Ford Trends – Go Further With Ford Conference 2013

I had the opportunity to attend the Further With Ford  ‪#‎FordTrends‬ 2013 Event & Conference in Detroit, Michigan.  Ford brought together 200 of the nations thought leaders, media and influencers to discuss 13 Trends of 2013, focusing on  five key trends: Disrupting the Drive, Greentopia, Returning to Your Senses, Sculpting the Future and Trust Is the New Black.  

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get an insiders look at the Ford culture and innovation.  Ford shared how they bring value and innovation to product design by focusing on the relationship with the consumer and the importance that trust has in the success of a company.  Ford  also gave us a sneak peek to test equipment, partnerships they are working on to improve sustainability and a first hand look at car prototypes of the future. I’m very excited about the way Ford is integrating technology into their product testing & development to make the vehicles of the future almost human-like.  Can you imagine a car of the future sensing your mood and modifying the climate in the car based on it’s interpretations? It’s going to happen!

One of the things I also liked about the Ford Trends conference is that I was able  to reconnect with fellow bloggers and influencers.  Ford Trends conferences provided the forum to learn, network and  partner with fellow bloggers on the test drives and sessions. 

 

Top Five Highlights at Go Further With Ford — Ford Trends 2013 Conference

Visiting the Henry Ford Museum. I was able to learn about Henry Ford’s innovation and legacy.  There are many Ford vehicles, including the Model T and several Presidential cars.  I was also able to sit in the restored Rosa Park’s bus which inaugurated the civil rights movement.  The Ford museum acquired the bus in 2001 after outbidding the Smithsonian Institute with a winning bid of $427, 919.  After doing a little more research, I also learned I sat in Rosa Park’s historic seat.

Meeting Apple Computer CoFounder and Philantropist, Steve Wozniak,  was definitely a lifetime highlight for me.  As an Engineer, I have always admired his innovation.  Steve Wozniak is credited for being the main designer of the first Apple computers. Steve Wozniak also intrigued us with his input on how technology is being integrated into the cars of the future.

We also toured the city of Detroit and participated in various Ford car test driving expeditions and had the opportunity to preview the Ford concept Atlas truck.  The car is futuristic and perfect for a man that loves big trucks with a little edge.  I learned to drive the Fusion Energi efficiently and also tested tried to drive the Ford Fusion around the track in 40 seconds.  I definitely would recommend the Fusion Energi to drivers that are looking for an earth friendly economical vehicle.

 

We celebrated the 50th birthday of the Ford Mustang, my favorite Ford vehicle! Happy Birthday Mustang.  Wishing you another 50 years of success! Ford launched a cool Youtube channel to celebrate 50th anniversary of the Mustang. Watch the Ford Mustang countdown on Youtube by clicking the link.

 

The most memorable part of the conference were the speakers. One of my favorite presentations was the Returning to Your Senses session by Google’s Jenny Lyyken and her discussion on personal choices that attribute to our health, happiness and work balance.  It definitely left a big impression on me and was a great reminder to be a compassionate leader in the workplace.

 

The 13 Trends to follow in 2013 video presentations are also available on Youtube.  If you have the time, I would recommend you watch them or at  least one presentation.

Question:   What was your favorite session at the Ford Trends conference?  What was your biggest takeaway from your favorite session.

Californian Millennials Love The Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta 2014 is a cute little car packed with lots of fun for the young at heart.  Millennials are beginning to enter the market choosing the Fiesta 30% more over the competition.  California seems to love this line of vehicles as well, selecting it 22% more times among the Scion, Fit, Yaris, and Versa.  Available at 41mpg highway fuel efficiency, it makes sense why millennials in California are drawn to the Ford Fiesta.

Earlier in the week I met this colorful bunch at the Ford event in Santa Monica.  We drove up the scenic beachside Pacific Coast highway looping around the curvaceous Mulholland Drive.  The technology in the 2014 vehicle has been simplified from later versions making it friendlier to all users.  It wasn’t dark enough for me to enjoy the ambient lighting, but I heard it’s an attractive feature.  Music lovers would appreciate the 8 speakers that surround the interior of this small car.  Thank goodness for My Key technology — parents can cap the volume level!

If you are planning on purchasing a car for your millennial, I would encourage you to test drive the Ford Fiesta.  Its compact size makes it easier to get around town without “elbowing” through traffic and narrow parking lots, which is ideal for new drivers.  Plus, it has a friendly sticker price!  Now what’s not to love about that?

 

*Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information referenced is based on Ford’s website and notes from the Ford event in Santa Monica.

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Ford EcoBoost Challenge in Pasadena, California

#Ford Escape #ecoboostchallenge #pasadena via ...

