Holy Cross Parade and Festival — Aug 12

Holy Cross Parade and Festival -- Aug 12

The Holy Cross Festival and Parade is an annual EIM tradition, thanks to the continuing generosity of long-time EIMers Linda & Tom R. EIM’s participation includes the parade and rendezvous afterward for a great meal, sampling of their latest home brew, and relaxation. Additional town-wide fesitval activities include a charity auction, a street dance with a live band, bouncy houses for the kids, a barbecue, and more.

Arrive in Holy Cross (626 Pin Oak Dr) anytime prior to 10:00 am to prep and decorate our cars for the parade. We will stage for the parade ~11:00 am for an approximate noon start.

As in past years, Linda & Tom have graciously invited us all into their home after the parade for a great feast, beverages, and fellowship. They supply a wide variety of drink and that famous broasted chicken from the local bar & grill. Any side dish or snack to share is always welcomed but not at all required or expected. It’s always great fun to relax after the parade, enjoy the superb food, drink, and MINI talk, or walk up town and watch (or participate in) all of the festival activities.

We would very much appreciate sign-ups in order to let our hosts know who’s coming and plan for the appropriate numbers. If you plan on bringing something to share, pass on that information too so others can see and ensure a nice variety. Just send an email to info[at]easterniowaminis.org with the information, or post a reply to the event announcement on our EIM Facebook Page (<–link).

All are welcome…hope you can join us!

Some Joe and Some Suds

Some Joe and Some Suds

The weather could not have been more perfect last Saturday for our EIM Joe & Suds Meet-n-Eat in the Quad Cities. We had a great, early morning showing of MINIs at the Cars & Coffee in LeClaire and enjoyed seeing all of the other fine vehicles that came out for the event. The highlight clearly belonged to Tom & Linda R. who surprised us with their brand new MINI Countryman! (Don’t worry faithful EIMers, the Black Eye Purple GOZER is still in their now two-MINI stable.) Following this gathering, we savored the short, scenic drive along the river to downtown Davenport to rendezvous with several other EIMers and check out the Freight House Farmers Market that, due to the beautiful weather, was overflowing with shoppers. Thanks to Steve B.‘s recommendation we made a last-minute shift for lunch to Sippi’s American Grill & Craft Beer, a one-block walk from the Freight House. We had a great lunch and sampled some nice brews on the outdoor patio. Following lunch, several of us made the three-block walk over to the River Center and the Davenport MakeFest, where we were entertained and educated by our very own technology wonk Jay T. who was demonstrating his custom-made 3-D printer. It was fun seeing Kristin and Darla too!

You can check out the photos from our day of fun over in our Photo Gallery, and access them directly using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Joe & Suds Meet-n-Eat in LeClaire and Davenport, 7-15-17

August is a massively busy MINI motoring month! Please see the event listings on the home page!

A Half Rack with a Side of Twisties

A Half Rack with a Side of Twisties

The barbecue was almost as good as the MINI company last Saturday at the EIM Meet-n-Eat at Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack in Iowa City. We followed our excellent lunch with a spirited drive on some of the best roads in and around Coralville Lake, along with a stop for photos below the spillway. We capped off our day with cold treats for all at Heyn’s Ice Cream in North Liberty. Thanks to all who were able to join us!

There are some photos from this event in our Photo Gallery that you can access and enjoy directly using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Meet-n-Eat at Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack, Iowa City, 6-17-17

We plan on a lunch meet-up (details TBA) on July 15th as a lead-in to an August that is chock full of MINI fun. Stay tuned!

Springtime Indiana

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“Here across the miles we ramble…” intones singer/songwriter Sandra McCracken in the first verse of her 2001 ballad Springtime Indiana, a fitting recapitulation of another superb EIM multi-day excursion (now a traditional mid-May outing) to French Lick, Indiana for the EIM Hoosier Hoodang. This was the first ever trip for our MINI group to this region and it produced another great series of fun and memorable experiences.

