Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flow MINI Raleigh Grand Opening

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Back in January a handful of us THMMCers made it over to the new Flow MINI Raleigh when they first opened.  Things were still being constructed at that time.  I've also been over there a couple times for some service the past couple months as they've been in a "soft opening" phase.  But the big day finally got here - the official Grand Opening on May 15, 2010.

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The day's festivities started early with a scavenger hunt in the Raleigh area.  We gathered at Flow MINI Raleigh at 8:30 a.m. to receive our clue packages and we were sent off.  For this hunt, my co-pilot was my son William.  Our first goal was the Observation Park at RDU.  Luckily for us, we were traveling with a pack of MINIs on 540 over to the airport and the lead MINI knew where they were going.  After finding the answers to some trivia questions and getting a pic of the control tower, it was off to Crabtree Valley Mall.

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At the mall we probably picked up some time as we were supposed to find some MINIs in the mall.  William had been there a few times with his Nanny, so he knew right where to go.  After that, we shot over to North Hills Mall where a British Car Show was gearing up.  Got a pic of William with a classic and counted classic British cars.  Also, we got to see a Tesla out there.  We then shot over to the original Snoopy's on Old Wake Forest Road - a location I knew well since it is across the street from an auto shop that my father worked with.

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After that, we headed downtown for pics and clues at several locations like the Executive Mansion, the Capitol Building, the Museum of History, Mordecai Park, and one of the convention centers.  From there we headed over to the Farmer's Market.  I really hate going over there during these scavenger hunts as it is always very frustrating trying to find the vendor that has your next clue.  We then rode over to the NCSU campus for some info at the Bell Tower and then Cup A Joe.  I got to see the new streetscape project on Hillsborough Street.  That really makes things different compared to when I went to school there.

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We continued on out of town with stops at the Vet School, the Hunt Horse Complex, Carter-Finley Stadium, and finally the Museum of Art, before heading back to Flow MINI Raleigh.  We didn't win the scavenger hunt, but I felt pretty good as we found all the clues, answered all the questions, and got all the pics we were supposed to get.  And at one point, William even noted that "this is fun."  Flow provided us with some lunch and we checked out some of the MINIs (they have a nice convertible S in Chili Red).

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Near the end of our time there, we got to talking with the balloon lady.  She wasn't having much luck as there were very few kids there.  After politely declining her entreaties to make a balloon, William finally relented and agreed to let her do a little face painting.  We figured she would just do a little something on his cheek.  But no.  She did a full on paint job over his entire face, making him look like a wolf (including eyes painted on his eyelids).  We got a good laugh out of that and I noted for William that he had made the balloon lady happy to finally have something to do and we noticed another young boy who got his face painted after seeing it could be done.  So that was a little bit of happiness he brought to two people at a small cost to himself.  So that was a nice little life lesson to close out the day.

Flow MINI Raleigh did a good job with the grand opening.  The scavenger hunt was fun, we got some free food, and got to spend some time seeing other THMMCers.  And I got to spend some time with my son doing something fun and a little bit offbeat.  Be sure to check out the photo gallery for all the pics we had to get as part of the scavenger hunt as well as some others.

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