Snowshoeing in Pippy Park

GrinI’m going on week 7 of being here in St. John’s Newfoundland, and I’m making the most of spending time up here in my old hometown during this super cold Canadian winter. Last weekend my climbing buddy Lori (who visited me last year for our Yosemite Climbing trip!) and I went snowshoeing around Pippy Park.

NancysnowshoeLori already owned snowshoes, and me being illprepared for how long I was going to be home, didn’t have much snow-gear besides a winter coat and hat. So just like old times, she brought over everything for me to wear to snowshoe.

PippyParkI wore her Arc’teryx snow pants, and her two shell jackets that were super warm, along with a buff to put around my neck, and I even wore her mittens. Man, what a pal… let me tell ya. I had a time! I didn’t even have proper footwear to wear (I leave my UGGs at home, and I only brought my riding boots which aren’t insulated). So I popped on my Mother’s winter boots and went off for a bit of snowshoeing.

LoriNancyoutAt Pippy Park you can rent your gear whether it be cross country skiis, or snowshoes + poles by the hour. They keep your ID and once you get back you pay your fee. It’s so inexpensive too: $5.00/hour. We ended up doing all the loops of the trails (about 4 or 5 loops) and we were going at obviously a walking pace, stopping to take photos, and to chat – and it still was only about an hour to do it all. So for $5.00 and a bit of fun, it was well worth it!

NancyArmsUpI filmed some footage of our adventure, but I don’t have the software here on my Mom’s computer to upload it to YouTube, so that’ll have to wait until I get back to California.

InCar(By the way, had a family friend ask me if anyone in St. John’s was paying me to shout out to local companies. They are not. No one knows I am writing about them … and I don’t get paid for ANY blogging I do – so I suppose you can honestly say you can trust my judgement when I mention places? Lol)

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Driving Lexus performance vehicles on Chuckwalla Valley Raceway

Photos marked with an * were professional photos from the event. 

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering how the whole Palm Springs trip came about, and how it all went down!

PassportI have to tell you, this little Canadian was excited to hop on an airplane and head down south where the palm trees are taller, and the weather it hotter. Giving my praise and appreciation to Jasmine of Simply Real Moms to trust someone she’s never met, to represent her and her brand for an entire event.

Delsey-luggageI packed my Delsey luggage to go on its second airplane ride (my husband used it first to go back to Canada for a few days), and surprisingly it received a lot of attention. Four different people came up to me to compliment the suitcase!

DesleyWore a silly Hello LA tee, and layered my Superdry hoodie over top for extra warmth, since no matter the temperature I seem to have a constant chill.

RCFWhen I first arrived to the Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs I paired up with Melanie the first afternoon to drive in this Lexus RC F 2 door coupe right before we got ready for the presentation and supper.

12357114_10156261513955176_5289841702882844679_oView from my room!

As I stated on Simply Real Mom’s blog post (read my article here), we all (bloggers, influencers and car enthusiasts) gathered for an all women’s Lexus Performance Driving experience in the Lexus F-Sport vehicles (the RC F coupe, and GS F sedan) on the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway.

But before the adrenaline rush of driving on a track in the desert happened, there was a presentation showing us some behind-the-scenes happening at Lexus. They’re actually coming out with a designer line of women’s clothing for their associates to wear, to feel more stylish in, rather than wearing polo shirts to work all the time. The professional photographer snapped this one below*. _JD41619

And just outside the presentation room, there was this gorgeous Lexus LFA.

spiffykerms in Lexus LFAIt’s my husband’s favourite car, and as soon as I sent him this photo of me sitting in it, I knew immediately what his reaction would be: jaw dropping emoji’s flooding through. It’s a $500,000 car, made almost all out of carbon fiber and only 500 of them available in the WORLD. My husband and I visited a Lexus dealership with an LFA in the showroom in Canada when we lived there, but we weren’t allowed to sit in it. Just look. So sitting in it this time, was pretty incredible. Now you see why I mentioned the jaw dropping emojis? Lol.

