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 Refugeโ€”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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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 โ€” the only hybrid minivan out there โ€” provided the opportunity to experience both in one pretty package.

My first look at the vehicle upon delivery...

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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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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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Wild triple treat: The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Platte River Fort, plus the Nissan Rogue Sport

nissan rogue sport event

When it comes to brands hosting interesting, exciting, and informative events to introduce bloggers and media folks of varied sorts to their goods, automakers tend to be among the best of the best. Nissan recently significantly raised the bar on outstanding activities that encourage movers and shakers to plug and promote a product with a wild adventure in honor of the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport. And I was delighted to participate in the program.

Nissan, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Redline, invited members of the media to an overnight escape to experience the Rogue Sport, with wild being the theme from beginning to end.

A wild west flavor marked the start as...

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2015 Subaru Legacy road trip: Paint Mines Interpretive Park

I was provided a 2015 Subaru Legacy free for one week for review as part of the #SubaruLegacy blogger program. Opinions are my own.

Last month, I had a sleek and chic sedan for a week. A 2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited, which I told you much about in this post right here.

During the week I had the Subaru Legacy, I visited a few places nearby that I'd never been to before despite having lived in the area for more than thirty years. One spot I toured: the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Calhan, CO. My friend Ruth of Cranium Crunches—a devoted fan of minerals, gems, and geological wonders of any sort—was in town for a day and was delighted to sit back in the comfy passenger seat of the Legacy and head off to the Paint Mines with me.

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is an overlooked gem of a place many folks in Colorado and beyond may not...

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2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited: Out and about in a sleek, stylish sedan

I was provided a 2015 Subaru Legacy free for one week for review as part of the #SubaruLegacy blogger program. Opinions are my own.

subaru legacy

My friend Ruth, author and creator of CraniumCrunches.com, visited me for one day last month. It was perfect timing as I had just received a 2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited free for review as part of the #SubaruLegacy blogger program. The sleek sedan was the ideal vehicle for our day of adventure.

Ruth and I packed tons of fun into our time out and about together in the comfy car. We started off visiting—and walking—a labyrinth downtown...

subaru legacy 

Followed by a drive to the top of Palmer Park so I could treat Ruth to...

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The good and bad of a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock arriving at my door

Last month a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock was delivered to my door for review. I was excited as can be—until I realized it was a standard transmission.

jeep wrangler rubicon hard rock review 

Now, I can drive a standard. I learned to drive on a manual transmission. I haven't driven a standard transmission in decades, though, and I didn't want to practice...

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6 best bits: West to Westcliffe and my week driving a 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited

The town of Westcliffe is one of my favorite spots in Colorado. My mom had property outside of town for quite a few years, and my husband and I used to take our daughters camping there a few times each summer for several summers in a row. Some of our most memorable family fun took place in Westcliffe, with the Sangre de Cristo mountain range providing a spectacular backdrop.

Though our favorite camping spot was sold many years ago, my family and I still enjoy the scenic trip west to the tiny town—where my dad now lives. Coming around the curve just before town and seeing the Sangres spread out before us never fails to take our breath away.

subaru outback sangre de cristos

The trip to Westcliffe, with its steep grades and twisty-turny pass through the...

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