#Ford Escape #ecoboostchallenge #pasadena via catalinainla

Have a need for speed?  I got my fix the other day during the Ford EcoBoost Challenge at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.  It was part of their 13-city tour across the nation where Ford challenges drivers to put their cars up to the test with their competitors.  Bold move Ford.

Since I don’t know how to drive a manual transmission, I took 2 loops around the Performance Academy Track in a Focus ST with a professional racecar driver.  Can you say, WAHOOOO?!!!  (By the way, thanks for the new hairdo.)  I fell in-love with this spunky little car for its smooth comfortable ride and great torque.  The Focus ST took command of the road as we sped along the track, hugging each corner tightly with ease.  I was equally impressed with its ability to pick-up speed.  This engineering comes from the 2.0L EcoBoost engine paired with a 270lb peak torque and 252 horsepower.

#Ford #ecoboostchallenge #pasadena via catalin...

#Ford #ecoboostchallenge #pasadena via catalinainla

Following the Focus ST thrill ride, I smoothed my hair down while strolling over to the EcoBoost Challenge.  All four cars I drove in this round were automatic, so I drove myself.  First off was the Honda CR-V, which was okay.  It struggled to wrap the corners and it had a sluggish acceleration.  Then I slipped into the 2014 Escape – it was without a doubt a much better ride.  Again I noted similar results when driving the Toyota and comparing it to the 2013 Fusion.  Out of all four cars tested, I enjoyed the 2013 Fusion for its ability to hug cornerners unlike the larger profile vehicles.  Clearly, I love smaller cars – with fabulous torque!

Moving on to the Hypermile Challenge, I sat behind the wheel of the incredibly quiet C-Max Hybrid. Vroom, vroom?  Fuel efficiency is high on my “must have” list.  Unfortunately some hybrids still don’t measure up to the strength that its gas loving counterparts excel in.  As with the other vehicles, the EcoBoost technology is the same in the C-Max Hybrid giving it an added bonus of fuel efficiency with a 47 MPG city/hwy.  Wow!

The Ford EcoBoost Challenge is open to the public for FREE!  All drivers have to do is sign-up, here.  Below is a list of the next Ford EcoBoost Challenge:

• August 17 – New York City, Citi Field
• August 24 – Charlotte, Charlotte Motor Speedway
• September 7 – Atlanta, Turner Field
• September 7 – Dallas, Cowboys Stadium
• September 14 – Orlando, Orange County Convention Center
• September 14 – Houston, Sam Houston Race Park
• September 21 – Miami, Gulfstream Park
• September 21 – Minneapolis/St. Paul, Canterbury Park

Put the pedal to the metal and have fun!!

*Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are my own.  Information referenced is based on Ford’s EcoBoost Challenge event program and website.

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Events: Celebrating Latin Culture, Music and Food With Sabor De Lujo #VidaLexus

Lexus invited me to the Sabor de Lujo event in Los Angeles which paired some of L.A.’s favorite Latin food, art & music.     The annual Lexus event,  created a unique culinary experience that recognized Latino culture, delicious latin folavors  from around the world and live art.  The event also showcased some of the foods of Mexico, Peru and Argentina with restaurants such as Diablo Taco, Ushuaia Argentinian Steak House, Mas Malo, and Qusqo.   There’s no better way to celebrate Los Angeles night life than a satisfying evening in the heart of LA with art, music, food and desserts.  It’s great to see Lexus supporting the arts scene in Los Angeles.

Guests also had the opportunity to experience the Lexus art project,  “Art Galleries & Back Alleys,” an inspirational art piece that carries the signature styles of internationally renowned aerosol artist Jaime “Vyal” Reyes and award-winning iconic artist Patssi Valdez.  The masterpiece was created using Lexus CT 200h as a canvas to convey a story about art, innovation, and modern luxury.

The event also featured a special live mural experience, where aerosol artist Jaime “Vyal” Reyes created an art piece that will serve as an extension to “Art Galleries & Back Alleys.”  The finished work of art embodies the spirit of the Latino art culture.  A breath taking masterpiece!

Lexus also debuted a sneak peek at the redesigned 2014 Lexus IS 350  luxury vehicle with an App Suite and launch apps like Bing, Pandora, and Yelp.


One of the highlights of the evening was the Candy station and dessert bar created by the Hollywood Candy Girls.

The candy station included delicious Hispanic candies & treats that included Dulce de leche, Mangos with chile, Sugared Pineapples,  Arcoiris cookies and more mouthwatering treats.

Latin Music and entertainment was provided by the beautiful and talented Los Angeles DJ Lezlee.

For an additional look at life’s luxuries, visit www.vidalexus.com or check out #VidaLexus hashtag on Twitter.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Lexus.  However, All opinions expressed are my own.

