5 Reasons to LOVE the Audi Q7

Thanksgiving week, we had the privilege of reviewing the Audi Q7 for 3 full days. It came at the perfect time since we were planning a trip to Orlando to visit Sea World. 3 kids and a husband that is 6'4 means that when we take trips that require us to be in the car for more than 20 minutes I begin to panic. James get uncomfortable, and the kids can touch each other and fight. The Audi Q7 made our trip so nice.

1. Space. The Audi Q7 has 3 rows of seats with more than 144 cu ft of interior space. Even with the third row up (which you better believe I utilized) there was still 10.9 cu ft of cargo capacity behind the third row. As an active family it was nice to know that we could put all our gear behind the third row, and if needed, the 2nd and 3rd rows both fold down to provide 72.5 cu ft of space!

 

 

2. Diesel mileage. The Audi Q7 is a TDI clean diesel. And this is not the diesel motors of yesteryear. Today's diesel has a greater power density than traditional gasoline, which means that a gallon of diesel fuel has about 15% MORE energy than a comparable amount of gas. The Audi TDI clean diesel engine has achieved ultra-low emissions vehicle status in ALL 50 states which produces approximately 20% fewer CO2 emissions that the traditional gasoline-fueled engine.

 

3. Seat Warmers. This might seem trivial to some, but for this Florida family who ventured out on the COLDEST DAY OF THE YEAR, this was a HUGE deal for us. Especially for our middle daughter, 8 year old Ella. Ella is always cold, so for her to have the ability to control the warmth of her seat made her so happy. Each of the children also had their own climate control system so they could control how much heat they wanted blasting out of their vents. It was wonderful!

 

 

4. Audi Connect. Audi takes hands free to the next level! With Audi Connect your hands never have to leave your steering wheel! Thanks to Google Voice Local Search, Audi allows you to search Google by simple voice commands, and the screen is up close to the windshield so your eyes don't have to focus and refocus between the screen and the road ahead of you. There are also toggle buttons near the gear shifter, where your hand naturally rests when you drive, so you can quickly and easily access the information you need without taking your eyes off the road.

5. Safety. With six standard airbags, a back up camera, Audi side assist, adaptive cruise control, and the parking system plus with corner view cameras, I honestly have never felt safer while on the road. Audi's side assist informs you if there are vehicles in the lanes next to you, and adaptive cruise control helps to monitor the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you and adjusts your speed appropriately. And the corner view camera system gives you a panoramic view of your surroundings as you park.

 

Our time with the Audi Q7 was AMAZING and too short! Tongue Out It was a nice break from my F150 and to remember what it felt like to drive a new car, and to not have the children fighting or touching each other. It made driving so much easier. We loved so many things about this vehicle.

Thanks to Reeves Import Motorcars Tampa and Audi Tampa for giving us this amazing opportunity.

 

What's the most important feature to you when looking for a new car?

Koss Headphones fill your stockings!

Disclaimer: I received these headphones as part of a campaign through Fit Fluential. I was compensated. All opinions are my own.

I am still rocking 1980's old school style headphones. I had small, weirdly shaped ear holes, so I prefer to wear the full size headphones.

 

When these two pair arrived I was excited to try them out! They claim to be made by women for women and one made for smaller earbuds really was calling my name!

I took them out of the box, and I loved the bright color!

They are a great stocking stuffer for the fit woman on your list. The Koss Fit Buds and Fit Clips retail for #29.99 and come in a wide variety of colors. I'm sure you'll be able to find one to suit the woman in your life!

I've been dealing with some stressful situations so when I got home tonight, I put on my headphones, grabbed my music and my dog and just left. I needed to clear my head and relax. The headphones were very comfortable and never once slipped out during my 3 mile power walk.

I came back from my walk with a clear head, and my ear buds still intact. Wonderful. I've never found a pair of "normal" ear buds that don't slip out of my ears, but these didn't.

I highly recommend Koss for the active women in your life.

Push Away the Screen: SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration, Dolphins Up Close, and Dinner at Sharks

Disclaimer: SeaWorld provided me and my family with tickets to enjoy Christmas Celebration, a Dolphins Up-Close Tour, and dinner at Sharks Underwater Grill. All opinions are my own.

 

For the past two years my family has begun a new family tradition on Thanksgiving Day: theme parks. Last year we went to Busch Gardens and had a great day. This year we were invited by Sea World to come up for the day and experience the Christmas Celebration Wintery Wonderland. They also included a Dolphins Up-Close Tour and topped it off with dinner at Sharks Underwater Grill.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this photo pretty much sums up our day.

Happy. Excited. Joyful. Bliss.

But I'm jumping ahead.

We arrived at the park around 10:30am, picked up our tickets, our dolphin passes (our tour was at 12:15pm), and immediately Ronin wanted to see if he was finally tall enough for Manta. But along the way we got sidetracked by the Manta aquarium!

With ten unique, naturalistic aquariums inhabited by more than 3000 marine animals—including hundreds of rays and a giant Pacific octopus—The Manta Aquarium had lots of animals for us to look at. And as a former marine biologist, I was able to point out most of them to my kids, and noticed quite a few times that I had a little crowd gather around as I described the similarities between the many echinoderms that were in the different tanks.  As shown in the picture above, a unique 360-degree pop-up aquarium put Ronin and Haley right in the center of the undersea activity. Ronin thought that was so cool!

