Posts Tagged ‘ car review ’

Lightning McQueen, Donatello, Batman, Play-Doh… Nuff Said!

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Today I write this time capsule for you to preserve the kind of stuff you’re into at this stage in your life.

As I mentioned in my last letter to you, Donatello the Ninja Turtle is pretty epic for you right now.

He goes everywhere with you!

And he’s always so happy to be there; often just slouching in his seat with a big cartoon grin on his face.

Recently he watched you cram Play-Doh into the medicine dispencer while you were dressed in your Batman pajamas.

Then, a few days later, while wearing your Lightning McQueen shirt, you asked me to make you a Play-Doh anteater, only to have you “chomp it” with some tongs, running a circle around me.

These are the kinds of things you love to do these days.

So, as you know, we drive a new Toyota (or Lexus or Scion) vehicle each week, as I have unexpectedly (!) become a car reviewer on the side; as a result of writing these letters to you.

This week we’ve had a lot of fun in our real-life Lightning McQueen:

A 2014 Scion tC!

This marks the first time we’ve driven a 2 door car with you. Though actually, it’s considered a “3 door liftback,” which you’ve had a lot of fun with.

Oh, that reminds me, you bought a $5 purple elephant from Kohl’s who you named Ellie. She’s been following you around everywhere that Donatello doesn’t go.

To my surprise, only having two doors (or three) hasn’t been a problem in this car.

Something you like about the Scion tC, or “Lightning McQueen car,” as we call it, is that it actually has two moonroofs- one over me and then a smaller one over you.

Needless to say, I felt pretty special this week chauffering you around in such a cool looking car.

This is your random life and mine.

Just as I wonder which new car I’ll be driving next week, I also wonder what new weird toy you’ll be obsessed with for that week as well.

I have to admit, I am pretty impressed by your creativity, shown through your new play idea of meticulously stuffing a medicine dropper with Play-Doh. You never smiled once while doing it. That’s how serious you took the event.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Scion, for the purpose of reviewing.

P.S. Here’s a collection of my Toyota family reviews so far; just click on title to read the full story:

2014 Toyota Corolla: Surviving The Solar Vortex Of 2014: Icicles And All

2014 Lexus LS 460: 2014 Lexus LS 460 Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveJourney To Howard’s Chapel (The Church Built Into A Rock)Ironically Driving A Lexus To See A Dinosaur Named Junkasaurus WrecksWhat Parents Do When The Kids Are Asleep With The GrandparentsGrandma Regifts As-Seen-On-TV “Perfect Polly” To Great-GrandsonI’ve Heard Of Sleepwalking, But… Sleep-Eating And Sleep-Playing?

2014 Scion tCLightning McQueen, Donatello, Batman, Play-Doh… Nuff Said!

2013 Avalon Hybrid: 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveA Family That Recycles Together Doesn’t Decompose

2013 Toyota Rav4: 2013 Toyota Rav4 Review, From The Dad’s Perspective

2014 Toyota Tundra: Dad Gives 3 Year-Old Son A Monster Truck For Birthday… Sort OfNashville Dad Introduces 3 Year-Old Son To Country Music3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Build-A-Bear3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Little River Falls, AL3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Land Park3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Mouth Park

2013 Toyota Sienna: We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip… Minivan Style!It’s Officially Cool To Drive A Minivan Now

 

 

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Surviving The Polar Vortex Of 2014, Icicles And All

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

I think it’s safe to say that this is the coldest weather you’ve ever been exposed to, considering it was 6 degrees on the way to school today.

And really, I think these are the most arctic conditions that Mommy or I have experienced as well.

Just look at the car, if you can through all the snow and ice… and icicles. This is the Polar Vortex of 2014.

(A polar vortex is a large-scale cyclone, by the way.)

Not only is it literally freezing outside, but it’s remaining below freezing- for days straight. We’re not quite used to that here in Nashville.

I didn’t even realize we had an “emergency heat” setting on our thermostat until a few days ago; nor did I really know how to use it.

Apparently, if I know the temperature is going to be below freezing, I’m supposed to turn on the emergency heat to keep ice from forming on the fan outside.

Otherwise, it makes this loud “lopsided washing machine” sound. The emergency heat setting both fixes and prevents this problem.

But without any accumulating snow outside, the Polar Vortex of 2014 isn’t that exciting for you- it just means Mommy has to bundle you up like the little brother Randy on the classic 1983 movie, A Christmas Story.

