A quick peek into Audi Valencia's showroom during the holidays is all it takes to get caught up in the festive magic of the season - and not just because of the dealership's tastefully joyous decorations.
People watching is a pastime of mine - and watching friends reconnect is one of my favorite things to observe. I expect to see it at parks and coffee shops, though - not at car dealerships. But that's what happened this month, many times over, as I relaxed in the comfortable ambiance of Audi Valencia.
The Challenge: Mother's Day. Last year's breakfast-in-bed devolved into burnt toast, undercooked eggs and a kitchen that looked like a pig detonated an explosive vest. This year will be different - has to be different.
Which Acura model do you want to see in the driveway next year?
Three Acuras you wish were in your driveway right now...
2014 already? No one sells the jet packs and personal helicopters we thought we'd have by now, but today's new cars come close. Let's get you something new and shiny for 2014.
This summer has been dragging like a stubborn mule on a broken sled. With half the population terrified to open the mail for fear of another mortgage rate adjustment and the rest exhausted from clawing behind the sofa cushions for gas money, that one-week stay-cation just isn't cutting it. If we don't come up with something fun for the whole family that's local, inexpensive and entertaining, we're likely to start scanning Craigslist for the local Dr. Kevorkian Day Spa.
Late summer is the season for absorbing some culture. School's out and the offspring have parked their brains in neutral for a couple months. It's time to jumpstart those idle neurons for the coming school year. Take the kids to a museum or two and expose them to the wide array of humankind's artistic achievement, if you can drag them away from the Xbox for long enough. It's time they learned that the human soul searched for meaning long before virtual avatars inhabited 22-level electronic dungeons or virtual cities where stealing a car and assaulting innocent victims earns a more powerful engine and a resounding cheer from a gallery of thieves.
You can hear the commotion of revving engines miles away, you are consumed with intrigue from the parade of beautifully restored classics piling up from the various off-ramps of the 14 and the 5 and you can smell the charcoal of the barbeque grilling away delicious Joni Maroni sausages from your backyard patios.