Get your head out of the gutter Mom. Learning how to drive a stick shift (or manual transmission for the techies) is a perfect skill to add to your bucket list. Not only does the manual shifting of gears give you more power and control, but it could be necessary in an emergency (think James Bond in Die Another Day), renting a hot European driving machine in the South of France, being a DD to a friend in a race car, or driving on icy roads (last but not least). I have owned a couple of manual cars and was fortunate to learn on my Dad’s before I ruined my own clutche(s) (thanks Dad). But I must admit, the control over the car and the jaw-dropping stares by people as I stepped into my car in stilettos and didn’t stall was worth every ounce of effort.
Ostrich. That’s what I can be when it comes to anything mechanical. Planes, trains and automobiles are amazing, as long as they work. Lately, I’ve had a boat engine not start, my Vespa not engaging into gear and the brakes on my son’s bike falling off. I need to do better. I need to understand maintenance on a much higher level – or at the very least be diligent about getting my vehicles serviced regularly.
Pandemic life has bestowed blessings as well as challenges. Working and schooling from home for over six months hasn’t been the easiest, but our family unit is certainly closer. What we have missed deeply is a change of scenery. When BMW reached out to have the family test out the 2020 BMW X3 30e for a couple of day trips, we jumped at the chance!
Road trip season is upon us and while we understand why you’re considering faking a flat tire to avoid the imminent whining from the back seat— we challenge you to put aside your fears and create lifelong memories along the ribbons of roads that cross North America. CTV Morning Live invited me on set to chat about these trip tips, and—while organizing for the segment—the nostalgia swept over me and I wanted to share some of my personal family road trip tips with you.
With summer only a few sunrises away, many families in North America are planning to gas up, hit the open road, and spend some quality time together. Whether your road trip is going to last a few days or stretch over many weeks, cramming a family into a small space can be a catalyst for stress and worry. We believe that your road trip should consist of more memory-making than worry-creating, so here are a few tips to help ease the potential stressors that may arise so you can focus on family.
There’s nothing quite as thorough as when you test a vehicle you are actually considering purchasing. And having an off-road track too. That’s always helpful. In need of a new Mom car that doesn’t make me feel unsexy, old or timid, I flew off to California to see how the 2019 Honda Pilot could fit into the life of an active family.
Though tech, styling and storage are usually at the top of my list, in the drive portion of the evaluation I was really looking for pep in the transmission. My current vehicle is having trouble shifting, and these lags make me immediately nervous. In my post-40 years, challenges like this don’t induce anger but heightened insecurity, and a jumpy driver is an unsafe driver. (It’s easier to get a good car than a good therapist).
When you are choosing a vehicle for your family, you tend to think rationally. Value and reliability tend to top the list of checkboxes. But isn’t family life hard enough? Adulting can get pretty boring, so we need to balance it out with some passion. Spontanaity. Vigour. Where is the dream sports car of your youth that spikes adrenaline and has you feeling proud to slip behind the wheel? The one you drove down the shoreline that looked prestigious, sleek and fast. You actually wanted to dress up a bit to go for a spin. The brilliant minds at Acura realized that their previous best-selling RDX was constantly chosen as a family vehicle for all the right rational reasons, but even when you ‘grow up’, fun and passion must still play a part. Adding expensive details and high performance into the new first in a generation 2019 Acura RDX, they have created a sport sedan utility vehicle that elicits a gutteral, emotional response just to look at it. But wait until you get behind the wheel. Or in the back seat. In my view, the 2019 Acura RDX as a family vehicle hits all the highs for both the brain and the soul.
The more I see of my birthplace, I wish I had explored extensively and heard tons more stories from locals as I grew up. I am feeling abundantly thankful for Chevrolet Canada for inviting me to drive the amazing Traverse around the Bay of Fundy. Youth may be wasted on the young, but travel at any age is never a waste. Even in your own backyard. I vow to take as many road trips and holidays as I possibly can with my family in order to broaden our minds and strengthen our bonds. The kids will have to do the trek through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia with me in the future, because there is nothing like the Maritimes. Sociable!
I recently took the Ford 2017 Edge Ti for a spin and I was quite impressed. When I was behind the wheel, I felt as if I was driving the Batmobile or an F1 car even though I was at a normal height from the ground! The brightness of the interior as you get into the vehicle was immediately apparent, given the extra large sunroof that spans the length of the car.