Three Reasons You Will Love the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Travel

Three Reasons You Will Love the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Back in May, Danyelle and I headed to Miami for a little R & R and fun in the sun. I hadn’t been to Miami in a few years so I thought it would be fun to explore South Beach and see what was new since I last visited. Usually when I visit Miami I don’t drive because I find it to be a hassle but this time around I decided if we really wanted to explore we would need a car.  As soon as I arrived in Miami, my friends at Mitsubishi had the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport waiting for me at the airport. The Outlander Sport is a smaller version of the Mitsubishi Outlander and was perfect for our Miami getaway. Miami traffic can be a bit hectic so I needed something that would not only handle the road but was also easy to maneuver in traffic. Since it had been a while, I also needed a car that had a navigation system in it to help us get from point A to point B. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was the answer to all of our problems and more. So here are my top 3 reasons why you drive theMitsubishi Outlander Sport: Despite being compact in nature, with seating for 5 the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is pretty roomy and very comfortable. You won’t feel cramped in this car. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is amazing on gas, you get 25 mpg  (city) and 32 mpg(highway) . We drove around Miami a lot and barely put a dent in the gas The Sound System: Again being a small car the sound on the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was amazing. There’s nothing better than driving around South Beach with the windows down and the music loud. I would buy the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport for the radio along. It was probably one of the best radio systems I’ve heard in a crossover SUV. Overall, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was the perfect companion for our girls getaway trip. Starting at  $19,595 the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is perfect for anyone looking to buy a crossover...

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Family Time at Eckert’s Farm in Belleville

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Family Travel, Food, Travel

Family Time at Eckert’s Farm in Belleville

I come from a small family, and we don’t get an opportunity to see one another as much as we’d like. Add to that my 21 year old son now lives in Los Angeles, it is always a joyous occasion when he comes to visit. We wanted to do something extra special to celebrate him coming home for a week and also get my grandmother out of the house and away from St. Louis for awhile. My Aunt organized a family caravan to Eckert’s Farm in Belleville, Illinois, about a forty five minute drive from the city, and we all met up there to eat lunch at their delicious family style restaurant. We also did a little shopping in their store for some fresh fruit, produce, and goodies. I’ve written about Eckert’s Farm before on TheCubicleChick.com. My daughter and I go almost every Fall on a day trip to pick pumpkins and apples and eat in the restaurant. I love having a place that is nearby where we can bond as a family and get fresh fruit and veggies to cook with, and it is an awesome place to visit around the holiday season. And as many times as me and my daughter have went to Eckert’s to spend our day, this is the first time that we have visited Eckert’s together as a family—and I have a feeling it won’t be the last. Eckert’s Farm in Belleville is comprised of a store, a restaurant, a custard shop, and also gives you the opportunity to pick your own fruit. Depending on the season, you can go out on the farm and pick your own berries, peaches, apples, pumpkins, and more. While we didn’t do any picking this go ’round, we did enjoy a great meal and raided the Eckert’s Country Store. Here’s a few photos from our visit: Inside Eckert’s Country Store Eckert’s Belleville Country Restaurant For more information on Eckert’s in Belleville, visit their website. I am so thankful for my family and I cherish these moments. They are the best! And I see more visits to Eckert’s Belleville in the future. What are your family travel plans this...

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On The Road in the All New 2015 Chevy Trax

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Travel, Travel Reviews

On The Road in the All New 2015 Chevy Trax

Most of the time, I travel via a plane but every once in a while, I love a good roadtrip. A few weeks ago, life got pretty hectic so I did what I do best… I decided to go on a quick getaway to Wisconsin. The drive was less than 3 hours, so it was the perfect time to get away and just get lost in my thoughts. After viewing the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, I knew it was the perfect vehicle to take on the road. The Trax is the perfect roadtrip vehicle because it’s a cross between a car and a SUV. Which means you get more room than a car and more mpg than a traditional SUV, with 26 City (MPG) AND 34 Highway (MPG), I was able to make the trip on less than one tank of gas. Now, that is my kind of roadtrip! Though the Trax appears small in nature, it’s actually pretty roomy, which is important when taking a vehicle on the road. You don’t want your passengers to feel cramped, which is definitely not the case with the Chevrolet Trax. Now lets talk about some of my favorite features… The Drive-The Trax was very easy to drive and maneuver, almost like driving on clouds. I’ve driven a ton of cars and there is nothing worse than driving a car that is hard to move, the Trax handled the road perfectly. OnStar-We got lost and needed directions several times. OnStar made it easy for us to get back on the right route. No more pulling over to enter an address in the navigation system, customer service can locate you and send directions to your vehicle in a manner of seconds. Built in Wi-Fi (4G LTE)-This made my passengers quite happy! We were able to listen and groove to some of our favorite internet radio services via Bluetooth. Additional storage in the glove box, plus additional USB plugs kept us fully charged and connected. Cruise Control-Up until now, I’ve never used the Cruise Control feature because it’s hard to do in a city setting but this feature was my best friend on our roadtrip. Can’t believe, I went so long without using it. Bose Sound System-You guys know how I feel about my music, the Bose Sound System packed a mighty punch in this crossover vehicle. Overall, this car was so much fun, with a starting price tag of $20,995 it’s truly a great option for anyone who is in the market for a car. While the Chevrolet Trax has been gone for a few weeks now, I truly miss it, it’s such a fun car    ...

