By Jeff Game
Everyone loves a happy commute. When you live in Los Angeles, living in your car and logging major hours in traffic every day is just part of your life, sort of like that unwelcome relative that has been crashing on your couch for a month. Since the Jetson’s flying car is not on the market yet, finding anyway to make a daily commute easier, less stressful and maybe a little fun in L.A. or any place U.S.A. is really important to a better quality of life.
Last weekend I was invited by the great people at the Ford Motor Company to spend a weekend in a new Ford Fiesta and see if I could experience a “happy commute”, test-driving the car around Rancho Palos Verdes and staying a couple nights the amazing Terranea Resort. Of course staying at the resort is a huge plus, however I was actually intrigued about the Ford Fiesta. Since I travel a lot for my job, I see a lot of rental cars, so I wanted to see how this car stacked up amongst similar cars on the road.
My financial planner and fellow writer wife Shannah was also interested in the value of the car, so we hopped in the car to a town called Beverly…Hills that is.
Plunging into our first test was very familiar; rush hour traffic from Beverly Hills to Rancho Palos Verdes on the 405 at four o’clock in the afternoon – on a Friday to boot. Pretty much as fun as going to the dentist, however this is our daily lives in L.A. and yes we actually interstate 405 “the 405”, that’s just how we roll.
Even so, setting out on our journey with this car was a breeze with a very user friendly navigation system and Ford’s SYNC technology to connect with my iPhone and since I had a few calls to make for other articles, the trip started out this much less stressful, all thanks to the car.
Another great test with the car was winding our way through the hills of Rancho Palos Verdes to the Terrenea really showed us how great the car handles in traffic and around winding bend. Even with all the twists, turns and traffic we passed on the drive down, the car’s navigation system helped us with step-by-step directions and finally arriving at the doorstep of the resort.
As grand as the Terrenea Resort is, I love to explore places I have never really experienced and I have not spent a ton of time in Rancho Palos Verdes or our brunch spot for the day, Hermosa Beach. Ford treated us to brunch in Hermosa Beach and that gave me another chance to take a scenic route to the restaurant and grab some pictures of the coastline.
Downtown Hermosa Beach reminds me of the sleepy surf town where I grew up and gives off a laid-back, easy-going, beachy feel that I always think is unique to Southern California. Hence, why so many beach towns from Orange County to Ventura all have the same kind of vibe and is one of the reasons I love living in Los Angeles.
A major discovery in Hermosa was our brunch spot, the Abigaile and was an awesome culinary gem and a must eat is the lemon ricotta pancakes, with spiced honey. Seriously good! I definitely see a future visit back to the Abigaile with the wife for the craft beer they brew right on property.
Over the getaway weekend, we ended up taking the car for spin down to Orange County to spend a few hours shopping and lunching Back Bay Tavern at Fashion Island and early Sunday morning jetted over to Long Beach to meet some friends for breakfast at one of favorite hangouts, The Attic. Each time we got in the car, we popped in our location and Fiesta got us to our location with ease. By the time we got back to the resort and even with all that driving, we were only at a half of tank of gas.
The Ford Fiesta and all the cool technology really exceeded my expectations I had before driving the car and really fit in our Southern California lifestyle of driving all over the place, eating great food and meeting friends. We are pretty spread out in L.A. and we pretty much have spend many hours a day in our card. So, if a car can help with a better commute in the car and improve our way of life, then that is one cool car. That’s ‘emerica!
When you are driving around Southern California you need a great road trip playlist and and here is my “happy commute” list of five happy drive songs.
Happy – Rolling Stones
Come on Get Happy – The Partridge Family
Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
Happy – Pharell
Drive – Incubus