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Why Wait Til February? @Toyota Celebrates Black Excellence All Year Long! #LetsGoPlacesBHT2017

January 15th, 2018 by Christen

There’s a saying “You don’t know where you’re going, unless you know where you’ve been.” In today’s racial and political climate, it’s a refreshing welcome to see an automotive company committed to highlighting, educating and preserving the rich wealth of African American history and its contributions that have shaped this country into what it is today.

 

Toyota Black History Tour in the 2018 Camry Hybrid SE

Kicking off the Toyota Black History Tour in the ultra luxe 2018 Camry Hybrid SE.

 

Last month, I joined several amazing journalists and influencers for a Black History Tour chronicling the African American civil rights movement – powered by Toyota.  This immersive experience highlighted the sights and sounds of independence in the south from Atlanta, Georgia to Jackson, Mississippi.  The tour enlightened even the most astute historian on the rise of the Civil Rights Movement.  (If you think you know everything about Black History, think again.) Discover the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. beyond The Dream and how Toyota is driving the narrative and celebrating Black Excellence all year long below.

 

Our tour of Atlanta kicked off with Tom Houck and the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Atlanta, Georgia  

In Atlanta, GA we had the unique opportunity to experience a guided Civil Rights tour with Tom Houck – driver and personal assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King from 1966-1968.  Tom Huck worked with the NAACP, SCLC and VEP across the nation and highlighted stops included the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Georgia State Capital and Dr. Martin Luther King’s home.

 

The final home of Dr. King before his untimely death April 4, 1968.

 

Fall of 1947, King delivered his ?rst sermon at the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

 

 

On August 28, 2017, the 8-foot-bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was unveiled at Georgia State Capita on what marks the 54th Anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech.

 

Did you know: Martin Luther King, Jr. was born Michael King, Jr. and his father says it was a mistake.  So in 1931, when his father became Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, he adopted the name Martin Luther after the famed Protestant leader.  When he was six-years-old, his father legally changed his name on the birth certificate to Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

Montgomery, Alabama  

In Montgomery, AL our first stop on the tour included the Dexter Parsonage Museum Tour where we walked the same steps as Dr. King where he and his young family lived between 1954 and 1960.  Dr. King was the youngest and the twentieth pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott from his basement office.

 

The Dexter Parsonage Museum, historic home to twelve pastors of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church from 1920-1992.

 

Did you know: When King married his wife Coretta, their honeymoon left a lot to be desired.  Since they could not stay at a white-owned hotel, the newlyweds bunked up at a black-owned funeral home on their wedding night. But the wedding almost never happened! In the beginning, Coretta was reportedly not interested in King because he wasn’t taller than her.

 

Much of Montgomery’s early civil rights activity – most famously the 1956 Bus Boycott – was directed by Dr. King from his office in the lower unit of the Dexter Avenue church.

 

From Montgomery to Selma we drove over an hour the same path that activists marched to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.  On 25 March 1965, Martin Luther King led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after a 5-day, 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, where local African Americans, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) had been campaigning for voting rights. King told the assembled crowd: ‘‘There never was a moment in American history more honorable and more inspiring than the pilgrimage of clergymen and laymen of every race and faith pouring into Selma to face danger at the side of its embattled Negroes’.

 

53 Years later, injustice anywhere is still a threat to justice everywhere. (With Jawn Murray & Satchel Jester.)

 

Did you know:  If you think Main St. is one of the most comment street names, think again.  There are over 900 streets named after King spanning over 40 states in the U.S.  Over the course of his life of 39 years, Dr. King was arrested 30 times. One of his arrests was for driving 30 mph in a 25 mph zone with three friends in the car after which authorities put him in jail.

 

On August 6, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Recalling ‘‘the outrage of Selma.’’

 

 

Selma, Alabama

While in Selma, we discovered the true roots of the Civil Rights Movement and the foundation honoring the attainment of Voting Rights for African-Americans at the National Voting Rights Museum.