There is always a bit of risk in planning routes that include roads not pre-driven and known only by the descriptions made available by second-hand observations and online biker resources. It’s always a pleasure when those routes end up exceeding the most hopeful expectations. That was certainly the case throughout the Hoosier National Forest area comprising most of our motoring. There were lots of great twisties (and gravity defying roller coaster humps too), good quality road surfaces, and not too much traffic save the seemingly omnipresent red pickup trucks. In particular, IN-62 from Corydon to Saint Meinrad, IN-450 from Shoals to Bedford, and IN-66 from Sulphur to Cannelton were highlights and worth filing away for future reference. Even US-150 between Paoli and Shoals was a delight during the multiple times we used it. The backroad discovered by Jeff & Sue N. between Paoli and French Lick was pretty cool too. About the only thing we didn’t anticipate in advance was the prevalence of Eastern Box Turtles trying to “get to the other side.” It is our firm belief they all made it safely, even the one given a bit of a thump by Cindy C. 😉 We dealt with a few nusance showers/storms during our two days in the area but they always passed quickly and the roads seemed to dry out in good order.

In addition to all of the fun motoring, other fun stops included a tour in Marengo Cave National Landmark, the French Lick Resort and Casino, the West Baden Springs Resort, the Branch of Lick Creek Covered Bridge (thanks to Juli B.‘s cajoling), the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, the Jasper City Mill, the Providence Home Geode Grotto, the Schnitz Brewery & Pub, and the indoor karting track in French Lick where Jeff N.‘s autocross experience put the rest of us would-be racers in our proper place (i.e., not in 1st). Eating stops of note included the Ohana Hawaiian Grill & Bar in French Lick, the Overlook Restaurant in Leavenworth with it’s fantastic view of the Ohio River, the Power Plant at the French Lick Resort, Porky’s Barbecue in Paoli, an ice cream stop at the Sonic in Cannelton, and our last night’s pizza party (seemingly becoming another tradition) at the Comfort Suites, our group hotel near French Lick. Special thanks to Steve & Juli B. for allowing us to rendezvous at their home prior to the trip. It was a fun-filled adventure from start to finish with a super group of MINI friends.

Photos from the Hoodang are posted in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Hoosier Hoodang, French Lick, IN, 5-18-17 to 5-21-17

Hope to see many of you next month in Iowa City at Jimmy Jacks!

Southern Skirmish

Southern Skirmish

What a fantastic day for our first motoring event of 2017!

Thanks to everyone who joined us last Saturday for the 10th EIM Border Skirmish Drive, an event that has evolved into an annual April tradition and our first organized drive of the calendar year. This year’s drive emphasized our borders to the south (MO) and east (IL) with much of the route on the Iowa Historic Hills Scenic Byway. Our rendezvous in Wildwood Park in Ottumwa was followed by fun stops at the Air Power Museum in Blakesburg, the American Gothic House in Eldon, a trip through twisty Lacey-Keosauqua State Park, another stop in quaint Bentonsport, and to a fabulous lunch at the Bonaparte Retreat. After lunch we headed east to the Mississippi River and a stop at quirky Dave’s Meat Market in Montrose, south along the river to Rand Park in Keokuk, then across the bridge and back north along the Illinois Great River Road. There was another stop along the river at the Hoot Owl Rest Stop, giving EIMer Derek P. the chance to drive a golf ball completely across the Mississippi (well, maybe 275 yards of it anyway). Then it was on north to the Joseph Smith Visitors Center in Nauvoo, back across the river at Ft. Madison (where we experienced the drawbridge first-hand), and finally to Burlington where we capped off the drive with a photo opportunity on famous Snake Alley.

EIM survives on the volunteer spirit of our EIMers, and in this case we are indebted to our motoring mate Jeff N. for all of his efforts in planning, organizing, and executing such a fun drive. He also gets kudos for organizing the Friday spirited pre-drive and for the Snake Alley drone video now featured on the home page. Many thanks Jeff! Thanks also to Steve B. for the companion Snake Alley GoPro video.

Photos from this event may be found in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the 10th EIM Border Skirmish Drive, Ottumwa to Burlington, 4-22-17

Looking forward to next month’s Hoodang!

MINI Zeppelins

MINI Zeppelins

Thanks to all of the EIM faithful who joined us last Saturday in Cedar Rapids for the Zig-Zag to Zeppelins, our traditional Rite of Spring Meet-n-Eat held this year for the first time at Zeppelins Bar and Grill. The biting northwesterly winds curtailed our outdoor loitering just a bit, but the dry roads and eventual sunshine were welcome relief from the earlier dead-of-winter events. The restaurant turned out to be an almost perfect venue for our group, with great food and drink to boot.

