When Kelly got in touch with me a month or two ago about participating in a Lexus Safety Event, I was hesitant at first, having grown up “a Chevy” and being Not-Quite-Yet-Married into a Chrysler family, but thought I’d give it a whirl.
That experience, as a whole, was one of the greatest automobile experiences I have ever had. Having the ability to tangibly compare the realm of safety features, activated and deactivated in the vehicles, was something I had never really considered when looking into new cars.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, Kelly has this grand idea to approach Lexus about sponsoring a road trip up to Saint George, UT for Bloggy Bootcamp. I could not have been more all in if she’d gotten on her knees and called me master. I was seriously that impressed with the Lexus line after a few short hours behind the wheel of a handful of their models. A successful one-sheet proposal later, and we were packing our bags faster than you can say “Sally Sat On Sam’s Saggy…” um, right. Appropriate vehicle review.
We departed on our journey after fiddling with all of the features of the 2011 RX350 we were lent. You guys, that manual, is like a dictionary but with less big words and more suspense than a teen novel about vampires. I won’t say it. You know I refuse. I could have should have busted that bad boy out whenever we stopped for the night. I never imagined gasping in awe at the details of a vehicle user manual before this trip. From the Lexus Enform system (operated by a mouse on the center console. Yes, that kind of mouse!) to the flick-of-the-wrist ease to lay the back seats down, I wanted to dabble with everything in that car. Every. Last. Thing.
First stop on our way out of town was, naturally, Sonic to grab some human fuel for the road ahead. Super neat feature alert: the side mirrors fold in for tight spaces, much like the car-side option at drive-in style food establishments. It’s as easy as pressing a button, conveniently located on the driver’s side door panel. Boom. No taking out side view mirrors. This was also my opportunity to use the auto window functionality. I love windows that roll down automatically, but sitting there holding the button in the up position for what seems like fooooorrrreeeeevvveeeerrrrr can get old, fast. This car, hold me closely, offers auto windows in BOTH directions. There was a gerbil like noise of excitement that escaped my body when I made this fascinating discovery. Kelly can vouch for the ridiculousness of me at the “tiny stuff”. Sometimes, it’s the tiny stuff that seals the deal though. Am I right?
As night fell over Phoenix, it was onto the open road we drove. The fall air became more brisk and the in-dash thermometer gauge read “eighteen degrees” (I think it should have read “bahaha! good luck!” instead) and we had the brilliant idea to camp out in the back of the Lexus. Yes. Camp. In-the-wilderness-build-a-fire-freeze-your-tooshie-in-a-sleeping-bag-camp. I kid you not though, if I owned the Lexus RX350, I’d camp in that thing all the time. Well, maybe not all the time since I was the wimp inside with the seat heaters on full blast while Kelly slaved away at keeping the campfire ablaze, but more frequently than never, I’d brave the forest. With the back seats folded down, the space was equivalent to a full-size bed. There was no obnoxious hump where the base of the seat backs and the trunk met either. I’m guessing that the designers weren’t aiming at spine-friendly when they added it, but I’m sure if you needed to transport, say, an eight-foot party sub or something, the humplessness would come in handy. Not to mention the heaven send that the roof top cargo rack happened to be when we picked up a copious amount of sponsor product. Transporting is no simple feat people.
It was great having the space enough to carpool with fellow attendees to and from the conference venue as well as Starbucks (ahem. not. addicted.), dinner, and the hotel. The oohs, the aahs, and general adoration for the sleek exterior and comfortable interior were enough to instill a sense of pride in the great vehicle we were able to use and showcase.
There were plenty of road trip shenanigans along the way to boot. S’mores in the wilderness, free wi-fi hot spots in the middle of nowhere, dancing under state signs, Las Vegas, gas stations, car-aoke (at least for me), cruising with the sun roof open, eighties music, and billy-bob teeth.