 

The National Voting Rights Museum & Institute offers America and the world the opportunity to learn the lessons of the past to assure we will not make the same mistakes in the 21st century and beyond.

 

The battle for voting rights and equality did not begin or end on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965. That struggle continues today through various efforts to remove barriers of voting in America and internationally. Foot Soldiers, members of the community, civil rights leaders, and survivors of the “Bloody Sunday” attack on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, founded the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, Alabama in 1991.

 

The Museum was opened to pay homage to the courage and strength of civil rights supporters who suffered hatred, bigotry, violence and sometimes death in order to gain the right to vote for African Americans in America.

 

Did you know:  Adding to his accolades, King was the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  (That record was broken in 2014 by a 17-year-old activist named Malala Yousafzai.) He received the award at age 35 in 1964 and donated the $54,000 he received to a civil rights cause.

 

 

Jackson, Mississippi

To culminate our Black History tour experience, we had the opportunity to participate in the launch and celebration of The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and adjacent Museum of Mississippi History featuring music, Civil Rights activists and more.

 

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the nation.

 

Visitors witness the freedom struggle in eight interactive galleries that show the systematic oppression of black Mississippians and their fight for equality that transformed the state and nation.

 

Did you know:  Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by a single bullet fired at a Memphis hotel by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968 but he wasn’t only one who died that night. After King’s assassination, one of the hotel workers, Lorraine Bailey (who was also the wife of the motel owner and who it was named after), upon seeing King get shot, had a heart attack and later died as well.

 

Wise words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that apply more today than ever before and along with his legacy will live on forever.

 

Close to 400 miles later through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and I couldn’t ask for a more amazing team of professional journalists to travel through this black history journey with.

 

The Toyota Black History Tour culminates with the stylish 2018 Camry XSE in Jackson, Mississippi.

 

Thank you Toyota for driving the narrative and ensuring that many of us are reminded of our rich black history all year long.  For more on the Toyota Black History experience or the all new Toyota Camry follow #LetsGoPlacesBHT2017 online or visit Toyota.com today.

Discover Five Tech Savvy Travel Tips For The Ultimate Road Trip This Season (+ Visa Giftcard Giveaway!)

May 24th, 2016 by Christen

It’s the unofficial start of the summer and road trip season!  With most planning on driving more than 50 miles in search of summer fun we’ve got the tips you need to make your next road trip a great one!

 

From how to drive, travel apps and more – we’ve teamed up with Toyota & industry expert Jeff Fortson to help make holiday travel more fuel-efficient and fun! (Plus we’re giving away Visa Giftcards to help fuel your holiday weekend travel!)

 

road trip giveaway 2

 

 

“Drivers can take simple steps to help them get the most gas mileage on their trips this Memorial Day weekend,” says Fortson, founder and editor of JeffCars.com, a site dedicated to auto education and car-buying clinics. “Taking heed to these tips will not only lead to fuel savings but will help provide a little extra money once you arrive at your destination.”

 

Toyota and Fortson offer six fuel-efficiency tips designed to help protect your pocket at the pump before you start a memorable road trip with family and friends.

 

  • Use the cruise control (and the optional radar-activated cruise control system) for holiday road trips. Both systems minimize sudden acceleration and de-acceleration. According to fueleconomy.gov, speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can decrease gas mileage by 33 percent.

 

  • Be sure to check and properly inflate each tire, including the spare before you set out on a trip. Gas mileage can be improved if tires have adequate pressure. Some vehicles are equipped with a tire pressure monitor system which alerts you when it detects tire pressure is critically low. If the car isn’t equipped with this system, a tire gauge can be purchased at the local parts store and the service department can check the air pressure.

 

The Toyota Camry XSE Is A Sporty Sedan With Serious Style!

  • Rent a fuel-efficient vehicle. If you are renting a car, you may want to consider a hybrid vehicle, such as Prius or Prius V.

