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Road trip: What I learned going from Texas to California
When you find yourself driving from North Texas to San Francisco to help your friend move back home, minor details like making a budget or, perhaps planning a route, might slip your mind. Maybe it's just me. Here are the biggest mistakes I learned to never (again) make on a road trip, planned or spontaneous. Apple Maps is all you need to navigate from point A to B, right? That is until you lose your signal. Or your aging phone enters an infinite shut-off-boot-up loop any time you so much as breathe on the screen. The solution? Bring maps. The… Read More

The World Series – a tale of three cities
October 1985 was a magical time. Especially if you were a baseball fan and living in Missouri. In addition to the annual beauty of the leaves changing color in the Midwest, the Show-Me State’s own Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals were playing in the World Series. Living in southwest Missouri, approximately three hours from either metropolis, our city was divided on those bleeding Royal Blue and Cardinal Red. It was referred to as the “I-70 Series” and it was a blast to be a part of. More so for Royals fans as KC was crowned champs following an… Read More

Lively steps and lilting tunes in Branson
A thriving country and bluegrass music scene. Fine dining. Fun dining. Like Las Vegas, loaded with live entertainment. Unlike Las Vegas, absolutely squeaky clean in every respect. Neighborly folk in every town. Beautiful, accessible mountains. Creeks, rivers and lakes everywhere. A beautiful, seasonal climate. Many, many zip lines. Where can you find all of this? Well, my family and I found it in Branson, MO, just an eight-hour drive from Dallas. We rented a 2013 Chrysler Town & Country to take the road trip, and headed for the Ozark Mountain range. The charms along the way included tribal lands and… Read More

The Vehicles of The Walking Dead
Times can be hard when you're living in a zombie apocalypse, but things can be exponentially better if you're able to get your hands on some kind of vehicle. Once you've got some wheels, you stand a much better chance of surviving, even if just because now you have a way to mow down some walkers. Plus, you don't have to worry about traffic rules or making that car loan payment—it's an apocalypse, after all. In this infographic we've hashed out some of the best vehicles from AMC's "The Walking Dead" and have analyzed them to figure out which one… Read More

The most overrated travel destinations
Here are four travel destinations that you may regret going to, and nearby, more rewarding alternatives.   Overrated: The Four Corners The Four Corners is the only point in the United States at which four states (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah) meet. That, and only that, makes it unique. The views? No. The weather? Not particularly. The historical significance? Nnno. Great shopping? Maybe. Do you really love turquoise trinkets? Saving grace: Durango, CO Remember that town you flew into to get to The Four Corners? Go back there. At the Southern end of the Rockies range, you'll find the charming… Read More

Road trip: Western calm in wine country
If there is one mantra that Texans have unwittingly adopted in the summer months, it’s this: get out of the heat. For at least a week. From Seaside, FL, to Colorado to California, Texans flee from June through August to places that provide relief from the non-stop 100-degree days that define the Texas summer. This year my family and I traveled to northern California. My husband and I are long-time lovers of the Bay Area, wine country and the Pacific Ocean, so we opted to make Bodega Bay (of Alfred Hitchcock’s, The Birds, fame) our base, and then took day… Read More

September blogination: The best from Santander Consumer USA
Blogination? OK, we made up the word to get your attention. And apparently it worked. So now that we’ve got it, here are the most popular posts (links below) from the Santander Consumer USA blog in September: Your cheat sheet: Shopping for the ideal new car Looking for a new vehicle can get downright complicated, but this infographic and five-part series can help you narrow the choices until you’ve found that one vehicle that is perfect for you. Really, we don’t want your car, SUV or truck Your auto lender has a strong interest in ensuring that you stay out… Read More

Six essential gadgets for a successful tailgate party
Tailgating (not the kind that rude people do on the highway, the kind that awesome people do before/after sporting events, in stadium parking lots) consists of equal parts art, science, and deliciousness. So when you're gearing up to get your grill on, you momentarily may think that you're crazy for buying A ROBOT THAT CLEANS YOUR GRILL FOR YOU after you've finished making your famous BBQ-onion-sauce burgers and mustard-battered beer brats. But, really, wouldn't it be crazy not to have one? I mean, what kind of philistine tailgate party would that even be? Not to worry. We have compiled a… Read More

Tailgate parties – The sizzling new American tradition
I imagine myself being asked, “Would you like to eat a picnic-style meal with a few friends in a parking lot, using your vehicle as the kitchen/shelter?” My reply in this situation would be, “I believe that I would not.” Or would I? Well, despite my surprise at how much people might enjoy and desire to engage in such an event, they do. They do very much. Having a tailgate party, or simply “tailgating”, is born of the needs and opportunities of the moment, and has arisen through the public consciousness into the strata of culinary efforts reserved for foodies.… Read More

Route 66 still kicks in cities across America
What one route through the U.S. is considered the ultimate drive for a classic American road trip? While the Pacific Coast Highway, Road to Hana, Lincoln Highway and Blue Ridge Parkway are popular choices, for sure Route 66 is in the mix. The Mother Road, as it’s also known, became the first road system to link Chicago to Los Angeles in 1938. Over the years this icon of asphalt has been idolized in movies, TV shows, songs and by many families during a road trip or out for a Sunday drive. People still do Sunday drives, right? Recently we participated… Read More