My 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Experience

I was recently invited to attend the Los Angeles Internationa Auto Show – Nissan NEXT Event to preview the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder.   The all new Pathfinder is a mid-sized SUV and features a redesigned chassis, dual moonroof, a slightly larger model, increased fuel efficiency and is also equipped with a lot of technology features for the entire family.

As a mom one of the first things I look at in a car is safety.  The Nissan 2013 is equipped with several safetly features including built in GPS to immediately detect your location, antilock disc brakes and six front-seat & full-length airbags.  The  2013 Pathfinder also has a hands free built in phone system, a 360-degree AroundView Monitor camera system, a backup camera and parking sensors.  There are also child safety rear door locks for the passenger doors.

The second thing I look at is the appearance and features. Is it easy on the eyes?  Does it have an iPhone connection?  Can I listen to my favorite music? Will my family be entertained? These are the type of questions I have when checking a car.  The Nissan 2013 Pathfinder is a classy and sexy mid sized crossover SUV.  When I stepped into the vehicle is feels like a luxury car.   Immediately upon entering the car I had to check to ensure there is a USB connection for my iPhone.  I found it and was very pleased because it also had a roomy center-console to store my purse, CDs, DVDs and personal items.

 

If you are an adventurous family like mine, the vehicle also features 2WD, 4WD or Auto mode options and 5,000 pound towing capacity to tow your boat, trailer or camper on a hitch.  The beauty of this car is that it seats 7 people comfortably for a large family such as mine.  The seats in the rear also fold down for added cargo room.

 

The interior of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder includes seats for 7 members of the family.  There is a lot of legroom for all the passengers and a roomy in the cargo area to carry groceries or sporting equipment.

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder we previewed includes a Tri-Zone Entertainment System which is controlled with a touch screen display on the dash and Onstar FMV (For My Vehicle) feature for navigation services. The driver and front seat passenger can enjoy satellite radio while the remaining passengers watch movies on dual 7-inch DVD monitors.  One of the best features of the entertainment system are the wireless headsets and rear auxiliary audio and video input jacks for family members that want to plug in their video games or electronic equipment.

The Nissan Pathfinder has evolved from a rugged mid-sized SUV into a luxury crossover.   This vehicle is a great option for techie families in need of a  mid-sized SUV.    For an overall experience of the vehicle, please visit:  http://www.nissanusa.com/suvs/pathfinder, follow Nissan on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/NissanEspanol and visit your local Nissan dealer to test drive the vehicle for yourself.

 

This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Nissan. However, all opinions expressed are my own. 

 

Question:  What are the features you look at first when test driving a vehicle?  What is the most important feature overall when purchasing a  vehicle?  

 

Roadtrip to Petrified Forest National Park – Arizona

The Petrified Forest National Park is a United States national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona.  It is considered one of the largest concentrations of petrified trees in the world.  The tree trunks in the forest have fossilized as petrified wood and is noted for its agates and late Triassic fossils.

A Spanish explorer is rumored to have named the area “El Desierto Pintado” (The Painted Desert) because the hills looked like they were painted with the colors of the sunset.

The trees in the petrified forest look like someone sawed the logs apart but are actually cracked over a period of time.  We were very fortunate to hike throughout the park.  The climate changed several times during our visit at the National park. At the beginning of the exploration there was heavy rains, winds and monsoon warnings.

In the middle of the trip is was hot but very clear.  It was a perfect opportunity to see all the colors of the Petrified Trees.

Towards the final hour of our hike we were alone in complete silence with the petrified forest and we were able to capture the beauty of the forest and a close and personal view of a colorful collared lizard which makes the Petrified Forest their home.  It was a surreal experience for a city girl like me that loves trees.

One of the things I couldn’t help but wonder is how the Petrified Forest was formed.  According to the Petrified National Park the forest dates back to 218 million years ago.  There was a large river system with coniferous trees, tree ferns, and some gingkoes trees along the waterways. As the trees died naturally, some floated downstream to form log jams.

The mineral silica, from volcanic ash, in stages of crystallization replaced most of the organic wood to form petrified trees.  The various “forests”  are those log jams which form the individual parks.   Today some people use petrified wood as a semi-precious gem.  However, it is against the law to remove petrified trees from the National park.

For additional Petrified Forest National Park photos, please go to my FB page HERE.   To plan a visit, go to the Petriefied Forest National Park website:  http://www.nps.gov/pefo .

 

Disclosure: The Latino Heritage roadtrip was partially funded by American Latino FundVerizon Wireless & General Motors.  The vehicle driven during the roadtrip was provided by General Motors.  All opinions and content rights are my own.

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