I was invited to a Honda Press Event in San Diego, CA to learn about and test drive the 2015 Honda Fit a few weeks ago (I didn’t share this earlier due to an embargo) and I have to say…it was quite the experience!
When I was first invited it sounded too good to be true: a few days in San Diego to learn about a car and then drive it around for a while…for free. I agreed to join in on the fun and was super excited to find out that some of my internet friends were invited, too. While I’ve met Jeff (@TheSoCalHiker) before, Casey (@modernhiker) and Katie (@themorningfresh) were still internet-only friends.
Let me give you some background on me and my experience with cars: I drive BIG cars. I have a Chevy Equinox but also drive a Toyota Tundra, raised Chevy Silverado, Chevy Astro Van, Toyota Highlander…and my first car was an El Camino. I feel super claustrophobic in little cars like the Honda Civic and Ellipse Spyder I learned to drive in is one of my personal circles of hell.
I like BIG. I was really nervous about test driving the car and stressed about being so terrible that Honda would just send me home. What made me change my mind? First, somebody at Honda placed a blue Honda Fit in front of a sign that said “Bigger on the Inside” — obviously there was a Whovian in the crowd so I knew I was in good company. Second, the fine people at Honda were super cool with us climbing into the car (yes, even with glasses of wine) and laying down in the back, moving the seats around however we wanted, and encouraged us to really test each car.
We had a long day of learning about the all new 2015 Honda Fit and driving the car (I paired up with Jeff to do the driving portion of the event) and what I liked about the whole thing was that there was a competition involved. I’m super competitive. We were sent out into San Diego with our car and a list of categories to guide our social sharing for the day…essentially, they wanted us to go out and take photos of the car to show off the technology, the car in the city, how it fits into our lives, and more. Can I say how excited I was when it was announced that one of my photos won for “Fit for Technology”?? Honda will be donating $500 to the Special Olympics of San Diego in my name. Casey & Katie paired up for their test drive and each won for Fuel Economy (Casey managed to get 42 miles to the gallon, while the car is toted as getting 40 mpg!) and Fit for Duty, respectively.
Jeff and I managed to get a local outfitter shop to let us borrow some luggage to throw into the back of the Fit so we could see what would actually fit in the car. During the official presentations, a professional organizer (yes, it’s a real job) stuffed a bunch of bean bag chairs into the car but I don’t usually find myself trying to fit squishy dorm furniture into my car. I am more concerned with fitting my car camping supplies into the back of this thing, which it looks like it’ll totally hold, I just can’t bring anybody other than Alex with me (not a problem at all! I like my space).
While the car is great (I would very strongly consider getting one should Alex and I need a smaller car any time soon), the best part of the experience was hanging out with my Internet friends. Casey’s hiking blog was one of the first I came upon when I was looking for hikes in the LA/OC area, Katie is a fierce lady-adventurer who I totally admire for her bravery when it comes to traveling alone, and Jeff (and his wife Joan!) is super knowledgeable about longer hikes and makes me want to tackle the John Muir Trail ASAP. I even carpooled down to San Diego with Jeff and Joan, how’s that for Internet-friends-becoming-IRL-friends? Our group of four (five including Joan) ate most of our meals together, chatted about blogging and being outdoors, and cheered each other on during our competitions. It was nice to be with people who understand what blogging is and who really got me thinking about my audience and how to be brave.
Seriously, these folks are great.
I’ve met blogging/Internet friends “in real life” before to have breakfast at IKEA, dinner at Marie Calendar’s, to go camping, to go to Disneyland…and a few other instances, and each time was super fun, but this experience was totally out of left field and we didn’t know we were all invited until a few days before the event took place! I’m so happy that Honda selected the four of us (and the other bloggers who were all amazing in their own ways) to explore San Diego while testing out the new Honda Fit.
Have you met friends you made on the internet?
What qualities in a vehicle do you look for?