Today I drove to Wichita Falls to meet up with the MINI Takes the States (MTTS) convoy. I was meeting my fellow MINI owner/buddy Steve and his kid Oliver who left with the MTTS convoy out of Amarillo.
We wanted to meet up for a quick lunch so that we could get back on the road. I found a Wendy's with several MINI's parked in front. I called Steve and told him where to meet me and then I went inside to talk to the MINI owners.
It is easy to find people involved in the MTTS...everybody that registered has a red band on their wrists. I found a table of four people with the red bands on their wrists.
MINI owners are abnormally enthusiastic about their cars. Striking up a conversation is *not* a problem...just ask them about their cars and they won't stop talking.
I walked over to talk to the group with the red wrist bands to say howdy. I asked them if they were involved in MTTS. The response I got was a bit like "Flounder" in Animal House when he asked, "You guys playing cards?"...stares and dead silence. It felt like they were expecting me to ask for money or something.
One girl in the group spoke up after bit and told me they were from New Jersey and they were doing the whole trip, from the West Coast to the East Coast. I said, "You guys are hardcore!" and I left them alone.
Later that night, MINI hosted a party at the Gypsy Tea Room in Deep Ellum in Dallas. After a couple of comedians performed, some of the people behind MINI took the stage to welcome and thank everybody. One of the people that took the stage was Trudy Hardy, the marketing manager for MINI USA. Trudy was the girl I tried to talk to at lunch! Here is an interview Trudy did recently with BusinessWeek.
I *had* to confront Trudy about our awkward lunch time chat. I found her mingling in the crowd. I said, "you were the girl at Wendy's!" She smiled and said, "Yeah, I try to keep a low profile." It worked! I had no idea who she was until she was introduced on stage. That explains why these MINI owners at lunch weren't acting like MINI owners...they were trying to play it cool (although it came off as despondent...need to work on that guys!)
I asked Trudy if I could get a photo with her and she obliged me. Thanks Trudy...you are awesome!
I have a *bunch* more photos to put up from the event. Tomorrow we ship off for Memphis at 8am. Off to bed!