Remember that time you showed me where you went to college?

Ahh, college.  For me, college was located in upstate NY.  Winters were full of blizzards and by the time school was finished in May, we were still wearing fleece coats to keep us warm.  The only time shorts were possible was the beginning of the school year, but that quickly changed to denim and thermals.

My fiancé had a different experience.  We set off on an excursion to my fiancé’s alma mater – UC San Diego.

We started off at the Hyatt at Huntington Beach where I had some training for work.  The hotel is quite massive and had what we both love – high ceilings and long hallways.

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IMG_7968– A parking lot full of Porsche Panameras –

IMG_7932– a lonely, but lovely Christmas tree at the Hyatt Huntington Beach –

 

IMG_7961– dinner time! –

IMG_7962– shishito peppers with a cheese dipping sauce! –

The hotel had more pros’ than cons’.  We absolutely loved how grand the entrance was.  We also enjoyed our room and our view of the ocean from our room.  Our feeling towards how spacious the place happened to be was both good and bad.  It was nice to be secluded in our area of the hotel, but annoying to have to walk such a distance to get to the main lobby – which we did while it rained.  Most hotels just have a gift shop.  This place had a gift village.  A small village of stores to help you spend your money. Overall, a very nice place to stay, and we would definitely go back.

We got up early the following day to go collect our rental car from our good friends at Turo!  Turo is an app that allows you to rent cars from other people.  The benefit is you get to choose what you want to drive!  For this trip we got a 2012 Cayenne S.  Coming from Porsche, I knew what to expect, but was very excited to try out the Adaptive Cruise Control feature – which is a laser cruise control that allows you to maintain a chosen distance behind the car ahead of you.  If that car slows down, your car slows down.  If that car speeds up, your car maintains its speed and your desired distance.  The idea is that your car will constantly try to get to your desired speed, while maintaining your desired distance behind the car ahead of you.

IMG_8038– our Cayenne S in all its glory –

We took an Uber to Redondo Beach from Huntington Beach and we headed down south.  What a gorgeous place California happens to be.  The mountains.  The ocean.  The valleys.  The flat spots.  Just amazing so much nature in one state.

IMG_7927– Picking up some supplies at Whole Foods –

IMG_8001– Vinita by the water –

IMG_8002– San Diego, how I love you –

As we were sitting on a pier in Seaport Village, this little guy came up to us!

 

Getting back to colleges.  Yeah, so my college was full of snow and inclement weather.  My fiancé’s college was full of this…

IMG_8061– the view from her cafeteria –

IMG_8047-us in front of …. her school library –

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Visiting this school made me realize how incorrectly my parents got this whole United States thing.  How did we choose NJ when there were places like this in this country?!  I don’t know and don’t want to make that mistake for our children.

One of my fiancé’s college eating spots was a local wing spot, called Wings N’ Things.  She claimed them to be the best wings she’s ever eaten.  I said I’d be the judge of that.

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She was right.  As she always is.

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Remember that time we rented a Ferrari and drove to Malibu and then got stuck in Beverly Hills traffic?

There is a hidden gem on the iOS store.  Before I tell you what that is, let me ask you a question.  How many times have you wanted to be surprised when you were renting a car?  Getting a convertible when you’re in Hawaii! Getting a big SUV when you are alone in Aspen! Maybe getting a Mercedes that has long been forgotten! Unfortunately, the rental car agent comes back with a key, and then comes the sad reality of getting an econobox that you can’t wait to return.

Well, all of that changes with an app, called Turo, that is available for the iPhone or Android devices.  Think of Air’BNB for cars.  People put their personal cars up for rent.  They dictate the mileage you can drive for the day.  They choose how old you can be.  You tell them what time you want to use the car, they either say yes or no.  You can purchase insurance to protect yourself.  The brilliance of the app resides in the fact that you can chose what kind of car you’d like to rent!

Growing up in the 80s, three marques always scratched my itch – Ferrari, Porsche, and BMW.  Having never driven a manual transmission Ferrari, that was a bucket list item for me.  Getting to drive a manual transmission Ferrari convertible through Los Angeles, on the PCH, through Malibu, and in Beverly Hills, was even more of a kicker.  As I was casually browsing Turo, I came across this beauty.

IMG_7314-Vinita chilling in a 1991 Ferrari 348 Spyder-

I immediately gave Turo my money.  We were greeted by a very nice man named Darren in Santa Monica, who gave me the keys to his Ferrari and off we went.

We quickly got onto the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), top down, music off, the V8 screaming behind me.  It was a strange feeling changing gears.  What makes a manual transmission Ferrari so special, besides being a manual transmission Ferrari, is the gated shifter.  Something I have always wanted to experience, and boy was it an experience.

IMG_7259– Infamous Ferrari Gated Shifter; pure bliss –

From the “clickiness” of engaging a gear, to the long clutch pedal, to the actual energy required to get the shifter into gear, driving a manual transmission Ferrari was an experience we will never forget.  It really made me appreciate the old racers who had gated shifters.  The amount of muscle memory required to do this while racing is something I am not able to fathom.  Cheers to those heroes of yesteryear.

– my thoughts on the Ferrari & Vinita’s joking about the entire experience. She is so cute –

The drive up the PCH to Malibu was breathtaking.  Having never been to Southern California before, the view of the Pacific ocean to the left and blue skies above me was something that made me constantly pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming.  We made a quick pit stop at El Matador Beach for some photos.

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We had a quick bite at Neptunes Net and made the journey back to Beverly Hills to return the car.  I had heard many things about LA traffic.  How bad it was.  How annoying it can be. Coming from the NYC area, it wasn’t so bad. The Ferrari was greeted by bumper to bumper traffic on Wilshire Blvd.  Being a gearhead and knowing how Ferrari’s tend to ‘overheat’ and considering this was an older car with a cooling system I was not so sure of, I was concerned to say the least.

IMG_7329– Checking the gauges on the Ferrari –

Luckily, the old girl handled it quite well!  We dropped off the Ferrari and headed back to our hotel.

What a day and what an experience that I will never forget.  In retrospect, the Ferrari is a great car.  The screaming V8 and that gated shifter is fantastic.  It is fun to hop into a car that brings you back to a time where there was no power steering or any of the electronic nannies that exist today.  We had a great time and thanks again to the good folks at Turo!

 

Genesis

Vinita and I fell in love on June 20, 2016.  The strange thing is, we didn’t actually meet one another until October 7, 2016.  I am born and raised in NJ.  She is born and raised in Los Angeles.

How did it go down? I flew to California for the day, we spent the day together touring LA, and I begrudgingly had to fly home that same night. They say, ‘when you know, you know’.  Well, we knew.

We decided to focus on growing together by using distance as a reason to use adventure as our medium.  What started as an inside joke; we always love saying “remember that time (insert hilarity)”, we decided to make a blog for us to share our adventures.

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Vinita & I – Hollywood Sign – Circa November 2016