Taking New Turns & Turning Heads : The Honda Civic Type R

Everyone has a way of marking the timeline of their life. Your grandparents may have dated theirs with “Well, when Eisenhower was president…” Some will calculate seasons by who they were romantically involved with. Mothers and fathers measure timelines with dates of pregnancies or children’s birthdays. Growing up in an automotive family, the stories I heard always included memories categorized by the cars that were driven. Cars were always a significant part of the story. Just like this one.
At a time when most of my friends were still in college finding themselves, I found myself in a driveway restarting my life in a sporty red Honda Civic. This was a pivotal point on my timeline. Looking back, this place in my past was one of the most uncertain times of my entire life. As a recently separated single mother, this was literally the key to making this new life work. Staring down the hood, I came to a powerful revelation. I was doing more than taking ownership of a car that day. I was also taking ownership of my life. I held the keys in my hand and took a deep breath as if the oxygen filling my lungs would replace the trepidation inside. The next steps would require a monumental amount of endurance, resiliency, determination and confidence.
It was a fun car to drive and great fit for my personality but it meant so much more to me than that. Owning that Civic was the security I needed to arrive on time to the 55-65 hours a week required to make this new life possible. It provided a place of solace when my two babies were incessantly crying and my arms were too tired to hold or rock them a minute longer. Secure in their car seats, we drove until tiny eyelids could finally be seen blinking in slow motion in the rear view mirror. I’d drive a bit longer to make sure that sleep was certain and then find a spot overlooking a lake or park that had gone quiet for the evening.

At the end of long days like this, inside this car was where I shed tears, sorted through my thoughts and worries, and reassured myself “we really were doing a good job getting there ” (even if I didn’t quite know where “there” was yet). Through every curve, tight corner, and rough patch I got there.
Several years later, I found myself handing over the keys to a new owner. It very much felt like the end of a journey. I was both relieved and sentimental thinking about the feat it was to purchase that car at that point in my life. It was the proof I needed to refute echos of “you’ll never make it on your own. You are going to fail”.  But I hadn’t failed. I had persevered and proven to the world I could.

Seaplane Honda Civic Type R

Years went by without another Honda in my driveway but late this summer, I received an invitation to sit in the driver’s seat of a 2017 Honda Civic Type R as it makes its entrance into the US market. We would arrive by seaplane to stay at the beautiful Alderbrook Resort & Spa, driving the winding roads of Washington State, and have the opportunity to fully test the Civic Type R with a few fast laps on the track at the Ridge Motorsports Park. Beautiful scenery, luxury accommodations, and fast driving who could say no to that?

Yet, I hesitated for 3 days before sending back my reply of acceptance. It wasn’t due to lack of excitement about the invitation. Ties to emotional memories are powerful in that way, friends. Somewhere deep inside hid a small part of myself wondering if the smallness I felt in years past would come rushing back when once again I positioned myself in the drivers seat of another Honda Civic.

This certainly wouldn’t be the same Civic from my past- FAR from it. In a respectful parallel, I was also now far from the young 22-year-old woman who once stood alone trying to regain her confidence. Was I really as strong and confident as I imagined myself to be? Was I trying to prove something to myself? This invitation offered an opportunity to find out. I knew there was definitely a story to be told here. If nothing else I’d have the opportunity to prove my driving skills as the limited production Type R is manufactured in manual-transmission only.

Honda Civic Type R manual transmission

The Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R has been sold in Japan, Europe, and Australia for decades now. Enthusiasts in the US have been anxiously awaiting its release here in the states. The mere mention of the front-wheel-drive lap-time record at Nürburgring of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds, delivering 306 horsepower and 296 pounds of torque seemed to be all thats needed to create an inner desire to get behind the wheel.

On the track in the Honda Civic Type R

Taking New Turns and Turning Heads in the Civic Type R

Bell helmets Honda Civic Type RMy drive opportunity during this trip in the Type R offered the full range to experience every capability this car is equipped for. It allowed us driving speeds of 122+ mph on the track at The Ridge Motorsports Park. You’ll never find out how truly capable you are until you position yourself in a place to challenge yourself and your limits. This seemed like the ideal place to test limits.

Even at increasing speeds the Type R enters every turn with precision, simultaneously keeping its passengers firmly embraced in its red and black sport seats.