 

  • Use the factory installed navigation system or a favorite app like Google Maps and Waze from your smartphone to make your drive safer. These navigation systems will alert drivers of traffic congestion and provide you with the shortest route to your destination.

 

Discover The Best Apps For Drivers And Driving Worldwide

 

  • Always pack smart. Just like flying, you should only take necessary items for a road trip. Avoid using the roof rack, if possible, because it reduces the aerodynamics and decreases fuel efficiency.

 

  • Watch the A/C. It is recommended that you use the air conditioner when driving highway speeds. When driving in stop-and-go traffic, turn the air conditioner off and allow air to circulate through the vehicle.

 

road trip giveaway

 

Are you getting ready for your next road trip?  What’s inspiring your upcoming road trips this summer?  TWEET US! @DivasAndDorks and share your favorite road trip inspirations on Twitter using #ToyotaMemories for your chance to win a $25 Visa Gift Card today!

 

Style Files: Spring Fling To The Max With The 2015 @Toyota Highlander

May 12th, 2015 by Christen

There’s nothing I love more than a nice drive paired with beautiful weather, and when you add a flowing maxi dress to the mix – you’ve got the perfect combination for an amazing Spring day.  Recently, I purchased this beautiful chiffon frock and I must admit, I’m in love!

For me, Spring is all about flow and coverage – many Spring days can get rather warm, while the evening temps require a light sweater or jacket.  Because of this, wearing a long-sleeve chiffon-style dress is totally worth it as it covers and protects without being too hot and heavy.

Check out a breakdown of my Spring look below:

 

Toyota Style

 

Dress

H&M – CONSCIOUS. Long, V-neck chiffon dress with a printed pattern. Buttons at front and at cuffs. Tie belt at waist. Lined. Made partly from recycled polyester. ($49.95)

 

Accessories

Earrings & Necklace – Charming Charlie

Sunglasses – Ray Ban Aviators ($170)

 

[Must Read: Bring On Spring In The 2015 Toyota Highlander Limited]

 

Toyota Style

 

Steve Madden sandals

 

 Toyota Style

Want to learn more?  Discover more Toyota Highlander colors, trims and options by visiting Toyota.com/Highlander and get social by connecting with Toyota on TwitterFacebook and Instagram today!

Going Green Stylishly With Tatyana Ali #ToyotaGreen

October 31st, 2013 by Christen

Last week the Toyota Green Initiative Coalition took to the great city of Birmingham, AL for the largest Black College Classic in the nation, the 71st Annual Magic City Classic.  This stop on the Toyota Green Initiative college tour hosted a variety of eco-conscious experiences, from planting gardens & eco-friendly fluorescent lighting at the Fairfield Community Center to  an hosting a “healthy tailgate” during the big game at Legion Field.  Spirits were high upon the announcement of Toyota expanding the message of sustainability by providing  22 Historical Black Colleges and Universities with a one-year lease of a Toyota Prius vehicle early next year.

Toyota Green Initiative

Toyota Green Initiative Prius parked outside Fairfield Community Center for annual Day of Service event.

 

The Toyota Green Initiative continues to do a great job education students and alumni of the benefits of developing and living an eco-conscious lifestyle.  With tons of information including tips, videos, community events,  volunteer programs and more online at ToyotaGreen.com there’s plenty of information to develop the right eco-friendly choices for your life.  But just in case you’re not sure of where to start, we asked Toyota Green Initiative Coalition Member – Actress Tatyana Ali her #1 tip for anyone looking to develop a greener lifestyle.  Check out the video featuring Toyota Green Initiative Coalition members Zakiya Harris, Lake Louise and Tatyana Ali below.

 

Toyota Green Initiative

Toyota Green Initiative Coalition Members (L – R) Tatyana Ali, Stephen Graddick, Lake Louise, Pandora Thomas, Corban Bell, Zakiya Harris and Jamal M. Ali.