Aquariums are sort of "our thing" so I always love to get photos of my trio just gazing at the sea life.

As you might be able to tell from our clothing, we had a coldfront come through Florida, so escaping in to the Manta Aquarium was a welcome relief from the weather. But soon enough we had Ronin pulling on our sleeves to see if he was tall enough for Manta.

Thankfully he was tall enough and all of us enjoyed the ride. After the ride we ran (literally) over the the Dolphin Tour! What a blast we had! We were in a small group of 15 people (adults and kids combined) and we got to learn all about the dolphin nursery at Sea World, the kids got to throw some fish at the dolphins. 3 mamas, 3 babies, and an "aunt." One of the babies was born in June, and the other two were born in early November. Super cute to see baby dolphins up close!

After the nursery we walked over together to the large dolphin training pool where the kids got to pet "Scotty" and learned some basic hand signals and Scotty danced, splashed, and the kids laughed and were so excited!

Right after dolphins we headed over to Sharks for lunch at 2:00pm. It was Thanksgiving Day so we wanted to have a nicer meal than some of your typical "theme park" fare and did we ever!

We were seated at the best table in the house! Dead center in front of the main tank. It was amazing. We had such a fantastic view and we all enjoyed a Hodges family scavenger hunt looking for fish in the tank while snacking on cocktail shrimp as big as my hand!

Looking over the menu, they had so many fantastic seafood options, but I wanted something custom made with no sauces, no pasta, etc., so our wonderful server wrote down my special order, and the executive chef Victor came out to specify exactly what I wanted.

Grilled scallops with asparagus. It was fantastic. The scallops melted in my mouth and it was amazing and so flavorful.

James also had scallops, though he had his with a heavy cream sauce, and pasta and he devoured it. Haley had coconut shrimp, and Ella and Ronin each created their own mac and cheese. It was made with REAL cheddar cheese. They went over and above to make sure that my meal was prepared exactly the way that I wanted it. Moral of the story...ASK for what you want. Restaurants are in business to make their customers happy, so just ask.

We all enjoyed our meals and the view and kept ourselves occupied eating and drinking for nearly 2 hours!

After leaving the restaurant we made our way towards Christmas Celebration.

Along the way to find the Polar Express we found the Christmas Spirit.

The Polar Express experience was amazing! It's a simulated ride experience and the 5 of us really enjoyed it! After the ride, keep your eyes on the lookout for Santa!

The holiday classic comes to life as guests are immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world. The sights, sounds, and scents of the season surround you. Also be on the lookout for Santa Claus after your ride. - See more at: http://attractionsmagazine.com/blog/2013/11/21/see-season-meets-sea-seaworlds-christmas-celebration/#sthash.IzeSWG6S.dpuf
The holiday classic comes to life as guests are immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world. The sights, sounds, and scents of the season surround you. Also be on the lookout for Santa Claus after your ride. - See more at: http://attractionsmagazine.com/blog/2013/11/21/see-season-meets-sea-seaworlds-christmas-celebration/#sthash.IzeSWG6S.dpuf
The holiday classic comes to life as guests are immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world. The sights, sounds, and scents of the season surround you. Also be on the lookout for Santa Claus after your ride. - See more at: http://attractionsmagazine.com/blog/2013/11/21/see-season-meets-sea-seaworlds-christmas-celebration/#sthash.IzeSWG6S.dpuf

The Polar Express Experience surrounds you in the sights, sounds and scents of the Holiday!

We continued along the Sea of Trees, and found a wonderful spot for daddy and his trio to relax their tired feet.

The holiday classic comes to life as guests are immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world. The sights, sounds, and scents of the season surround you. Also be on the lookout for Santa Claus after your ride. - See more at: http://attractionsmagazine.com/blog/2013/11/21/see-season-meets-sea-seaworlds-christmas-celebration/#sthash.IzeSWG6S.dpuf
The holiday classic comes to life as guests are immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world. The sights, sounds, and scents of the season surround you. Also be on the lookout for Santa Claus after your ride. - See more at: http://attractionsmagazine.com/blog/2013/11/21/see-season-meets-sea-seaworlds-christmas-celebration/#sthash.IzeSWG6S.dpuf

We continued on the path, and came across a wonderful Christmas village where I had my first Hot Toddy!

It was so tasty and warmed me up quite nicely. Once the sun had set the cold weather came back, and we were feeling chilled!

The trio each had a hot cocoa and split a s'more and it was more than enough for the three of them!

We enjoyed our snacks while listening to a group of Acapella singers perform Holiday favorites.

We continued on our way through the Village and saw a marvelous model train set, and we were also quite entertained by en elf. She had us stretch, jump and perform all sorts of elfish tricks.

It was shortly after this that the park closed! We missed so many shows and holiday attractions, but we had so much fun with what we saw!

We smiled, we laughed, we held hands. It was a wonderful start to the Holiday season, and I can't wait to return to SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration next year!

Have you ever been to SeaWorld, or Busch Gardens for one of their Christmas events?