Dressing As A Super Hero For Abbi’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

4 years.

Dear Jack,

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

I mentioned how you chose to wear your “super hero costume” to open your birthday gifts from Mommy and me when you turned 4 a few weeks ago; having received the outfit as a gift from your friend Madison at your Lego birthday party at Bricks 4 Kidz.

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

Well, this weekend you were quite excited when Mommy and I learned that Abbi’s birthday actually had a costume theme.

While I tried to convince you just to wear your Ninja Turtle hoodie and be Donatello, you insisted on wearing your costume from Madison.

The logistical problem with that is that we had already boxed it up in our storage unit, as our new house should be ready by the end of next month.

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

Mommy was up for the challenge so we loaded up in the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe we have been driving this week, as we await the news of whether or not my own car will be totaled thanks the albino deer that hit me on the way home the night before Thanksgiving.

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

Something really cool about every Hyundai I have reviewed is that basically the entire ceiling is a moon roof. You love that! You love being able to see so much of what’s going on.

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

Mommy’s favorite feature of the Santa Fe is the heated seats, especially this time of year.

My favorite thing about it is the size. Now more than ever, I like a good strong SUV that help protect me in the event I get hit by another albino deer. Hyundais are just nice vehicles anyway, as I’ve been quick to mention in my other reviews of them.

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

Speaking of safety, I also really appreciate the Blind Spot Detection System, which alerts me anytime another vehicle or object is getting dangerously close to me. (After having recently been hit by a deer, this is something I’m quite sensitive to this days!)

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

And not to mention, the back-up camera saves me a lot of worries too. (See below the relevant song that happened to come up on XM radio this week while we were driving the Santa Fe.)

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

Well, thanks to Mommy’s supreme packing skills, she was able to pull up the door of our storage unit, then immediately open up the box with your super hero costume! You then curiously asked about your monster trucks- she found that box too.

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

Before Abbi’s birthday party, we decided we should stop by our new house which is still under construction and see the latest updates.

Afterwards, as part of our tradition, we stopped by the model home so you could say hi to the in-house real estate agent. You had hidden a piece of foam (which you refer to as your “pizza parlor”) in the bushes and decided to crawl under the Christmas tree as a gift… because that’s normal for 4 year-old boys, I assume. (See top picture, again.)

When we arrived to Abbi’s party, we were greeted by hens, which we fed some dried worms to.

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

Once we walked inside the house, I was glad we had found your costume beforehand, because I realized your Ninja Turtle hoodie wasn’t quite enough for this costume-themed party.

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

You kept your eye mask on the entire drive and at least the first 30 minutes of the party.

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

And of course, your friend Madison (who gave you the costume) was so happy to see you wearing it. (Pictured below.)

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

You were lucky: you basically got to have an all-you-can-eat sweets buffet while we were there.

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

So we decided having dinner at Whole Foods would be a good way to offset that, but first we stopped to see some Christmas lights along the way.

Needless to say, we had a really fun week in the Santa Fe. And you especially had fun, being a super hero the whole time!

Love,

Daddy

Dressing As A Super Hero For Abby’s Birthday/2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Weekend

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Standard Features:

5 year/60,000 mile New Vehicle Warranty

10 year/100,000 mile Powertrain Warranty

7 year/Unlimited mile and Perforation Warranty

5 year/Unlimited mile Roadside Assistance

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe

Advanced Safety Technology:

Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Traction Control

ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution & Brake Assist

Blind Spot Detection System

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe

Powertrain Technology:

3.3 L Gasoline Direct Injection V6 Engine

290 Horsepower @ 6,400 RPM

Fuel Economy:

21 MPG average: 18 city/25 highway

Annual fuel cost: $2,500

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe

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2014 Hyundai Santa Fe LTD FWD: Family Friendly Car Review

Thanks for coming back! Hi there, I am Nick Shell, the daddy blogger of Parents.com’s The Dadabase, but on the side, I review cars.

This week’s featured vehicle is the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe LTD FWD, which my wife said might possibly be her favorite car I have reviewed so far. She really like how the seats had heaters and “coolers” built in to them.

2014 Hyundai Sante Fe LTD FWD family car review

As for my 3 and a half year-old son, these were his words during our first drive in it:

“Daddy, this car: awesome. This car is awesome!”

He particularly loved the panoramic sunroof. Basically, the entire ceiling is glass, and the front half of it opens up.

At one point, he explained, “Daddy, the sun is getting in my eye- and it’s getting in my chip’s eye too.”

