Yes, of Course!

Yes, of Course!

Many of us had the great honor and delight of assisting EIMer Jay T. with his extra-special proposal of marriage to Kristin D. this past Saturday in Davenport. Jay left no stone unturned in planning out the MINI choreography and details, and we were blessed with unseasonably beautiful mid-November weather. It was all so perfect, how could her answer be anything other than “yes?”

Our congratulations and our best wishes to Jay and Kristin, as well as our thanks for being allowed to share in their special day. See the photo documentation of this neat event in our Photo Gallery, accessible directly by using the following link:

Photos from Jay’s “MINI Proposal” to Kristin, Davenport, 11-14-15

EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Country Junction, Dyersville — Dec 5th

EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Country Junction, Dyersville -- Dec 5th

Our traditional motoring season wrap-up — the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Country Junction in Dyersville — is planned for Saturday, December 5th. Plan on arriving a little a bit early in the south parking lot. Lunch will be at 11:15 am. We’ve prearranged with the restaurant staff to have our own banquet room and to order off of the regular (new) lunch menu; separate checks with 15% gratuity added.

We’ll look back with fondness and levity on our 2015 MINI motoring season, and will present (and occasionally jest?) folks with our popular EIM Recognition Awards.

**Please sign up** if you’re coming NLT Thursday, Dec 3rd as we need an accurate headcount for the restaurant. Instructions for doing so are available below (click on the Read More button from the home page). There are also other links of interest after the jump.

We’ll hope Mother Nature stays cooperative!

There and Back Again – EIM in the Great Smoky Mountains


This year’s EIM Big Adventure Part Deux to the Great Smoky Mountains rivaled our first trip back in 2013 as one of the most memorable EIM events. Over a nine-day period we made the transit and covered in excess of a thousand miles of unique, twisty, and scenic Appalachian Mountain roads, including some old favorites like the Dragon, Hellbender, TN-32, the Foothills Parkway, US-23 through the Cullasaja Gorge, and US-441 through Great Smoky Mountain National Park; and some great new discoveries like NC-209 south of Hot Springs, NC (aka, “The Rattler”), NC-281 north of Lake Toxaway, and NC/GA/SC-28 and back on SC/NC-107 (that’s right…three states!).

The noteworthy stops and sights are almost too numerous to mention, but here’s an attempt at a representative subset: the overnight in Shelbyville, KY and the Cattleman’s Roadhouse; Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky Ridge State Forest; the Cumberland Gap and Visitor’s Center; our superb condos at the Wyndham Resort in Sevierville, TN; the Grotto Falls Trail; the “unscheduled stop” in Townsend (oops); multiple Dragon runs and the Tail of the Dragon at Deal’s Gap; the kayak competition along the Nantahala; great Mexican food in Bryson City; the Hellbender; the scenic overlook on the Foothills Parkway; the breathtaking Sevierville sunset; cutting it loose on TN-32; Webb’s Market; Hot Springs, NC and the Iron Horse Station; Fines Creek; ice cream in Cherokee; putt-putt golf, homemade guacamole, and Council Bluffs pulled pork; Krispie Kremes; the slow slog around Cades Cove Scenic Loop; the trip to Knoxville and the shopping spree at Outmotoring; the friendly folk at MINI of Knoxville; seeing wild bears, elk, and more turkeys than people in the national park; looking over the top of the clouds at Newfound Gap; Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in the Cullasaja Gorge; the Sports Page Sandwich Shop and all the gift nooks in Highlands, NC; the Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel; Whitewater Falls; enjoying Steve and Kelly’s GoPro footage back at the condos; scaling the Chimney Tops Trail; the Artist’s Loop in Gatlinburg and the wonderful Wild Plum Tea Room; the twisty (albeit foggy) Blue Ridge Parkway; Waterrock Knob; the Pisgah Inn; and all of the fun evening meals together back at the big condo, courtesy of a bunch of our generous and thoughtful EIM folk!

