It’s Snowing!

Snow is here. / S.A.Leys Photo

It’s 4:30; it’s been snowing for a few hours now. The quietude of the outdoors is afoot as the snowflakes are very small. I remember years ago when we used to ski at Killington, around this time we’d be in the lodge at the top of the mountain getting ready for the last run down. It was cool to sit there and have a hot chocolate while we waited for everyone else to clear out. Then we’d head out, put our skis back on and stand at the top of the trail for a bit taking in the beauty of it all, the snow in the pines, the crisp mountain air, wood stove smoke off in the distance, – Vermont in the winter. And then we’d ski down – new snow after a great day of skiing.

At the bottom of the trail, once our run was complete, we’d head to the car where there would be a small cooler with NY Sharp cheddar cheese, Triscuits, and sodas (Okay, insert favorite beverage here ; )) to enjoy on the ride home as we’d head through Woodstock and then back to 89 and Grantham. I miss those days. Killington is 7:45 and 470 miles from here, so I will stay here tucked in under warm blankets. All this to say – batten down the hatches kids, it’s headed towards the Northeast. And yes, my weather app is telling me Killington is expecting 12″ – 18″.

The View From “Up There”

“I want to go up there”, my 95 y/o friend would tell me, as we were in the car driving during the Fall when all of the leaves were changing color. “Where?” I would ask.

“Up there” she would say again. pointing to the mountains (okay – hills) that were usually right in front of us as we would drive. Drive to a haircut appointment, drive to pick up groceries, or to go out for lunch. “It must be really beautiful in the Fall” she would say.

She told me her son had driven her to top of these hills several months ago. “You could see everything,” she said. But it wasn’t during the Fall and as the leaves were now changing colors, I’m sure she was correct when she said it would be colorful.

So this turned into a mission for me. To find the road that went to the top of the mountains that overlooked our small town of Frederick, MD. So that when the Fall came and the foliage was at its peak, then maybe instead of celebrating her birthday at a noisy restaurant, we could “grab some sandwiches” and have a picnic.

It was a wonderful idea if only I could find the road to the top.

It would have been so great if you could just point your phone to the view and say “Hey Siri, how do I get to the top of those mountains so I can check out the view?” But – in the world of Siri, you have to know what you’re talking about and maybe it’s not a bad thing to actually use that “old skill” of actually looking at a map, or in this case, a trail guide.

I told a few of my other friends about this endeavor I was on to find the road that led to the place that overlooked our town. Sure enough, one day I was driving with another friend who said “I think I know the road the goes up there”. For the next hour we drove through a few different neighborhoods and then finally found the road that led us to Gambrill State Park.

Ever been there? No? You should go.

As you can tell by the photo above, we missed the foliage by about a week and a half. But next year – next year, we’ll be the group of folks hanging out at the overlook having a picnic.

My Dream Acura

Acura Integra Teaser Sketch (From AcuraNews.com)

Acura is bringing back (FINALLY!) the Integra – yay!

True story: Many years ago I was on my way back from NY (in my Toyota Camry) and was sideswiped by a car while on 95 north of New Haven. The driver of the other car pulled over to wait for me but because I was trapped against a barrier in the left lane, and couldn’t cross traffic, they ended up leaving. Kate my cat was in her carrier next to me – but we were both pretty shaken up by what happened.

We ended up stopping at friends to check everything out before heading home. The car was severely damaged and I ended up needing a new one. Enter my Dad who was always fun to shop for cars with. – I couldn’t figure out what kind of car I wanted so we test drove everything (yes, including the cool black jeep with the tan leather side windows that zip). Dad said “this isn’t the most professional-looking car for you to drive”. I said, “I know but isn’t it fun???”. Needless to say, we narrowed my choice down to a VW Jetta and then went to test drive an Acura Integra. – back when Acura of Newport was still open. We decided to test drive a very pretty red one (the kind that when you drive a smidge too fast your chance of getting pulled over is greater because of the color).

So off we went for our test drive – down to the rotary, then towards the Newport navy base…Washington street, past the yacht club… down Thames st….and then, yes, around the Ocean Drive. As we were about as far out around Ocean Drive as you can go, Dad said “umm ya think maybe we should take the car back now?” (I think when we left the lot it had 6 miles on it). I told him “I love this car; I have to have this car!!” (luckily I had a great job which had discounted auto prices as part of the benefits – in healthcare – what???).

We drove the car back to the dealership and then I really looked at the red color and thought ‘probably not a good idea to get red – so ended up going with a darker blue color, fathom blue pearl with a beautiful camel interior.

As it was a standard, it was so much fun to drive – especially on the parkways in NY. The Jetta held the road just a little bit better than the #Acura did when turning corners. But the Integra came with everything standard: sunroof, electric everything and my personal favorite when being called into the ER to speak with a patient at 2:00am.. heated seats!

Since test driving that Acura #Integra years ago, I’ve purchased several of them: the Integra, RSX, TSX and RDX and most recently, my bellanova pearl #ILX (pictured below) with my Trek 2100 on the back somewhere along 95 in North Carolina.

Acura Is Also About Service

And yes, the other lesson I’ve learned from owning many Acuras is that the car that you drive is also about the service, quality and integrity of the dealerships you decide to visit.

I loved the service I received from Acura of Newport and was sad when they closed. After relocating to the Washington DC Metro area, I subsequently purchased all of my Acuras from Rosenthal Acura in Gaithersburg MD. Their service team was as excellent as was their sales team which was phenomenal as the dealership supports you from the time you enter the dealership throughout the time you own it.

Bringing back the Integra is long overdue. My hope is that Acura has designed the new Integra in a manner that supports the brand of a great company. I also hope there’s a hybrid / electric version.

If you’re considering an Acura in your future, you should click here to find the dealership closest to you.