÂ got a round of Mini Golf in at the Disney Fantasia course.Â Â
Ian and I opted for GP colored clubs and balls and we even found a set for the bears.
It was a fun course and one of the shots required a bit ofÂ squeezing intoÂ a tight spot to play the ball andÂ the bears spent most of their time running and climbing around instead ofÂ playing golf.
Ian won the round and we headed off to Summer Winter Land to catch up with the rest of the folks.Â Â When we pulled into the lot we found a great spot next to GP and this course was fantastic for the bears to run around and play in. Â It had two full 18 holes setup, one in a winter theme and the other in a summer theme.Â A definite must for next years event.
We caught up with the others and took some group shots.Â Blue Bear found a nice shirt for Red Bear hanging up on the tree and will gift wrap it for xmas.
When we were done we had some ice cream and several of us headed off to Chili’s for some lunch.Â ‘Baby’ got to park next to GP again whichÂ made for a nice shot when the big Hummer passed by.Â Classic, GP and R56 facing the Hummer.Â Â
We sat and had aÂ nice lunch with John and Teri owners of ‘Mungo’, the Red R56 parked next to GP.Â Â
It was a another great event filled with great people, cars and activities. Sunshine MiniÂ organized aÂ great event.Â Â
We dropped Ian off at the airpot and headed back home for the 2hr drive to Port Richey where the ‘Baby’ performed flawlessly averaging a nice 69 and ran cool as a cucumber with the A/C going the whole way.Â Â SheÂ got a bath, aÂ wax and went to sleep in with her blankie until next time.
Today was an event filled day.Â Â We met Florida ‘GPMINI’ the only GP in attendance and had an opportunity to observe more of the MINIs and MinisÂ in attendance.Â
Even Minnie has a MINI and Ian towering over the classic before trying out the backs seat for comfort and fit.
Everyone loved the classic and Nigel makes it back to his Dad,Â James who is working on his next foster parents.
We started off with the morning Motoring driving around some nice roads in and aroundÂ Disney and stopped several times for some photo ops.Â
Then it was time for some lunch and we opted for the Scavenger Hunt which we didn’t win but it was a blast trying.Â Â We headed to the Disney Village where we got many of the items we needed.
Then with time running out we headed to Kitty O’Sheas for dinner and the awards.Â ‘Baby’ was invited to park amongst the two new R56 MINI’s.Â
Inside at O’Sheas folks were enjoying themsleves and Nigel had a bit too much stout.Â Brandy ‘MarktingGirl’ won first place in the scavenger hunt.
As we were getting ready to head back to the hotel it poured but like typical Orlando showers it cleared up a few minutes later.Â Back at the hotel ‘Baby’ finally got to spend some time with the GP and we finished the day with a showing of the original Italian Job on the big screen poolside.
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Got the classic and headed off to Orlando this afternoonÂ but the ‘baby’ threw a tantrumÂ about 30 miles into the ride as the temperature blew through the roof into red zone and the coolant began to boil over in the expansion tank.Â Â I wasÂ rather shocked since I drove her home from Mississipi covering 800 miles with the A/C going full throttle the whole way without ever once going above the middle.Â Â Â I let her cool off and headed back to the last gas station I spotted, picked up some coolant and filled it back up and debated on whether to head back home and get the rental but decided to venture forward.Â Â Â During the rest of the ride she hovered between the blue and half way to red zone and I stopped twice to let her cool off and she eventually steadied back to the blue zone and as I got closer to the hotel I put the A/C back on to see if the temp would rise but it did not.Â Â
After checking in I headed back down and lined her up along with several other classics for the car show where there were about 25 cars and by nights end there were about 50 cars in the lot.
Â One of the sponsors Detailers Warehouse setup a car wash and booth to sell their products but I did take notice to their banner featuring a GP
Then it was time to head to the airport to pick Ian up.Â Â I Put the A/C back on for the whole trip toÂ picking Ian and back and the temp gauge was back to normal never budging from blue.Â I think the issue has to do with the expansion tank cap.Â I had removed it to check the fluid level earlier in the day and it might not have seated or sealed correctly and lacked proper pressure needed.Â
We headed down to the hotel’s cocktail hours and Ian and I ran intoÂ Brandy who gave me Nigel at MoT and her sister and we got the bears drinks and Nigel chips.Â The bears couldn’t finish their drinks but Nigel stepped in to help finish them off before we headed off to the Reception dinner.
where I had the pork loin and it was delicous, the ice tea wasn’t and the dessert was rich!.