The pictures of the 2014 Toyota Corolla that we’ve been driving this week really do serve as a great illustration of what life has been like during a polar vortex like this.

I’d say that’s the main way life has been altered this week- in regards to our cars. I’ve had to get up early enough to defrost the snow and ice from our cars; definitely not used to that.

The Corolla is actually the smallest and sportiest car we’ve ever ridden in together, so far. I’m not used to being able to so easily squeeze into the traffic flow on the notorious Old Hickory Blvd East merge from I-65.

When we were driving the Tundra during the week of your 3rd birthday, the sheer presence of that huge monster of a truck seemed to intimidate people into letting me merge over. It’s been the opposite with the Corolla because no intimidation has been necessary.

Like a ninja, I have been able to swipe over in front of the car in the left lane before they even saw me coming.

I don’t want to make it seem like the Polar Vortex of 2014 is over; we’re still in the middle of it. But so far, we’ve yet to deal with a dead car battery, busted pipe, or dangerous road conditions. Sadly, I miss 55 degree weather.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.

P.S. Here’s a collection of my Toyota family reviews so far; just click on title to read the full story:

2014 Lexus LS 460: 2014 Lexus LS 460 Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveJourney To Howard’s Chapel (The Church Built Into A Rock)Ironically Driving A Lexus To See A Dinosaur Named Junkasaurus WrecksWhat Parents Do When The Kids Are Asleep With The GrandparentsGrandma Regifts As-Seen-On-TV “Perfect Polly” To Great-GrandsonI’ve Heard Of Sleepwalking, But… Sleep-Eating And Sleep-Playing?

2014 Toyota Corolla: Surviving The Polar Vortex Of 2014, Icicles And All

2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid: 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveA Family That Recycles Together Doesn’t Decompose

2013 Toyota Rav4: 2013 Toyota Rav4 Review, From The Dad’s Perspective

2014 Toyota Tundra: Dad Gives 3 Year-Old Son A Monster Truck For Birthday… Sort OfNashville Dad Introduces 3 Year-Old Son To Country Music3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Build-A-Bear3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Little River Falls, AL3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Land Park3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Mouth Park

2013 Toyota Sienna: We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip… Minivan Style!It’s Officially Cool To Drive A Minivan Now

 

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Grandma Regifts As-Seen-On-TV “Perfect Polly” To Great-Grandson

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

On Christmas Eve, we took you to go visit one of my grandmas; Nonna’s Mama.

Though you’ve visited her throughout your life, I feel this time was when the light really came on for you, as you curiously confirmed what I explained on the way there:

“Your Grandma is Nonna’s Mama?” you asked.

I see how you are starting to process the concept that a family is more than just a Daddy and a Mommy and a kid.

Also as of recent, you are understanding a family can be less than that, too, as you explained to me one of the characters of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, via Netflix:

“That owl doesn’t have a Mommy. He just has a Daddy.”

We took my Grandma a special Christmas gift, Perfect Polly; which is a “lifelike parakeet” that “never needs feeding.”

(Every time we go to see my Grandma, she always talks about how much she enjoys looking out her window and watching the birds eat seeds from the feeder.)

However, my Grandma instantly offered Perfect Polly to you…. and you gladly accepted. For some reason, you renamed the plastic bird “Sherry.”

Seriously, how random is that? Who would you even know with that name? That’s like naming a bird “Linda” or “Tammy” or Brenda.”

Just like how I started recently making you photo collages to accompany these letters I write you, I noticed that my Grandma keeps a photo collage of family next to her on her bulletin board; many of the pictures being of our family over the years.

Granted, you’re 3 years old, and your attention span is only so long. So after a little while, you and your cousin Calla decided to comb the halls with Papa, in a community wheelchair you found.

Of course, to you it’s not a wheelchair; it’s probably a monster truck, somehow.

I’m glad we got to see my Grandma. I want you to remember her.

Even if you spent half the time playing in the hallway, at least you did get to speak with her and she was able to see how big you’re getting.

After we left, we took you and “Sherry” to go see some Christmas lights in the Lexus LS 460 we were driving for the week; for my car review I was working on.

This Christmas we didn’t really venture too far into the Santa Claus aspect of things.

It was almost like you weren’t quite ready for that.

I feel that we kept things a bit simpler. Our Christmas holiday was more about spending quality time with family.

Speaking of, you were quite fascinated by our fancy ride in the Lexus as we drove through one of the biggest Christmas light displays I’ve seen in a while.

