On The Road

A little while back I was presented with the opportunity to take a trip down the California coast with a few other bloggers to test drive the new Ford C-MAX Hybrid, and go on a little weekend getaway. The C-MAX is the first-ever hybrid-only vehicle line from Ford in North America, available in two models: The C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid. I decided to join in on the adventure for a couple of reasons- I live here in Northern California, and we like our hybrids, so I was really curious about this car, and I also needed a little break to recharge my own battery (hybrid humor). Taking on this type of project affords me the opportunity to bring you guys even more original content, DIY and recipes, and gets me away from the work table to get a new perspective. I knew by going on this trip I'd get to know this car so that I could give you a thoughtful review, what I didn't expect was that this experience would remind me of something very important, especially to the work-at-home or stay-at-home moms out there... 

The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, by the bay I used to take a lot of car trips when I was working at Jasper Hearts Wren. My business partner, Lisa, was my co-pilot to trade shows and we would drive for hours at a time through the California desert to Las Vegas every Fall.  When you're in the car for that long, you have the time to talk, and really tell a story, and connect with someone. So when we met up at an SFO hotel and picked our C-MAX Hybrid driving partners for this jaunt down the coast, I was pretty happy that my co-pilot told me that her name was Lisa, and because she is from Wisconsin like my extended family, hearing her accent made me feel like I already knew her.  By the time we made it to our first stop in Santa Cruz we'd gotten deep into conversation the way you do, and I was reminded how important it is to really talk to someone, not just on a computer or in passing at a party.

Monterey Bay Aquarium- building originally housed the Portola Brand Sardine Factory

Monterey Bay Aquarium- building originally housed the Portola Brand Sardine Factory

We stopped in Santa Cruz to stretch our legs and window shop on Pacific Ave, then headed to Pacific Grove for an amazing hole in the wall taqueria lunch before making our way to a private behind the scenes tour of The Monterey Bay Aquarium. You know, an average Saturday for me. After our amazing tour we hopped back in our C-MAX and checked into The Casa Palmero in Pebble Beach.  My room was bigger than the common space in my house.

Ford, if you are reading this, thank you, this was not lost on me. We were treated to a delicious dinner and enjoyed fun conversation at The Lodge and then retreated back to our respective rooms, where I slumbered for 8 blissful, uninterrupted hours.

A whirlwind tour of San Francisco in the   C-MAX Hybrid

A whirlwind tour of San Francisco in the C-MAX Hybrid

The next morning I switched driving partners, because Lisa had to head home early and Becca, another blogger on the trip had some extra time before her flight and was hoping to see a bit of San Francisco.  I was super curious to see how the C-MAX Hybrid handled the city landscape, and I thought it would be be fun to play tour guide for the afternoon so we hopped in our car and headed north.  Becca really wanted to see The Golden Gate Bridge.  It's at the northwest tip of San Francisco, so I decided to cut across on city streets so that she could get a feel for the architecture of the civic center and see all the little store fronts with great apartment buildings over the top.  It's a hilly drive over to the Marina district, and the

C-MAX Hybrid had ample power to climb up Russian Hill and down to Crissy Field. Every time I braked at a stop sign, it charged the battery. There are a lot of stop signs in the city. I found it to be compact enough to fit in a small street parking space between two driveways, but roomy enough to fit a family of 4 with car seats comfortably. I think the C-MAX is a great family car for city dwellers. 

We drove along the water over to the Ferry Building shops(a must visit) and grabbed lunch at Out The Door, the take out cafe of The Slanted Door, one of my favorite SF restaurants. With just a little time left we drove through downtown to feel the height of the skyline, by the Trans America building, Union Square and back to the airport.  I told you it was a whirlwind.  The car used about a quarter of a tank of gas from Carmel, through the city tour, and back to the airport.

The C-MAX Hybrid delivers class-leading 43 mpg combined and can travel up to 85 miles per hour in all all-electric mode. That's some fuel economy.

Out The Door: Papaya Salad, Imperial Rolls, Mung Bean Dumplings

Out The Door: Papaya Salad, Imperial Rolls, Mung Bean Dumplings

I had a great time touring my own back yard and connecting with other women who also spend their days making, photographing, and writing... Thank you Ford for the adventure, I enjoyed it for all it was worth! 

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.