Inspecting the Chevy Traverse

A new video from the Nelsons’ inspecting the Traverse:

Packing for the @m3summit

I had a lot of gear to bring with me to Atlanta for the Modern Media Man Summit.

Thankfully, Chevrolet had provided me a Traverse.  And I had room to spare. 

Blown Away By Chevrolet

Can you say, “Friggin’ AWESOME!!!?

We’re a week out from the first Modern Media Man Summit and I’m totally jacked up! I’m polishing up my presentation when I get a call from Chevrolet, one of the conference sponsors. The guy on the phone, Renae, tells me I’ve been selected to drive one of their Traverse SUV’s to the conference and I should be on the lookout for a package shortly…

Here’s my reaction to the package from Chevrolet.

Chevrolet Drive-to M3 Summit from on Vimeo.

Please come and join us Sept. 9-11, 2010 in Atlanta, GA.

You can register here:

I speak at 10:15 Friday morning. In addition, I’ll be doing a book signing from 12:45 to 1:45. Hope to see you there!!!

Modern Media Man Summit

The Modern Media Man organization was founded with the focus of becoming the first dedicated blogging conference in the United States focused solely on the issues facing men and dad bloggers as they pursue their interests in blogging about personal, business and educational issues. The organization is focused on meeting the needs of bloggers, podcasters, videobloggers, online TV and radio broadcasters, social media influencers, consumers and small business owners, while also bringing them together with key corporate brands affected by the active purchasing power of today’s Modern Media Man.

The M3 Summit will feature a host of recognized speakers; include a variety of essential seminars, panel discussions and keynotes from some of the best known in the industry. Held in Atlanta, the three-day conference lends a once-a-year opportunity for contact and lead generation, the exchange of ideas, and a look into the heart of men and dad bloggers. More information about Modern Media Man and the M3 Summit can be found at

Chevy: Traverse, Equinox, or Malibu

In February, some friends and I drove from Dallas, TX to Nashville, TN in the Chevy Equinox. In July I joined one of those friends on a summer Traverse adventure to Kentucky, and just a few weeks ago, four of us gals test drove the new Chevy Malibu.

Having seen three sizes, I think I can offer a little insight so that if you’re looking for a new Chevy, you’ll have an idea of which will meet your needs.

Size Matters.

Car, Crossover, Wagon? Really, it depends on your needs. Travel a lot? You’ll want the Traverse with the 3rd row seat you can put down for extra luggage space. Also, if you have more than two children, the Traverse is a must. Let one child sit up front and the others have separate rows to themselves. It guarantees a more peaceful ride to school… Soccer mom? Equinox fits the bill. There’s enough room for gear without leaving you feeling like you have wasted space or you’re driving a wagon. If you plan to stay around town, the Malibu is my pick. Smaller means easier to park, better gas mileage, and surprisingly, it’s roomy and quite sporty.

Good Looks.

The Malibu wins hands down for it’s sporty exterior and elegant interior. It’s more of a business or fashionita pick. But, I was also very impressed with the Equinox and Traverse. Side by side these two appear to be the same car… one just has an extended backend. I’m not much of a wagon girl, so I like the Equinox (read: easier to park!) but the Traverse really isn’t THAT long and it’s still stylish. Your kids won’t be asking you to pull up around the corner at school drop-offs in any of these cars… no, you’ll be the cool mom who can pull right up to the front of the school.

Budget Friendly.

With the Malibu starting around $21, 900 and the Traverse starting at $29,224 you have a really good range of family budget friendliness. Chevy has also worked hard to make sure each of these three cars is fuel efficient, so the savings continues every day for the life of the car.

If I Had to Pick…

The Malibu would win. I only have one child. I travel quite often. And, I really fell in love with the sexy Malibu Pearl

‘Best of PapiBlogger Family Road Trip’ Reveals Insights about 12,000-mile, 46 Day Drive through America during the Summer of 2010

This was one of the many cool McDonald's restaurants we visited during our epic journey. (Photo sponsored by McDonald's).

What happens when a Miami family of five spends 46 summer days, 12,000 miles and 33 states on the road driving through America together?  They become geography experts and blog about their adventures on their parenting web site

Just days after completing the epic road trip with his wife Angela and kids Briani (1), Elena (6) and Jonathan (10), Miami-based parenting blogger Manny Ruiz is releasing his “Best of PapiBlogger Family Road Trip” report.  The report spotlights many of the best, biggest and most entertaining things the family blogged about during their cross-country journey on a Chevrolet Traverse (the “PapiMobile”).

Best Scenic Drive

The Wyoming to South Dakota leg of the trip was both surprising and dazzling, especially because at one stretch just off the road we drove the PapiMobile (aka Chevrolet Traverse) alongside a major stampede of horses.  The second most scenic drive was the day we went from Seaside, Oregon to Mount St. Helens and then Seattle.

Most Touching Moment of the Trip

Our family visit to the Ronald McDonald House in Orange County, California really touched our family.  After volunteering to help prepare food and hang out with families that are staying at the house because their kids are being treated for grave illnesses, our own children told us they wanted to stay active with the Ronald McDonald House.

Most Unbelievably Cool Moment

Despite flying helicopters over Mount St. Helens and the Grand Canyon and taking a boat ride right near the fury of the Niagara Falls the top votes for best moment of the trip were given to:

  1. Whale watching in Gloucester, Massachusetts
  2. Watching “Mary Poppins” in Broadway
  3. The moment the kids first saw and played with snow in the Timberline Lodge of Mt. Hood, Oregon

Quirkiest Place We Visited

Deadwood, South Dakota.  This town looks like the template for every Old West town you see in movies and thrives on the pre-Las Vegas notoriety it’s enjoyed for being the original haven of outlaw gunslingers, thieves, prostitutes, gamblers and every other hell raiser you can dream of. 