We’ll give both Jeff and Sue N. and Pete and Chris N. the EIM maximum motoring mileage recognition — the former for their long Thursday jaunt up toward Blowing Rock, NC and run back on another great road (US-221) and the latter for their self-described brewery tour taking them all the way to Asheville, NC. The Bryant Family Drive back on the Dragon on Thursday gets special recognition too.

In summary, it was an amazing time with a bunch of wonderful Iowa MINI friends. We sincerely thank Peggy J., Steve M. and Bill and Alyce S. for facilitating our lodging at the Wyndham Resort.

Some photos from our trip have been added to our Photo Gallery. You can enjoy them directly by using the following link:

Photos from EIM Big Adventure Part Deux to the Great Smoky Mountains, 9-25-15 to 10-3-15

Be sure to check out the EIM Facebook Page for even more Big Adventure photos.

Thanks to everyone for the great memories!

13th Annual MINICooperIowa Fall Tour – 10-11 Oct

13th Annual MINICooperIowa Fall Tour - 10-11 Oct

This year’s MINICooperIowa Fall Tour happens on 10-11 October in the Loess Hills region of western Iowa. It is being hosted by our good friends in the Central Iowa MINI Club. Plans include an overnight stop in Sioux City. The drive departs from MINI of Des Moines at 11:00 am on Saturday.

Details on the drive and sign-up instructions have been sent out to all EIMers via email. If you did not received the email and are interested in participating, please send an email request to and we will reply to you ASAP with the details.

The fall colors and motoring roads of western Iowa await!

Countdown to the “Big Adventure 2”

Website updates may be delayed until early October…the webmaster is off having fun.

Soon we’ll be gathering together again in our MINIs to commence the transit east to Sevierville, TN and a fun-filled week of Appalachian Mountain motoring, sightseeing, shopping, dining, exploring, enjoying each others’ company, and making lifetime MINI memories at the EIM “Big Adventure Part Deux” to the Great Smoky Mountains!

EIMers, please keep an eye on our NAM Discussion Thread (<-link) for this event for late-breaking news and planning information…and get those camera batteries charged up! —

Gays Mills Apple Run — Sept 20th

Gays Mills Apple Run -- Sept 20th

In addition to having a great time at Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Tap this weekend, the EIM gang decided that we needed one more local September drive and opportunity for fun prior to the big trip east…and hatched the idea for the Gays Mills Apple Run.

The plan is to meet on in Dubuque on Sunday, September 20th at 9:00 am at our traditional meet-up spot — between the Wendy’s and BP station on East 16th Street, just prior to crossing over the US-151 bridge into Wisconsin. Take the Kerper Blvd exit to the right from northbound US-151. There is a location map link below (click on the “Read More” button from the home page).

There will be a stop at Carr Valley Cheese in Fennimore, WI for some fresh curds and other goodies on the way up to Gays Mills. This will be the weekend prior to the big festival so the apple supply at the orchards should be plentiful and the traffic light.

This area of southwest Wisconsin is famous for its amazing scenery and wonderful motoring roads. The maple and locust trees are starting to turn up that way and are absolutely glorious. Get ready for more great MINI motoring and good times!

EIM Meet-n-Eat at Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Tap and Rolling Smoke BBQ, Rock Island – Sept 12th

EIM Meet-n-Eat at Kavanaugh's Hilltop Tap and Rolling Smoke BBQ, Rock Island - Sept 12th

Nothing fancy…the EIM Meet-n-Eat at Kavanaugh’s Hilltop – Rolling Smoke BBQ located in Rock Island, IL is just an opportunity to get together, enjoy good food and drink, and show off our MINIs.

We plan to meet at Kavanaugh’s ~10:30 am with lunch at 11:00 am.  We will be in the covered patio out back.  FYI, Saturday specials include a $2 discount on the BBQ Rib Dinner and $3 Bent River brews.  As an aside, note that the Cars and Coffee LeClaire group is having their monthly gathering at 9:00 am this day on the LeClaire waterfront.  You might want to consider making a morning appearance here, then head over to Kavanaugh’s for lunch.