 

 

 


 

(TGI photos via Soul Brother)

Toyota’s Girlfriend Adventures Series (Episodes 1 – 4)

August 4th, 2013 by Christen

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Salsa

Looking for ways to enjoy your Summer In The City?  No matter where you live in the world, there’s always unique experiences you can find almost anywhere.  There’s no better place in the world like New York City in the summertime, and I want to explore everything the city has to offer.  So I thought, why not bring along my girls to do things that we’ve never done before for Essence Magazine’s “Girlfriend Adventures” series.  Our first adventure, SALSA DANCING!

 

salsa

 

Check out what happens when we take on salsa lessons at Step Into Salsa NY at Pearl Studios in NYC.


Summer In The City

Looking for ways to enjoy your Summer In The City?  No matter where you live in the world, there’s always unique experiences you can find almost anywhere.  There’s no better place in the world like New York City in the summertime, and I want to explore everything the city has to offer.  So I thought, why not bring along my girls to do things that we’ve never done before for Essence Magazine’s “Girlfriend Adventures” series.  We’ve already gone salsa dancing, so our next stop?  Indoor rock climbing at Brooklyn Boulders.

girlfriends adventures

 

What is Brooklyn Boulders?  Brooklyn Boulders is New York City’s only fully dedicated rock climbing gym and one of the East Coasts’ largest.  With 22,000 square feet of climbing surface and a dedicated and skilled setting staff, Brooklyn Boulders offer both a premium training ground for advanced climbers and a variety of climbs for the total beginner.  So whether you’re a seasoned 5.13 climber or just found yourself interested in trying something new, come to BKB and find what you’re looking for. (Located at 575 Degraw St. in Brooklyn – visit BrooklynBoulders.com for more info.)

Check out what happens when we take on the rock wall for the first time at Brooklyn Boulders in Brooklyn, NY.


 

 

Looking for ways to enjoy your Summer In The City?  No matter where you live in the world, there’s always unique experiences you can find almost anywhere.  There’s no better place in the world like New York City in the summertime, and I want to explore everything the city has to offer.  So I thought, why not bring along my girls to do things that we’ve never done before for Essence Magazine’s “Girlfriend Adventures” series.  We’ve tackled the rock wall in Brooklyn, and learned some salsa moves, so our next stop?  Spicing it up in the kitchen at Cook&Go.

 

 

 

 

girlfriend adventures

What is Cook&Go?  Cook&Go Culinary Studio allows participants, who are not professional chefs, to learn culinary skills in a fun, relaxed environment.  Original menus test the limits of culinary aesthetics, while at the same time respecting traditions.  There is a spirit of fun making dishes that are accessible to all skill levels.  You don’t have to be a professional chef, you just need to have a passion for learning, sharing (and eating!). Cook & Go uses high quality, fresh products and a passion for teaching to help you to create healthy, well balanced meals.

 girlfriend adventures

I had such an amazing time and each dish we prepared exceeded my expectation of deliciousness!  This foodie’s dream came true inside of that kitchen, so much so a food blog could be in the works soon… maybe DivasandForks.com? (HA!)

 


 girlfriend adventures

girlfriend adventures

 

Looking for ways to enjoy your Summer In The City?  No matter where you live in the world, there’s always unique experiences you can find almost anywhere.  There’s no better place in the world like New York City in the summertime, and I want to explore everything the city has to offer.  So I thought, why not bring along my girls to do things that we’ve never done before for Essence Magazine’s “Girlfriend Adventures” series.  We’ve tackled the rock wall in Brooklyn, learned some salsa moves AND stepped up our game in the kitchen – so our next stop?  High flying adventures at Trapeze School New York!

girlfriend adventures

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What is Trapeze School New York?  Trapeze School New York (TSNY) is dedicated to making flying trapeze available to anyone who seeks inspiration, challenge, fitness or just a couple hours of unique fun. Located atop Pier 40 at Chelsea Piers, TSNY offers flying trapeze classes for all levels (first-timers and beginners welcome) as well as intensive multi-session workshops for more advanced flyers.  girlfriend adventures

Remember that Sex And The City Episode? (SATC Season 6 Episode 82 to be exact…) – let’s face it, if you’re a woman and a writer in New York, chances are you’ve experienced at least one Carrie moment in your life… and this was my moment…

Carrie Bradshaw Trapeze

 

 


 girlfriend adventures

girlfriend adventures

For a behind-the-scene look at all the up the wall action, visit our travel channel at DivasOnDestinations.com.