The D-shaped steering wheel, sport pedals and aluminum shifting knob are a consistent reminder of what this car is engineered for. The distinctive design of the Type-R is as functional as it is head turning.
Honda Civic Type R rear view
Side angle of the Honda Civic Type R
It’s so head turning in fact that my drive partner Scotty ( you can read her take on the Type R here) and I were flagged down along our route by a local and his wife, to discuss how he could purchase a Honda Civic Type R of his very own that very day. Obviously, we couldn’t sell him ours but we assured him we’d connect him with someone who could.


We continued the transition from track to road finding the only difficulty was making the mental shift to drive lower local speed limits, shifting gears was always smooth. It was fun to drive fast but it just as comfortable for long drives on the road. Outfitted with comforts of a 7 inch display, 12 speaker sound system, and climate control you’ll find yourself wanting to spend more time in this car. If your day to day life is like mine seeming to always move along at record speeds, well, this car can certainly keep up with that too.

The three drive modes in the sporty Civic Type R (Comfort, Sport, and +R) offer ideal driving dynamics adjusting things like steering and throttle response, transmission, and rev matching which made transitioning from a speedy track drive into a comfortable road trip nothing but smooth sailing.

Honda Civic Type R drive modes

Honda Civic Type R alderbrook resortAs we completed our drive and pulled back into the property at Alderbrook Resort & Spa, I had a few minutes to reflect in my suite before our group would be actually setting sail for an evening dinner cruise on the Hood Canal.

Alderbrook resort and spa

I noted that not once had my concerns of the past hindered my day or drive. My day had been filled with meaningful conversations, new experiences, beautiful scenery, and a feeling of truly being present. Isn’t the ability to appreciate every beautiful person, live fully in the moment, and just find ourselves with the ability to be present the goal we all have for our lives? I’m pretty certain that’s the only KPI that truly matters. Achieving a life we are proud to live. Well done, Honda.
Honda Civic Type R Hood Canal
Although reassessing a journey of where we’ve been and how we got there can make us all feel vulnerable, ultimately it helps us arrive at a place of authenticity. It helps us to reaffirm the confidence in ourselves at every stage of our life. Alderbrook resort and spa room

Many Thanks & Appreciation to Honda
It was an honor to be a guest of Honda experiencing the Type R drive in such a thoughtful and authentic way. As is typical, all accommodations and travel were provided. Additionally all experiences, opinions and storytelling are authentically my own.

Making Life Changes + New Car Buying Easier


Capital One Navigator Kia Cadenza

Thank you Capital One® for sponsoring this post. Capital One® Auto Navigator® simplifies car buying and financing before you ever set foot in the dealership. With Auto Navigator, consumers can find a car and see their financing options, all in one place. Whether it’s moving to the suburbs, having children or getting a new job…as life changes happen, so do your car needs.

For the first time in 14+ years we aren’t going to be a minivan family. That’s not to say I don’t still love a good minivan. After all they are functional, reliable, can be decked out with ALL the amenities of home. Between soccer, dance, football, errands and shopping my minivan was my home away from home. Sometimes it was my mobile office because it was the only quiet place in my home to make a phone call. This summer everything is changing.

We moved to Austin Texas as a large family of six with an equally sized dog, smaller cat, and much smaller frog. This week we are moving out of the city due to my husband’s new work position and are leaving with only two children. The oldest two have flown the nest, one took the dog,  and sadly the frog died this week. We did pick up a hedgehog, Sunny, during our time here. All of that is to say there have been lots of changes.

Along with these new changes is the possibility of changing vehicle needs. In the past we absolutely needed a minivan or larger SUV to all ride together. Now with our reduced family size, our options are much more open! As life changes happen, so do your car needs.

Have you bought a car recently? Thinking about getting something new? The Capital One® Navigator website can help!

Auto Navigator Capital One

What is the Capital One® Auto Navigator® website?

Capital One developed Auto Navigator to simplify car buying and financing. Auto Navigator focuses on adding transparency to a sometimes confusing process by allowing consumers to pre-qualify for auto financing and see their financing terms before visiting a dealer.

Capital one Auto Navigator

I am a huge advocate of knowing that your time is as valuable as money in the bank. I would rather spend more time with my family and less time at the dealership talking financing. Capital One Auto Navigator makes it easy to do that part on the sofa at home, on the road traveling, or ANYWHERE because I can do it all from my phone.

It’s a big change for our family to make this transition to a new city, new home, new schools, and yes, even a new car. Changes in life are inevitable but they don’t have to be hard. Look for ways to make your life easier and recapture more of your time and finances. I’m glad companies like Capital One are thinking outside the traditional models to help us do just that.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tips for the Perfect Family Trip to Six Flags

Six Flags Spring Break
We’d like to thank Kia Motors America for sponsoring this post and providing park tickets for our day of fun! As always all thoughts,opinions, and experiences are 100% our own.