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Hotel Review: Lord Baltimore

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Travel, Travel Reviews

Hotel Review: Lord Baltimore

Boutique hotels are my thing. Of course I enjoy high end properties that have a five star rating and are known the well-over for their distinction and classic style. But I especially like hotels that aren’t a chain—ones that are unique and funky with fabulous furnishings and youthful appeal. While in the Washington, D.C. area recently, my flight was canceled and I had to stay until the next day to catch a plane to New York City. I used my trusty Hotel Tonight app on my phone to look for rooms in the area that wouldn’t break the bank, and I came across the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Downtown Baltimore near the harbor. And at only $75 for the night, I went ahead and booked the room since the photos of the hotel on the app looked amazing. Once I arrived to the hotel, I could tell that this was an old property, but it had been redone and updated into a quirky hotel destination. The lobby still had an old Charm City feel, but was mixed with contemporary furnishings. The staff greeted me with a smile and gave me a room on the 15th floor. My room was a nice size with a Queen bed, flat screen HD TV, and a small bathroom with wood laminate floors. The decor was trendy yet sparse, and I could appreciate the youthful style meets old world feel. For $75, I doubt I would be able to find a better room in the Baltimore area. And for a night or two, this property was well worth it. Here are a few photos from my room at Lord Baltimore: Lord Baltimore Hotel was voted Best City Center Historic Hotel in 2014by Historic Hotels of America. Originally built in 1928, it experienced a million dollar renovation in 2013. It reopened in March 2014. For more information on the Lord Baltimore Hotel, click...

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Explore Ocala/Marion County Florida for An Authentic Florida Family Vacation

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Family Travel, Travel

Explore Ocala/Marion County Florida for An Authentic Florida Family Vacation

We received the following press release to share with readers: OCALA, FLORIDA (June  2015) – Summer vacations are one of the most treasured and highly anticipated times of the year. It’s a season when life-long memories are made, and for many families a summer road trip is an unforgettable and forever cherished experience. Families, couples or friends looking for an exciting and distinctive stop on their summer adventure can explore countless attractions, both on land and water, throughout Ocala/Marion County, one of Florida’s original travel destinations. See breathtaking sights including sun-drenched hiking trails through lush forests, crystal clear fresh water springs, lakes and rivers and limestone canyons. Those looking for an adventure through the woods can lace up their sneakers and hike through the Ocala National Forest. Located roughly 40 minutes from historic downtown Ocala, the national forest offers dozens of different hiking trails ranging from half-mile boardwalks to nearly 100 miles of backpacking trails for the experienced naturalist. In addition to hiking trails, there are 100 miles of designated equestrian paths and camping sites. Make sure to stick to the marked trails; this is, after all, the largest contiguous sand pine scrub forest in the world.  While in the area, you may want to look for the 45-foot Chapman Oak Tree, located just off State Road 19; it is the largest of its species in the U.S. and registered as an American Champion Tree. If making a splash is on your summer to-do list, plan to stop at Wild Waters at Silver Springs, a longtime family favorite that’s been newly renovated. This one-of-a-kind waterpark offers a cool time for the entire family, where you can relax by the wave pool or take a plunge down one of the high-speed waterslides. There are also several natural springs sprinkled throughout the Ocala National Forest, one of the most popular being Juniper Springs, located about 28 miles east of Ocala. The forest’s springs stay at 72 degrees year round, making them a fantastic spot to cool off from Florida’s summer heat. Another popular spring is The Salt Springs Recreation Area, also located in the Ocala National Forest. Its name originated from naturally occurring minerals carried to the surface from underground aquifers, providing a level of salinity not found in the other springs. The semi-tropical foliage of pines and palms at the campground is a winning combination for a summer outdoor experience, perfect for the entire family to enjoy. During the summer the Rainbow River, located in Dunnellon, is the ideal aquatic sanctuary for tubing.  A natural landmark, this family-friendly river shimmers with silver and turquoise hues and stays at a cool 72 to 74 degrees year-round, perfect to drift away for three to four hours of downstream relaxation. It is ideal for swimming, bird watching, scuba diving, boating, kayaking and paddle boarding as well.  KP Hole Park, known as ‘The Tuber Ride of Generations’ and the...

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Flying the Friendly Skies in a Hot Air Balloon

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Travel

Flying the Friendly Skies in a Hot Air Balloon

One of the things on my Bucket List was flying in a hot air balloon. I say was because back in May during a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, my dream was realized. Raijean and I both were able to fly in a hot air balloon soaring above the desert near Phoenix, and I can say that it was an amazing experience. I’ve always been a person to want to try new and different things. I’ve ziplined, bungee jumped, and swam in many oceans, but never had a chance to go in a hot air balloon. Thanks to Hot Air Expeditions (@BalloonsAZ on Twitter), we were treated to a ride that I will always remember. Here are five things that stuck out to me during our hot air balloon ride: It is HOT In order to “propel” the balloon and make it go higher (and to be able to guide it), you need hot air. And that hot air is produced by a blazing hot flame. I don’t think I was ready for how hot it got, but glad I dressed appropriately as described in the tour materials. It is beautiful Seeing everything high above the desert was something to behold. At one point, I stopped trying to take pictures of everything because I wanted to fully enjoy the sights and scenery. We had to get up pretty early in the morning for the trip, but it was worth it. The views that I saw that morning will last in my memory for a lifetime. It is an event After our ride was complete, we had breakfast in the middle of the desert complete with all of the fixings and mimosas. It wasn’t just a hot air balloon ride, but an experience. And a fabulous one at that! It is fun During our ride, we were on a balloon with two other families, so we got a chance to chop it up with other people, too. It is a fun way to meet new people and experience something that isn’t your garden variety activity. It is something I want to do again I can cross riding in a hot air balloon off of my bucket list, but that doesn’t mean that it’s over. I wouldn’t mind partaking in one again, maybe this time in Europe. So, it may be crossed off my list, but it’s still on my European Travel Guide. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience a hot air balloon ride, I highly recommend that you do. And if you are visiting Arizona, make sure to check out Hot Air Expeditions in Phoenix. They will take  great care of you and give you a memorable...

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