Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
Ah, Tahoe—it's no Bend, that's for damn sure. But I drove around the whole lake anyway by mistake, and it wasn't all bad, and then I went ahead and drove all the way back to L.A.
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
After a thankfully peaceful night in a vaguely Psycho-esque motel on the outskirts of Bend, I lingered downtown for most of Day 9, because really, why would you want to leave? But then I remembered that my destination that night was Tahoe, or close to it—which meant I had to make it to Crater Lake before dusk.
Saturday, September 27th, 2014
Back in the 500 Benz (not pictured above), I left Portland expecting to be golfing in Sisters that afternoon and staying somewhere in Bend that night. And that, Benzitos, is more or less what happened.
Sunday, September 21st, 2014
The pretext for this trip was that I had to be in Portland anyway for the unveiling of the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat, a 707-horsepower monstrosity that will, as you'll see in a minute, do a burnout. I ended up spending a couple extra days with a notorious local I've done business with in the past—but first, I kicked it "Old-School" with Dodge as we drove candy-colored Challengers all over the place.
Sunday, September 14th, 2014
The agenda on this day was redwoods—lots of redwoods. But we did wake up in Ferndale, and I did leave my camera at Poppa Joe's, necessitating an unscheduled return trip some hours hence...so more did happen than just the trees.
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Who says you can't rely on a 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL500 to take you about 3,000 miles from LA to Portland to Bend to Crater Lake to Lake Tahoe and back? Worked just fine for me and mrs500benz back in July; here's how it started.
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
Being close to the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the best things about living in LA, and since the 500 Benz is doing a whole lot of this these days, I concluded late Tuesday afternoon that it was time for the two of us (that would be me and the Benz; mrs500benz is so not into it) to execute a PCH-centric driving loop.
So I put the top down and headed west, and yes, I know I owe you a "Things That Happened in June, July, August, September and October" post, but let's take this one step at a time and just talk PCH protocol for now.
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
There's some insouciance going on in the passenger seat above, and I didn't appreciate it one bit, because the 500 Benz was looking truly, solemnly beautiful on Sunday morning in San Francisco.
Get close enough, of course, and the car will show its age like any of us—but come on, scroll down and tell me it's not doing a damn good impression of a brand-new R129 right here.
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
As it turns out, the aforementioned uncle500benz daily-drives a silver 2006 Maserati Quattroporte—you know, the one with the single-clutch automated manual transmission and detuned 4.2-liter Ferrari V8.
This was going to be a most excellent wine-tasting taxi.
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
Not surprisingly, rain was in the forecast for San Francisco as mrs500benz and I packed for her aunt and uncle's place last Friday morning, so I prevailed on her to help me install the 500 Benz's hardtop, which had been sexing up my living-room wall ever since my man Johnny Turbo helped me take it off a few days after I bought the car.
In brief, installation can be something of a challenge when the hardtop's on the third floor, the car's in the basement, and you don't have the little rolly cart that Benz originally included to help you wheel the top around...so I naturally captured the whole carnival on video, and then we headed north to see what the Benz feels like with its helmet on.
Saturday, February 16th, 2013
That's what DeAndre Jordan thinks about all this Puerto Rico stuff, perhaps echoing the sentiments of some of you Benzitos out there.
So how about you all just watch the Day 5 video below, take a deep breath, and brace yourselves for a renewed onslaught of often-daily content that's at least tangentially related to the 500 Benz.
Friday, February 15th, 2013
Shortly after an ominous cloud bank compelled me to put the Mustang's top up (see Day 3 video @5:46), the rains arrived with real exuberance and stayed for a few hours, making for some unpleasant nighttime driving en route to Isabela.
But we got there in one piece—even had time to stop at Walmart for supplies and put down a nice authentic meal at Panda Express (yep, Puerto Rico really is the U.S.)—and then we awoke the next morning to this...
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
So after I picked mrs500benz up at the airport on Wednesday evening, took her to a highly civilized restaurant on the beach, and introduced her to her twinkly new companion, we headed back to La Concha for the night, having booked the following two nights at Villa Tropical in two-hours-distant Isabela.
That meant we had to get to Isabela by roughly dinnertime on Thursday, but before we left, we managed to do justice to Old San Juan, which is one of my new favorite places in the world...and I also mounted the GoPro to our 2011 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible's trunklid for some exciting San Juan driving footage.
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
We rose early on Day 2 for an outdoor breakfast in the Plaza Las Delicias (see Day 1, above, for background), and then it was time to pick a Paceman and head for a coffee plantation in the mountains, where we understood a few 2013 Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works GPs were waiting to amuse us.
As such, there are two, count 'em, two videos in this post, Benzitos: one for the Paceman drive, and one for the few hot minutes I spent driving that GP around.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
When I first perused the itinerary for last week's Mini Paceman press event in Puerto Rico, I found it odd that the Bulldog Inn, our lodging for Tuesday night in Ponce, was not known to Google. Then I noticed the following fine print in a separate email:
Yep, Mini was going to commandeer some random hotel and redecorate it just for us—a power move that would really set the tone for the rest of the trip.
Monday, February 11th, 2013
The best-laid plans, you know?
Anyway, actually I got engaged, so that changed—but since I'm a week behind on posts, it's going to take me a minute to get back in the flow, so here are a few Puerto Rico teaser photos to tide you unwashed masses over till the story starts tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
I've already covered the 500 Benz's ability to haul pizza, but what about furniture?
Well, as this resourceful Mainer demonstrated on 95 South last summer, at least one chair almost fits if you leave the trunk lid open.
Friday, January 11th, 2013
But two momentous things happened anyway: (1) we saw a green MG Midget in the wild that was almost an exact clone (Spridgets!) of the Austin-Healey Sprite that my mom drove during her college years, and (2) she showed an incredible beginner's aptitude for pan-blur photography.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
So my dad came out last summer for an epic road trip that started in LA, meandered up to Big Sur via the road where James Dean and his Porsche met their demise, and ended up in San Diego, where, speaking of Porsches, my dad's friend Dave introduced us to his 997 Carrera S convertible and also taught us how to surf.
I'm going to let the photos do the talking on this one.
Welcome, new Benzito!
No. Spam. Ever.