Sometimes there are just so many great things to do/write about that you can’t up. This is one of those times. I recently took an amazing trip with the Toyota Women’s Influencer Network and I could probably write 10 or more posts about it. I won’t (no thanks necessary!). We started at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel which is just a beautiful spot for a vacation. Honestly, I never wanted to leave. But we were headed off on a glamping (glamping = glamorous camping) adventure and it was time to go.
I had already planned to drive with my fellow introvert Fadra. If you’re going to be stuck in a car road tripping for hours with other people, you want them to be at least somewhat like-minded. Plus, I didn’t want to drive at all and Fadra wanted to do all of the driving. How’s that for a match made in heaven? We also brought along Shell, another introvert who I now know is a pretty cool person. Can’t wait to see her again and get to know her better. The great thing about introverts is that they get it when you retreat into silence and they respect your need for some time in your own head. That said, I think Fadra and I never shut up. Go figure.
It has been established that I am not exactly a car person, so when it came time to choose, I nabbed this sexy red number because, well… it’s red. And I had already driven the Prius V. It so happens to be a Toyota Rav4. That’s Fadra draped on our car. Yes, I now think of it as OUR car. I had a hard time saying good-bye. The Rav4 is a great size… big enough for the three of us to comfortable drive up the coast, but not overwhelmingly big. I liked it a lot, and not just because it’s red.
Our mission for the day was to drive up the coast to Santa Barbara and El Capitan Canyon, our glamping site. We had a special stop to make on the way, but first… sightseeing! We drove through Malibu, which I had visited once before for a bridal shower. Here are some of the sights along the way… Doesn’t this look like a cruise ship?
Uhm. Here’s hoping I never need to stop here….
I love the waves on the California coastline. I didn’t get great shots, but the waves are just bigger than we have in New England.
I don’t love the sand. It seems more like dirt than the sand we have here. I know. Weird. Here I am with Fadra and Shell.
Checking out the wildlife.
Fadra and her money shot. I love having a car with a sun roof.
This is the view. Totally worth the stop!
So, one of the coolest parts of the day was a service project. We were each given a gift card from Toyota, plus an additional discount from Target, so that we could shop for the Santa Barbara Food Bank. It was fun to see what each of us chose. I will admit that I went slightly over budget. Oh, well.
Here’s the back of the Rav4. We fit luggage for 3 bloggers (including my laptop bag), 3 swanky Toyota backpacks we were given when we arrived, and more than $100 in groceries for the Santa Barbara Food Bank. Room to spare, baby.
Santa’s summer home?
This is the Harbor Restaurant, where we all met up for lunch. Beautiful, right? It’s at the end of a pier.
Some other Harbor Restaurant guests. Not really, but they did like to hang out on the roof.
Back on the road. Reminders of scary things…
And our destination.
The visit to the food bank was a good reminder to me to take an extra moment to donate when I’m at the supermarket. No one should go hungry, but you also never know when you may need some extra help. It could happen to anyone.
The next step in the journey is El Capitan Canyon, but that’s a post of its own.
Disclosure: This trip was provided through my membership in the Toyota Women’s Influencer Network and the Clever Girls Collective. My travel expenses were covered, including meals and lodging, but there was no additional compensation provided. The opinions in this post are my own.