Toyota Sienna Road Trip

Posted: July 9th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Update | Tags: , , | No Comments »

So we added a minivan to the family for the first time. It was a difficult decision no matter how cool and full featured the 2011 Sienna is.

Our road trip this year will not be the length of last year, but we are looking forward to an extended break.

I’ll add photos and updates on our experience with the Sienna with particular attention to our fun on the road.

Sir Francis Drake Hotel (K)nighted Again

Posted: August 28th, 2009 | Author: jason | Filed under: General Info | No Comments »

I will admit from the outset, that I had mixed expectations of how our stay in San Francisco at The Sir Francis Drake Hotel would ultimately result. We knew going in, that the service would be very high, and the quality of the hotel and room would also be great, but we were concerned how the experience would go for our large, young family.

I’ll get back to that in a minute… let’s talk about the hotel for a minute first.

Location: I think first time visitors and veteran travelers to San Francisco will appreciate the The Drake Hotel’s location right away. Set one block from Union Square, it is the perfect location for shopping, dining and sight seeing. Walk in any direction from The Drake for 5 minutes and you will be surrounded by the most popular retail names, amazing local restaurants, and gobble up some of the Pacific Coast’s most notable historic landmarks.

Accommodations: Our room was without question very comfortable. Beds and bedding, and linens were pristine. The room decor was tasteful in a 19th century classy, throwback kind of way. Very clean, of course, with many great original hardwood accents trimmed with modern touches to complete the room.

Kicking back in style.

Kicking back in style.

Service: There is nothing specific to say about the service, in general, it was very good. We even got a little extra care, that was not expected, when we needed to leave the room early for the day before checkout. The bellman took all of our bags (6 total travelers, I remind you) to the bellman’s closet in secure safe keeping for the day, as a complimentary service.

When we arrived to pick up our belongings and vehicle, we were greeted with the same smile as when we left earlier that day. Nice!

Famous Threads: You can’t miss one of San Francisco’s most photographed icons when staying at The Drake Hotel, because he is the first to greet your entrance and exit - the famous, and the most photographed person in San Francisco, Beefeater doorman, Tom Sweeney. Tom was a great guy, and during our brief conversation, he revealed he was in his 33rd year of service at The Drake - unreal. You know they must be doing something right.

Tom Sweeney and his famous threads.

Tom Sweeney and his famous threads.

Amenities: Walking in off the cool, busy street into the warm, ornately classic lobby and main floor was always a treat… especially for the kids. Chandeliers, handrails and eclectic wall art intrigued and entertained them with each visit (and no dirty looks from staff or patrons for the elevated volume we naturally carried into the space - it’s kind of like they expected it in the city.) Refreshing.

Wonderfully classic lobby.

The wonderfully classic lobby.

Generally speaking, our stay at The Drake Hotel was great, but what made our time in the hotel even better was the extra care the staff demonstrated toward our young children - giving them the extra leeway to jump steps, stomp feet and quibble over turns to push the elevator buttons. They were never out of control, of course, but kids will be kids.

If you are considering a visit to San Francisco, and want to be close to all the Bay city action, then don’t look past The Drake. Large family or small, it is perfect fit for a quick weekend stay or a longer family vacation alike. Give it a look (http://www.sirfrancisdrake.com)… you’ll be glad you did.

An Epic Race for ADRoadtrip

Posted: August 24th, 2009 | Author: Driver X | Filed under: General Info | No Comments »

Run, drive, sleep.  Run, drive, sleep.  Run, drive, sleep for 189 miles.  That was the plan for the Sole Sista’s relay team.  What actually happened was, run, laugh, drive, laugh, toot, laugh (repeated 3x).  And the formula worked for the team of girls from Austin and Salt Lake City…because we came in FIRST PLACE in our category!!  Wooooohoooooo.

Our adventures began in Providence, UT where we stayed a sweet abode the night before the race.  We dined at the ever carbolicious Olive Garden, then we headed home to prepare for the next morning - packing food and decorating the vans.  After all that we were spent and ready for bed.  That lasted 10 minutes.  We shoulda known things wouldn’t stay calm with girls doubled up in beds and people creeping around the house until 3:00 am giggling.

Wake-up sure came early and we hustled over to the starting line, where we were apparently the ‘headliners!’  For this group of exhibitionists, it was the perfect way to start the morning.  We were pumped and waiting for the other teams to show up…but quickly realized there would only be three teams starting with us.  Instead of an anonymous pair of legs running in a sea of people, we were now head to head with our competition and all eyes would be on the THREE of us.  We pulled ahead early and continued to maintain the lead through the entire race!  The route started in Logan, UT and ended in Jackson, WY.  Can you say beeeyootiful?  Evening the nite runs were magnifico.

Through the heat of day and dark critters of the night,  fueled by coolers full of food and 3 hours of sleep…the Sole Sistas kept on keepin’ on and had a blast with this race.  We may have been stanky at the end, but we wouldn’t have traded this experience for anything.  We met some fabulous people - shout out to the Big Dawgs and the Epic team - and had a grandiose time.  ADRoadtrip met the finishers with giveaways from sponsors , EarPollution, iRagz, iFrogz, and Tattoo Armor.  An extra special end to an already exceptional finish.

If you would have asked me a few months ago when we got our training schedule from the “Relayologists” at Epic how this was going to end, I would have replied with faked enthusiasm…gReaT?!  And now…I think I can say we are hooked on these relays and look forward to the next one.  Congrats to the Sole Sistas (Lisa, Dana, Tara, Carrie, Angie, Laura, Heidi, Steph, Noelle, Mari, Tash, and Melissa) for their victory and free entry into a future Epic Relay!

Visit our pics:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/epicctr2009/

and

http://picasaweb.google.com/taracollins78738/Aug152009

ADRoadtrip To Stay In Drake Hotel Style

Posted: July 27th, 2009 | Author: jason | Filed under: Advertiser | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

There are rare occasions in typical American family life, where style, grace and history merge into one complete experience.

Well, we are fortunate to crown our fast approaching visit to San Francisco with two nights in the famous Sir Francis Drake Hotel (www.sirfrancisdrake.com).

Set in the historic Union Square, and boasting four star accomodations, we are sure to have a comfortable and convenient stay in the Bay area.

A full review will follow our arrival and check in.

A complete, update and review are soon to follow…

Block Down On Top Gear

Posted: July 14th, 2009 | Author: jason | Filed under: General Info | No Comments »

Sometimes you find amazing footage online, and sometimes you find it through friends… and rarely do you find something that weaves your favs so tightly that you get goose bumps.

This is one such video… and maybe the future of ADRoadtrip (one can dream, right?)!

Ken Block, the star of the segment, and friend, Ricky Charmichael, show off their world-class skills on Top Gear. Watch the clip… you’ll be glad you did!