The best road trips start with people you love and a great destination. Add to the mix a technologically savvy luxury car, and the journey goes from sublime to the divine in less time than it takes to go from zero to sixty on the highway. Recently, I headed to Santa Barbara for a birthday weekend with my husband Matt to test drive the new future 2019 Lincoln Nautilus. The location and the ride left me California dreaming.
Tempting as it is was to hang out by the infinity pool all day at Belmond’s El Encanto’s resort, Matt and I were eager to put the pedal to the metal of one of the new Nautilus’ and take on the notoriously beautiful highways and treacherous twisting backroads to Ojai. While I hoped to avoid using the Evasive Steer Assist and Lane Centering technology, Matt was fascinated by the concepts, so every chance he tested them out. Usually, I am an anxious passenger due to his gas/brake habits, but the Co-Pilot360Ô features allowed me to relax and enjoy the ride.
Stopping along the route that had us skirting the edge of the dense Los Padres National Forest and high above the reservoir Lake Casitas to take photos, we arrived in Ojai just in time for a quick stroll through the bustling farmer’s market. It was teeming with native ripened fresh fruits, and vegetables. Gorgeous perfumed bouquets of flowers and local honey and soaps made for perfect souvenirs. I was dying to bring back a gigantic colorfully striped domed top woven basket. There was plenty of room in the Nautilus’ generous trunk. However, I lost my enthusiasm when the reality set in that I would have to ship it home myself. Afterward, we were guests for a delightful picnic-style lunch at Porch Gallery, followed by a lecture from an intriguing local artist Ruth Pastine.
On the way back to the hotel, I took full advantage of the interior amenities like the Ultra Comfort 22-way seats with the massaging feature. I charged my cellphone via the wireless inductive charger. Apple Car Play syncs seamlessly, which makes using Waze for navigating super convenient.
Early risers by nature, the next morning, we threw off the high thread-count sheets and comforters, headed for the lobby, poured cups of piping hot Joe, and took off for a sunrise escapade to Goleta Beach Park. The light-colored, leather-trimmed, Black Label Chalet themed seats were so pretty I was worried that an inadvertent spill would stain the luxurious upholstery. However, we were assured by one of Lincoln’s interior design colorists that great care goes into testing the fabrics for durability. Completely tranquil by the ocean, we slaked our need for caffeine while witnessing one of life’s greatest pleasures – a budding sunrise slowly flowering before bursting out from behind a rocky shoreline suffusing everything in its path in a golden glow.
What better way to celebrate another year than to be with the one you love, bathed in the warm sunlight on a road trip in an amazing vehicle. Thanks to Lincoln Nautilus, I spent a happy birthday, California dreaming.