It’s been a few months since I met and joined the Hampton Roads Club Mini and since I had nothing planned today I decided to join them for their annual Minis on the Ferry event. I heard they were going to be wheels up at 8:30 am so I spent the night in Richmond to get a head start!
It was a beautiful sunny day. The kind of day where you can’t wait to take your top off and go for a boat ride with 44 of your closest Mini friends!
I left the Hilton Garden Inn at the crack of dawn, picked up a latte and then jumped on the freeway. I’d filled up my tank the night before so it should have been a straight shot to the meet up site. Sadly, as I pulled off the 64 I noticed an alert on my dash.
I pulled over, whipped out my phone and began frantically texting some of my #DCMM friends back home. Ali said it could be any number of things. Melissa verified that and suggested that I pull into a gas station and check my tire pressure. That reminds me, I really should get a tire gauge…
I pulled into the Wawa and discovered that the cute little Mini tire caps I bought when I began modding my car appeared to have permanently fused on to three of my tires. I gave up on those three but one did come off so I tried to check the pressure. I couldn’t really tell what it said on the air hose gauge and since I’m not even sure how much air should go in a tire I gave up got back in the car and pulled out the manual. I put the key in the ignition and started the engine to look at the warning sign again and then another odd sign appeared. Sort of like an exploding bomb with an exclamation mark on the inside (Minis love the exclamation mark!)
Thankfully, that was pretty easy to find in my manual. It meant external light failure. Melissa thought that would be OK to drive with and Ali just happened to be spending the day with my favorite mechanic and told him I’d be coming in next week to get that taken care of (if you are ever in need of a mechanic, do yourself a favor and go see David Rockwell at Liberty in Old Town Alexandria. That man has excellent vision!)
I continued on to the meeting location and it wasn’t hard to find! There were Minis everywhere and they were glorious!
I pulled in next to a very attractive interchange yellow cabrio and found my friend Kathy Roberts looking it over. I told her I was having some sort of external light failure and she immediately began checking all my external lights. She discovered it was one of my reverse lights because she is super thorough!
When the drivers meeting began Dale Blankenship (who also organized the Fall Color Run I went on last year) described the plan for the day while his lovely wife Regina passed out the drivers sheets. We were all going to line up, pull out on the Colonial Parkway, stop at the Visitors Center to regroup and then board the ferry to Surry. Afterwards, we would drive on some fun roads to the Twisted Kilt in Petersburg. And of course we were all going to obey all the traffic laws, you know, like we do…
We loaded up our cars and pulled out. I was in the middle of the pack, my favorite place!
A few cars got between us for a while but somehow we all ended up at the Visitors Center.
We parked again and then spent more time admiring each others rides.
I also got to catch up with some of my old friends from the Fall Color Run!
We loaded up again and then pulled out on the road to the ferry. We pulled off to the side of the road to wait for the right ferry to arrive. We had to make sure all of our cars ended up on the same boat!
When the smaller ferry left we drove up on the dock so we’d be ready to board when it pulled in. We got out to take a few pictures and admire each other’s cars while we waited!
We boarded the Ferry and I didn’t end up on the shady side. That was no problem since I wanted to try to get some bird’s-eye views of the Minis on the Ferry anyhow.
All of the cars were amazing. Of course mine seemed like the most beautiful, but as I looked around I was stunned by the sheer volume of the you-ification and realized each of the cars were just as amazing as mine (especially you, spidey car and Mayfair!)
When the ferry docked, we pulled out one by one. There was a light up the road and only a few cars could make it through at a time. The ones that did, pulled over to a side street to wait for the other to catch up.
Suddenly I realized they were going to be going all the way to Petersburg and if I was going to have lunch with my Aunt Victoria and Cousin Brooklyn I would never make it back to DC in time to meet my date! Also, if I bailed right away there might still be time to pop into the Williamsburg Premium Outlets because they are on the way and one must stretch one’s legs somewhere, right?
I had forgotten to bring my radio and I didn’t want the car behind me to follow when I peeled out in the wrong direction (Mini drivers generally don’t mind taking wrong turns but I was going to get back on that ferry and the cars behind me would’ve missed lunch!) I jumped out of my car and ran back to give him a heads up. I made it back to my car just in time because they all started moving again. At the next intersection I waved goodbye and turned around to get back on the ferry. Sadly, I discovered that Mini on the Ferry is slightly less fun…