My first exclusive car event

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail inviting me to a small exclusive Scion media launch, and of course being the person to say YES to an opportunity that sounds cool, I obviously agreed. The itinerary was a little backwards for me, but considering I had nothing on the go that day I decided to giv’er and go all out for the experience. It went a little something like this:

  1. Drive myself up to San Francisco during morning rush hour.
  2. We test drive the Scion iM and Scion iA’s down to Santa Cruz.
  3. We eat lunch in Santa Cruz and mingle with the other media attendees.
  4. Drive back in one of the iA or iM vehicles to San Francisco.
  5. I take my own vehicle back and drive it home to San Jose.

So, a lot of back and fourths for me. I’m not one to complain much but by the time I got home it definitely took the good out of me and I was ready for a big ol’ nap, or a good nights sleep.

I filmed a short few clips while I was the passenger for half the trip, so check it out! Some spindly windy roads down to Santa Cruz, it was definitely picturesque, and I can betcha a buck this is most likely where a few car commercials are shot! The roads were breathtakingly beautiful with all those gigantic redwood trees and Cali-views.

After whipping out my vlogging camera to capture some footage for my YouTube channel, I realized I didn’t film or take any photographs of the iA sedan I was in, only the sportier hatchback model: Scion iM. I suppose if you were really into reviewing vehicles, you wouldn’t be on my blog because it’s not a car-review blog. So I’m sure you will be able to find photos of that elsewhere on the internet.

red Scion iMAlthough I’m not even remotely a professional car reviewer I can still give my two cents on what I thought of both the vehicles. Preferably, I am more of a mid-sized hatchback type of gal, and I prefer to feel surrounded by a whole lot of car when I’m driving. As soon as I sat inside the Scion iA sedan, it felt too small for something I would purchase. If you’ve ever sat inside a Toyota Yaris, you would understand the size of the car.

However, I enjoyed taking the Scion iM out for a spin since it feels more versatile and sportier. Does the front end look familiar to you? It was built in partnership with Mazda at the same manufacturer as the Mazda 2’s were, so it has the Mazda 2 chassis and transmission. Something I’m a little familiar with due to me owning a Mazda 3 hatch.

Scion iM2016 Scion iM shown above in the colour Blizzard Pearl, releasing on September 1, 2015 for $18,460 (manual) + $19,255 (automatic). It gets 28mpg city, 37 highway and 32 combined.

The two cars are aimed towards a younger crowd of consumers, newly graduated professionals, buying their first car. The hatchback is a great idea since it’s so diverse, especially if you’re into biking and don’t want a bike rack on the outside of your car (especially considering my husbands bikes cost more than our cars). Fold down the two back seats and you have yourself a safe haven for your pride and joy: the bicycle.

Visit Scion for more vehicle information. Photos below provided by Scion. 

Scion_Family_0022016 Scion iA + iM

2016 Scion iM 402016 Scion iM

2016 Scion iM 722016 Scion iM interior

2016 Scion iA 522016 Scion iA

2016 Scion iA 572016 Scion iA interior

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Mazda CX-5, feels like home

Mazda-CX5-HeaderAs soon as I stepped up to the driver’s seat of the Mazda CX-5 (this is going to sound like I’m buttering up the Mazda people but…) it felt like home.

Now, don’t stop reading just because I stated that. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I currently own a Mazda already. Heyyy?

Mazda-CX5-steering-wheelIt’s also pretty much the reason I felt comfortable driving it all week long. So much so that I ended up putting 500 miles on it during the week I had it. It was almost as if it was all mine, even though those seven days simply flew by. It’s a perfect size, has a bit more room in it than my Mazda 3 hatch, but overall felt the same with regards to driving it.

Alfie seems pretty comfortable in it too.Alfie-in-front-seat

BMC-in-back-of-MazaCX5Remember my 4th of July recap and Santa Clara Uni trip? That was pretty fun.Not to mention all the Instagram pictures I took for the duration. That’s my husbands bike laying flat with the two back seats folded down in it. In my Mazda hatch he has to turn his wheel up  in order for it to fit. But you can see here it has plenty of room.

This was the first car I was disappointed in handing back over the keys to. I walked up the stairs last Friday after walking into the house and my husband asked me if I was okay! His concern for me “losing the car” definitely made me chuckle a bit. Honestly, I really loved driving it. I really loved the looks of it. And I really enjoyed the size.

