I have to admit, I was a little surprised when I was invited by Toyota USA to attend Spring Training in Scottsdale Arizona. Why me? I have not exactly covered sports extensively on the blog, although I have for sure on social media as I attend a Cubs game annually every summer with my family in Chicago and I also LOVE NBA and NFL games. So I guess, I am a sports fan just not typically writing about sports on the blog. What a fun way to get some sports on the blgo while partnering with the amazing team at Toyota USA.
After I learned that the trip would entail a road trip from San Francisco to Scottsdale Arizona driving down in a vehicle provided by Toyota I said yes please! This sounded like a lot of fun. First, who doesn’t love a good road trip. My last one was from California to Kansas City on Route 66, stopping at The Grand Canyon to name just a few of the spots I enjoyed. Second, as you may know I love cars and really enjoy driving them. I mean I have been to Audi Driving School three times. Yes it’s awesome and I highly recommend that.
Moving onto the road trip fun! My Spring Training Road Trip began in San Francisco with my first over night stop in Ojai staying at the lovely Ojai Resort & Inn.
My Stay at The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
After my overnight stay in Ojai I departed for Scottsdale arriving Thursday evening. In total I drove about 7 hours each day not counting gas stops and a few bites on the road. If you’re curious what a foodie eats on the road, it’s pretty much what everyone eats. I had a healthy subway sandwich day one and splurged on day two at Taco Bell on a crunchy and soft taco. I mean, you do have to enjoy road trip fast food every once in a while!
During the road trip I was given a Hybrid Rav4 to drive. I was very excited to see how this handled as I drive an SUV at home so love the height of driving in an SUV but I wasn’t sure what the hybrid experience would be like. Driving the RAV4 was great. Some of the things I enjoyed most about the car included the below:
- I loved the interior two toned leather. It really gave the car a sporty look but also quite elegant and high end.
- It has great speed and a lot of zip to it. Although it’s a 4 cylinder engine, it really handles great and in those situations on the highway where you need the push it seemed to give it to me.
- I liked how quiet the hybrid was. I barely noticed when it was on which took some getting used to but way better than a noisy, loud car.
- The display panel with the radio, navigation and driver information was very easy to use, read and very user friendly. The first thing I do when I drive a rental car (or in this case a loaner car) is program the radio stations. This had over 30+ spots to program stations so after the first 15 of XM Radio I still had plenty more to use.
- I also liked the button on the trunk to close it. It sounds silly but I don’t have that on my SUV at home so this was really a luxury!
During my visit to Scottsdale I stayed at the Talking Stick Resort & Casino. This was a great hotel for it’s convenience to the various baseball diamonds, it’s very central location, the fact that it had a casino (for those wanting to gamble and have some fun) and the large scale of the hotel included a ton of amenities such as various restaurants, a roof top Spa (with some of the most beautiful spa views I have ever seen), plus very nice sized rooms with all the amenities you’d find in a typical high-end hotel.
Giants San Francisco Spring Training
Pre game fun before heading to support the San Francisco Giants. I have to say as if it wasn’t enough of at treat to drive down to Arizona in the Rav 4 I was also able to drive the car the entire time I was in Arizona. Thank you so much Toyota for your generosity after driving this car almost 5 days I really fell in love with it.
Taking in Spring Training fun before my first San Francisco Giants game. This is incredible. And thanks again to Toyota for the amazing seats, we were about 4 rows back from this shot. Incredible! My dad loved joining me as my guest and it was the perfect daddy daughter activity since he was my softball coach for many many years during junior high. I bet you did not know I used to play softball!
One of the perks of Spring training is the stadium’s are much smaller than what you’re used to in San Francisco at Giants Stadium. I mean, these views were incredible. Spring Training really is a super fun way to enjoy baseball, spring break and be outside with friends and family. After one year of attending I hope to make this an annual trip.
Top Golf Scottsdale
During our last night of the trip the group all joined for an evening of golf at Scottsdale’s Top Golf. I had never been to Top Golf and as a golf, or someone who tries to golf (after taking lessons since my early 30’s) this was one of the most fun events the group did. We had a pro coach the group for the first hour or two then we all just relaxed, enjoyed dinner and hung out. I was quite sad when I learned there is no Top Golf in San Francisco, but hey a girl can always dream.
As usual having a lot of fun golfing
Although my adventure with Toyota and our Spring Training trip may have ended I stuck around for a few days to join my family for Spring Break. The Toyota team generously offered to loan me another car for the next few days and after I had admitted I was not a Prius girl they suggested I give it a try convinced I’d fall in love with it. After driving this little red gem for 4 days I have to agree, the new 2017 Toyota Prius is pretty fabulous. It has a super sleek interior and has quite a lot of zip to it and a lot of bells and whistles the older models do not have. If you’re looking for something a bit more green and very gas friendly give the 2017 Prius a try and let me know your thoughts…..
This post was written in partnership with Toyota who sponsored my Spring Training Trip generously loaning me a Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Prius. As always all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own and I only write about destinations, brands or events I personally enjoy and are proud to share with my readers.