Girlfriend Adventures With Essence Magazine (Ep 3) #GirlfriendAdventures

July 22nd, 2013 by Christen

Looking for ways to enjoy your Summer In The City?  No matter where you live in the world, there’s always unique experiences you can find almost anywhere.  There’s no better place in the world like New York City in the summertime, and I want to explore everything the city has to offer.  So I thought, why not bring along my girls to do things that we’ve never done before for Essence Magazine’s “Girlfriend Adventures” series.  We’ve tackled the rock wall in Brooklyn, and learned some salsa moves, so our next stop?  Spicing it up in the kitchen at Cook&Go.

 

 

 

girlfriend adventures

What is Cook&Go?  Cook&Go Culinary Studio allows participants, who are not professional chefs, to learn culinary skills in a fun, relaxed environment.  Original menus test the limits of culinary aesthetics, while at the same time respecting traditions.  There is a spirit of fun making dishes that are accessible to all skill levels.  You don’t have to be a professional chef, you just need to have a passion for learning, sharing (and eating!). Cook & Go uses high quality, fresh products and a passion for teaching to help you to create healthy, well balanced meals.

 girlfriend adventures

I had such an amazing time and each dish we prepared exceeded my expectation of deliciousness!  This foodie’s dream came true inside of that kitchen, so much so a food blog could be in the works soon… maybe DivasandForks.com? (HA!)

 

Check out the entire experience via Essence Girlfriends series below…


 girlfriend adventures

girlfriend adventures

The Allstate Drive It Home Show Hits New York #DriveitHome #CGC

May 21st, 2013 by Christen

 

Last week, I invited DivasandDorks readers, families, friends and parents out to the Allstate Drive It Home Show here in New York.  Not only did I want to share an awesome evening of driving infotainment, but I also wanted as many of our readers as possible to grab up some great prizes on site like gift cards, gas cards and even a new car!

 Drive It home

Upon arriving to the Bayway Arts Center in East Islip, NY; I was excited to discover how this 1-hour event could single-handedly save the lives of upcoming teen drivers.  The purpose of this event was to help parents understand the real hazards than teen drivers face on the road and help them become better driving “coaches” for their teens.  With the help from The Second City Communications comedians & safety experts, visitors were entertained with a welcome reception of snacks, prizes and goodies and left with a wealth of life-changing knowledge.

DID YOU KNOW:  One of the most dangerous years in a person’s life is the first twelve months after getting a driver’s license

The truth is, half of new teen drivers will be involved in a crash before they even graduate high school.  It’s no wonder why car crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths year after year.

 

 

The Allstate Drive It Home show is trying to change that by directly affecting parents and teen drivers across the country!  If you missed the show in New York, don’t worry – you may be able catch the show when it hits your area soon.  With stops already in New Jersey, Michigan, California, Virgina, South Carolina and more there are a few stops left in Texas, Tennessee and Illinois coming up soon (Check out the calendar of events for dates)

 

DID YOU KNOW:  Parents don’t understand the most deadly risks to their teen driver. Research shows that inexperience is the No. 1 cause of teen crashes, but 74 percent of parents inaccurately believe that risk-taking is the leading cause.

 

 

Are you a parent or know a teenager that’s ready to hit the road?  Why not take advantage of all the tools found on DriveItHome.org?  Parents can sign up to receive weekly driving practice tips and suggestions via e-mail, and print, discuss and even sign a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement.

