When I started with the Toyota Women’s Influencers Network (TWIN) back in May, I had no idea what would be in store for us. And now that the program is complete, I can’t help but shed a few tears! The program has been really great to us and we all were given the opportunity to do some pretty awesome and fabulous things!
My most recent experience with Toyota and TWIN began last Sunday, when I flew to Los Angeles to participate in the Toyota Coastal Driving Experience which started in Santa Monica and led us though the beautiful Cali coastline. We began the trip with a fab group dinner (more on that on another post) and a fab stay at Loews’ Santa Monica Hotel. We then hopped in Toyota vehicles on Monday morning and began our trek down the coastline.
My team of fabulous broads (@Glennia, @Chaotic_Barb, and @KittyBradshaw) got into a beautiful 2011 Toyota Highlander Limited with all of the bells and whistles. We were the first “team” to take off on the excursion, and although I knew the girls from previous trips, we really got to know one another as we chatted away. We got lost a time or two due to my user error, but quickly found our way to the destinations were were supposed to go to. I loved driving the Highlander because it is really smooth for a larger vehicle and handled the road well. The Highlander is an SUV, bigger than the Rav4, but smaller than the Sequoia, which would be considered a premium sized SUV. I think the Highlander is more my speed.
We enjoyed the coastline views and ended up the first team to arrive at our first official stop, a Target in Oxnard, in which we were given gift cards to purchase needed items for the Santa Barbara County Foodbank. We all scurried around getting items off of our lists, and were pleased to find out that Target was giving us all 10% off of our purchases since we were buying items for the foodbank. Got to love Target!
Afterwards, we went to lunch and noshed on the Santa Barbara Pier, then made our way to El Capitan Canyon, a premium area for camping. We all got our very own cabins, and even though we were “roughing” it, I think we can all agree we were really glamping.
The next day, many TWINS went out to do activities. But since I twisted my ankle a week before, I couldn’t partake in the physical activities, so I spent time in the El Capitan Spa on-site. My TWIN pal Barb, also couldn’t do a lot of the activities, so we paired up after our spa services and did some shopping!
We went into downtown Santa Barbara in a spiffy powder blue 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid, which I loved. Barb drove this time and noted that she couldn’t tell it was a hybrid. The car had great acceleration on the highway and she was quite impressed. Somehow, we found ourselves shopping for Coach bags, t-shirts for the kids, and other goodies. We even saw a gyrating woman dancing with her Big Mac, but again, that’s another story for another time.
The next day, we all said our goodbyes, and hopped into our Toyotas to drive back to Santa Monica, where it all started. On the ride back, I drove a 2012 Toyota Prius V. And you may already know that I am a sucker for a Prius, so it was a great way to end the trip. Despite it’s size, the Prius knows how to handle the road and keep it cute!
So now, our TWIN experience is over (or is it??? Cue the scary music…lol), but the memories will live forever. I enjoyed getting to know the Toyota Highlander, Camry Hybrid, and Prius V better. Who could ask for anything more?
(I will bring you more tea about the trip in future posts, so stay tuned!)
..and special thanks to Mark and his team at STI. You made our driving experiences during the event easy breezy. Thank you!
Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with
Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota. Smooches and deuces!