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General Info | AD Roadtrip

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 (… 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!

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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!

ADRoadtrip Dad And Son Accident

Posted: July 4th, 2009 | Author: jason | Filed under: General Info | Tags: , , | No Comments »

I preface this video post with intense remorse. What I intended to be a fun filled afternoon and evening of Alpine Slide rides and a family meal in Park City, UT, quickly became a painful and worrisome time for everyone.

Honestly, I don’t know what went wrong, I have replayed the accident in my mind a million times. I noticed once or twice that Parker was pushing my left foot out of its slot on the sled, which concerned me because I was wearing flip-flops, but I don’t know if that had any impact on our crash. My flip-flop may have gone between the sled and the track for an instant, but I’m not sure.

Everything in, I just should have taken better care to ensure the safety of my son by going slower down the track. The thought, “don’t just be conservative, be safe” has been stuck in my head. If I was alone, I would have gone faster, but my attempt to go “slower” wasn’t enough, as I have realized with this unfortunate accident.

What was like a safe and stable ride on the sled, instantly transitioned to what felt no more safe than a potato sack on a carnival slide. I have been down that exact slide a dozen times over recent years alone and with my children - I just can’t explain what made this ride dangerously different.

Who I Am & Why It Matters

Posted: May 15th, 2009 | Author: jason | Filed under: General Info | No Comments »

I won’t bore you today with a lot of unnecessary drivel (”too late!”, you’re thinking) about why sticking your ad on my SUV is a good idea and a fun, different kind of campaign. Because that’s all this really is, a campaign… meant for short term spikes in consumer attention.  Sure, I will post your website url at for everyone who visits to click thru, and I will leave this blog running for a really long time with your product highlights, links and mentions. All good. But in the end, it’s really just an effective way to get eyeballs pointed in your direction to generate some “buzz”.

Anyway, so who am I? Well no one really, and that’s good for you - if I were someone famous or important I probably wouldn’t have time to create this clever little advertising opportunity for you and take my family out on the road from Central Texas to the California coast. Like Ashton Kutcher has time to drive across the country with your ad on his car and tweet you up; besides, he would never make it out of the driveway.

That’s where I come in.  If you see me out and about, I probably have my kids with me, and we’re probably having “fun”. When I don’t have the kids, I’m likely out to ride my Giant mountain bike (can’t wait for Park City), watching an action flick in my DIY home theater or getting my hands on some cool gadget at BestBuy.

Macs are awesome, but I don’t hate the PC. And the iPhone changed my life (in a considerably small, yet convenient sort of way). I’m not that complex a guy… I know, not a huge surprise. I have a rock solid driving record, insurance and I can drive exceptionally far in one sitting with an appropriate level of motivation.

I will say that I have a pretty good eye for design and marketing, which for you means that when you advertise (click on the “GRAB” link up above to go to paypal and secure your ad) on this ad road trip, I will be more than willing to make your product interesting. Not like a pig in lipstick, but for the great brand that is behind it, and for all the blood, sweat and tears you put in to it to make it a success.

Over the next several days and weeks you will learn more about me and our road trip… so stay tuned. Jason out!