ESCAPING NEW YORK ***SPONSORED
|Sometimes, I just want to get in a car and drive. Here I am in a 2014 Toyota Highlander.|
As a New Yorker who rarely drives a car, sometimes I get the sudden urge to get behind the wheel and hit the road. If you live in the city, does that ever happen to you? I mean, I have a appreciation for the convenience of the NYC subway, but come on! Although I don’t miss sitting in traffic one bit, I have moments when I do miss driving.
Two weeks ago, Michael and I took a lengthy road trip to Kinston, NC. Our cousin Steven and his bride-to-be Andrea tied the knot (congratulations, again!), and we ventured south for a long weekend of gentility and soul food. We toyed with the idea of flying from New York into Raleigh (about a 90-minute drive from Kinston), but when Toyota offered us a 2014 Highlander, the road trip was a no-brainer! In fact, once we settled into the comfy seats and figured out the bundle of bells and whistles, we didn’t regret driving at all.
Wedding events kept us busy most of the time, but we managed to steal a few hours here and there to explore Kinston, a charming town that sits about an hour from the coast. Kinston is in the process of experiencing a rebirth, and this is exciting to see. I have been to this part of the state several times, and was thrilled to discover the start of a revival of downtown, particularly on N. Heritage Street.
Here are a few highlights from our recent trip to one of my favorite states.
|A lush community garden basks in full sun in downtown Kinston.|
The Peach House
The peach colored, shingle-clad bungalow is the home of the Peach House, a local favorite for salads, sandwiches, and confections since 1987. An inviting interior with brightly painted walls and hardwood floors lends an old-time ambiance, while the food is fresh and delicious. I opted for the Quiche of the Day (spinach, onion, and cheese), and devoured every last bite, while Mike ordered the Turkey Bacon Panini, which was equally as tasty.
A big thank you to Toyota for making our trip safe and comfortable. Besides a smooth, enjoyable drive, we loved too many features to count on the 2014 Highlander. Our favorites include:
The Standard Backup Camera (so you can see what’s in back of you when you parallel park or back up, especially in a parking lot)
The Heated and Ventilated Front Seats (for warming or cooling as needed)
The oversize roll-top center console (perfect for storing everything from a handbag, to a camera, to maps, and more)
The Blind Spot Monitor (a second set of eyes alerts you when another vehicle is near, either on the side or in the rear)
There was also a large shelf on the dash where we kept our cell phones while they charged. This might have been our favorite feature. Overall, we felt the interior was well thought-out and ergonomically designed. Mike and I would both recommend this car for any road trip or for everyday driving.
This post was sponsored by Toyota, but these opinions are my own. For more info on the 2014 Highlander, visit the website.