As reported by Timothy Sipples:

Mini Meet East 2003 gets underway tomorrow here in Orford, Quebec. I took lots of photos today, although I'm having a bit of trouble getting them uploaded. (That may have to wait until this coming weekend.) Missed the fuzzy interior Mini, but I'll be sure to get a photo of that when I see it again. (Groovy, baby.)

Most of the cars here are classic Minis. I saw Minis from as far away as Florida already. An Iowan (British ex-pat) drove his Indi Blue MINI Cooper S here, and we convoyed for about the last 80 miles of highway, passing a
pair of classics with friendly toots, obeying the speed limit of course.

The drive here was long but relatively uneventful. One exception: horrible downpour going through Toronto. (I stayed overnight in Markham, right next to Toronto.) It was one of those torrential downpours which had a fair number of motorists parked beneath the overpasses, hazards on, waiting out the mess. The water couldn't flow off the roads fast enough, and I sloshed through shallow ponds a few times. For about five minutes I passed through rain mixed with peanut-sized hail, wondering if frogs would fall out of the sky next. The hail wasn't big enough to do any damage, thankfully, although it was noisy and made the road surface “interesting.”

They speak French here! As in, not English! I stopped at a bakery and had to struggle, pointing at various things and using my “vast” French vocabulary: “cafe petit” (small coffee) I managed, for example. I pointed to the ice cream case and said “verd” (phonetic), which means green — I
think. Like magic I ended up with a “petit” scoop of pistachio ice cream, just as I requested.

Tomorrow (July 1st) is Canada Day. Happy Canada Day. It's also the day when the Minis (and a few MINIs) in various categories are judged by all the attendees. There's a gorgeous woody wagon with a custom-fitted wooden luggage box in back that's high on my list. The first day looks pretty uneventful if you're not entered into the judging. Otherwise it's a bit like getting your dog ready for a dog show: lots of washing and polishing and prepping. I'll probably go for a bike ride tomorrow before the big group photo at 5:00 p.m. Or maybe afterward. It looks like the planners left plenty of time to vacation, which is nice. Or maybe that's time to
recover from all-night drinking.

Anyway, pictures to follow when I figure out how to get them uploaded. Please pass along any requests.

Sounds like a fantastic time. Can't wait to see the pics!