Best Technology Moment of the Trip

The tech moment of the trip was watching the LeBron James “decision” live on our Sprint Nextel EVO 4G phone.  How we saw this announcement so crisply clear on the phone in the midst of Mt. Hood, Oregon was truly stunning and a tribute to the network Sprint provided us to post stories, photos and videos to our blog.

Best Restaurant We Dined At

We estimate we ate more than 140 meals during our road trip.  The top three local restaurants we dined at were:

  1. Santa Fe: Café Pasqual
  2. Boston: Legal Seafood
  3. Savannah: The Pirate’s House

Coolest Fast Food Restaurant

With the help of our sponsor, McDonald’s, we created a route that took us through some of the most interesting McDonald’s restaurants in the nation.  The category for coolest fast food restaurant we visited is a tie between the original, 1955 McDonald’s that today is a museum and the ultra chic Broadway one that hosted us in New York City.

Best Hotel Stay

We stayed at some fine places nationwide but our complimentary stay at the fabulous Hotel Rio in Las Vegas was the best, most comfortable and most needed one of the trip.  It was also the setting for the best family bonding time as we spent a lot of time watching TV and introducing the kids to a new classic favorite show, “The Andy Griffith Show.” 

Best Hollywood Movie-set Visit

Visiting the original home and neighborhood where the 80’s classic film “The Goonies” was shot was a major thrill for our family of young movie buffs.

Longest Drive of the Trip

The 13-hour drive from San Francisco to Mount Hood.  It actually would have taken us three hours more to get to Mt. Hood so we stopped driving at 1 a.m. that day and completed the last three hours of the 16-hour drive the next day.

Favorite State

Our family could not arrive at an unanimous choice. The adults voted for Oregon and Wyoming because of each state’s outstanding beauty, mountains and hospitality.  The kids voted for California and New York.  Jonathan and Elena voted for California because of their experience at Disneyland and the Ronald McDonald House and they chose New York because of they were thrilled to see the Broadway play “Mary Poppins” and they visited the Museum of Natural History.

Best National Park/National Monument

Even though we didn’t spend enough time there Yellowstone National Park wins this category.  In close second place, especially for the kids who say it’s a tie, is Niagara Falls.

Most Surprisingly Beautiful State

We were stunned to see that Wyoming’s unbelievable beauty extends far outside its share of Yellowstone National Park.  In fact, parts of Wyoming are prettier than what you see inside Yellowstone.

Best Haunted City Tour

This was a tough category because we really enjoyed the four top quality haunted tours we took on the trip in St. Augustine, Salem, Boston and Savannah. The adults voted Salem as their favorite followed by Savannah.  The kids voted for Boston followed by St. Augustine.

Hottest Place We Visited

Las Vegas was at a scorching 105 F when we stayed there.  It was so hot that when dipping into the “coldest” pool of the fabulous Hotel Rio we almost instantly dried up every time we got out of the water.

Coldest Place We Visited

At 47 F Seattle was actually colder than the top of snow-covered Mt. Hood, Oregon where we took the kids to play with snow and watch people ski.

Coolest Roadside Oddity

The accordion-style barn house we found in Tensleep, Wyoming was the oddest sighting we found on the road.  The second oddest thing was a potential ghost woman that spooked us walking near Mount Rushmore.

Best Toy for the Trip

The U.S.A. License Plate game by Melissa & Doug.  This game helped us teach all of the states and their capitals to the kids.  Even Briani loves the game because the game has state license plates that make noise as they snap in place.

Best Road Tripper We Met

Jim Marx, age 61, biked for 65 days and more than 3,600 miles on his way from Seattle to Plymouth, Massachusetts.  He did it as a challenge to himself.  He gets our award for Road Tripper of the Road Trip.

Biggest Out of Fuel Scare

We nearly ran out of gas five times during our trip but the time we almost ran out of gas in the Mojave Dessert was terrifying because it would have meant waiting for OnStar to help us refuel in 110 F weather.

Most Boring Drive

The drive from South Dakota to Illinois was so torturously boring that all we were able to photograph were bales of hay along the way.

Biggest Tech Gadget We Didn’t Miss

Our iPods.  Thanks to our Chevrolet Traverse’s incredible satellite radio we only used one of our iPods for music ONCE.


New Hobbies We Took Up During the Trip

PapiBlogger discovered that he would like to start collecting vintage lunch boxes. Jonathan and Elena took up photography during the trip and Briani discovered how to consistently make cute faces when she smiles for photos.

Times the Road Trip Almost Suffered Postponement

Two times we thought we would need to either postpone or possibly cut short the family road trip.  The first time was in Austin, when Briani developed a very bad cough that forced us to take her to a pediatrician.  The second time was in Philadelphia when Elena developed a very bad earache and cough, almost prompting us to take her to the.

Percentage of the Time PapiBlogger Actually Drove

About 5% of the time.  In order for him to faithfully photograph, videotape and write for the blog, PapiBlogger’s wife drove 90% of the time.  Her sister Melissa, who joined the family for the Seattle to Buffalo leg of the trip, drove the other 5%.

Can I play Wii in my Chevrolet Traverse?

The answer:  YES.  There are inputs for video and sound in the car, and there’s even an electrical outlet in the second row.

The only thing to watch out for would be flying controllers and nunchucks.  My recommendation would be, as always, to make sure that you have everyone using a Wiimote to have the strap on.  And make sure there’s enough distance between them and the next person so they don’t get socked when the player is trying to throw a pass etc.

So, ultimately, yes, you can play a Wii in the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse.  And with DVD player, multi-channel headphones it’s great to have hooked up.  Just make sure no one gets hurt!