Deciding where to go and what activities to choose during spring break is always a daunting task. This year was no different. Our criteria is always about making it fun and exciting, making the most of the time we have together but without breaking the bank. Sound familiar? Since we’d just returned from a really wonderful family ski trip a couple of weeks ago, we decided staying relatively local was our best bet for a fun time. Six Flags over Texas is only 20 minutes away from our new house in Dallas and of course the kids were THRILLED at the suggestion Spring Break at Six Flag it was! Spring is actually my favorite time to visit ANY theme park because the weather isn’t too warm to enjoy a full day, there is usually a breeze.

We made sure to print our tickets at home before getting to the park to save both a bit of time and money. We also made sure everyone wore comfortable shoes and dressed in light layers.

The Kia Ride and Drive Experience at Six Flags 

Kia Six Flags

(Wait…. what IS a “Ride and Drive” anyway? I’m glad you asked.  If you’ve never been to a ride and drive, it is an opportunity to get behind the wheel of a car (or several cars)  you’ve been curious about without any sales pressure. It’s a great way to keep a current and experience new automotive technology. Sometimes there are even really great thank you gifts- see below.)

Kia Family of cars

The Kia ride & drive tent was easy to spot as we approached the entrance of the park. Everyone was super friendly and asked if we had a preference of what car we would like to drive first. Randall had been looking for a chance to get behind the wheel of the all new Cadenza for himself after I told him what a PERFECT car it would be for him after driving it during the Cadenza national press launch last year. Kaitlyn and Sebastian were looking to ride in Kia that was new to them as well. So the Cadenza it was! Our specialist drove us through the busy parking lot until we got away from the crowds and this gave Randall a chance to check out the passenger comforts of the Cadenza.

Randall at Six Flags over TX Kia Cadenza

inside the Kia Cadenza

We were really impressed with the knowledge the product specialists shared. We like to ask a lot of questions – we like knowing ALL the details. There wasn’t a single question they didn’t know the anwser to. As a thank you for our 10 min drive, each of us were given flash passes and $10 Daffy dollars to use inside the park for food or product. We also go to use a special VIP entrance eliminating the longer lines to get into the Six Flags. Flash passes are one of my VERY favorite things ever invented for Six Flags or any theme park!

Six Flags over Texas Kia

I loved that taking a 10-15 min ride in a Kia potentially saved us hours waiting in line. We also were excited to find a place to charge up our cell phones ( ProTip: Kia ride and drives almost always have charging stations.) During this time we made a plan for which rides we would go to first. We each chose one ride that was a “must do” for us. Honestly the only must do any of us really cared about was being together so there would be no splitting up the group. We all agreed we would wait in line or ride as a group for all rides. 

Charging with Kia Six Flags

Now we were charged up and ready to head into the park! The carousel was our first ride, my choice. I was worried that the kids may have outgrown the fun of it but they were as nostalgic as I was to ride it and happily hopped on their choice of carousel steed.

Next up was a Virtual Reality Coaster, the Galactic Attack! Did you know Six Flags Over Texas has total of 13 roller coasters??11 steel, 1 super-hybrid and 1 wooden! Sebastian doesn’t enjoy extreme roller coasters so I loved knowing that Six Flags has “Thrill Swap” as option for families like ours. When a child (or anyone) can’t or does not want to ride a ride, your entire party stays together and goes through the ride line. When preparing to board the ride, notify the attendant that you’d like to use Thrill Swap. One person rides, while the other stays with the child. When they return, the swap takes place; allowing the other person to ride while the child waits with the other guardian. It is a brilliant time saver and allows everyone to have a great time together.

Six Flags over Texas Kia Rides

In addition to flash passes & utilizing Thrill Swap,  I have a few more time & money-saving Suggestions to making the most of a trip to Six Flags during spring break or any time of year!

