Cruisin' Colorado in the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Cruisin' Colorado in the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Last month, I had the opportunity to drive a vehicle for review unlike any test drive auto I'd driven before: the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium.

Now, I have previously driven Subarus. And I've taken plenty of SUVs (small, large, crossover, mini and more) for spins for review. The novel aspect of this auto, though, was the color.

It was orange.

Sunshine Orange, to be exact.

Which threw me a bit at first, I must admit. But the sunny, sporty hue...

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Sweet face! Plus, GRAND Social No. 296 link party for grandparents

Sweet face! Plus, GRAND Social No. 296 link party for grandparents

Sweet face!

Last Monday a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek was delivered to my door for me to test drive for a week. On Saturday, Jim and I took advantage of the colorful AWD (which you may have seen on Facebook or Instagram) and trekked up to Denver to visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge—a place we'd not yet seen but long wanted to.

I'll soon share full details of our visit to the refuge as well as my time with the Crosstrek, but I thought the following photo I snapped Saturday makes for a sweet way to start the week.

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Stars and Cars: Week Two

Stars and Cars: Week Two

When it comes to week two of my film-going, Toyota test-driving gig the first part of November, I'm hard-pressed to say which I was more enthusiastic about: the movies or the mode of transportation. 

Both the festival films and the 2018 Toyota Camry XSE provided numerous delightful experiences on their own. If pushed to narrow my faves of each down to a list of five, though, I'd have to go with the following five for each.

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Stars and Cars: Week One

Stars and Cars: Week One

40th Denver Film Festival via the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium

For the past four years, I've had the privilege of covering the annual Denver Film Festival, presented by the Denver Film Society. As a film fan, it's an amazing opportunity. As a resident of Colorado Springs, though, not Denver, the 140-mile round trip to attend screenings, panels, red carpets and more has slightly dampened my enthusiasm for the honor each time festival time rolls around.

This year Toyota came to my rescue, providing not just one vehicle for zipping up and down I-25 for the festival, but two. For week one of the 40th Denver Film Festival, Toyota delivered to my door a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium plug-in hybrid, which turned the trips to and from Denver into festive occasions pert near as fun and entertaining as the event I covered.

I was surprised by how attractive and well-appointed the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium is. How comfy and flat-out cool it is, too.

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Saturday movie briefs: My will-see list (so far) for the 40th Denver Film Festival

Saturday movie briefs: My will-see list (so far) for the 40th Denver Film Festival

The 40th Denver Film Festival is in full swing, and today I head to Denver for another screening.

My ride to Denver — with Jim in the passenger seat — is the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium plug-in hybrid Toyota provided me for week one of the film festival. (Coincidentally and completely unrelated to my loaner vehicles, Your Hometown Toyota Stores sponsors several of the festival presentations, including LAST FLAG FLYING and ...

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7 ways the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Platinum made me a minivan fan

7 ways the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Platinum made me a minivan fan

I have driven a lot of vehicles during my decades as a driver, both in my personal use as well as those I've reviewed for Grandma's Briefs. Up until I received the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Platinum for a test drive, though, I had never driven a minivan, never driven a hybrid. The Pacifica — the only hybrid minivan out there — provided the opportunity to experience both in one pretty package.

My first look at the vehicle upon delivery...

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My week in a 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4X4: Where I went, what I loved, what I learned

Jeep Compass Trailhawk test drive

The Thursday before Labor Day, Rocky Mountain Redline fleet company provided me a 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4X4 for a week long test drive. Which meant I had the fun ride for the long holiday weekend... plus some.

In the seven days I had the pleasure of driving the well-appointed, hardy and handsome (Laser Blue Pearl exterior) 4X4, I put it to the test on the road, at a reservoir, and running the everyday errands that make up the grandma lifestyle.

Take a look:

WHERE I WENT (plus a closer look at...

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Friday briefs: On precious witnesses, my holiday ride, and what the heck is this?

Precious witnesses
My middle daughter, Megan, and her husband, Preston, were both baptized as babies. Separately, of course. Last weekend the two of them confirmed their commitment to Christ together, publicly declaring as a couple they will forever live their lives for Christ.

Brayden, Camden, and Declan were front and center to witness the event.

boys watch Mom and Dad get baptized
Anticipating Mommy and Daddy's turn.

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That time I surprised my birthday girl with a 2017 Lexus GX460 luxury SUV

2017 Lexus GX460 luxury SUV

My youngest daughter turned 32 years old the first part of July. When I asked what she'd like for her birthday, Andrea requested only that my husband and I go to church with her that day, to her church in Denver, which we'd never visited before. And MOANA on DVD, too.

The wishes of my Disney-loving daughter seemed rather small, so I decided to throw in a surprise. A 2017 Lexus GX460 luxury SUV sort of surprise!

Not for the birthday girl to keep, of course — though if my budget allowed, I'd certainly hand her the title without question. But thanks to help from Rocky Mountain Redline and a vehicle courtesy DriveShop, I did manage to surprise Andrea with a special mode of transport on her special day. In the 2017 Lexus GX460, my baby girl was chauffeured in style around Denver, to and from...

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Lions and tigers and bears and more: The Wild Animal Sanctuary

The Wild Animal Sanctuary

In January of 2014, I published a movie review of the film LION ARK, which I saw as part of the 2013 STARZ Denver Film Festival. The riveting documentary tells the true story of the dogged efforts of Animal Defenders International and other compassionate folks as they rescued twenty-five African lions from deplorable, inhumane conditions in Bolivian circuses and transported them across the world to a safe haven in Colorado.

I found the feat and the film heartbreaking, humbling, inspiring, amazing. I was doubly delighted by the fact the forever home where the egregiously mistreated animals would now roam was mere hours north of me. It warmed my heart that my forever home state was now their forever home, despite the assumption I'd never actually meet my big-cat neighbors.

Fast forward to June of 2017, just a few weeks ago. I was invited to attend a Nissan event highlighting the fun and feisty Nissan Rogue Sport. The day would include time to go wild at the wheel of the crossover vehicle as well as the opportunity to witness the truly wild at The Wild Animal Sanctuary located 30 miles northeast of Denver. I immediately...

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My wheels for the week! Plus GRAND Social No. 263 link party for grandparents

My wheels for the week!

Welcome to Monday! I'm not typically super excited at the start of a new week — even folks working from home find it a challenge to muster motivation on Mondays. But this week I am exited. Because this week I get to drive a 2017 Lexus GX 460 each and every day... free for review!

The luxury SUV in stunning "Nightfall Mica" (such a pretty blue, right!?) was delivered to my home Friday evening, and I soon hit the road to sample its many amenities.

First major destination: Denver! Yesterday Jim and I surprised Andrea in Denver by showing up in the sleek wheels to chauffeur her about for her 32nd birthday happenings.

Coming this week: I'll be chauffering James to and from his...

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Here and now: July 6, 2017

My life, here and now...

here and now 

On my mind...

July? How the heck can it be July already?

Even how-the-heckier: How can the first week of July already be nearly over?

Reading...

I'm about halfway through Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker. I can't say I love it at this point, but I am intrigued and will continue reading.

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Check it out on Goodreads. And hey, if you're on Goodreads...

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