_JD41995The next morning we were instructed to follow the Lexus GPS and drive out 70 miles east to the racetrack. Rene from Good Enough Mother, and I getting ready to hit the road!*

ChuckwallaEveryone teamed up in two’s to drive 70 miles to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. Rene and I ended up taking the IS 250 out and once we got to the track, we had to do those obligatory photos. You know it!!

_JD42069The Heels + Wheels ladies lined up ready to drive*

Two types of the Lexus F sport vehicles, the Lexus RC F coupe, and GS F sedan were just waiting for us to take them out for a spin on the track. But firstly, everyone needed to learn how to drive on the track properly, and efficiently so professional driving instructors took us all under their wings and showed us the ropes roads. I don’t know much about cars to be honest, but I do know I love to drive them. So hearing that the Lexus F-brand vehicles are the highest Lexus performing vehicles allowed on roads! Nuts, and so awesome at the same time.

12375121_10156261550885176_6243242416865427425_oLexus lunch tent*

Lunch was served, and we all gathered in for a buffet style feast — everything tasted excellent and was top notch. Though, I must admit I wolfed down my lunch in order to get more track-time in under my belt. You couldn’t hold me back! I wanted to learn everything I could, not to mention I have the need for speed.

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helmets-onEach loop I went out on, on the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, I requested a professional driving instructor to come with me. I wanted to learn as much as I could, as I drove. Jeff was my favourite instructor, as he had some excellent tips to fine tune my driving, not for the track racing, but for the regular streets too. Not to mention the fact, because when with someone I could play a little harder and push the pedal to the metal when I knew there was someone telling me that I could giv’er on the straight-aways. I’m not-so-surprised that I’ve been told I was a confident driver. I suppose it’s all the Canadian winters I’ve driven in since moving to California, knowing exactly when to let off the throttle if I was going in for a too steep of a turn.

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_JD42602A couple of photos of me in the RC F, and GS F out on the track!! *

Lexus, I gotta say you make some exceptional vehicles. It was definitely a spirited driving experience out on Chuckwalla last week. The F-Brand sport vehicles certainly hug your curves while hugging the turns and bends in the road, and what fun it is to drive. I felt confident in the cars ability to make each turn without thinking of its lack of performance.

My adrenaline rush is coming back through my hands, reliving the moment as I type this out. I mean, can we do it all over again? I’m ready for it!

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Leaving-Palm-SpringsCouldn’t wipe that smile off my face even leaving the Ritz Carlton in Palm Springs. But don’t be fooled by my grin. I was sad to leave, but happy that this experience happened, and I’m still on Cloud 9 you guys!

Delsey-ChateletDon’t forget to check out the videos I posted: Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 on my YouTube channel.

Huge hugs and huge thanks to Jasmine for sending me to represent Simply Real Moms, and to Delsey luggage for supplying me with gorgeous luggage.

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Our spontaneous trip to Monterey and Carmel

Trip-with-Lexus-headerWe had some of our Canadian friends come down to visit us a few weekends ago. I gotta tell you. I love it when visitors come to stay at our place — I enjoy hosting friends and family, plus our home looks really awesome for a few weeks there after — dusting is completed, the floors freshly washed, it’s all around a nice feeling.

Blue-skies

OlympiansOlympians lined up. Who can spot Kara Goucher?

While I had the Lexus NX200t to review for the week, we decided to join our Canadian friends as they drove south to Carmel + Monterey for the weekend. Their plan was to run a half marathon, and then finish their drive back down to SoCal to visit more friends.

Walk-to-LexusMy husband and I loaded up the Lexus Nx200t, with Alfie in tow (including his crate for him to sleep in at night) and made the drive down to Carmel-By-The-Sea, where we hunkered down at our favourite place, Hofsas House — you guys know that place all too well by now I’m sure, as this was my third visit to warm and welcoming Hofsas (see our 2 day honeymoon + girls weekend trip!).Hofsas-roof

Hofsas-Street

Feet-and-AlfieHofsas-view

Alfie-in-CarmelOur room at Hofsas House this time, ended up having its own private balcony. It was excellent to have breakfast out there, overlooking the ocean in the distance, and it wasn’t too chilly either. A perfect time of year to pop down for a visit.

