Thank you to Lexus and DriveShop for providing my family with a stylish ride to Johnson City and all around town this week.
Every family has a set of traditions for the holidays. Growing up, my mom, dad, sister, and I trekked to Florida for Christmas every year to spend time with my grandmother. We annually celebrated a green Christmas and sometimes went to the beach after opening our gifts. I remember caroling in shorts and swimming on New Year's Day.
Mmmm, the food... Grandma and her sisters would prepare dishes upon dishes of food. Lasagna, meatballs, turkey, mashed potatoes, cenci (which are a fried pastry with powdered sugar), struffoli (again, fried balls of dough but coated with honey and nonpareils) and so much more. They would cook for days and then we'd all - well, the women did, anyway - wash dishes for days. No dishwasher (oh, the humanity!!!).
Christmas looks different now; Grandma passed away in January 2000 and I have a husband and son and in-laws to create a new set of traditions to add to some of the old. We still have Santa, and now we have an Elf who never makes a mess but leaves love notes and words of encouragement for our son. We still eat a lot, but it's more likely to be smoked turkey and we skip the lasagna. Now that I think about it, lasagna seems like a great tradition to revive.
Since we moved to Austin, we have been attending the annual Trail of Lights extravaganza at Zilker Park, which is a mile-long stroll through a gorgeous lights display. Last year, my friend Amanda and I decided to run the Trail of Lights 5K, and it rained and rained. So we walked the 5K instead, under ponchos and umbrellas, and had a good time anyway.
This year, we decided to skip the traditional Trail of Lights and journey out to Johnson City, which is about an hour from Austin. I'd heard the Christmas display was beautiful and quaint, and on a random Tuesday evening, we drove there. It was a completely different experience than usual, and I think it's good to shake things up sometimes. The town was decked out in its finest, and the cherry on the top was a gorgeous, giant Supermoon to cast a lunar glow over the whole scene.
I made a pizza that afternoon to bring along, and we dined from the trunk, impromptu picnic-style, between hot chocolate and browsing the goods at the tiny Christmas craft market.
The hamlet of Johnson City was even sweeter from the driver's seat of our sporty Lexus 350 F-Sport, which was on loan to us for the week. Midnight blue and kitted with an amazingly comfortable interior - I audibly sighed when I sat inside for the first time - the Lexus 350 offered us a luxurious ride to create new memories.
Speaking of cars, when we parked ours, a ball of lights rolled down the street, and upon closer inspection, it turned out to be an automobile of unknown descent covered in Christmas tree lights and ornaments. In the next parking lot over, behind the hot chocolate stand, a horse was pulling a Cinderella carriage bedazzled in LED lights. The weather was perfect for a ride.
Sometimes, it's a good idea to try something new. That doesn't mean we're going to forget about the Trail of Lights or change everything up. Just like old friends and new friends, one is silver and the other gold. We love them all.
Just the Facts, Ma'am, about the Lexus GS 350 F-Sport:
- MSRP: Starts at $55,805
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- 241 horses under the hood
- MPG: 19/27/22 (city/highway/combination)
- What I loved: the giant information screen, paddle shifters (yeah!)
- May be the right car for you if you want a tried-and-true sedan with incredible comfort and class