As Nonna put it, “This is like being in our own limo!”

You even got to see Mickey Mouse! (The blurry red figure in the upper left side of the collage.)

I like keeping things simple and nostalgic and eccentric.

Ultimately, aren’t those things what family is anyway?

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Lexus, for the purpose of reviewing.

P.S. Here’s a collection of my Toyota family reviews so far; just click on title to read the full story:

2014 Lexus LS 460: 2014 Lexus LS 460 Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveJourney To Howard’s Chapel (The Church Built Into A Rock)Ironically Driving A Lexus To See A Dinosaur Named Junkasaurus WrecksWhat Parents Do When The Kids Are Asleep With The GrandparentsGrandma Regifts As-Seen-On-TV “Perfect Polly” To Great-GrandsonI’ve Heard Of Sleepwalking, But… Sleep-Eating And Sleep-Playing?

2013 Avalon Hybrid: 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveA Family That Recycles Together Doesn’t Decompose

2013 Toyota Rav4: 2013 Toyota Rav4 Review, From The Dad’s Perspective

2014 Toyota Tundra: Dad Gives 3 Year-Old Son A Monster Truck For Birthday… Sort OfNashville Dad Introduces 3 Year-Old Son To Country Music3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Build-A-Bear3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Little River Falls, AL3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Land Park3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Mouth Park

2013 Toyota Sienna: We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip… Minivan Style!It’s Officially Cool To Drive A Minivan Now

 

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2014 Lexus LS 460 Review, From The Dad’s Perspective

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

After reviewing four different Toyotas over the past couple months, you and I got a really special treat for the week of Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, “the nice man” drove to Nonna and Papa’s house where we were staying in Alabama to pick up the 2013 Avalon Hybrid we loved so much and replaced it with… a 2014 Lexus  LS 460!

It would be an understatement to say this is the nicest car I’ve ever driven or ridden in.

As Mommy put it, “This is like being in a private jet!”

Christmas morning, “the guys” (that’s you, me, Papa, and your uncle Andrew) took the Lexus out for a spin; just to see what it was capable of.

When you have access to a luxury car with 4.6 liter, 386 horsepower, four cam, 32 valve V8 engine, you need to find somewhere to go; in style and speed.

At 8:23 on Christmas morning in the small mountain town of Fort Payne, AL, there just aren’t a lot of people out.

We owned the road.

Not simply because we were basically the only car on it, but because we were driving the equivalent of a fancy flying car.

The Lexus LS 460 has a special setting called Sport +, which basically enables to run fully loaded.

Yeah, we liked that setting.

I loved looking around the car seeing everyone get sort of thrown back against the seats as the Lexus quickly transitioned into higher gears.

(Seatbelts on and speed limits obeyed, of course. Well, at least I’m positive about the seatbelts part.)

The Lexus LS 460 has so much power, that going 70 mph feels like 50 mph.

It feels fast just sitting at the stop sign.

Needless to say, “the guys” loved testing out the Lexus.

And to imagine, I haven’t mentioned where we actually drove it!

I have plenty more to say about the car, as well as, our random and quirky adventures we took in it, so stay posted.

To be continued…

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Lexus, for the purpose of reviewing.

P.S. Here’s a collection of my Toyota family reviews so far; just click on title to read the full story:

2014 Lexus LS 460: 2014 Lexus LS 460 Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveJourney To Howard’s Chapel (The Church Built Into A Rock)Ironically Driving A Lexus To See A Dinosaur Named Junkasaurus WrecksWhat Parents Do When The Kids Are Asleep With The GrandparentsGrandma Regifts As-Seen-On-TV “Perfect Polly” To Great-GrandsonI’ve Heard Of Sleepwalking, But… Sleep-Eating And Sleep-Playing?

2013 Avalon Hybrid: 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveA Family That Recycles Together Doesn’t Decompose

2013 Toyota Rav4: 2013 Toyota Rav4 Review, From The Dad’s Perspective

2014 Toyota Tundra: Dad Gives 3 Year-Old Son A Monster Truck For Birthday… Sort OfNashville Dad Introduces 3 Year-Old Son To Country Music3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Build-A-Bear3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Little River Falls, AL3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Land Park3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Mouth Park

2013 Toyota Sienna: We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip… Minivan Style!It’s Officially Cool To Drive A Minivan Now

 

We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip… Minivan Style!

It’s Officially Cool To Drive A Minivan Now

 

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