If we understand the risks teenagers face – we can help them beat the odds. By staying involved as they gain experience over that first year after they get their license to drive alone, together we can ultimately savelives along the way.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

Divas Drive In Heels Is Heading To The ‘Drive It Home Show’ In New York!

May 10th, 2013 by Christen

drive it home show

Are you in the New York Tri-state area, then join Divas Drive In Heels at the Drive it Home Show, presented by the National Safety Council and Allstate Foundation, Tuesday, May 14. If you have tween, teen, or are concerned about teen driving safety, it will be an informative (and entertaining!) event. Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might like to attend. Details are as follows:

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What: Drive it Home Show, presented by the National Safety Council and Allstate Foundation

When: Tuesday, May 14 from 7pm – 8:15pm

Where: BayWay Arts Center (265 E Main St # 160, East Islip, NY 11730)

Price: FREE!; no tickets required

Parking: Parking lot is available

 

BONUS :: BONUS :: BONUS :: BONUS :: BONUS

You can enter in the sweepstakes at the event for a chance to win gas cards and a brand new car!

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If you’d like to attend, click here to register and when checking in, let them know that Clever Girls Collective sent you. Hope to see you there!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Diva Does NASCAR… A Toyota Racing Experience (#ToyotaWomen)

October 16th, 2012 by Christen
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This Camry has the speed I need! Can someone say Divas Drive In Heels!

There comes a time, when after trying something new you’re rewarded with an uncontrollable surge of electricity and unexpected feeling of pride – and for me, this weekend’s NASCAR experience was IT! It’s no secret that I’m a fan of fast cars (I’m from the Motor City…duh!) however, being immersed in hundreds of technically-supercharged cars and learning about the business and community that makes NASCAR then multi-billion industry that it is. Over the weekend, I was an invited guest of the Toyota Racing Team to for a weekend of NASCAR fun during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Charlotte, NC.

 

The fabulous lades, also know as Toyota Women!

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50 Shades of Chocolate: So the M&M guys wouldn’t let a Diva drive away in their car, but they did pose for a chocolatey photo!

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Vroom, Vroom! Toyota Racing Style!

 

Kicking off this fast-paced Toyota Racing experience included fun in the sun at Joe Gibbs Racing Shop for a NASCAR fan fest! At Joe Gibbs Racing, fans got to interact with several of NASCAR driving superstars including Kyle Busch and Joey Logano – and we got to pick the brain of the man himself – Coach Joe Gibbs.During an intimate Q&A session, we were introduced to several unique members of the Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Racing Team. Bryan ‘Boris’ Cook shared the highs and lows as a NASCAR Digital Marketing Manager, while Maggie Martin discussed the ins and outs of being a Sponsor Services Account Manager for Dollar General (the title sponsor behind Friday’s Nationwide series race). Breaking one of the many myths of NASCAR (you know, the one that says African Americans aren’t into NASCAR racing) – Toyota Racing’s Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. explained his start and love of racing. As the first African American driver to earn a pole in the NASCAR Nationwide Series – just two weeks ago, he has a lot to celebrate (in addition to is 19th birthday just last week.)

 

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Kristi, Amanda & I with Toyota Racing’s Darrell Wallace (via @TweetingMama)

 

Upon arrival to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday night, luxury accommodations quickly followed as I was ushered to the Toyota Racing Suite to enjoy the Dollar General 300 / Nationwide Series Race and dinner in grand style.

 

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Time to watch those Toyota boys win this race!

 

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Fraternizing With The Enemy:  Oakley NASCAR Driver Jason Bowles

 

As the start of the race begun, even from the comfort of the Toyota suite I  heard the roaring of these monster engines as each car rounded lap by lap.  By the time the drivers were 180 laps into the race, it was clear that a Toyota Racing driver could pull off the win!  With just 5 laps to go, Toyota Women guests were escorted down toward the racetrack and inside the winner’s circle to join the rest of the Toyota Racing team in celebration of the Toyota Racing WIN –  front and center with none other than Joey Logano!  We took photos with Joey and the team, I even got to ask M ZMAX about her racing jumpsuit (I’ve got a costume idea in mind…LOL)  ALL in all, there’s no other words that could describe my first NASCAR experience other than amazing, surprising and absolutely spectacular.  Talk about a great day for a Diva To Do NASCAR for the first time.

