Welcome To My Blog

Weekends are for wandering Wisconsin. That's what Rick, my guy, and I do. Occasionally we wander during the week, too. Sometimes we just drop in on other people's lives.

This blog is my way of sharing where we've been, neat places and things to do that we've found.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

East Meets West - in Milwaukee

On Independence Day, Rick and I attended a Mini Meet-up car show at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. 

Who knew there would be 18, count 'em, 18 classes of Minis at the car show. I'd seen a few vintage Morris Minis and the current Mini Cooper at the earlier British Car Field Day in Sussex, but didn't realize there were so many other models. The Mini is really a recent car having been manufactured by the British Motor Company from 1959-2000. The Mini was marketed under the Austin and Morris names (like Chevrolet and Buick are brands of General Motors). It was also the first car to be made with front wheel drive. Performance versions of these models used the name Cooper, due to a partnership with racing legend John Cooper. The Mini was even named "European Car of the Century" in 1999 by a panel of 130 international automotive journalists!

Fast forward to 2001 when the Mini was acquired by BMW. The car is now marketed as a "retro" redesign of the original Mini. Cute, but not as cute as the older models in my opinion.

Even though today's Mini is small, yesterday's was even smaller. Not much engine horsepower either. Even less than the VW Cabrio I used to own. Can anyone over four feet tall fit into one of these?
Apparently Rick can sit behind the wheel of a Mini.
All in a row. . .
Who cannot like a Mini?

All kinds, from trucks (even panel trucks) to Jeep-like models called Mooks.
I can't imagine the bed of the truck carrying more than
a large cooler.
The Mook reminded me of a VW "Thing."
Even a few Woodies in the crowd. Put surfboards on the top of these cars and Beach Boys music comes to mind. 

The plain little Minis are just fine.
Well, maybe a little more than plain. The stripes and white top are a nice touch.
Gotta love the sense of humor Mini owners have.
What could be more fun on four wheels? (Unless it's
riding in Rick's Honda del Sol!)
This caption is popular with many Mini owners.

I can't forget the convertibles - always a favorite.
One more . . a bit unusual and the only one exhibited in its class.
When I saw this car, I was reminded of a Saab. But it's a Mini.
Earlier in the day we were at the world's largest Independence Day parade in Knowles, WI. Well, maybe not the largest, but probably the one with the most fire departments and fire queens represented and the least musical units. Ten different fire companies drove their hook & ladder trucks, ambulances, and other vehicles down Main Street. Along with these big rigs, area trucking companies, excavators, and tractor enthusiasts strutted their stuff. Did I mention the candy? Much better than Halloween for all the kids in the crowd.

The one band was from Lomira High School. The music ended just as they marched past our viewing platform, but we did see some fancy marching.

We had been to the parade last year and I wondered what would happen if an actual fire broke out in one of the communities while its fire trucks were in the parade. Wouldn't you know it, this year there must have been a fire in Mayville because two trucks and an ambulance tore down the street with sirens blaring in the midst of the parade. However, the fire must have been a small one because one of the trucks arrived back in Knowles to take its place at the rear of the parade!

Thanks to our friends, Amanda and Troy, for opening their home (and great front porch overlooking Main Street) to us so we could spectate.

Across the street from our friends, someone knows how to transport
lots of cold beverages on a hot summer day.
No fireworks this year - just firecrackers that Rick's neighbors set off well past dark throughout the weekend. 

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