I joined the RVA MINIs a long time ago, but hadn’t been able to attend one of their events until this weekend. Since my sister Cyndi bought a condo in Richmond and would be in Richmond as well, I invited her and my brother-in-law Gil to join me for the RVA MINIs Invade the Richmond Kickers.
It was a glorious day to drive south and I’d heard that there was some interesting Buddhist art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (across the street from my sister’s condo) so I set out fairly early and avoided most of the traffic.
When I arrived, Cyndi wanted to drive through Hollywood Cemetery. The cemetery serves as the final resting place for two American presidents, six Virginia governors, two Supreme Court justices, twenty-two Confederate generals and thousands of Confederate soldiers. It’s got walking tours, trolley tours, and Segway tours, so driving through in My Precious was not a big deal at all.
We wanted to see the president’s tombs but the cemetery map was too small to read on Cyndi’s iPhone so we loaded the Michael Franti playlist and headed down a random street
We drove in circles for a while until we realized that the Presidents were buried in an area that wasn’t accessible by car. At that point, we’d seen a lot of tombstones and decided it was time to move on to look for a mural. Cyndi wanted to find a mural of a girl in a whisky jar, which is known as the most beautiful one. It was really hard to find an address but eventually we discovered it was located at 1011 W Grace Street in a 711 parking lot. We headed that way and found other interesting murals along the route.
Moonshine was the actual name of the girl in the whiskey jar mural and while it was stunning, Cyndi wasn’t convinced it was the most beautiful one in Richmond. We decided to look for a few more just to be sure.
They weren’t hard to find!
Cyndi’s favorite was the one on the Starlight.
My favorite was the giant alien insect invasion.
We decided to save the VMFA for Sunday and wrapped up our tour of Richmond at Target to buy birthday cards and candles. I spent a little time polishing my wheels because it’s not easy to keep yellow daisies clean, friends! Then we headed back to Cyndi’s house to get ready for my dad’s spur of the moment 72nd birthday party. When Dad arrived, we showered him with gifts and his own personal Lara Bar birthday cake.
He had time to ride with us over to Crown MINI to meet the other RVA MINIs going to the Kickers invasion but decided not to stay for the soccer game. Cyndi and Gil drove his truck over so he could ride in My Precious.
When we arrived, lots of people came over to take a look at My Precious and introduce themselves. We mingled for a bit and checked out all the MINIs.
Finally, it was time to drive to the game. We loaded up and I ended up right up front. We made great time, and they opened up the gates as soon as we arrived. We were parking in a special area so everyone could enjoy the MINIs!
We spent a few minutes looking at our cars again (because MINIs) and then we headed into the gate.
On our way to the restrooms, Cyndi and I found some more fantastic street art.
The game was also a benefit for the Richmond SPCA so there were adorable puppies everywhere. They also had a bunch of tents set up with pet vendors, food, and even a live band. They’d set up our tent on the field right behind the team benches. There were beef or chicken burritos, chips, salsa, and beverages. They even provided beer tickets for those who wanted to have a few adult beverages during the game!
We stood at a table overlooking the field with Ben and James and Shelley. Best. View. Ever.
We watched the teams warming up and then one of the Kickers staff approached our area. They were looking for a couple of people to participate in a halftime event sponsored by relayfoods.com. He explained it would be a simple game where we had a team of two people and one person tossed groceries to the other person who had to catch them with a bag. It sounded so easy! Gil didn’t want to do it so I offered up Jonathan. He was game, so we were in!
Finally the game started. The Kickers were playing the Charleston Battery. At the end of the bleachers was an area where the Red Army hung out. They’d brought a ton of fun flags and drums and they are probably the reason I’m a Kickers fan today! The happy face flag was my favorite and the fan holding that flag wore a unicorn head and totally rocked out as the game started. It’s a damn shame the Kickers don’t have fan cams!
The Red Army drumming and chanting kept the excitement up, even when the Battery scored. And Kickeroo, the team mascot, wandered up and down the sidelines tossing rolls and soccer balls to the fans.
As halftime approached Jonathan and I plotted our strategy. We decided to keep it simple, ignore the crowds and the paparazzi and focus like lasers on tossing and catching.
Someone from the Kickers staff came to get us and took us to meet the other team and the sponsor who was going to explain the simple rules to us. That’s when things took a dark turn… The adorable girls we were competing against worked for some company that supported wheelchair Olympics, and they were already on the field.
Relayfoods.com has two mascots, a cow and a bird. One of the girls was already dressed in the cow costume so our team was the bird. Jonathan had already put on a Kickers scarf and since we were hoping to parlay that into additional crowd support, I put on the feather boa. The mascot was the catcher and we were told if they dropped any items, they had to run them all back to the tosser and start all over again. Then they dropped the bombshell that after the mascots caught all the groceries, they would have to race to midfield!
Jonathan and I quickly decided we’d have a better shot at victory if he ran the race and so we traded costumes. When halftime started, they pulled us out on the field. I had to toss an apple, an orange, a pear, a small squash, and a bag of chips. The chips were going to be the most challenging since they were lacking in any substantive weight.
I started with the heaviest items and as soon as they said go I lobbed them quickly to Jonathan. He scooped them all up, dropped them in the bag, and was off like a shot decimating the cow in the footrace.
The girls on the other team were great sports and we all exchanged high fives as we walked off the field. Jonathan and I took a few moments to bask in the glow of our victory with our MINI friends.
We stayed for the rest of the game and I’m sorry to say that the Kickers lost 2-0. That didn’t really matter to me though! I had a great time making new MINI friends and listening to the exciting chants from the Red Army and I can’t wait to go to another game!