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On the final day we had another fine breakfast with Ian and Margaret and then headed over to the field and negotiated a fairly clear path and setupÂ for the field of colors.Â Â Â GP1717Â parked in the ‘Rainbow’ section as the ‘Two-tone area was setup in a messy part of the field and just didn’t want to get herÂ any dirtier then possible.Â Â Â Â
The weather was great and provided an opportunity to walk around and really get to appreciate the many great cars in attendance.
Â One of the events was the tailgate party where folks dressed up in different themes.
ThenÂ it was time for the awards.Â Winning ‘Best of Show’ was this faboulous Singer and this young girl won first in her category with her Mini Convertible.Â Louis and Elsa won First Place in the New MINI category continuing their streak of awards for ‘FastMini’
After the MINI class awards were called out it was time to hit the long road back home but not before stopping at Santa’s Land to give the bears a chance to play.
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Overnight it rained and rained and after we had breakfast it looked like it might clear upÂ but it continued to rain through most of the day with a few short breaks and periods of sun breaking through.Â By late afternoon the rain had passed and the weather began to clear up but the overnight rain had made the field a big ‘ole mess.Â Â I was just amazed to see how many folks drove their classic english cars onto the muddy fields.Â
GP1717 and GP0203 setup and even the big umbrella wasn’t big enough to shield GP from the rain.Â This classic needed a little help negotiating the mud.
Â There were quite a few Mini’s present and during one of the breaks of rain Nigel and the Bears came out to play.
Â There was a wide array of nice cars.
It seemed everytime there was break in the weather and they made the announcement about itÂ started to rain again but during one of theÂ breaksÂ the ‘twins’Â where out and about asÂ the bag piper played.Â Also in attendance was Louis and Elsa in ‘FastMini’ who did an incredible job keeping their car clean considering the conditions.
The day’s festivities were cut short because of the weather andÂ the GP’sÂ followed Jason, Louis, Beth and Ricardo in their MINI’s through the mountains and someÂ funÂ back roadsÂ to Tiny Thai for some dinner.
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Today we got Nigel and the bears ready and headed up to Stowe, Vermont to attend British Invasion in GP1717.Â Â On our way there we decided to stop at the New England Air Museum but not before stopping to visit the McShuttle.Â
Â GP snuck in the backÂ while we went inside to check out the planes.Â Nigel and Blue Bear were everywhere and it wasn’t just an air museum as theyÂ also had some motorcyles and cars in addition to the planes and helicopters.
Â Blue Bear found something that suited his sizeÂ and tried to hide by blending into this motorcycle.
Â Nigel and Blue bear rode aroundÂ on the Indian while we headout outside to see the other planes.
On our way out we stopped at the Fire Training Academy where Nigel and Blue Bear got some Fire fighting training.
Then we continuedÂ north and stopped at the Vermont Country Store which had an array of products you just can’t find in your local shop and had that feeling of stepping back in time.
They had a wide variety of samplings that just about filled me up but we still setup lunch for Nigel, the bears and GP before heading back out.
No trip to Stowe would be complete without stopping at Ben & Jerry’s.Â We stopped and took Nigel and the Bears through the tour and got them some ice cream.Â Â GP1717 reached another milestone at 5555 miles and ultimately broke 6,000 miles at the end of the weekend….time for another oil change.
Once we got to Stowe we headed straight to the field to get our registration material before meeting up with Ian and Margaret for a nice British Dinner.Â On the field was a double decker that served ice cream and a Mini Carousel.
Â For all Day 1 Pictures Click Here
Recent reportÂ indicates the MINI is one of the top rated cars for residual value in both the Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds reports.Â Some 52% of its value is retained after 5 years.Â Â Â Â Â
Â Top 10 residual value — Edmunds.com
2007 Lotus Elise 53.86%
2007 Lotus Exige 53.85%
2007 MINI Cooper 52.71%
2007 Jeep Wrangler 49.25%
2007 BMW M6 48.11%
2008 Scion xB 47.64%
2007 Toyota RAV4 6.92%
2007 Chevrolet Corvette 46.74%
Top 10 residual value — Kelley Blue Book
2007 Acura TSX
2007BMW 5 series
2007 Honda Civic
2007 Lexus IS
2007 MINI Cooper
2007 Pontiac Solstice
2007 Toyota Prius
2007 Volkswagen GTI
2007 Volkswagen Eos
TheÂ M6 makes the list and considering my current stable I have no quorums deferringÂ 5 years to getÂ mineÂ and having toÂ only shell out $52k instead of $110k.Â I’ll beÂ buying a few more Mini’s with the savings!Â
Though I think there is a gap between residual value and resale value with some of the more exotic carsÂ like the M6.Â I expect its resale value will be more then 48% similarly to the 850CSi which was $110k new in ‘94 and even 13 years later can fetch $40-$50k+.Â I would expect the GP to fall into a similar category.
