Saturday was the 3rd (Annual?) Cooper Vineyards MINI rally. The event was scheduled back in November, but RCM completely forgot about it until late February, when the fellow who organized the last run announced that he would not be able to coordinate it. Bummer.
We searched around for someone willing to spear-head the event, all the while watching the days tick by, until I finally--begrudgingly--took it upon myself to "coordinate" the event (really this just entails coordinating the drive to the event, but that, in and of itself, is an event).
Mike sent me his directions from last year, and I spent hours on Google maps making an enormous MSpaint map showing the route. Daniel Gohlke was courteous enough to give me hosting space, but I totally forgot to publish links on NAM until just a couple of days prior to the event.
Anyway, we gathered in the parking lot of Bruster's on Staples Mill on Saturday morning, and when I drove up, it was clear that RCM did not have much representation. There were almost 20 cars there when I got there, and I only recognized 1 or 2. People I didn't know flocked to me to ask if I was their leader for the day, which terrified me, because I knew that I was. I haven't had to deal with authority-roles for a very long time, and it does not come naturally.
I got the maps and directions handed out, waited for a few stragglers, and then held my very first drivers' meeting. Weird. It's the strangest feeling to tell 30 adults what you expect of them, but they were all very gracious and considerate, and the drive went off without a hitch (22 cars in total made the drive, and we got some great looks from kids, adults, and even a few horses).
Alastair loved every twist, every bump, and every mash of the brakes. He's a born racer.
The winery was great, if a bit chilly. Just like in October, the temperature fell the whole time we were there, but the wine warmed our tummies, and Alastair warmed my chest (he rode around the winery in our bjorn).
We bought 3 bottles of wine: Coopertage Blanc, Norton, and Syrah. All very tasty.
The biggest surprise of the day, though, was how big a hit my car was. I had people gathered around the back of AHAMOS the whole time we were there, and folks were picking my brain about exhausts, suspension, why my wheels have 2 valve-stems, and whether I would be willing to do some install work. Folks just aren't accustomed to seeing a prepped Cooper, I suppose.
Alastair slept almost the whole way home, and I was beat.
It was a very good day (and I've decided that my new FAVORITE color is Space Blue w/ Silver roof).