We extend our deepest and most sincere thanks to Phil & Louanne N. and Chris & Sarah G. for their planning and organizing of this gathering, not to mention the awesome raffle prizes and high-quality goodie bags for everyone. Their generosity was greatly appreciated by all of our MINI folk! Thanks once again to Jeff N. for his drone expertise and resulting video.

We enjoyed meeting new EIMers Karen & Bruce W. and Riley & Grayson B. Thanks for joining us, and please come back again soon!

Photos from this event may be found in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Zig-Zag to Zeppelins Meet-n-Eat, Cedar Rapids, 3-18-17

Next month…we motor! Stay tuned for forthcoming details regarding the 10th EIM Border Skirmish Drive on April 22!

Road Salt, Gator Toes, and a Cadillac 500

Road Salt, Gator Toes, and a Cadillac 500

A fine and fun-loving group of area MINIacs gathered together in Davenport yesterday for our 2017 instantiation of the EIM Quad Cities Meet-n-Eat. Even the most punctilious detailers among us (thinking of you, Larry H.!) sucked it up and accepted the reality of winter road grime in order come together for great food and even better MINI fellowship. Although our local area weather quality has waxed and waned of late, the recent smattering of warm, sunny days hints at the promise of the upcoming EIM motoring season — our tenth year together!

We can’t thank Sandy & Denny B. enough for yet another February of hosting our group for this gathering, especially on the heels of several weeks of out-of-area travel. Their generosity and graciousness are unsurpassed and greatly appreciated! Thanks to all of the MINI folk in attendance for your participation and for bringing such a variety of unique and tasty goodies to share. Thanks also to Chris G. for his creative documentation of the event (see the photo link below), to Jeff N. (of gator toes fame) for the drone operation, and to Steve B. for giving us a peek at his boss Chevy truck (and its Cadillac 500 power plant).

Photos from this event may be found in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Quad Cities Meet-n-Eat, Davenport, 2-25-17

Next up is our March gathering in Cedar Rapids and our first visit to Zeppelins Bar and Grill on Saturday the 18th, thanks to the creativity and planning of Phil & Louanne N. and Chris & Sarah G. Get it on your calendar!

Flying Tomato Under the Union Jack

Flying Tomato Under the Union Jack

Thanks to everyone who braved a somewhat drizzly (but relatively warm) Saturday in January in order to join us at our first meet-up for 2017 — the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Wig and Pen Pub hosted in Iowa City on 1/21. Loved catching up with good MINI friends, enjoying good eats, and laying out some of our adventures for the upcoming motoring year. It was a treat to be part of the very first MINI event for little Darla…thanks to Jay and Kristin for introducing her to our MINI family!

If you missed the EIM Calendar Photo Quiz, all is not lost. Here you go — see how many of the EIM events and geographic locations you can identify for each of these photos: EIM Calendar Photo Quiz. Yep, these pics are all from past EIM Calendars and taken from past events. Lots of good times remembered.

There are a few photos from this event in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly using this link:

Photos from the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Wig and Pen Pub, Iowa City, 1-21-17

Hope to see you at our next meet-up in Davenport on 2/25. Details coming soon.

Happy Holidays!

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Eastern Iowa MINIs extends its sincerest wishes to all of our friends and families for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Motoring Year!

See you in 2017!

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Award-Winning EIMers

Award-Winning EIMers

The Year 2016 certainly had its share of ups and downs, but without question EIM enjoyed another great year of MINI motoring adventures and fun. We took a moment to reflect on those good times and to share our memories and laughs during our last official event of the year — the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Country Junction held in Dyersville this past Saturday. It was great to gather together with old friends and new faces and reminisce on all of MINI goodness during this past motoring season.

We took time to recognize some of our noteworthy peers, both in gratitude and in jest, with the awarding of our annual recognition awards. You had to be there to see the “prizes” awarded 😉 but you can view the associated award certificates using this link: 2016 EIM Recognition Awards.

Congratulations to all of the award winners, and a special nod to Steve & Bobbi M., our EIM Motorists of the Year for 2016.

A few photos from the luncheon can be found in our Photo Gallery, and are directly accessible via the following link:

Photos from the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Country Junction, Dyersville, 11-19-16

Sincere thanks to all of the folks who help make EIM such a fun group. See you at the Wig and Pen Pub in Iowa City in January!

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