Month: August 2016

Why fall is the best season for dropping the top

To most, the idea of putting the top down as the weather turns a bit chillier may sound ridiculous. But here are seven reasons why autumn is the best time to drop the top: Gone are the scorching hot days of summer. With milder temperatures and plenty of bright sunshine, a more enjoyable ride can be had by all. Any chill in the air can be combatted by donning the sweater or sweatshirt you’ve been waiting all summer to wear. Or carry along the quilt that grandma made for you. You’ll look and feel great. Hat season has arrived and what better way to show off some of your finest than while cruising in your convertible. As the leaves start turning, the scenery is more spectacular than ever. Take in the technicolor grandeur with nothing to block your view. Pollen counts are lower, so those suffering from hay fever are more likely to relax and enjoy the ride without checking the glove box for an antihistamine. Summer pests are a thing of the past. Leave the fly swatter and bug repellent at home. You won’t need it. Pumpkin-spiced lattes just taste better while enjoying a scenic fall drive with the top down. The truth is, there are plenty of days left before cold temperatures hit and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) … Read More

Kickin’ up dirt at Crankworx

Gravity-fuelled. An interesting phrase. It sparks images of a high-speed, heart-pounding plummet that doesn’t always have a great ending. At face value, it’s not necessarily something I would want to experience. However, put that same phrase together with “mountain biking” and now you’ve got my attention. If you’re a mountain-biking enthusiast, chances are you are familiar with the likes of the terrains and trails in Moab, Utah, Fruita, Colorado, Asheville, North Carolina, East Burke, Vermont and Park City, Utah. Touted as the top five places in the United States to mountain bike by MountainBike.about.com, you’ve likely been there, done that. Or want to go. Or have at least heard of them. You’re probably also at least somewhat familiar with the Crankworx Whistler Mountain Bike Festival – a 10-day, fun-filled annual event held in Whistler, British Columbia. Described as a “must-see for mountain bikers,” the renowned festival is currently taking place with some of the best mountain bikers in the world attending. From spectators to beginners to the most experienced, Crankworx has something for everyone. Kids can get in on the fun at the Kidsworx wooden Pump Track or by competing in the Kidsworx bike races. There is even a Kidsworx Scavenger Hunt. Bike helmets mandatory, of course. Spectators stopping by to enjoy a day of jaw-dropping excitement should start the … Read More

Send your kids back to school in style

Whether you’re driving your kids to and fro or they’re the ones behind the wheel, back to school means carpools, after-school activities and maybe even the need for another family vehicle. If everyone’s schedules has your family going every which way and suddenly you find yourself in the market for a new vehicle, here are a few to consider. Chrysler Pacifica Why get a minivan for back to school? Because the Chrysler Pacifica is the ultimate go, go, go vehicle and is perfect for anyone on the run. It has plenty of seating for everyone, plus cargo space for athletic equipment, musical instruments or backpacks and lunch bags. Second-row, easy-tilt seating makes getting people and things in and out of the back easier than ever and with hands-free entry, your once-perfected juggling routine may become a thing of the past. Dodge Dart With enough space to be classified as a mid-size sedan, Dodge Dart is the cool car that your kids will want to drive. It’s perfect for them to cart around younger siblings or zip off to study with friends, while providing you the peace of mind that goes with more than 60 available safety and security features. Jeep® Renegade When was the last time you heard the words “practical” and “fun” in the same sentence, describing the same … Read More

Don’t forget Fido on your family trip

Summer is wrapping up and soon school will be starting. That means it’s time for one last epic family trip. If your family is anything like mine, your four-legged family members are just as much a part of these trips as everyone else. Just like traveling with kids, roving with Rover requires preparation and planning. Even an impromptu road trip is a bit less spontaneous when pets are enjoying the ride as well. Exploring new places is fun for everyone. You can see and experience many fresh and different things and your pup will be busy investigating a plethora of unfamiliar smells. But something to consider is pet-friendly stops and whether your final destination has any kind of pet restrictions. The last thing anyone wants is to arrive, get out of the vehicle and discover a beloved family member is not welcome. If your trip includes hotel stays, finding Fido and feline-friendly accommodations seems, to me, like it’s less challenging that it once was. Best Western and LaQuinta hotels are both pet friendly and outline their pet policies on their websites. Find even more options in your destination of choice by visiting Pet.Friendly.Hotels.net. Camping along the way may seem like a good idea, but not all campsites are pet-friendly. Calling ahead to make sure your furry family members are welcome … Read More

