One of the perks of writing and being a social media junkie like me is that you get some very creative offers. Lexus, creatively tying in Atlanta’s food scene to their marketing, has offered some ATLien foodies the chance to drive around in on of their 2014 models for a full week.
I only had one decision to make: sedan or SUV? As I’ve never had an SUV, it was a simple choice. Since this was a hybrid, it had over 450 miles with a full tank of gas.
Of course, I made sure my calendar was full for the #LexusEats week. The first day, Monday, was the least exciting with a visit to my dentist on my agenda. However, the short drive gave me time to get acquainted with the many features in the SUV. The weather was a bit chilly, so I took full advantage of the heated seats, turning the dial all the way up!
Day two I was meeting up with a good friend for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. After my 16 ounce margarita, I was singing along to the many channels on the satellite radio (but my dial consistently found its way back to channel 80). Eighties music forever!
By the third day, I was already accustomed to the Lexus and it’s easy to use controls. I really liked the dashboard which comes equipped with navigation system and fully integrated smart phone options for hands free dialing. It was also the first of two times that week that I used valet. It was a nice change of pace to pull up with a car that I’m proud to drive rather than one I loathe.
The next day, I had a lunch appointment at a restaurant with super tight parking spots. And wouldn’t you know, almost every one was taken. However, the rear camera helped me to back into the one space I found. After a night of Mexican followed up by my PB&J burger (peanut butter, blue cheese, and fig jam), I thought some healthy eating was in order stayed true to my convictions ordering a salad. I may or may not have preceded said salad with fried shrimp.
Friday, I treated my aunt to dinner on her birthday, at Ray’s on the River. To make it extra special we picked her up in this carriage and rode together to dinner. Although this SUV isn’t huge, it was ample room for two – probably even three adults to fit comfortably in the back. I had the bourbon pork chop but wish I’d ordered crab cakes, though no one else regretted their menu selection.
After a full week, you would think I’d take it easy, right? Heck no! I headed out bright and early on Saturday to be a judge at Tech Chef (GA Tech’s version of Top Chef). As I circled round and round looking for parking to no avail, I envied students enjoying their cushy life on campus. I sampled shrimp risotto, whole fish with ginger sauce, and a delicious sweet potato ginger pie. Those kids can cook!
As my week with the Lexus was coming to a close, I ended it on a truly fun note. I participated with some friends in the Hunger Walk / Run event in downtown. If you are fit but not a runner (or NOT an early riser like me) this is the charity event for you. It didn’t start until 2 pm and was a short 5k around downtown. Our team (#TeamTweet) raised over $1200 for Atlanta Community Food Bank! It was such a beautiful day I had the sunroof open all the way as I cruised home.
I drove just over 600 miles in the week I had the Lexus. As my week driving the Lexus hybrid drew to a close, I was, understandably, a bit sad to give it back. It had been a pleasure driving it around Atlanta.