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Travel Fever
2,759 Posts
Okay, it's now nine hours later after the original post agove, and we're ensconced in a terrific little hotel at the foot of the Stelvio Pass after a nice dinner and a coupla glasses of some good local Lagrein. The M3 is outside resting up for the 40-something hairpins on the way up to the summit of the Passo dello Stelvio tomorrow, so let me try to fill in the blanks in the rushed message above.

First off, I hope you noticed that I saved my 1,000th post here on the 'Fest for my delivery post. It's not like I'm a B-Fest addict or anything...

Very nice flight from LA to London in Business Class on British Airways. We both slept for something like six hours, which is really saying something, since my previous record for sleeping on an airplane, including 17-hour flights to the Orient, was maybe 15 minutes. Let's hear it for true lie-flat beds, although I was not too thrilled with them initially.

Arrived in Munich without incident and Rolf whisked us to the Hotel Laimer Hof, which is out of the way on a quiet back street near Nymphenburg Palace. We had made prior arrangements to meet Wine-O, (Mike and Maureen from New Jersey in real life), at the Hirschgarten for dinner (picture above) which was very enjoyable. And this morning, they were about half an hour behind us in the process, and we actually took delivery of our cars (theirs a nice 535xi) almost simultaneously, on platforms about 60 feet apart.

A special treat was having Keri-Lynne Shaw walk across the street and visit with us prior to our delivery. We had gotten acquainted three years ago in the course of resolving the problems on our first ED Adventure and she had also helped secure our dates for this trip. It was great of her to afford us the time from her busy schedule. She's the kind of extraordinary person that brings the clammy concept of customer service to life.

Was delighted to have Bernard Hausmaninger as our delivery specialist, and he seemed genuinely tickled to learn he's so well known here on the ED Forum. One curious note is that owners of the M3s do not get the computer orientation or the simulator drive. According to Bernard, it's because the M Division guys said no; some combination of the dollars required and the special nature of the M cars being more suited for a completely hands-on demonstration. You decide.

Everything was going along just fine until we decided to put our stuff in the trunk via Comfort Access. First hitch was that the two rollaboards that had traveled there in my 335 E93 just plain wouldn't fit in the same space in the M3. Apparently the tire goo and compressor add just enough of a height change in the trunk floor that the cargo cover won't close over the bags. Hmm. Didn't anyone in the Engineering Department think to maybe put that stuff somewhere else so luggage would fit? Future E93 M3 potential buyers, consider yourselves warned.

Anyhow, the top went into it's spot okay, but the decklid didn't want to close. Bernard got it to close a time or two by using the key in the door lock, but when trying it again, the top would cycle open and then retract, but the decklid would still stay in the open position. Bernard was able to coax it closed a couple of times with some magical combination of keypresses on the remote and/or the key in the door lock, but it but it finally quit cooperating altogether. There we sat, open-mouthed, with the decklid pointed at the sky as we tried to figure what the frack was happening. Visions of our lost two-and-a-half days from three years ago started pirouetting through our heads as Bernard's expression went from puzzled to stumped to perplexed. We both confessed to thinking, "please, not again….."

We went back upstairs to the Premium lounge where at the food was good, the drinks were cold and it was all free. while the car went to "the workshop" for further attention.

A couple of tense hours passed, and it turned out to be a simple, flukey mistake. When Bernard was answering my question about the missing trunk space, he had put the USA front license plate holder, which is not installed on the car but rather left in the trunk, in the Forbidden Zone where the top mechanism has to live when it's in the closed position, and left it there. The license plate holder is just thin enough that the top could be persuaded to close by someone as experienced as Bernard, but after a few tries, got tired of our chicanery and refused to close altogether. Relocate the license plate holder, and the top works just fine. Large sigh of relief.

I had to dash off the initial message above because Bernard was now way behind schedule and had little patience for me screwing around on the Fest. We rushed through the rest of the demo, spent our cash on food and a BMW logo shirt so Bee doesn't yell at me for my Ferrari gear again, and headed for the northern end of the Stelvio Pass, where we sit at this very moment.

Some Dutch bikers relaxing on the terrace of the hotel restaurant here wanted to know all about the car before we even had the luggage out of the trunk, so I gave them a guided tour, complete with them sitting in the driver's seat and blipping the throttle. Fun for all.

The Spousal Unit says for me to have all the fun I want driving to the top of the pass by myself in the morning, and then come back and get her and the luggage so we can drive it at a more civilized pace that doesn't involve her swearing and grabbing for handholds on every other corner. Sounds like a plan.

Key to today's pics:
Bernard says "..a rock and roll car needs a rock and roll picture". Seems pointless to disagree.

No matter what else is happening, things always start to feel better when we see one of these little beauties.

The Dutch biker buds ride these mountain passes every year, and were shocked that the odo read just 165 miles. I had to explain why.

After the car inspection, we had Hermann, Martyn and Erich join for us for pre-dinner drinks. Road to the top of the Stelvio leads away there in the distance. Zoom-Zoom.

Finally got this to upload after almost three hours of trying. The Ambien is kicking my head in - gotta go...
Looking good!

She lives in Munich now.
What is her position now?
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