blog_banner 20

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Twenty years ago today

Me and Pap pap.

I lost my grandfather. 

From the moment that we met, he was my person. I spent countless hours sitting on his lap while he read Peanuts comics to me, making me laugh with his silly Snoopy voice. He was the one who miraculously found a Cabbage Patch Kid for me when they were impossible to get. He was always kind and gentle with me, and he never got angry when I would hide his pack of Winstons. (He died of lung cancer, so I had the right idea.). 

I miss his famous handkerchief trick. I miss his Alfred Hitchcock impersonations and his Bing Crosby style crooning. I miss seeing him run around the backyard with sparklers on 4th of July. I miss our Saturday night dinner dates at King's. 

So here's to you Pap Pap.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New year, new car.

MINI Cooper Clubman All4 - Lens Flare

At the end of last year (I feel odd typing that since last year was the day before yesterday), we started kicking around the idea of replacing my MINI Cooper Clubman. Mark had shown me that MINI had just released the new ALL4 model with four wheel drive, which appealed to me because I have to drive to what I refer to as "The Great White North" everyday to work, and during the winter months, the road conditions can vary from dry to "clutching the steering wheel with white knuckles" in just one trip. Plus, I really enjoy the driving experience of my MINI, so the new model seemed a good fit for me. It was also available is a gorgeous burgundy color with this amazing blue leather interior, and since I'm a woman, car color is my primary concern.

MINI Cooper Clubman All4 - Bonnet

When we went to the dealership, they didn't have the exact color combination that I wanted. Since that was the color combination featured in their marketing of the ALL4, that wasn't a surprise. But as we were browsing the options, it occurred to me that the blue interior would look pretty sharp with a white exterior. So we began the process of custom ordering my car from the factory. It was so fun choosing all the options, even though I didn't know what some of them were or if they would really be any use. Since I use my moon roof frequently in the summer and heated seats in the winter, those were a must, along with the sound system because I like to play music really loud.

MINI Cooper Clubman All4 - Boot

We ordered the car on November 12th. It had to be built at the MINI factory in Oxford England and then shipped by boat to the states. It arrived in Baltimore on December 12th, but then it had to go through customs and inspection by BMW. We finally got the call from the dealership the day after Christmas that it was ready for pickup. Merry Christmas to me!

MINI Cooper Clubman All4 - Interior

For the most part, the controls and instruments are similar to my old Clubman, but some of them are in different places, which will take some getting used to.

MINI Cooper Clubman All4 - Headrest

MINI Cooper Clubman All4 - Seats

My favorite part - the blue interior!

MINI Cooper Clubman All4 - Dash On

This is the command center. Just like my old MINI, you can change the interior lights, but there are several more options. I picked my favorite color.

MINI Cooper Clubman All4 - Command Center

I think me and this MINI and going to do some beautiful motoring together this year and in the years to come!