Antique Pickin’, Vodka Samplin’, and Buffalo Bill’s Birthday Party — All in Good MINI Fun

A little bit of snow and ice couldn’t deter 17 of our MINIs and over 30 friendly folk from turning out for the EIM Meet-n-Eat in LeClaire, IA held on February 26th. Everyone had a super time. You can check out pictures from this event and all of the associated activities in the EIM Photo Gallery (be sure to check out the photo of the “stealth visitors” at Antique Archaeology!). Here is a direct link to the photo gallery for this event:

Photos from our Meet-n-Eat at Sneaky Petes in LeClaire, February 26 2011

We managed to string together several fun activities! Get the full story by clicking on the Read More button below.

Hope to see many of you in Cedar Rapids on March 26th. Watch this site for details.


As the MINIs arrived one after the other, we parked together in a superb spot right along the Mississippi River. At eleven sharp, we headed up the hill on foot for an enjoyable lunch (and checked out all of the confiscated ties!) at Sneaky Petes Bar and Grill. Then it was just a short walk to the new Mississippi River Distilling Company where we had the opportunity to sample a new run of local vodka being started that day on the occasion of Buffalo Bill Cody’s birthday. Who should we run into at the bar but Buffalo Bill himself! It was a bit disconcerting that he was carrying his rifle with him, but he asked for a sample, took a sip, and declared the newly refined spirit worthy of his discriminating palate.

Of course, after that encounter we all had to walk around the block and back toward the river to visit the Buffalo Bill Museum. Our timing couldn’t have been better, as admission was free in honor of Buffalo Bill’s birthday. In fact, we were able to share in a bunch of party treats set out for the occasion. Our MINI gang enjoyed all of the artifacts in the museum, especially the old riverboat. We bid our farewells to the museum staff, made the short walk over to our MINIs, and headed out for our planned visit to that nationally renowned little spot in LeClaire.

To our delight, there was room in the small parking lot at Antique Archaeology and we proceeded to nearly fill it to the overflow point with MINIs. It was great fun browsing through the shop and actually seeing some of the items picked by Mike and Frank during their travels on American Pickers. Lots of cool photo opportunities. And while we didn’t get to meet any of the TV celebrities, it was a neat experience being there with our fellow MINI faithful.

Afterward, a smaller subset of the group headed over and checked out the Iowa Welcome Center (and its free coffee!). A great view of the river and bridge from the second floor overlook. While we were there, we noticed a couple of metal sculptures in the art gallery that were made by EIM’s very own Jeff and Angie W.

A great day with a great bunch of MINI people. Thanks all!

A special thanks to Mike C. and Denny and Sandy B. for all of the great eating and visiting ideas, and to David V. for mapping out the location of the local car wash!

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