Saturday, December 28th, 2013
3 years, 1 month.
You would think that after 865 letters from me, I would have mentioned this already:
One of our regular family activities is, as you word it, to “go to the ‘cycling center.’”
When Toyota provided an Avalon Hybrid for us last week for the review I was writing, I deciced it was finally time to mention recycling to you.
It wasn’t until I drove a car that gets virtually the same miles per gallon in both the city and on the Interstate (about 40 mpg) that I really got in tune with how “California minded” I have become, since marrying Mommy 5 and a half years ago.
I remember when when we first got married, she commented that recycling isn’t as much of a part of the culture here in Tennessee, compared to where she’s from in northern California.
As someone who’s lived in the South my whole life, I could see that… especially as I’ve visited Sacramento each summer for the past 6 years now.
So I personally want to do my part to change my own sense of apathy when it comes to recycling.
(If it weren’t for Mommy, though, I doubt I would make an effort to recycle; to be completely honest. She’s a good influence on me, like that!)
Therefore, we collect our recyclables in our pantry all week, then load up the car every few weekends to drop it off about 20 minutes from our house.
Granted, there are definitely weeks we don’t get around to it and it’s easier to just use the garbage bin instead. It’s not something I’m going to beat myself up over, though.
Fortunately, the recycling center is on the way home from church, so we’re not burning extra gas each week to go recycle… that would be a bit counterproductive.
I admit, it’s a sort of a hassle- it’s one more thing that I don’t want to have to worry about doing over the weekend, when we’re already hard-pressed to find family quality time.
But thinking back on each time we go to the recycling center… you actually love it. To you, I suppose it actually is quality family time.
You’re always so excited to watch me toss the plastic, paper, cardboards, and glass items into the appropriate bins, as you and Mommy watch from the car.
So at least in addition to helping the environment, you’re getting free entertainment out of the deal.
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Wednesday, December 25th, 2013
3 years, 1 month.
Okay, so I think by now, it’s definitely safe to say that I can add “Online Car Reviewer” to my resume on LinkedIn.
Last week Toyota sent us our 4th car to review: A 2013 Avalon Hybrid.
For me, this was pretty epic. If anybody is a huge fan of the electric car, it’s me!
I suppose Toyota has pretty much made it obvious they they have cornered the market of electric cars in America.
Of course, I naturally think of their Prius. So I was really surprised to learn that Toyota also makes hybrid electric/gas Avalons as well.
We tested out the Avalon for its stowing abilities last Thursday when we took your teachers their Christmas gifts. I wanted to get a picture of you next their bag of gifts, but you weren’t interested… not until I popped open the trunk.
You wanted inside, with the gifts. I guess that officially marks the first time you’ve been in the trunk of a car.
Monumental moment… let’s savor it for a minute.
Before going inside your school to deliver the gifts, you wanted to go find a brown leaf to put in your cubby.
You found the best one!
I’m thinking that was your attempt at helping me write my review of the Avalon Hybrid.
Yeah, I see where you were going with it…
Leaves are easily associated with “going green.” It’s just that I’m not too sure how a brown leaf plays into that.
Maybe brown is the official color of hybrid cars? Somehow?
Not sure I fully understand your genius idea yet, but if it ends up being a hit with the marketing department at Toyota, don’t worry, I’ll make sure they give you all the credit for it, Son.
In closing, I really liked the Avalon! It was totally up my alley.
Our family drove it for an entire week, plus we took a 2 and a half hour trek to spend Christmas with my side of the family.
As you can see from this picture, we drove 345 miles on it, with still 157 miles before it would have ran out of gas.
How cool is that? The Avalon hybrid can go about 500 miles before needing to go to a gas station.
Yet, it was like driving a “normal” car… except the fact the first time I tried to start it up, it took me four tries before I realized it was already started- that’s how quiet the thing is.
With it being a hybrid, it apparently knows when it’s better to kick back and forth to “gas” or “electric” mode, accordingly; because each time I stopped at a red light, you always responded the same way:
“Daddy, I hear an owl. I think he has a whistle. Is he flying over us? Where is he? Where’s the owl?”
You were hearing the transition into electric mode. And that transition translates into dollar signs being saved…
I’ll put it this way: The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid gets 40 miles per gallon in the city and 39 on the highway. Basically the same! Annual fuel coast is only about $1350.
So… up to this point, I think this is not only my favorite car I’ve reviewed yet, but Mommy’s too. I’ve got a little more to say about it, but I’ll save it for my next letter to you, about us going to the recycling center.
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 reviews so far; just click on title to read the full story:
2013 Toyota Rav4 Review, From The Dad’s Perspective
Dad Gives 3 Year-Old Son A Monster Truck For Birthday… Sort Of
Nashville Dad Introduces 3 Year-Old Son To Country Music
3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Build-A-Bear
3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Little River Falls, AL
3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving
3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Land Park
3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Mouth Park
We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip… Minivan Style!
It’s Officially Cool To Drive A Minivan Now
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