 

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Yes, I photobombed (kinda sorta – but not really) Joey Logano during his Winner’s Circle interview!

 

 

Check out a few of the candids & official Toyota Racing / Toyota Women experience photos below…

 

(credit: DivasandDorks/Instagram and Toyota Racing)

 

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota.

 

 

 

 

Mission Impossible: SoCal #ToyotaWomen Experience (Day 2)

October 8th, 2012 by Christen

What happens when you stick a city girl deep in the canyons of Southern California on a camping trip?  Well, when Toyota offers you a unique “glamping” experience in the heart of Southern California, you can expect an unforgettable experience of outdoor fun & camping memories, no matter what!  (In case you missed it & you’re wondering about what happened on Mission Impossible: SoCal #ToyotaWomen Experience (Day 1) CLICK HERE.)

 

Glamping: Shorthand for glamorous camping; luxury camping.

 

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As we began Day 2 of our #ToyotaWomen Experience, many of us had an idea of what a “glamping” experience would entail but had no clue or prior camping experience at the el Capitan Canyon Resort specifically. Luckily, that didn’t even matter, because the el Capitan Canyon Resort absolutely did not disappoint.

 

From the outside, the log cabin decor gave the ambiance of lumberjack fun – however, the decor within each cabin was far from forrest-like. In fact, my luxe bathroom came complete with a bubblers dreamy 3ft deep bathtub bubble bath, huge vanity mirror and a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding campgrounds and forrest. During the day, the campgrounds were filled with hummingbirds floating around with glee, curious deer poking around from behind trees and knucklehead woodpeckers (one in particular was so intent on breaking through my bathroom window, that he may have suffered a self-inflicted concussion and knocked his self out cold…LOL)

 

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There was no terror in this cabin in the woods…

 

In true “glamping” fashion, I decided on pairing a little extreme camping fun with some well needed relaxation. With a variety of options available, which included hiking, biking and more I decided on something a little out of the ordinary for this diva…

 

I took a paddle, a kayak and went for a dip in the Pacific Ocean…

 

 

…Alone

… And I can’t swim!

 

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Ready to take my kayak into the deep Pacific Ocean!

 

Talk about extreme! LOL! Lucky for me, the great guys at Santa Barbra Adventure Company were excellent teachers, guides and made me feel comfortable while kayaking up and down the Pacific coast! In between exhausting strokes, I spotted schools of fish, pelicans hunting for prey & even a few sea lions. During the kayaking excursion, I’m happy to say that I held my own while paddling up and down the 1 1/2 mile stretch of pure Pacific Ocean goodness.

 

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Toyota Women with The Guys of Santa Barbra Adventure Company. (via @SBAdventureCo)

 

To reward my body after the extreme “glamping” adventure, I had to chance to wind down with a relaxing 60-minute deep tissue spa massage, followed by a moment to relax at the pool and enjoy dinner and a bonfire at the el Capitan Canyon Resort. It’s amazing, how a camping experience (no matter at what age) can teach a person so much about themselves and others. There’s no way I would’ve ever considered kayaking in the Pacific Ocean or would’ve made such great friendships with amazing women from across the country, if it hadn’t have been for Toyota and this SoCal #ToyotaWomen experience.

 

If introducing this Diva to a great automotive brand while broadening horizons with unforgettable experiences was the goal of the Toyota Women’s Influencer Network program, then I’m proud to say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

 

 

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota.

Copyright © 2012 DIVAS ON DESTINATIONS | DIVAS AND DORKS | DIVAS DRIVE IN HEELS

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