First Major Road Trip (and What a Doozy!)

Please note that this post was migrated to my new blog platform. There may be bad formating, broken links, images, downloads and so on. If you need an item on this page, please contact me and I will do my best to get it from my backups.


Wow, where do I begin.  This is the first post of many on my adventures I’m taking in my new car.  MINI is engaging in their first cross-country road trip – “MINI Takes the States” road trip, starting in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” /><st1:City w:st=“on”>Monterey</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=“on”>CA</st1:State> and ending up in <st1:place w:st=“on”><st1:City w:st=“on”>Lakeville</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=“on”>CT.</st1:State></st1:place>  Along there way, there’s entertainment, partying, and music they are throwing.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /><o:p></o:p>

So I’ve signed up for two of the legs.  <st1:City w:st=“on”>Dallas</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=“on”>TX</st1:State> to <st1:place w:st=“on”><st1:City w:st=“on”>Memphis</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=“on”>TN.</st1:State></st1:place>  And then from <st1:City w:st=“on”>Memphis</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=“on”>TN</st1:State> to <st1:place w:st=“on”><st1:City w:st=“on”>Nashville</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=“on”>TN.</st1:State></st1:place>  The events are listed at the end of this post.<o:p></o:p>

My schedule is listed below. The stuff listed in Green should be an interesting time. 

Friday, Aug 25th – <st1:place w:st=“on”><st1:City w:st=“on”>Dallas</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=“on”>TX</st1:State></st1:place>
Gipsy Tea Room partying<o:p></o:p>

Saturday, Aug 26th – <st1:City w:st=“on”>Dallas</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Memphis</st1:place></st1:City>
I plan on taking the “Off the Beaten Path” map the MINIs have drawn on their map. Looks about 87 miles of Twisties Y0!  I plan on snapping a few ‘rare’ pics of the MINI on <st1:Street w:st=“on”><st1:address w:st=“on”>Beale St</st1:address></st1:Street>, if I can convince the cops with my new camera about being a “Magazine Writer”. Will be staying with a car buddy of mine, and apparently they are throwing a big Pimps-n-Hoes party.  So I need a costume – even though some say I don’t need any costume at all.  Hehe.<o:p></o:p>

Sunday, Aug 27th – <st1:City w:st=“on”>Memphis</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Nashville</st1:place></st1:City>
I know the route from about Exit 163 through the back roads.  Even though the MINI owners aren’t planning an off-road adventure in this area, I will be taking it!  Will try to recruit a few to join me.  Very fun Tennessee Hills driving.  This is where the MINIs and I part and they head up North to KY.  Layover over in <st1:City w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Nashville</st1:place></st1:City> from Sunday through Wednesday.  Various friends (hey Riley and Randall!).<o:p></o:p>

Wednesday, Aug 30th – <st1:City w:st=“on”>Nashville</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st=“on”>Chattanooga</st1:City>
I’ve taken some of this Hwy 41 that snakes around I-24 all the way from <st1:City w:st=“on”>Nashville</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Chattanooga</st1:place></st1:City> from time to time.  It’s time to take it the w<st1:Street w:st=“on”><st1:address w:st=“on”>hole way</st1:address></st1:Street>.  There are many small towns, such as <st1:place w:st=“on”><st1:PlaceName w:st=“on”>Hale</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st=“on”>Town</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> that is just beautiful tucked up into the mountains and little shops.  Main reason for little ol’ Chattatown?  Family!  My entire beloved family is in <st1:City w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Chattanooga</st1:place></st1:City>.  Going to spend some time with them and a few friends.<o:p></o:p>

Friday, Sept 1st – <st1:City w:st=“on”>Chattanooga</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st=“on”>Knoxville</st1:City>
One of my good childhood friends (and old neighbor) lives up in <st1:City w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Knoxville</st1:place></st1:City> now with his girlfriend and new baby.  I’m traveling there to spend a day with them, and at the same time we are going to hit the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap!  Man, that is going to be surreal.  As many as 318 turns, in just 11 miles!<o:p></o:p>