We should be done in plenty of time for folks to make it home or to their favorite spot for watching the Iowa-ISU football game.

Anyone with a MINI and an interest is welcome. Detailed location information and sign-up instructions are provided below (click on the **Read More** button from the home page).

See you there!

Holy Cross Festival Recap

Holy Cross Festival Recap

As in past years, the cooperative weather combined with the good food, drink, and the companionship of MINI friends for a great day at the Holy Cross Festival and Parade, held this past Saturday in Holy Cross. We had a small but mighty turnout of MINIs including a sequential triple-team of red Roadsters. The broasted chicken, fresh out of the roaster, has never been better in all the years of our attendance; the drink varieties seemed endless, with the local “home brew” an unexpected and delightful treat. In summary, good times…as always!

Once again, mere words can’t express the depth of our gratitude to Linda & Tom R. for their generosity and hospitality in hosting our group in their home after the parade (especially since they’re in the process of showing their house to prospective buyers). They go above and beyond expectations every year and make the event extra special for all of us. Just can’t thank them enough!

Photos from this event may be found in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly by using the following link:

Photos from the Holy Cross Festival and Parade, Holy Cross, 8-8-15

Hope to see you in Rock Island on 9/12!

We’re Back from “The Mack”

1,319 MINIs on the Mack!

Although short of the 1,451 needed to set a world record for the largest parade of MINIs, our sizable contingent in the EIM at MINI on the Mack 2015 made an important contribution to the largest-ever gathering of MINI Coopers on U.S. soil in history…and that’s not too shabby folks!

Most importantly, we had a great time together transiting up to St. Ignace, MI and once there, participating in the event with MINIs from all across the country, re-connecting with MINI acquaintances made at past events, enjoying the lakefront lodging and the beautiful views of the Great Lakes, Mackinac Island, and the surrounding Upper Peninsula; and of course enjoying the company of good MINI friends. The weather on Friday, and especially on Saturday for the big rendezvous, bridge crossing, and after-party at Little Bear Arena in St. Ignace was superb and maximized the enjoyment factor (we understand that dodging thunderstorms was the order of the day for anyone returning to Iowa later on Sunday). And even with 2,000+ people at Little Bear, parking was quick and efficient, and no long lines for lunch this time! Several of our EIMers were able to tack on additional vacation days on either side of the event and had fun doing some additional motoring and sightseeing. It was great to have so many of our EIM friends as part of this historic event.

With almost 500 more MINIs than in 2013, and having come up only 132 MINIs short of the record, you can bet that MINI of Grand Rapids and MINI USA will give this another “go” in 2017. Might as well block out the time on your calendar now!

Photos from several contributors are available for viewing in our Photo Gallery. You can go to this set directly by clicking on the following link (the last photo from the air is particularly impressive):

Photos of EIM at MINI on the Mack 2015, 7-31-15 to 8-1-15

Holy Cross Festival tomorrow!

EIMers on the Mack 2015 Update

EIMers on the Mack 2015 Update

MINI on the Mack 2015 is just around the corner! Many of you have registered and will be attending. Whether or not the world record is achieved, it’s already being billed as the single largest gathering of MINIs on U.S. soil in history.

(If you’re going but haven’t registered you may be left out of the official Guiness Book count, so please lend your support to the event and complete your registration if you haven’t yet done so at

Several of our Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota EIM mates will be transiting up to the area independently, but there will also be a convoy of our MINIs traveling up together on Friday, July 31st departing early enough to arrive in St. Ignace in time to check-in, spruce up, etc. The initial group meet-up is at 6:30 am in Dubuque. Details are contained in a previous email to the EIM distribution list; if you didn’t receive it and are interested in joining the EIM convoy please contact us at for more information.

See you on the Mack!

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