The LA Auto Show is Coming

11.13.14

Remember a couple of days ago when I was all, “I love my kids and I want to spend time with them.”?

Well, that was a few days ago & I still love my kids but I am about to abandon them for three days and I’m totally okay with that. It’s AUTO SHOW TIME. I’m starting to get emails from the manufacturers about parties, press conferences and off sites and I realize that I’m looking forward to this more than I ought to.

The folks at Lexus won’t tell me what they’re unveiling but I did recently attend an event where I got to sit in and start the engine on the 467 hp RC F (apparently open bar and actually driving the cars isn’t a good mix). It’s their new coupe that is styled much more like a European car than any other Lexus in the lineup. I didn’t get to drive it but I can tell you that there’s a certain rumble one enjoys when starting up a motor of a certain size and this didn’t fail to delight. I’m looking forward to taking a spin even if I have to do it at a dealership.

lexus RC F

The grill is made up entirely of Lexus L’s

I think I’ll try to plan a story about the Lexus F collection. I’d driven an F from Lexus before, in fact we had an extended drive in the 450 RXF and covered two states and 1,200 just a few years ago. We as a family loved that car and now I’m noticing that there’s a full collection of F or F Sport vehicles which are sportier versions of the standards.

I’m curious to see what all the manufacturers are doing but the cars I’m looking forward to learning more about are the Lexus CT200h, Ford C-MAX Energi, the entire Mini Cooper line, 4 series BMW, Volkswagen Jetta and the Beetle. Of course I’ll ogle the luxury lines and dream about the day that I can afford a Bentley or Rolls Royce and I’m going to hit as many press conferences as I can but I’ve got my sights set on a few of these cars. You know… because I’m basically staying home and hanging with my family, expect when there’s rubber and metal on display.

Oh, also, Mr. G is celebrating a big birthday so we just bought him a big car. I haven’t driven it yet. In fact I’ve hardly sat in it.

 

Car Shopping: Part 783

03.25.14

You may recall that Jane recently requested an SUV or a crossover for her first vehicle. I’m open to this.

What I never mentioned is that my mom has been making noises about buying herself a new car. She has a 2006 Lexus RS400h that lives in a garage, visits only the Lexus dealer and has less than 40,000 miles on it.

As much as I love some of the new vehicles out there I want that car. Did I mention that it’s fully loaded?

Mom had a checkup recently and they found out she has a healthy heart so I figured I’d help her celebrate.

pay me to take your car

We’re taking suggestions on what my mom’s new car might be.

Also, don’t tell her that a new battery is probably half that. Because if she had good information she might not pay me to take the car off her hands.

Atrophied Writing Muscles

01.2.13

On Christmas Day Mr. G, the kids and I packed up a swanky new Lexus RX F and headed to Arizona. Why Arizona? Obviously because Mr. G’s offices aren’t in Arizona. That was the one and only reason we went there and I’m thrilled we did. There had been some shakeups at Mr. G’s network and in August when it was time to start planning a winter vacation we genuinely had no idea where he’d be working or if he’d be working so nothing had been planned. Sometime around December 20th things firmed up and the three of them sat at the dinner table, looked at me and said, “Where are we going on our vacation?”

Apparently I’m a travel agent now? One with super powers.

In addition to all of this we’d been to the Beverly Hills Library to renew the kids’ passports in late November (make a weekend appointment there and it’s totally civilized – you’re welcome). As I stood there with Mrs. Public Servant and asked for a expedited service she gave my husband a lecture about how it’s a waste of money. She lectured my husband while I held the checkbook in my hands. Let that sink in.

It worked. Even though I explained to Mr. G that I’d like to try for a last minute trip to Mexico if he was able to get away Mrs. Public Servant told us that the passports wouldn’t even get to us on time and we were just wasting our money. I asked her to stop interrupting and told her I enjoyed wasting money, we were in Beverly Hills after all. Isn’t that the money wasting capital of the world?

Without a rush the kids’ passports arrived in the mail on December 24th. We could have been in Mexico. I hate that lady.

In any event we took off to Arizona and stayed at the Biltmore in Phoenix. Don’t do it. We had a really great time in spite of the fact that the restaurants are abominable, there isn’t enough hot water for a family to shower and the furnace clatters and wakes you up at night. It was an oddity that we had a great vacation in a not great hotel.

Family Road Trip

We cut our time short in Arizona and headed to Las Vegas for some wholesome family fun. I hadn’t been to Vegas in much too long and I loved the shopping and the food as well as Blackjack Switch. It’s this really fun game of blackjack where you play two hands at a time and you can switch your second cards to make better hands. Of course the rules change a little so blackjack only pays 1-1 and dealer busts on 23 but pushes on 22. I spent several hours playing cards and it was cheap entertainment.

