20 Awesome Experiences of 2016

As we look out with anticipation towards all the possibilities that 2017 may hold, it’s important we take time to reflect on all that happened the year before it. I do this each year and it always seems likes so much more greatness happens by the end of the year than what I first anticipate. I believe this happens when you leave yourself open to adventure, partner with creative, driven people, and live your life with the purpose of collecting and telling great stories. Thanks to our work with Kia Motors in 2016 we were able to tell a plethora of great stories, with incredible people, and have some really awesome experiences. Here is a recap list of some of our favorite memories from 2016.

20 Awesome Experiences of 2016

Dinner under the Stars ( Mom 2.0 at The Ecology Center)

Enjoying the Suite Life ( Hotel Emma, Salamander Resort & Spa, Hotel Zepplin, Solage)

Solage Calistoga suite

Suite at Solage Calistoga CA #KiaSoulTurbo

Ice Box Hotel Emma San Antonio

Hotel Emma, San Antonio TX #ExperienceNiro

Hotel Zepplin San Francisco CA

Hotel Zepplin San Francisco CA #KiaSoulTurbo

We went back in time in Middleburg VA when we drove the all new 2017 Cadenza ( more here)

Alice Chase and Africa Miranda Kia Cadenza Virgina

and we saw the future and what vehicles we would be driving when we get there during  SEMA 2016.

Kia Sorento Ski Gondola

Soul First Class

Soul First Class photo cred: Kia Motors

And went to some pretty unusual places ( Borrego Springs, Seven Magic Mountians, Bird’s Cafe, Penny’s Cafe, )

Sky Art Sculptures of Borrego Springs

Sky Art Sculptures of Borrego Springs

Alice Jeff Joel Seven Magic Mountians

Birds Cafe, CA #KiaSoul Turbo

And some really beautiful places too.

San Francisco Bridge #KiaSoulTurbo

#KiaSoulTurbo Drive

Vegas Views SEMA Kia

Vegas Views

I even got to make a music video and karaoke with some of my coolest friends

This was just a recap of what made 2016 so special. (Be sure to go back and check out any posts on adventures you missed from 2016!) I’m sure 2017 will have even more in store for us. Some things are already on the books and I’ll share with you in the upcoming weeks. Other adventures are still to come and we’ll both be surprised when them come to pass. The exciting part is that with every new place, adventure, and road traveled we learn more about ourselves and have the opportunity to explore and share these stories. Thanks to every one of you who chose to follow along and take part by reading here, interacting on our social channels and generally being such a support and encouragement. Huge thanks to Kia Motors for both taking me along on these adventures and allowing me to tell part of that story. It’s always an awesome experience!!

Looking into the Autonomous Future at SEMA 2016 #KiaSEMA

As a young girl, I remember watching movies about the future and being enamored at the possibilities of what would one day be. Handheld video games, hoverboards, being able to call one another through video conferencing, dehydrated foods, touch screens everywhere and even the Cubs winning the world series…

These were all once far off ideas, mere creative fantasies captured in film, that now are our commonplace reality. They have been produced, manufactured, and some have even been around long enough for a recall. Perhaps the only thing we haven’t obtained in full measure from those futuristic films is flying cars. It looks like we may not be waiting too much longer for those either or perhaps something even better!

kia-sema-2016
Last week during SEMA  2016, Kia rolled out four unique concepts of what  autonomous living might look like for us in the not too distant future. In fact, they anticipate producing fully autonomous vehicles occupying our roads as soon as 2030. I was invited as a guest of Kia to get a first look and share my experience.

Not only were these four Kia concepts designed as fully autonomous, they were also tailored to align with the lifestyles and goals we are each trying to achieve. What if everything in your life was working with you to make your dreams possible? Just imagine what you could accomplish. Take a look into the future with me…..

Kia Soul First Class

Soul First Class

Soul First Class photo cred: Kia Motors

Seeing white and gray diamond stitched leather surrounding upscale travelers with only first class comforts, you recognize instantly how the Soul First Class got its name. Soon business travelers can simultaneously prep for meetings and relax on the road. For those just along for the ride, passengers will enjoy the 40-inch Samsung LED TV connected to a Mac mini computer system and premium audio speakers. Designed by LUX Motorwerks , this self driving concept has two rear-facing seats and no steering wheel( because you no longer need one!). Instead a motorized center console opens like a butterfly to reveal two touchscreen tablets that ultimately control this Kia vehicle. The Soul First Class is ultimate nirvana in both luxury living and executive work/life balance.

Kia Niro Triathlon

Niro Triathlon

Niro Triathlon photo cred: Kia Motors

This is where all my ultra-marathon and high endurance athlete friends will perk up. Night runs, bike rides for miles upon miles and swimming make training an isolating experience. Kia’s Niro Triathlon is here to be the ultimate training partner. Its interior is designed to be a cabin to relax and recharge while also providing top-notch training and safety equipment. “With no reason to drive, the athlete is cosseted in an ultra-comfortable Human Touch zero gravity ergonomic reclining chair. Numerous custom cabinets hold essential supplies, attire and parts, and a portable shower allows for a quick post-race clean-up

Kia Sorento Ski Gondola

Kia Sorento Ski Gondola

Sorento Ski Gondola photo cred: Kia Motors

All of a sudden the lyrics “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough” start playing when the Kia Sorento Ski Gondola enters. Instantly notable are the dominator rubber tracks powercoated orange to take this Kia Sorento turned gondola anywhere. This is the ultimate in sport-utility vehicles. Built by LUX Motorwerks to tackle snow and ice as it gets you and your fellow skiers up to the top of the mountain for another run. The luxurious and self-driving Sorento Ski Gondola is all about climbing to higher ground in style, comfort and warmth.

Kia School of Rock Sedona

Kia School of Rock Sedona

School of Rock Sedona photo cred: Kia Motors

One of the most intriguing aspects of the autonomous life is the safety aspects associated with removing the possibility of human error when behind the wheel. This is especially true when children are involved and Kia imagines a world when vehicles will someday autonomously transport our young ones to accommodate their busy lives.

Partnering with School of Rock, this rolling recording studio features everything aspiring musicians crave: a studio, a place to chill and a completely hands-free way of transporting the band to the next gig. The stunning hand-painted School of Rock imagery hides the strong bones of the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and NHTSA 5-Star rated Sedona so parents can be assured their kids will make it to the show safely and with more than 180 locations, School of Rock plans to hit the road in style to perform at various shows with their talented musicians.

A digital mixing board and dual flat-screen monitors to record tracks. Front-mounted near-field speakers pump out the tunes and when a track is being laid down, the RECORDING light mounted to the roof illuminates. Vocalists will appreciate the boom mic that hangs from the ceiling. Sound-studio-quality acoustic foam panels line the interior to reduce exterior noise during an intense recording session. Should the band decide to host an impromptu roadside show, the Sedona’s lift gate flips open to reveal an imposing stack of amps. There is also storage on the roof for guitars, bass guitars and a myriad other instruments. Fun and comfortable custom bean bags allow the band members to relax or jam in style.

I was invited to experience SEMA 2016 in Las Vegas as a Brand Ambassador on behalf of Kia and share my experiences. This post,including my travel and accommodations were sponsored as part of the experience. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.  Be sure to check out www.Kia.com for the most current news, designs and offers.