Santa-Cruz-Mazda-CX5Every car I’ve test drove so far has had an automatic transmission. I’ve taken a driving course with Young Drivers of Canada a few years ago to learn how to drive a stick-shift, and although I can probably drive one if absolutely necessary, I feel more comfortable driving an automatic, especially after all these years of driving. I probably wouldn’t review a car if it were a manual. If anyone ever wants to make fun of me for driving the automatic, they can — and what odds? I don’t see it as a flaw at all, besides, car manufacturers are making and selling many more automatics than manual transmissions these days how it is.

Alfie-smilingIsn’t that the cheesiest photo ever? My dog and I smiling back at one another? Minus the dirty dog-shirt I have on, I say this could easily be in a print ad for Mazda. Don’tcha think?

Inside-Mazda-CX5Adaptive Cruise Control you can set not only the cruise control, but you can also set how far away from the vehicle ahead of you is, and if that car slows down a tad, your car will too. It was definitely a bit of a learning curve to get used to it, especially on the higway when people merge in front of you, you feel like you’re slowing down a little without doing anything. But after a full day of using it I had come to rely on it while on the highway to give my right butt cheek a little break from always hovering over the gas peddle. Just sayin’. In conjunction with that, the ‘dead peddle’ on the left hand side, something I look for in cars when cruising on the road. I need a spot for that left foot when driving an automatic!

Another good feature is the lane assist. If you go over the line when you’re driving, it can either making a beeping noise at you or a vibration noise, whichever you prefer. Great for those travelling on the highway all day every day, commuters. etc.

Mazda-CX-5-side-viewBright and early one morning while taking this exact photo in Santa Cruz, a couple walking down the sidewalk stopped me and said “What a cute little car, what kind is it?” Mazda CX-5 I promptly replied.

Alfie-smile-front-seatWhen I parked it outside one afternoon in our complex, I clearly walked straight past the car and up to a BMW SUV, thinking that it was the Mazda! I suppose they have simiilar traits as to sizing, and the rear of the vehicles, so I thoght that was a bit funny and should be noted here! Looks a bit fancy snazzy hey?

Let’s talk about the cons of the car. I’m not a huge fan of the automatic dimming of the driver’s rear view mirror come darkness. Either I’m getting old and can’t see when it’s dark out, or I prefer being blinded by headlights in the mirror. I didn’t see an option to turn the dimmer off to have it be ‘normal’. Perhaps you can, and my mistake if I’m incorrect. It also has a D-window mini blind spot. Nothing too huge, but that’s where you become more aware of switching over lanes, especially in the dark. You can definitely turn on the blind spot detection but don’t let that be your eyes, use your own two as well. Of course.

If you know the seats in Mazda cars, well, the CX-5 has the same sort of comfort as my 2007 Mazda so if you know what that means, you know your butt can go numb after about an hours drive or so. Considering I’m quite used to it with my car, it didn’t have any affect on me.

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Mazda-CX-5-Rear

Mazda-CX-5What do you guys think of the Mazda CX-5? Pretty snazzy right? As I stated above, I was sad to hand over the keys back to the company that loaned it out to me. Guess that means I’m pretty much sold on it, I mean it’s almost time for me to upgrade my car…. I don’t mind the red colour it comes in, either.

If you’re looking for more information regarding the 2016 Mazda CX-5 check out their website.

Disclaimer: The 2016 Mazda CX-5 was loaned to me for the week for my review. 

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Exploring Coffee Shops: Blue Bottle

Not all coffee shops are created equal, naturally so. I had a fine time hanging out with Megan at Blue Bottle at the Mint Plaza in San Francisco when she lived here. The Mint Plaza location is the only Blue Bottle cafe that serves a full food menu. These photos are from back in April but I still wanted to share the post. I’m pretty much obsessed with Blue Bottle Coffee now, so much so, I scoped out another Blue Bottle location closer to me in Palo Alto. The staff were incredibly sweet with us, and told us a couple of their favourite (and popular) drinks to order.

It was completely packed when we went in there and it’s a small coffee shop to begin with, but we had an awesome time chatting about makeup, and life in general. I miss my bud!

Onto the photos :)

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Blue-Bottle-iced

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Nancy-Megan-BlueBottle

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Blue-Bottle-New-Orleans

Blue Bottle Coffee
Mint Plaza Cafe
66 Mint Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94103

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