Posts Tagged ‘ Christmas vacation ’

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…





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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2012 Christmas Vacation Family Road Trip Checklist

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

In a couple of days, we will be loading up the Honda and making the 3 hour journey to my hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama to spend the Christmas holiday with my side of the family.

There is definitely potential for this road trip to be stressful…for all of us. So I want to do my part to make this as easy as possible for our family.

I’ve compiled a “2012 Christmas Vacation Family Road Trip Checklist” for us to go by. Let’s take a look:

For the car: snacks, bottled water, toys, books, crayons and coloring book, clean-up wipes and/or Kleenex, sunglasses, travel blanket, small garbage bag, iPod/CD’s

Necessary electronics: cellphone and charger, camera and charger, laptop and charger, compact DVD player and DVDs

For the destination: the Christmas gifts and cards, food to contribute to the Christmas dinner, family tradition activities (like board games and playing cards)

Toiletries: diapers, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, contacts and contact solution, razor, unmentionables

Clothes: underwear, socks, t-shirts, casual and dress shoes, outdoor play clothes, indoor play clothes, church clothes, warm coat, light jacket, pajamas, hats

It seems that no matter how hard we try to prevent it, we always end up forgetting to pack something. I’m not saying this year will be the exception, but it’s worth a shot.

I designed the list with you in mind. In particular, I asked myself, “How can I do my best to keep Jack from being bored and/or hungry?”

We will pack some of your favorite toy trains, stuffed animals, plenty of Goldfish crackers in plastic baggies, a blanket for you to “make a house” with in the back seat, and even the Carbon Leaf CD which has several of the songs from the soundtrack to your favorite movie, Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!

If you’re happy, then Mommy’s happy, and that means I’m happy.

Now, let’s start packing…





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7 Reasons a Vacation with a Baby is No Vacation

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

One year.

The term “family vacation” may simply exist as a hilarious oxymoron; especially when you have a toddler. While planning a road trip across Florida recently, my expectations were exactly where they needed to be: low. And as I expected, I therefore wasn’t disappointed.

Though it was very tough flying all the way to Sacramento with our son when he was only 8 months old, at least we had plenty of family awaiting us to help out. (My wife is the 9th of 10 kids.) But when you don’t have family to help soften the blow, an attempt at a vacation is simply that- an attempt.

Taking a vacation with a baby is like winning a free iPhone with a cracked screen. Or getting off work early due to inclement weather and then getting stuck in bad traffic. It’s like eating a trendy $4 cupcake but it being your least favorite flavor: Butterscotch.

Perhaps the best word for a vacation with a baby is “adventure,” which promotes the idea of excitement of the unknown and as well as the great possibility of setbacks. Here are 7 reasons a vacation with a baby is no vacation:

1. You can’t sleep in. Man, the thought of waking up lazily at 8:30 AM on my own, without a baby alarm clock is simply, unimaginable. Nice thought, though.

2. The irregular schedule throws off your baby’s sleeping patterns. We’ve been back for over a week now and our son still hasn’t quite adjusted back to not only Central Time, but also actually being able to sleep when he’s ready to.

3. You can’t ever mentally relax; even while you sleep. It’s more likely that your kid is going to wake up in the middle of the night. And while you’re awake, there is no pause button with your child.

4. You become stressed out about finding meals. When you have to synchronize your own hunger cues along with your child’s, while finding an appropriate restaurant to stop at, it’s not too surprising having driven yourself all the way across the Florida Keys without lunch. A sleeping baby in a car overrides the growling of two adults’ stomachs.

5. You and your spouse barely have time to talk to each other about anything other than the stress of the trip. When you do, it’s smarter just to fall asleep. So much for quality time.

6. Planning activities wears you out. You want to see all the cool tourist spots, but you also want to be able to relax. But you can’t relax anyway (as mentioned in #3) so it becomes easier just to distract yourself with the vacation activities themselves.

7. You become aware of the fun you’re missing out on as adults. So much for a simple date night at the bar of the hotel. It’s easier to settle for a bottle of Boone’s Farm from the gas station down the street, enjoyed in the splendor of two glass cups from your hotel’s bathroom counter.

But hey, this is what we know as normal now. I’ll sleep in when I’m dead.

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