We went to see Love at the Mirage. It was Mr. G’s first Cirque show. The kids and have been to four or five of them and we enjoy it but we don’t quite rave about it. Also I like the Beatles but I don’t love the Beatles. Love is different. It was spectacular. The music was the Beatles unlike anyone has ever heard the Beatles and the stage show had more dancing and less acrobatics than most Cirque productions, that might be one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. It’s a small theater with half of the action happening overhead. We bought seats in the middle price point. If I had it to do over again I’d have bought the cheap seats.

I haven’t written much. I haven’t even answered emails since before the holidays and I’m really happy too. I guess a real writer would be aching to get pen to ink or fingers to keyboard. I’m happy I’m just a blogger and that we’ll enjoy 2013 together.

 

 

You’re Not Media You Can’t Come In

11.28.12

I spent the day at the LA Auto Show. This is my sixth or seventh year where I’ve attended as credentialed media and it’s the first year where I felt like I had a valid plan of attack. I decided to skip the press conferences and to pick one car from each manufacturer to photograph and follow up on at a later date.

The best laid plans…

I have to confess that I got incredibly distracted once I hit the Convention Center floor. There were only three Bentleys and I diligently slobbered over all three of them. I swooned over a Morgan display, ogled the Plus 4 and fell hard for the Callaway Corvette and trucks on display.

I am polyamorous with the cars. I can’t even apologize for it any more.

This year is a good year though. This year I’m looking at cars I love but I’m also looking at cars I might buy. We have two leases ending in just months and to say I’m excited about two new cars is like saying Lady Gaga is slightly eccentric. I am over the moon… except there’s one thing.

Last week I’d decided that I want to keep my car. I cannot tell you how much I love my Lexus. Unfortunately they no longer make the HS so if I want to stay in it I’d need to buy my car at the end of the lease. This is a horrendous fiscal decision that just about everyone regrets but one I’m ready to make because I just love that Lexus so much. Every time I almost run out of gas I giggle because I used to fill up every Friday and now I fill up every two weeks or so, longer if I’ve had a press car. I don’t know how much gasoline costs because it’s not a meaningful part of my budget.

Everything in that car is perfect, except that it’s almost three years old.

So I’m looking at all the hybrids (I’m a hybrid devotee) and there’s a sea of Priuses, a C-Max that I’m dying to really drive and a few options from BMW. Something happened and I was pulled over to Lexus where I was prepared to be disappointed but then the heavens parted, angels played harps, butterflies danced on rainbows and I saw the GS450h. The bamboo trimmed interior made me think of a spa and the 348 hp combined with 34 mpg ratings had me looking for Ashton Kutcher to tell me I’d been punked. There are a zillion details on the GS450h that I’m looking forward to exploring when I finally get behind the wheel and one of them is the triple memory seat. I personally like to use two memory settings for just myself. I sit two basic ways, one with a ponytail, and one without. When my hair is up behind me I need the seat to recline a little further. I have a lot of hair.

There are a few places to eat during press days. My favorite is always Porsche. I’d been there in the morning for a German sausage and fruit cup and on my way out of the show I thought I’d pop into Auto Trader’s media booth for a bottle of water.

I went to walk in and a man in a suit asked me if I was media. I showed him this.

Well, I didn’t show it to him so much as he lifted it up to examine it and he said to me, “This lounge is only for real media.”

I may have stuttered. I didn’t quite know what to say.

“This is only for real journalists.” He repeated and pulled his iPhone out of his pocket (hello irony) to ignore me a while.

I started to walk away when he sort of tsched me. You know that horrible sound that middle school girls do when they don’t like someone. That’s the sound that the Auto Trader guy gave me. I turned around and I was going to say something to him but then he was staring at me again like he hated me.

And this is where I knew I was an adult. I didn’t mention to him that the Auto Trader is no longer in print. I didn’t scream at him about how he didn’t know that media was in his pocket and his grubby hand. I bit my tongue when I saw his cheap suit and bad haircut and I walked away.

I don’t even hate Auto Trader. I just really really dislike that guy.

I guess I’m growing up.

I Never Lock My Car Door

08.30.12

Mr. G locks the Jaguar every single time he gets out of it and it makes me crazy. If I leave something in his car I have to hunt down a car key, unlock the car, grab my crap and then lock the car again. If I leave something in my car I walk outside, grab it and I’m done. I also leave my car unlocked for a more practical reason. If someone wants to steal something at least they won’t break the window.

Well, the other night Alexander went out to my car to grab his tennis racquet and locked it.

The other morning I woke up to this.


It’s a little tough to see but it looks like they went after the window with a crowbar. The kicker is that when I went to look in my car all the doors were still locked. The only things worth stealing were Pokemon cards.

I’m in an interesting situation though. I just switched my car to Nationwide and Mr. G’s car is still insured with Geico. It’s a long and boring story but we now have Nationwide for homeowner’s insurance and I still need to move his car to the policy to get all the discounts but I’ve dragged my feet a little because when we’ve had losses (and we had a brand new 5 series BMW totaled) with Geico they were extremely good to us. So I guess this will act a test of sorts to see if we want to bring all our policies over to Nationwide.

Insurance is tricky, you want to pay less but you don’t want to get paid less. Here’s hoping it works out okay.