A Texas-Sized Road Trip with a Chevy
by Tonya Kerr
SAN ANTONIO’S PEARL DISTRICT QUICK FACTS
- Getting There Drive from Houston:
- Amenities: Hotel Emma is a stunning 180-room boutique hotel in the renovated shell of the historic Pearl Beer Brewery building
Things to Do
- Saturday & Sunday Farmer’s Markets
- Eateries, retail and beauty services
- Open lawn with dancing fountains for family picnics and live music
- Revitalized 1.3-mile extension of the Riverwalk
- Walk, bike, kayak or take a riverboat to the Alamo & River Center
A car with a tank full of gas and instructions to “explore the Texas Hill Country” were my incentives to create a fun-filled, family weekend itinerary with my daughters and best friends. Each of us chose a bucket-list destination between Austin and San Antonio, and we packed our bags.
Chevrolet kicked things off in Austin with a Road Show celebrating their 2018 fleet with all the bells, whistles and family-minded technology. There were cameras to see every angle; plugs in all rows for devices; storage surprises for groceries and luggage; and infotainment systems with wi-fi hotspot, Chevy MyLink interface and more family-perspective than I’ve seen in a long while. My youngest teenager gasped as she discovered Chevy’s Teen Driver software, and as they walked us through it, my smile widened as hers disappeared. (see Teen Driver sidebar) It was great!
Instructing the Chevy MyLink infotainment console to our next destination, sunshine and wildflowers led us into the self-proclaimed “Gateway to the Hill Country,” Dripping Springs. The Founder’s Day festival was in full swing, and we lunched with extended family at Pieous Pizza- my mouth waters just writing about it. My aunt suggested an amazing Texas-chic home décor store, High Cotton, with some amazing finds. And, since we had a designated teen driver, the Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery was a bucket-list destination for the grownups. We toured and tasted while the kids played cornhole and a live musician entertained the afternoon crowds.
FIESTA SAN ANTONIO:
San Antonio Fiesta was my bucket-list destination, and if you’ve never been (my kids hadn’t), it’s a Texas-sized, 10-day, city-wide celebration for the whole family! You’ll find miles of street vendors, music stages, prisms of colors and tastes along the Riverwalk and around town. We stayed in the Historic Pearl District at the majestic Hotel Emma- formerly the Pearl Beer Brewery. (see sidebar) It’s a mixed-use community of condos, retail stores, live music, farmers markets and so many reasons for us to go back soon.
ALAMO CITY SIGHTS & SOUNDS:
We explored the Alamo; watched floats and Fiesta Royalty prepare for light parades; ate sweets at Mi Tierra and danced with mariachis; bought flower crowns and rode the river taxi; attended the King William Fair in San Antonio’s historic district and ended our stay with facials next door at the Hiatus Spa. With a promise to return next year, we packed ourselves back into the 2018 Chevy Traverse and waved goodbye with our windows down and sun-roof open.
AFRICAN SAFARI-TEXAS STYLE:
The scenic and windy back-road route put the Traverse to a driving test it easily passed. The kids’ bucket list destination was the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch where we drove the Traverse through 450 acres of rolling hills, creek beds and Texas-sized oak trees. The kids fed exotic and native animals, like zebras and giraffes, along with bison and longhorn cattle through the windows and sunroof. As the driver, I especially enjoyed the fuel-saving, automatic start/stop system in the Traverse which had been happening all along in traffic and stop lights. However, it just made the animal encounters more relaxing.
Never-to-be-missed is a quick bite to eat at the historic Gristmill Restaurant nestled between the Guadalupe river in Gruene and the historic Gruene Hall, Texas’ oldest and most famous dance hall. Heads turned as people admired our Traverse- or maybe it was the kids still hanging out the windows from the Wildlife Ranch while singing along to the live music coming through the windows of Greune Hall. We explored the historic downtown and stopped into the General Store for some road trip treats.
All in all, the 2018 Chevy Traverse was a dream car for our group on this Texas Hill Country adventure. With the technology, cargo room and fuel saving engine gadgets, I’m more than certain we could have traveled in that car indefinitely- or at least until the Hill Country Lavender fields started blooming in June.
Teen Driver Technology with the
2018 Chevy Traverse
If you’ve not yet suffered the stress of parenting teenage drivers, get ready. My third teenager gets her license in August, if the practicing doesn’t ruin us first. There’s no bigger battle than their “know-it-all” attitude behind the wheel versus our lofty parental expertise.
So, when I got the call to put a 2018 Chevrolet SUV to the test, I couldn’t volunteer fast enough. And when my teenage daughter said, “NOT the one that tracks teen drivers, please,” I dragged her along to the demonstration. Seeing her eyes roll and mouth gasp as she sat in the driver’s seat was priceless.
Turns out Chevy’s been perfecting the Teen Driver feature for several years, and it provides a digital report card for teens or ANY driver who might need monitoring. It’s available in 10 new Chevy models at various price points. The key fob is initialized, and the data recorded. Nothing to argue over. Just the facts from your car’s computer. (see below)
Other fun features while in Teen Driver mode include the car automatically muting the audio system until seat belts are buckled; preventing speakers from blowing out (yes, this happened in our family car) by setting a maximum volume limit; and automatically turning on vehicle safety features such as Stability Control, Front/Rear Park Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert, Forward Collision Alert, etc.
We both drove the Chevy SUV in Teen Driver mode for a week, and funny enough, I earned more “tailgating” infractions than my teen. The light alerts and buzz warnings in the seat (yes, the seat actually vibrates) were immediate lessons in real-time from a non-biased, smarty-pants car. And we both conceded we can do better when it comes to safety. Thank you Chevy- from both of us.
Teen Driver Report Card
- Distance driven
- Maximum speed reached
- Overspeed warning
- Stability control and traction control events
- Antilock brake events
- Forward Collision Alerts (if equipped)
- Forward Collision Avoidance Braking events
- Tailgating alerts
- Wide-open throttle events
For more details visit www.chevrolet.com/teen-driver-technology