Saturday, Sept 2nd – Knoxville to Atlanta, GA
I plan on stating on the interstate for the most part on this one, to make it to <st1:City w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Atlanta</st1:place></st1:City> to see one of my best friends – Todd!  Dude, it’s Todd!  Who knows what trouble we’ll get into there.  Will lay over until sometime in the week as the rest of the trip I’ll be playing by ear.<o:p></o:p>

Wednesday, Sept 6th – <st1:City w:st=“on”>Atlanta</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st=“on”>New Orleans</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=“on”>LA (and in between)</st1:State>
What could be better then a snapshot of the MINI on <st1:Street w:st=“on”><st1:address w:st=“on”>Beale St</st1:address></st1:Street> in <st1:City w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Memphis</st1:place></st1:City>?  A snapshot on <st1:Street w:st=“on”><st1:address w:st=“on”>Bourbon St</st1:address></st1:Street> in <st1:City w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>New Orleans</st1:place></st1:City> of course!  This part of the trip, it’s pure all-me-ness.  Going to stay in a hotel, walk around here and there.  See what I can do to help.  I’ve been hearing some reports on NPR lately.  It’s amazing the lifestyle these people have and still go on partying and living it up.<o:p></o:p>

The rest of the trip I’ll play by ear.  I have to drive through <st1:State w:st=“on”>Alabama</st1:State> and <st1:State w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Mississippi to get to LA</st1:place></st1:State>.  So I’m sure I can find a few small towns to stop off in – as I have 5 days left on vacation.  <o:p></o:p>

Mucho pictures to come!<o:p></o:p>

Here are two planned events you’ll find me at:<o:p></o:p>

Friday, August 25 – <st1:City w:st=“on”>Dallas</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=“on”>TX</st1:State>
The power combo of Rolling Stone magazine and Men’s Journal have partnered with MINI USA to throw a <st1:State w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Texas</st1:place></st1:State> style party (that’s BIG!). Motor on to The Gypsy Tea Room in <st1:City w:st=“on”><st1:place w:st=“on”>Dallas</st1:place></st1:City> where 900 of your closest MINI family and friends will enjoy an evening of laughs, music and more. The evening with be hosted by comedian Jay Davis. The event begins at 8:00 pm. Seating and parking are limited so early arrival is recommended. Snacks provided courtesy of Rolling Stone magazine and Men’s Journal with a cash bar. Comedians Jay Davis and Rusty Dooley, along with the musical entertainment of Patrick Ryan Clark, will make this a must for all registered MINI Takes the States motorists. <o:p></o:p>

The Gypsy Tea Room is located at <st1:Street w:st=“on”><st1:address w:st=“on”>2548 Elm Street</st1:address></st1:Street>, Deep Ellum, <st1:place w:st=“on”><st1:City w:st=“on”>Dallas</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=“on”>TX</st1:State></st1:place>. Complimentary valet parking available for as many as 700 MINIs. <o:p></o:p>

Sunday, August 27 – Nashville, TN
MINI Music Festival: Make sure you pack your lawn chairs and blankets for the ‘MINI Music Festival’ at Centennial Park adjacent to the Parthenon in the heart of Nashville. Join over 1,000 MINI motorists and their guest for spectacular festival featuring street fair style booths, Southern culinary food and drink as well a dynamic musical line-up to include John Haitt, Tift Merrit, Jimmy Hall, Chris Janson, Thad Cockrell & Rodney Crowell – all brought to you courtesy of Spin magazine!

Famous designer Shepard Fairey will create a special custom designed limited edition poster for MINI Takes the States. It’s a must have, one of kind offering which will be distributed to registered MINI Takes the States participants at all four regional events and arrival points along the route courtesy of Swindle Magazine. <o:p></o:p>


> Revision History
> About the author