Tips for the Perfect Family Trip to Six Flags

  1. Buy your tickets online and print at home – Plan ahead for the day you want to visit, and be sure to review our website to prepare for the day. Our website offers the best deal on admission tickets, so you can save time and money at the park. You’ll be able to save up to $18, depending on the day you plan to visit. Plus, you can print your tickets at home so when you arrive at the park, you’ll skip the ticket booth and head straight to the front gate – getting you in to rides faster.
  2.  Plan your meal times earlier or later than normal – Taking a few moments to re-energize will help you stay refreshed so you can tackle more rides without getting worn out. Plan your schedule accordingly so you can spend less time waiting for meals. Eat lunch and dinner a little earlier or later than the “normal” time. This will allow you to be out riding while everyone else is eating. Then, when you’re ready to eat, you’ll miss the mealtime rush and save time, getting out to more rides as quickly as possible.
  3. BUY FLASH PASSES- I cannot encourage this enough. There is nothing better than breezing past rows and rows of other visitors to be at the front of line at your favorite ride.
  4. Take a photo of your parking spot- There is nothing worse than having a tired crew and not remembering where you parked. Snap a quick pic of your spot to help you remember and make a bee line straight to your spot. You can also purchase preferred parking to get an even closer spot to the park.
  5. Pick a meeting spot first thing- In the event that your family or group splits up or gets separated, pick a meeting spot well in advance with the understanding that you will meet there and wait. I sent my husband a text saying to meet me at the group of red picnic tables, little did I know that around the corner from me were several groups of red tables just like ours. If we had picked a spot first, we wouldn’t have lost time looking for each other.

Funnel Cakes Kia Six Flags

We always wait until after the rides are over for snacks and treats. Because we typically try to avoid fried and sugary foods, we’ll often pack a cooler for lunch and snacks in the van and get stamped for reentry. There is a nice shaded area of picnic tables right outside the park. Since it was Spring Break and we did have Daffy dollars to use from our ride & drive experience we splurged on an ice cream funnel cake. It was a super fun splurge and it was so fun to say yes to a request that seemed so whimsical and extravagant. The kids thought we were the coolest parents ever this spring break!

Funnel Cake Ice Cream Six Flags

It was a perfect ending to a perfect day! If you have spring break in the near future, check out the dates below to see when Kia will be hosting a ride and drive in your area! I highly recommend working Six Flags in as part of your spring break plans.

Chase Family Kia Six Flags

Six Flags Spring Break

Dates & Info for all upcoming Kia Six Flags Events:
4/14 – 4/16: Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355
4/14 – 4/16: Six Flags Great Adventure
1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson, NJ 08527
4/21 – 4/23: Six Flags America
13710 Central Ave, Bowie, MD 20721
5/13 – 5/15: Six Flags St. Louis
4900 Six Flags Rd, Eureka, MO 63025
5/27 – 5/29: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
1001 Fairgrounds Drive SW, Vallejo, CA 94589
5/27 – 5/29: Six Flags New England
1623 Main St, Agawam, MA 01001
What are you doing this year for Spring Break? I’d love to know what YOUR plans are!

Find and Finance Your Next Car at the 2017 DFW Auto Show

DFW AUTO SHOW CAR

A recent study by Kelly Blue Book found that more than 40 percent of men and 60 percent of women don’t feel confident in car buying.

This uncertainty may be why typical car buyers spend an average of nearly nine hours on different online sites during the car buying process, according to the 2016 Autotrader Car Buyer Journey Report – spending time researching car pricing, finding actual vehicles listed for sale, comparing different models and more. Capital One® Auto Navigator® and the 2017 DFW Auto Show are coming together to help simplify the process by offering one place to find and finance your next vehicle.

What's trending at the DFW Auto Show

Find your Car at the 2017 DFW Auto Show

The DFW Auto Show is one of the largest new car and truck shows in the nation – and local car enthusiasts, families and potential buyers alike flock to see the latest and greatest car styles, models, trends and technology. It’s the perfect place to check out all the cars you’ve been considering in person with no pressure. The show is open to the public from March 22-26, 2017, so come by, walk around and experience all there is to offer. This is the best place to get a close up look, ask questions to specialists, and even get behind the wheel with several ride & drive opportunities. Ride & drives are like shopping with no sales pressure – just be sure to bring your driver’s licence with you!

Finance your Car at the 2017 DFW Auto Show too! 

One fantastic experience this year’s show is offering is the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage.  As one of the title sponsors for 2017, Capital One is inviting all DFW Auto Show attendees to the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage.  Located in Hall F, the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage is where car enthusiasts and potential car buyers can learn more about how to find and finance the car of their dreams with the Capital One® Auto Navigator®. Auto Navigator gives consumers the opportunity to see if they pre-qualify for auto financing before they visit a dealer, without impacting their credit score. Consumers can access the Auto Navigator website by going to CapitalOne.com/Cars. There you will find out whether or not you’re pre-qualified in minutes, with info on the amounts, your personal APR and payment info. From there you are pre-qualified, and whenever you are ready to shop you just take your printed summary into a participating dealership.

DFW Auto Show 2017

But Wait, There’s More…..