MINI USA is reaching out to all owners to help decideÂ the MTTS 2008 Event.Â Â Email’s are being sent out but if you have not received yours don’t wait just log into the MINI Owners Lounge and cast your vote from the three options and be sure to provide your feedback, suggestionsÂ and comments.Â Â Now owning three MINI’sÂ and one Mini can I vote fourÂ times? Â
Got up and found the Mini wet from last nights rain.Â Â I knew I should have carried her car cover with me instead of shipping it directly to my folks place.Â I dried her and got the bears ready to head out continuing on Coastal 98 and enjoyed the nice sunrise asÂ we came across a possible future location of the GP sanctuary. (though no GP’s were to be sighted)
Â Stopped off at Carrabelle “Pepsi Country’ to to fill up and have a Pepsi and regenerate my youth as if driving a Mini wasn’t enough to make me feel like a kid.Â One of these days I’m going to have to grow up.
Â further down we enter ‘the Fog’ which lasted for about 20 miles or so. Quite thick but with Mini’s extra’s eyes and rear fog she had no issues cutting through it.
Mini made some friends along the way and if Manatees are really this big, Mini’s staying out of the water.
We made it home around noon and was greeted by my lil brother ‘Simba’ who promised to take good care of Mini.Â Then it was time to examine our road conguests and wash and wax the baby before she went to sleep in her blankie.
After 850 miles and 16 hours in the drivers seats I rather enjoyed driving the Mini though no question that the New MINI isÂ far better on long trips.Â Â Â Mini can cruise at 75mph and reached 84.9 at one stretch butÂ find she’s better suited for 65-70mph driving.Â Mini’s steering wheelÂ and pedal locations did not bother me at all but albeit the seats are absolutely beautiful they irritated my lower back which is to be expected from a non sport seat.Â Â (No I am not just a sports seatsÂ snob without good reason ).Â I haveÂ found aÂ source for Cobra sports seats in the UK in a similar color to the Stone Beige which I will most likely be ordered them soon.
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IÂ got up this morning and looked outÂ the balcony and thought the day was going to be a wash out but by the time I got the bears up and went downstairs to check up in MiniÂ it cleared up just nicely and we headedÂ down for a dip and some rays before leaving Pensacola.Â
Before leaving Pensacola, Mini wanted nothing more then to get this beach ball for the bears to play with.Â Mini gets her first bath of the day.
After Mini’s bath we headed to the Naval Aviation National Museum.
The museum was rather impressive with a broad collection of planes.
Even the bears thought so, though blue bear tried to fly the MIG but couldn’t make out the Russian dials.
After we left the Museum we decided to take Coastal 98 instead of the interstate and target going through Panama City Beach and staying over in Apalachicola.Â It was a good decision as there where pleanty of photo ops along the way.
Just outside of DestinÂ I spotted this SMART car so I pull over and waited for it to pass me.Â WhenÂ we were stopped atÂ the light I smiled and saidÂ hello but got absolutely no reaction for the occupants.Â They didn’t seem all that happy, perhaps driving all the way from MichiganÂ inÂ a SMART car wasn’t so smart? Â Â
hmm, amongst these $200K+ cars I think the choice is obvious!Â Take one of the 200k+ cars and sell it to buy a caravan of Mini’s.
After we passed through Panama City Beach, Mini came across this Classic Buggie and stopped to catch up on good times.Â Â After checking into the hotel, we headed off for St. George Island.Â According to Lola, Mini should have needed her life preserver toÂ cross the channel. .Â
As the sun was setting it was time for some sunset picturesÂ
interestingly enough as we left St. George Island and headedÂ back to Apalachicola itÂ was daylight again.Â Now this house is either narrow or Mini is really long.Â Hmm classicÂ PorscheÂ or Classic Mini? and Mini gets her night time bath to get rid of all the road grime and get ready for bed.
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