But it sure was cool to have that feature as we took our mini-road trip a couple of hours away to my hometown in Fort Payne, AL for Memorial Day Weekend.

2014 Hyundai Sante Fe car review

One feature that I particularly found helpful was how I was able to see in real time, how many miles per gallon I was using. During my road trip, which was mainly Interstate, I averaged right over 25 miles per gallon, which is exactly what the “window sticker” said it gets.

I would have never given the Hyundai brand a second thought had I not reviewed two of them now, but I am officially impressed by Hyundai. They actually make really nice and impressive cars!

And that’s not even mentioning their amazing warranties…

Well, don’t just take my word for it- check out these stats and pictures and form an opinion for yourself.

As for my family, I can honestly say we truly loved driving the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe.

family friendly car review

Standard Features:

5 year/60,000 mile New Vehicle Warranty

10 year/100,000 mile Powertrain Warranty

7 year/Unlimited mile and Perforation Warranty

5 year/Unlimited mile Roadside Assistance

Advanced Safety Technology:

Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Traction Control

ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution & Brake Assist

Blind Spot Detection System

2014 Hyundai Sante Fe

Powertrain Technology:

3.3 L Gasoline Direct Injection V6 Engine

290 Horsepower @ 6,400 RPM

Fuel Economy:

21 MPG average: 18 city/25 highway

Annual fuel cost: $2,500

Catch me again next week when I review the 2014 Toyota Prius!

Party Like It’s 1999: My Ten Year Class Reunion (Fort Payne, AL)


Last week as I mentioned to people here in Nashville that my 10 Year High School Reunion was coming up on Saturday, I was surprised to hear more than a few respond with, “Well I’m not going to mine. Everybody I want to see or talk to from high school, I already do. Most of those people I didn’t like then, and so I know I won’t like ‘em now.” Not one tiny part of me can relate to that statement.

On the same token, there have been times when I have hyped up an upcoming event in my mind for weeks or months, only to find my high expectations were not met. Again, this was not at all the case.

Ultimately it comes down to the fact that the Fort Payne Class of ’99 is a special group of people. Yes, I am being bias.

If the definition of a true friend is someone you can be apart from for years and the next time you see them, you can just pick up where you left off last time, then I have more friends than I realized. Because that was the case with everyone that was there.

I saw how warmly my wife was accepted by everyone there. (It actually reminded me of when I introduced her to my family a few years ago.) How often an official introduction wasn’t even necessary. Just straight to conversation like an old friend. That sort of instant familiarity with a large group of strangers is rare.

Ten years can definitely change people in a way I hadn’t considered; by bringing them to a more similar place in life than they were in before. Kristin Bailey Gardner works in journalism, whereas I am jealous that she is. Kim Thomas Clowers married my 2nd cousin, meaning we’re related now related and see each other at family reunions. And the should-be action movie star Morten Maaegard, the foreign exchange student from Denmark our senior year, was in the same parts of Thailand as I was in 2004. (He actually flew in from Europe for our class reunion- that is impressive.)

When an event this big goes so right, I have to take a look at why. Aside from a bunch of cool 28 year-olds all truly wanting to be there, a lot of it had to do with the planning. Tabitha Thomas Greenwood found and followed a formula that was flawless. First, during the day, we met at the new city park. That was a way that those with children could bring them and have something for them to do as the adults caught up on life.

Then that night just us adults met at an old yet restored hotel and restaurant in the crafty/artsy neighboring town of Mentone. Our senior yearbook was placed on a table along with a memorial of the four we’ve lost since graduation: Grant Dobbs, Derek Hood, Brooke Craig, and Joey Kean.

It was like a big house where after dinner we could just walk around and hang out as the band played. That was the ideal casual environment that kept everyone comfortable and in good spirits.

I have heard of class reunions where people had to pay $100 just to get in. Ours was affordable, practical, fun, and perfectly planned. We could have met in the Santa Fe room at Western Sizzlin’ (or The Sizzler as it’s known in the rest of the country). But no, the Fort Payne class of ’99 does things right. We knew not to play around with something as monumental as our one and only 10 year reunion.

There definitely is a dream-like quality about seeing so many old friends again after so long. Like a blurry Vaseline-on-the-camera-lens kind of feel. And because so many truly looked the exact same as they did in high school, it was kinda like a dream where we all just appeared in the same place and the only thing that really changed was the time in between the last time we were all together.

Eleven year reunion, anyone?