Throughout the show, attendees can visit the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage where they’ll have a chance to see Auto Navigator website demos and engage in an interactive photo booth.  On Saturday and Sunday (March 25-26), Chip Foose, a well-known automobile designer and industry innovator, will be at the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage to meet with fans and talk about the latest and greatest in the auto industry – including car financing.

We truly understand that buying a car is a large investment for most households and a commitment that should be considered carefully. Our family will be buying a car in the next few months and  will be attending the DFW Auto Show and utilizing  Capital One Auto Navigator ourselves. I’m looking forward to updating you with our experiences! I hope to see a few of you at the show!

For more details on location and ticket information to attend the 2017 DFW Auto Show, visit DFWAutoShow.com

For more information about the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage, visit Capital One’s Facebook page.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Traveling to Tahoe : Winter Adventure Day 1 #SorentoFamily

Traveling to Tahoe #SorentoFamilyGetting out and adventuring together as a family is what life is all about. Sunshine or snowfall, the Chases are all about finding the next adventure any time of year. So when Kia Motors America invited us to join them for some #SorentoFamily winter fun in Lake Tahoe at The Ritz-Carlton, we jumped on a plane and were on our way!

Naturally, living in Texas we didn’t own a lot of true winter gear. Skiing, snowmobiling, tubing, snowball fights, and well, virtually every activity we would be participating in required winter gear that we didn’t previously own.  Solution: GetOutfitted.com

getoutfitted.com #SorentoFamily

Did you know you can rent everything you need for the ultimate winter vacation and have it delivered right to your doorstep or resort ?! That eliminates a lot of the pressure of shopping, stuffing bulky coats, boots, gloves, goggles and everything else into your suitcase and traveling with it. Fast growing children also means renting is a much more economical option rather than investing to only get one trip out of it. We will never choose to do it any other way now and have recommended this option to several friends going on their own winter adventure.

Once we’d packed up, we headed to the airport and off to Lake Tahoe. Sebastian was super excited to check a few photos off his travel photo checklist before we had even arrived. This one with the pilots was at the top of his list.

Picture with the Pilots #SorentoFamily

When we landed we were met at the airport by some of our favorite Kia representatives who directed us to the Kia Sorento we would be driving during our stay. They were incredibly thoughtful to equip our Sorento with a cooler of our favorite snacks and a warm blanket for our drive to the resort.

#SorentoFamily Snacks

The Sorento was the perfect vehicle for our adventure! The automatic liftgate and spacious trunk made it easy to load our many bags and the other luxury features kept the whole family comfortable inside.

#SorentoFamily Luggage

#SorentoFamily features

The Kia Sorento has heated seated warmers for the front AND back seats, heated steering wheel keeping the driver’s hands toasty warm, and an expansive sunroof keeping the gorgeous mountain peaks and treetops in full view. It also provides just enough lighting for the PERFECT selfies!

Family Selfie #SorentoFamily

Our navigation system kept us going the right way even while we kept distracting each other with “LOOK OVER THERE! OH WOW!” due to all the beautiful scenery we were driving through. Thankfully, Sebastian brought his GoPro along so we wouldn’t miss a thing.

Want to see what the whole drive was like? Check out the time lapse of our drive below!

Being that this was the very first time for the kids to experience what show was really like, we knew would want to pull over and stop along the way, let them play a little bit and capture their first reactions to this gorgeous landscape. I’m so glad we did because, you guys, I’m just in love with the pictures we got and the expressions on their faces are ones I’ll never forget.

Playing in the snow lake Tahoe Kia Sorento #Sorento Family

Kaitlyn first look Lake Tahoe #SorentoFamily

We played and played. Each time we stopped it took a bit of cajoling to gather our excited children back into the Sorento so we could make our way to the Ritz-Carlton in time for check in. I couldn’t really blame them it was a beautiful day to be outside.

Kaitlyn scaling rocks in Tahoe #SorentoFamily

Lake Tahoe Trees and Kids #SorentoFamily

We were haveing so much fun on all our little roadside stops together and the real activities hadn’t even begun yet. I truly wanted to live in these moments forever.

Finding a little zen in the snow #SorentoFamily

Pushups over the water Tahoe #SorentoFamily

We encouraged them to take a few moments of zen to focus and regroup. Then off to the Ritz! They had no idea how much more fun there was to come!

This week we will have several more posts covering our Winter Adventure in Lake Tahoe. I hope you will check back each day for a new post! Until then you can check out some of our photos and social posts we did on site by following the hashtag #SorentoFamily on instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

 

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