February 15, 2015:

Sanford on Sunday

Today Margaret and I headed up to Sanford to meet other MINIs and drive with Lori around her home town, with photo opportunities and then lunch (and beer). A fun day, made even better with the spectacular weather – blue skies, hot sun, and temperatures in the 70s!
Here are pictures, click any for bigger – and the panoramas go quite a lot bigger!

Lori explains the route:

Heading out:

Driving through downtown Sanford:

Waterside panoramas:

Arrived at our lunch stop:

(here is the gallery)

February 10, 2015:

First service

I drove Black Knight over to Orlando MINI this morning, for it’s first service. I was a bit puzzled why the car had been insisting on the need for an oil change for the last week or two (since it’s not yet a year since I bought her), but all the MINI information says to follow the cars service recommendations.
I emailed and spoke to the dealership to book the appointment, and made clear that the service seemed early – but was told “bring it in”, so I did.

On the way to Orlando MINI, I finally reached 5,000 miles (low mileage, because of last years inability to sit and drive for a couple of months – and thus missing MTTS!):
Black Knight at 5,000 miles

Of course when I got to the dealership, the service writer came back and said “we can’t do the service, it’s too early”! A level of “discussion” followed, and after a while happily they decided to go ahead anyway (thanks, Garrett).
The issue was that Black Knight apparently has it’s manufacture date, not it’s sales date, to base the service decision on. It’s likely the dealership omitted to correctly set that date when they sold the car last year, so I had no qualms over “encouraging” them to follow through and complete the oil change (and avoid me another trip in a few weeks).

So, Black Knight got it’s oil change:
Black Knight first oil change

Black Knight first oil change

Apart from that, I’ve had zero issues in the last year so nothing else to be done, including “do not wash”; I doubt any MINI dealership is properly set up to handle the frozen paint finish, since there’s less than one car per dealership in USA!

I’ve enjoyed being back behind the wheel of a MINI this last year – the car is much more enjoyable than the X3 I had before! I sat in an F56 at the dealership today while I was waiting, and it seems more cramped than I’m used to. Not surprising as the Countryman is bigger, and clearly noticeably so. The new F56 interior design is nice though; I guess we’ll see F56-style Countryman cars in a couple of years, right when I’ll be due for another car ;)

January 17, 2015:

Sunshine MINIs picnic 2015

This was our first time joining Sunshine MINIs for their annual picnic (a picnic in January, WOW!.
After washing Black Knight yesterday we were ready for a morning meet with other Orlando area MINIs for a nice drive to the picnic …

There was even a couple of turn-arounds, like the old days of MAMA drives!

At the picnic there were MINIs, and MINI owners, everywhere (attendance was close to 150 people):

At least three GPs too (here’s two that always travel together!):

And then even more MINIs arrived:

But now it was time for food, thanks Barry, Jack and everyone that organized this great picnic:

And look at these cupcakes (just don’t spoil the look by eating them):

Dessert also offered a piece of a piece of Bev & Alan’s 30th anniversary cake, and huge toasted marshmallows …

The picnic was at Silver Springs State Park, giving us a nice opportunity for a walk out to the Silver River, and back:

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