I am a bit late in writing this as we have been very busy and so exhausted.
What a trip. Our final send off of MTTS on Saturday was at the Thermal Club Raceway just outside of Palm Springs and it sure lived up to its name. It was about 100 degrees at 8 AM and pretty difficult to deal with. Nevertheless we enjoyed our last supplied breakfast, raffles, free swag, and a few last words from our MINI representatives. People did have the option to sign up for “hot laps” with the trained MINI racecar drivers. The line was huge and I was already done with the heat and did not want to stick around to sit in a hot car so we did not try a hot lap.
We said goodbye to all of our old friends and new friends and took a final group photo in front of the big bus. Desiree, our MC for the entire trip, teared up as she said her goodbyes to everyone. I will admit I had not expected to be emotional about heading home but it hit me – I will not see many of these people for a couple of years, and some maybe never again. We spent the last two weeks on the road with all of these friends and traveled the country together. It was all coming to an end.
We pulled ourselves away from the fun to start heading towards our next destination…we had a day at Universal Studios to look forward to!! It took about 2.5 hours to get there in L.A. traffic. That will be for another blog post however.
This was the most exhausting trip of my entire life (second was the portion of MTTS 2014 I did). It is something you almost have to train for. Yet in some weird way, you are addicted to it! Sleep deprivation, constant driving and pulling clothes from the big suitcase into the small one everyday is part of the entire MTTS experience just like collecting pins at each city, rushing to get free merchandise and parading in the MINIs is. I think this closing photo explains how we feel right about now:
Upon leaving Thermal we immediately noticed fewer and fewer MINIs until we ended up with none traveling with us anymore. Those we did come across did not frantically wave as every MTTS car did. Reality started setting in and we began really missing our friends. We have never felt so alone.
Until 2018 (there was an announcement *something* similar is confirmed for then), motor on my MINI peeps!! Thank you for the experience of a lifetime.