So we’re a week out from MINI Takes The States 2016 and in preparation for this epic adventure I am… Doing nothing.  While many folks out there have printed the route sheets, and repackaged their MINI a bazillion times, and done practice runs, and had their MINI serviced and detailed (full transparency I did do that), and contacted their next of kin, and… You get the idea. We all have come to realize that most of Social Media is just to turn the drama up to eleven, and it goes.  So looking at everything am I laughing or make fun of anyone who has made sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.  Not really, everyone has their level of comfort when traveling and not being in control of the majority of a trip does increase the discomfort.  For me, I took my roadster in for service, just like I did in 2014.  While there, since I have been lazy (real reason is we threw out our old hose and hadn’t gotten it replaced until now) I had the roadster detailed.  So it would be ready for the trip. Came back with a clean bill of health and all nice and shiny. I’ve also added a little MTTS 2016 graphics to the car.  So what do I still need to do? Pack I guess. For the monkey and me.  What am I bringing, a messenger bag, and a suitcase – the one I take on planes.  I’ll have things squirreled away in the car, but I definitely hope I will not over pack.

In the suitcase:

  • Pants (jeans, and pants with zip off legs)
  • Shorts (maybe, I always get myself into trouble with sunburns so I’ll flip a coin at the last minute)
  • Shirts (MINI related- this is one of the only times you can get away with a MINI shirt every day) any in particular? I’ve got a few on my short list, and at least one required.
  • Maybe a shirt with a collar.
  • Meds, toiletries, underwear, socks
  • Two pairs of shoes – In my experience feet start to rebel when you wear the same shoes for too long,

In the Messenger Bag:

  • Electronics chargers (for iDevices and batteries)
  • An iPad
  • My sketchbook or a Bristol pad or both
  • Drawing stuff – pencils, erasers, pens
  • Glasses cleaning cloth

In the Car (within reach):

  • iPhone with Waze and MTTS apps
  • FRS radio with headset set to 7:21
  • 30 oz. Yeti knockoff cup
  • Snacks – trail mix, beef jerky, that kind of stuff.
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen SPF 50
  • My Tilley and a ball cap.
  • Windshield cleaning wipes
  • Tire pressure gauge (in the glovebox -always)

In the Car (most likely in the boot):

  • An umbrella
  • A towel
  • A blanket
  • A waterproof jacket or pullover
  • Various cleaning supplies (Microfiber towels, Griot’s Speedshine) most of this stuff is already there.

Going over this list just now, I feel as if I’m bringing too much or maybe overthinking it. But this is about it and I can guarantee I’ve forgotten something important. (Squirt gums are optional)  I think Sue’s list is similar except for the drawing supplies, she have knitting things and her GPS loaded with cache coordinates.

What no camera? I have a lovely Nikon DSLR that I really haven’t used since I started taking snapshots with my phone.  It has two lenses, lots of memory cards, and takes beautiful pictures, but it’s hard to capture a spontaneous moment when you’ve got so much to check on and set.  If I have room I might include it because of some the picturesque places we will be visiting, but probably not.

ook? I’m ready, are you?

What about Cecil?  His list is pretty easy:

  • Shirts, one for every day (yes, he has enough for even longer trips)
  • Socks
  • Two pair of shoes
  • Book bag filled with buttons – no he doesn’t have a specific button like he had in 2014. With the whole “premium” rebranding he wasn’t sure whether the background would be black or white so he decided not to this time around. So he has some of his monkey buttons.
  • A hat or two

For those who do not know about Cecil, he is a fully registered participant this time around. In 2014 he was included as a “pet” which confused MINIUSA and made Cecil irate that he would be considered at the same level as a dog.  Oh yes, Cecil is a stuffed Monkey, who has MINIons around the world aiding him in his struggle for world domination.  You might see a few at MTTS. Currently that includes raising money for Feeding America, through MINIUSA’s  #defyhunger campaign during MTTS2016. If you would like to help, visit his team page and make a donation. Anyone who donates will get a hand draw monkey (one of Cecil’s MINIons) suitable for doing something with.  No two are alike. End of sales pitch.