In January, two of my friends moved out to Seattle (sad), one of them being Alexa (@foodbiddies). Gloria (@princessgloriafeasts), Edlira (@thecravingscurator), and I decided we were going to plan a trip to visit Alexa out in Seattle, and I thought this was the perfect time to do a road trip down the west coast. I always imagined it would happen at some point, and I had recently cancelled a trip to Los Angeles earlier in the winter because I was starting a new job (and I selfishly did not want to owe my old company any vacation compensation, and I also did not want to immediately take a vacation upon starting a new role).
As I started planning my trip, I teamed up with Buick and they provided me a car for the road trip! Not just any car, a red Buick Enclave 2018.
I will do a full recap of my road trip soon, with a city guide of each of the major cities we stopped through. My cousin Jen ended up joining me on this west coast adventure as she happened to be in Seattle the same weekend as me.
The major stops during this road trip were the following: Seattle, Mt. Rainier, Portland (OR), Redwoods Forest, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Malibu, Los Angeles.
This Buick Enclave was very roomy for our trip - it can comfortably fit 7 people. The vehicle included wifi, had the under-the-foot-hands-free-kick option to open the trunk, Bose speakers (great for roadtrip playlist jams), included GPS, rear-view camera with an aerial view enabled during parallel parking, butt vibrations for when you are too close to objects, and there are probably more features, but I didn't have a chance to utilize them because this car had so many!
It was really great that Jen and I were able to charge all of our accessories because there were ample USB charging stations. We both never had to fight over cup holders either because of all of the excess holders. Not to mention how spacious the car was? We picked up dim sum to go at Good Mong Kok Bakery in San Francisco, and since there wasn't anywhere for us to eat our dim sum goods, we ended up eating in the back of the car, but had plenty of space. We comfortably ate in the car with our luggage, bags, and dim sum spread. Talk about a car picnic!
We were incredibly thankful for the safety of this vehicle throughout the duration of our trip, and there were a few notable moments where I couldn't help but be impressed with the car. It is probably worth noting that Jen loved this car so much, we named the car Gertrude, Gerchie for short. The rear-view mirror had a digital camera seen within the viewfinder to clearly detail the view behind while driving - this was easily disabled by flipping the mirror upwards to utilize the rear-view mirror traditionally a la mirror.
Driving in San Francisco with the Buick was where this vehicle was most beneficial. San Francisco is full of hills. Very steep hills. It felt like a roller coaster at times with how steep the inclines were on the road, but thanks to Buick's hill assist, when we were slowing down or stopped at the top of an incline due to a stop sign or intersection, the vehicle has a very sturdy break which doesn't cause the car to move until you accelerate the gas, at which point the vehicle naturally removes its brakes and continues forth.
I was telling Jen while driving that if I were going to move out to the Bay Area (which I have seriously considered, dependent on the direction of my pharmaceutical career of course), I would highly consider a Buick as my car of choice based on the hill assist alone.
When we were driving through the dirt roads on Mount Rainier and through the Redwoods, the roads looked viciously bumpy, but within the car, Jen slept like an angel (she was truly living that passenger privilege life throughout our road trip). Even when we were driving through the steep mountain sides of Nacimiento Fergusson Road, I was driving with both hands on the wheel at the solid fifteen miles per hour pace, we felt safe within the Buick.
During the the long drive from Portland to San Francisco, we experienced an alarming incident with another vehicle. We left Portland at 5:45 AM and did not arrive to San Francisco until 9:30 PM that day. After we walked through the Redwoods and stretched our legs, we were on the road for hours. As we were driving, there was a Red Scion from Nevada who consistently sped up from behind me, switched lanes on my right, and would cut me off, slowing down his brakes as soon as he was driving in front of me.
At one point, we thought that this was a bizarre coincidence - that he was doing this long drive, too, and just happened to be cutting me off. For a while, we lost him for about 45 minutes, when suddenly he came speeding up from behind me and deliberately slammed on the brakes as soon as he cut me off. I stayed on the right lane as opposed to the passing lane, however, this driver made a point to slow down next to me, look over to my cousin and me, smile, and wave at us. This was intentional. I made no eye contact and did not acknowledge this driver. Anxious for our safety, I got off the next exit to lose him from our drive. Maybe he had a complex because our vehicle was so much better than his.
All in all, thanks to Buick, we are safe and sound, and made it to Los Angeles to catch our flight back to Boston.
This post was written in partnership with Buick USA in exchange for the Buick Enclave 2018 being loaned for a 2-week period.
For more information on Buick vehicles, head to https://www.buick.com/