After exploring Chicago, Detroit, Ohio and a bit of Hershey, PA, we eventually ended up back in good ol’ New Jersey. For a few reasons, actually. First of all, it was my birthday (a big one: 30!) and thought it would be cool to celebrate with my fam. Also, it was to be the weekend of the Jersey Fresh Food and Wine Festival at Heritage (more on that to come), and as an added bonus, we were in town for one leg of the MINI Takes the States Rally.
Now MTTS (MINI Takes the States) is a MASSIVE event, where hundreds of MINIs start from 5-6 cities and rally together toward the big ending-point shebang. This year, the ending point was in Denver. One of the rallies left from NYC, en route to Philly, then Baltimore, before heading west to Denver. In Philly, the group stopped at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, where we met them to join in the festivities. We got an amazing introduction to the new MINI Countryman, the hot-off-the-press SUV just released by Mini. Now, normally, “MINI” and “SUV” dont sound right together, but the Countryman actually stands it’s ground in that realm. Keeps the MINI feel, but steps up, gracefully, to the SUV table.
The entire event was great, and more than I expected. We got to tour the entire Simeone Foundation Museum, and there was a catered lunch for all the MINI nuts. And to my surprise, Jim McDowell, the head of MINI USA, was also driving on this leg of the mega Mini rally!
Me and Jim McDowell, the head of MINI USA!!!
I was also totally psyched to get my PhillyMINI fix at this event. That’s my motoring club, and since I’ve been on the road, I’ve missed their road rallies tremendously! It was great to catch up with my fellow MINIacs.
So it was a great day, all in all, and as an added surprise, one of the reporters/bloggers following the event interviewed me and Ben, and we ended up in MINI USA news! Score!
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