June 14, 2015:

Crooked Can craft brewery

Today’s MINIs Of Orlando meeting was at our new and local Plant Street Market which opened in Winter Garden a couple months ago and features various stores – and a popular craft brewery, too:
Crooked Can brewery at Plant Street Market

I guess craft beer is attractive to MINI owners – the event was well attended!
MINI meet at Crooked Can brewery

MINI meet at Crooked Can brewery

MINI meet at Crooked Can brewery

MINI meet at Crooked Can brewery

MINI meet at Crooked Can brewery

We also got a tour of the brewery, interesting!
Crooked Can brewery

Crooked Can brewery

Crooked Can brewery

Crooked Can brewery

Oh – and I found a beer that I might be like – if I drank beer (“Russian Imperial Stout”); it’s being aged right now in Bourbon barrels, which sounds like it’ll be better still in a few months:
Russian Imperial Stout


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 ;)


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