See FIAT® in a whole new way

I love FIAT®. Admittedly, I don’t own one. With a family of six, three of which are four-legged, a small, fun car hasn’t really been something that we could even consider. Until now. That’s right. The FIAT 500 isn’t alone anymore. And, with larger “cousins” (the FIAT 500L and FIAT 500X) joining the ranks of the FIAT family, there’s plenty of room for everyone. The FIAT 500X has all the fun, cute, quirky Italian style of the FIAT family, but with more room than ever before. It’s so big, you can fit a house in the back. Despite what some people say, it’s definitely NOT a toy car. With more Italian style, available all-wheel-drive performance and room for everyone, the FIAT 500X is most certainly a triple threat. If you’re in the market for a new, small crossover, you should visit a FIAT studio and take one for a spin. Then, see the world in a whole new way.

Vehicle considerations for your college student

If you have a child headed off to college this fall, you may be debating the car issue – does the car go or does it stay? There is no “right” answer to this question. Every situation for every student is different and the quandary doesn’t just apply to freshmen, although it seems to be a more-talked-about topic for first-year students. A good place to start is by checking out the college or university’s policy on student vehicles. Some schools don’t allow student vehicles on campus. Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin – Madison are two such schools. If your child is attending either, will live on campus and wishes to take a vehicle, plan on finding a place somewhere off-campus to keep that vehicle. Many schools don’t allow freshmen to have vehicles on campus. Campus parking is usually at a premium. Restricting on-campus vehicles to upper-classmen can help alleviate some of those parking woes. In addition to parking limitations, staying on campus encourages first-year students to get the full college experience. Students who live off-campus or tend to spend much of their free time off-campus (e.g. those who choose to go home every weekend) don’t typically establish strong ties to peer groups like those who remain on campus. Attending campus activities and finding “study buddies” can make a … Read More

12 little-known facts about license plates

Every vehicle owner is required to display license plates on his/her vehicle. But did you know that wasn’t always the case? New York was the first state to require vehicles bear a license plate (1901), but Massachusetts was the first state to have state-issued plates (1903). Prior to implementing state-issued plates, New York residents made their own, displaying their initials on the identifying tag. The very first state-issued plate in Massachusetts read, simply, “1,” and was issued to a gentleman named Frederick Tudor. A member of his family still holds an active registration on the tag today, 113 years later. Between September 1, 1903 (the date all Massachusetts vehicle-owners were required to have a state-issued tag) and December 31, 1903, Massachusetts issued 3,241 tags. The first state-issued tags were made of iron covered with porcelain enamel. Delaware still offers a porcelain plate and is the only state to continue to do so. The starting fee for the porcelain version is $110. Because the fragility of the porcelain plates made them impractical, manufacturers experimented with replacement materials such as cardboard, leather and even pressed soybeans. Pennsylvania was the first to issue a personalized plate in 1931. A potato was the first graphic to appear on a license plate, in 1928. It was, of course, issued in the state of Idaho. The … Read More

Six tips from SafeKids.org

The other day, a friend of mine posted a picture of her child headed out for her first day of kindergarten. My first thought, after marveling at how quickly time flies was, “Is it really time for kids to be going back to school already?!?!?” While most kids still have a couple weeks before the back-to-school rush really hits, the new school year is quickly approaching. Time to buy new shoes. Time to sharpen new pencils. Time to review school bus safety items. School buses transport millions of kids to schools every day during the school year and those children are more likely to arrive at school safe and sound. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates each school bus represents 36 cars. This translates into 17.3 million cars that are kept off the roads and out of school traffic lanes every school day. To keep kids safe while waiting for the bus, entering and exiting the bus and riding the bus, SafeKids.org lists six helpful tips for everyone to follow: If possible, walk to the bus stop with your kids and wait until the bus arrives. When work and/or family schedules prevent you from being able to be present at the bus stop each morning, ensure your child understands the importance of standing back, away from the curb, … Read More