Month: January 2018

Awaiting Super Bowl Sunday … alive with anticipation

Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner. Somewhat of a holiday in our home, we look forward to it every year. We carefully prepare, getting game food and drinks ready and arranged in advance within eyesight of the television, so not a minute will be missed. The dog is walked, fed and ready to go for kickoff. We have and know our “spots” in advance. My husband will pace. Our daughter will curl up in the corner on her phone, looking up whenever my husband yells at the television. (She’s 11, what do you expect?) Then there’s me. I sit quietly and watch, commenting occasionally and explaining what just happened that caused the outburst from across the room. It’s game time. Not a moment will be missed. Because, after all, this is the Super Bowl. And that means, at a rumored $7.7 million for a 30-second spot, we’ll be watching closely to see what kind of comic relief the advertisers have to offer this year. Of course, I’ve already been scouring the internet, doing my best to find whatever I can regarding sneak peeks, teasers, etc. This year has been more challenging than previous years and I have to admit that, while it only makes me search harder, it also makes me happy. After all, there is a significant … Read More

Drive thru — Taking dining to a new level when on the road

We recently traveled to Dallas for a few days to spend some time with friends. Now that we’re back home, we joke that we ate and drank our way through the city and a few suburbs. According to the scale, this is not altogether untrue. Of course, we stayed at a hotel, which meant eating at various restaurants during our stay. When we travel, we make an effort to partake at local establishments. If we do go to what would be considered a “chain” restaurant, we make sure it’s not one that we can go to where we live in New Hampshire. Likewise, when we lived in Dallas and made our northward treks, we also chose local fare. We don’t make a “no chains” choice because we’re against the large, corporate food organizations. We simply like to experience something we don’t have the opportunity to have when we are at home. And, it feels good to support small business owners. As it turns out, we are not alone in our quest to experience something new and different on our travels. According to AAA, 75 percent of Americans consider their dining experience an integral part of their travel experience as a whole. So much so, in fact, that some have started planning culinary-inspired vacations that include winery and/or brewery tours, cooking … Read More

Winter weather means extra caution behind the wheel

I was recently driving in an unfamiliar area and it was cold – like, below-zero-before-the-wind-chill-was-factored-in kind of cold. On top of the frigid temperatures, there were patches of snow and ice and the wind was blowing the snow across the road. Confident in my own winter driving abilities, fueled by the fact that my four-wheel-drive Jeep® Cherokee has good tires, I wasn’t overly concerned about the conditions, but I was being cautious nonetheless. I wasn’t in the mood for an episode of SUV Meets Snowbank. It was too cold and I didn’t bring my snow pants. Cresting a hill and navigating a snow-covered S-curve on the downhill side, I encountered a gentleman who was not as fortunate (or perhaps cautious?) as I. Mid-curve, I saw where he began to slide and, sure enough, a few yards farther down, his van was securely stuck in a snowbank. Thankfully, he was uninjured, but he was NOT happy. His story is not the first, nor will it be the last of the season. Snow is beautiful, but when the weather outside is frightful, driving is less than delightful. So, what can you do to avoid being the guy (or girl) stuck in the snowbank? Your first choice should always be to stay put. If you deem the weather undesirable for travel, then the … Read More

Introducing the Sport Wave – it’s like the Jeep® Wave, but not

We live in a very small town. I think I’ve mentioned that a time or two. So, when you live in a place like this and you drive a special edition truck, with scoops on the hood, that happens to be a unique color, you expect to stand out a bit. You, in fact, stand out a lot. That’s why it’s not at all surprising that any time I take my Stinger Yellow 2016 Ram 1500 Sport to town, people wave. They definitely know who is coming because, let’s face it, I am hard to miss. There is a guy in town who owns a Sublime Green 2017 Ram 1500 Sport – equally hard to miss. Every time I pass him on the road, I nod and wave. Not because I know him, but because I feel like we’re somewhat kindred spirits. When I first noticed his truck and started waving, it got me thinking about the “Jeep Wave” and how Jeep® Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited owners acknowledge one another on the road with a brief, two-finger wave. I have to admit, though, I owned a Wrangler for a while and, when you live in an area where Wranglers are quite common, you find yourself executing the Jeep Wave a lot. It loses some of its charm when you find … Read More

To warm or not to warm – you decide

You’re dressed and ready for work. To get your engine going, you probably showered, had some breakfast, checked on the news (possibly the weather) of the day and now it’s time to hit the road. Coffee and computer bag in hand, you head for the door. But first, you stop to put on your coat, hat, scarf and gloves. Why? Because it’s FREEZING outside. The weather guy said so. Your weather app says so. The thermometer outside says so. So, altogether, you probably took somewhere between 30-60 minutes to get warmed up and start your day. Give or take … Then you donned winter gear to keep you warm in the cold temperatures. Why, then, would you not also allow your vehicle, that prized possession that you work (or worked, as the case may be) hard for, the same luxury of having some morning warm-up time? Granted, experts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) have concluded that vehicles actually warm up faster when driven and encourage owners to idle for no more than 30 seconds before driving. There is truth to this. In normal temperatures and normal driving conditions, where a driver can take a low-key, gentle drive for the first several minutes, yes, the engine will warm up faster than if it sits in … Read More

Introducing our latest addition – my long-awaited Jeep® Cherokee

Anytime you can start the New Year off with a new addition to the family, it’s a good thing, right? I think so too. That’s why we are so excited to welcome our new addition to our family – a 2016 Jeep® Cherokee Limited. I’ve been waiting a long time to buy my Jeep Cherokee. For those of you who have been reading/following The Road Best Traveled, you may remember back when I was eagerly awaiting the reintroduction of the Cherokee to the Jeep brand lineup. I said then that a Jeep Cherokee would be my next vehicle. I was a little off with that prediction. Stuff happens. So, when we (mostly me) decided it was time to start looking for another vehicle, I had very specific parameters that had to be met. It had to get decent gas mileage. It had to comfortably fit everyone, plus our gear. It had to be either all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. And, most importantly, it had to be within a very specific budget, which meant it was going to be a used vehicle, but I didn’t want anything with high miles. Basically, I was looking for a unicorn. The one thing I did not specify was that it had to be a particular make and/or model. (Admittedly, there were a few I told my … Read More

Hot or cold – double-check your vehicle

Mild temperatures last fall made it seem like winter was far off, but then ol’ Jack Frost came to town, sending chilly temperatures across the United States. Just recently, I was actually happy to see the thermometer reach 18 degrees. We frequently discuss how quickly temperatures can reach dangerously high levels inside a parked vehicle during the summer months and the need to take extra care with children, pets and anything else that can easily become overheated. But what about items that should not be left in vehicles when temperatures plummet? Just like excessively warm temperatures, being stuck inside an unheated vehicle when temperatures are dangerously low can also have serious, unwanted consequences. Regular stops at the pump should be first on your list when cold weather hits. I’ve previously cautioned about the need to keep fuel levels above half during winter months. Not only does it help to prevent fuel lines from freezing, it can also ensure you can keep your vehicle running long enough for help to arrive, should you find yourself in need. Being stuck is bad enough. Being stuck AND out of gas is dangerous. While your tank should be full, checking to make sure the inside of your vehicle is empty once you reach your destination is also a good idea. Of course you want … Read More