Can you tell Alfie was demanding satisfaction here in this photo? He’s getting a bit more bold lately, scratching your arm for attention or belly rubs and won’t stop until you give in. Mr. Bossy Boots is his new nick name you guys…I think it fits :) Hofsas-balcony

Minutes before registration to sign up for the the Big Sur Half Marathon closed, my husband casually decided he too was going to run the race with our 2 Canadian buddies. WHAT? I mean, how can you just do that without even training? Although, his everyday workout routine pretty much consists of hours and hours of exercise (whether it be biking or running) so I suppose that means he’s always in tip-top running shape for a half marathon the very next day.

However, I had made plans for us to have supper at The Grill (where we had our supper on our 2 day honeymoon just the previous year!), and I wasn’t about to cancel because he decided to sign up for a half marathon (many people prefer to have a bland carb loading meal before a race like that). But we dined at the busy Grill and had a delicious warm meal with dessert to boot.The-Grill

BigSur-HalfHe doesn’t like me posting many photos of him, so unfortunately no photos of him running the race were captured by me. But let me tell you how fast his lil’ legs can go. He not only bet his half marathon time (sub 1:20), but he came in with the Olympians. I literally screamed when I saw him, it was unexpected especially with our large supper the previous night.

After the half marathon was over, the runners all went back to their hotels, showered and got ready for checking out of the hotel + lunch. Monterey-walkHi Jenny!

Since we had Alfie, we needed a dog-friendly place (which isn’t difficult to find because I feel like Monterey and Carmel (basically all of California) is the epitome of dog-friendly places, including restaurants).Carmel-Monterey

The 6 of us ate at this cute hipster spot called Wild Plum. A few of us got sandwiches, the rest got big ol’ yummy breakfasts. I always choose a sandwich over breakfast. How about you?Lunch-in-Monterey

After we said our good-bye’s to our Canadian buddies, we wanted to take advantage of having the rest of the afternoon free, and not drive back up to South Bay just yet. So we ended up aimlessly driving the renowned, beautiful Highway 1 coast until I think we got to Big Sur. I haven’t got a clue because the bridges all looked the same. I’m sure we were close to it. Right? :)Alfie-me-lookout

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Snapping-Pics

Rock-Creek-BridgeExcited-Lexus

I’m pleasantly surprised with the fuel efficiency of the luxury Lexus Nx200t, eats up about the same amount of gas as my little Mazda 3 hatch. Not to mention the Lexus’ gorgeous red interior. I made sure to drive the vehicle every single day the week I had it. Even took it to San Francisco on my last day, just to visit a new-to-me coffee shop. One thing that stuck out to me with the Lexus, is that when it’s in reverse, it of course has the rear back up camera — BUT — the camera shows you the wheel rotation. I don’t usually like to use back-up cameras (because I only have the car a week and don’t want to get used to it), but you bectcha bottom dollar I used it this time, it was too cool.

Lexus-NX200tFsportI even convinced a dude on Twitter to get the Nx20ot over another vehicle he was looking at, which I thought was kinda neat. I mentioned to him a few key things I thought were pretty spiffy looking. The front of the Lexus has a mean-lookin’ grill on the front of it, so it isn’t too “girly” looking. The cargo space in the back is limiting, so if you’re looking for a family car to store a bunch of kids hockey gear or suitcases, perhaps it’s not for you. Though, a fun and fast lil’ vehicle to drive with hip hugging seats. It’s not even that outrageous in pricing, considering it is luxury. This model is $43.3k. I definitely thought the MRSP would be higher.

Hanging-out-window

Many thanks to Lexus for the car to review for the week, Hofsas House for providing a warm welcomed stay, and to The Grill for the wonderful grub. 

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