California Pt.5: Big Sur State Park

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Annie and I decided to stay a night at the Big Sur State Park to explore a little more.

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I’m not sure if you know, but seeing the redwood forests in California was on my bucket list. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for years.

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As you can see, the trees there were massive, and it’s only until you put a person next to them that you understand the scale.

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We hiked upwards towards the top of the mountain. Notice the density of the forest.

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At the top, there was a nice view of the valley as well as the horizon.

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Walking around the park, we found a nice waterfall. The amount of nature surrounding us was immense, and the size of the trees made us feel like we were in Jurassic Park.

Test Drive: VW CC 2.0T

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Annie and I rented a Volkswagen CC 2.0 Turbo when we went to California. Surprisingly, this was cheaper than a Mini Cooper (as a rental)!

Given a choice, I’d rather own a BMW 328i or Mercedes C250; however, the VW CC 2.0T probably has the most refined engine and transmission for the money… and makes for a wonderful rental car.

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Power

The specs say the VW CC 2.0T has 200hp / 207lb torque and 0-60 in 6.5s. I’m absolutely convinced that this car delivers 0-60 faster. When the turbos spool up, it feels way faster than Audi A5, BMW 328i and Mercedes Benz C250. That’s probably thanks to the DSG (dual clutch transmission). Shifts are instant and keep the turbos spooled when you need the power.

I’m actually astonished by how much power a turbocharged 4 cylinder can deliver when paired with a dual clutch transmission. I just wished they included paddle shifters on the damn thing. It’s 2014 guys!

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Handling

The brake pedal was as sensitive as all the other German cars I’ve driven. Overall handling was decent, but wasn’t nearly as refined as a BMW or Mercedes. I’d probably say the greatest flaw was the suspension setup. For whatever reason, the car took an extra bounce over bumps. Without proper dampening, I felt less confident around corners.

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Comfort

I’ve read some reviews about the back seats being cramped, but I think they’re fine for people under 5’10″. The front seats are spacious and comfy. Personally, I’d like my seats to have more bolstering around my body, but these seats were decent. We drove over 800 miles in a week, and there wasn’t too much fatigue.

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I will note that the cabin is loud—for whatever reason, the noise transferred from the tires were way too loud. For that, the VW CC gets low marks.

In addition, the engine and exhaust noise were non-existent. I would have liked a little more of *that* kind of noise. It was hard to tell if I was revving the engine high unless I looked at the dashboard.

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Style

I actually think the back of the car looks better than the front. That being said, the car is a little plain in the front. Considering how stylish the Audi’s are, I would have expected VW to push for a sportier style.

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Conclusion

For the price, the VW CC 2.0T is a decent sports sedan. What it lacks in styling, it makes up in its motor and transmission. I’m not sure if I’d personally want to own this car over an Audi, Benz or BMW, but for the price it’s a fair deal.

If you decide to get this car, get the dual clutch model. Also, you can stick with the 2.0 turbo—it’s plenty of power for the chassis.

I’d seriously consider buying this car if it came with flappy paddle shifters and a nicer front exterior… but at that point, the VW CC would essentially be an S4.

California Pt.4: McWay Falls

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When Annie and I went to California, McWay Falls was at the top of the list.

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If you look closely, you’ll see a waterfall that flows into the ocean.

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The view from this park was pretty incredible, especially around sunset.

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I’m surprised we found it—we saw a bunch of people parked on the side of the road and figured we’d get out to check it out.

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California truly has everything.

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And here’s a pic of Annie with her mountain, waterfall, forest, beach, ocean and sunset.

Trap: DJ Snake

DJ Snake is killing it with the trap.

Definitely be sure to hear more from him.

Man, I need to get back into the game and write some more stuff. These kids writing trap are just owning the billboards now.

Uninstalled Skilt Theme

Skilt

After messing around with the theme for the last day or so, I finally gave up. And a bunch of folks preferred this template better.

I’ll probably keep the Skilt theme for a future project, but man, the combination of WordPress, Dreamhost and 3rd party themes/plugins can be challenging. Damn, I should have just saved my $40 instead.

Cars and Coffee

Not a huge turn out at Cars and Coffee today—I guess it was because it was Father’s Day.

370Z’s

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Nice Subaru with a matte white finish.

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GT40

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Evo’s

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Smart car with tow hook and Lambo style doors.

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Aston Vantage

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M6 with a bold license plate.

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Over the top Viper.

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Not sure exactly what this is, but it’s pretty cool. Looks like a variation of the GT40.

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Anyway, I detailed my car for about 3-4 hours the day before, just to have a bird take a big crap on it the next day.

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The worst part is that the turd blemished the finish a little. I’m hoping that I can buff it out.

Old vs. New Design

I decided I’d try playing around with some a theme I found recently. I’m not sure I’m 100% in love with this new theme, but I’d figure I’d give it a try. I wanted to see if folks like the multipost card look. Let me know which one you like better—pick left or right.

PS. the combination of WordPress, Dreamhost and f’n around with a 3rd party template is a total headache.

California Pt.3: More Highway 1 Scenery

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Literally every mile there was another beach or incredible view of the ocean and mountains.

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Here’s a photo of Annie trapped on a rock as the waves surrounded her.

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The photos don’t really do it justice.

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Massive falloffs everywhere. Death was just a step in each of these photos.

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I once asked Annie what kind of landscape she’d want if we bought a house—water front, plains or mountains? She said she wanted all of them.

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Stay tuned for more photos.

California Pt.2: Highway 1 Scenery

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As we drove down Highway 1 in California, Annie and I saw some of the most incredible landscapes.

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The waves around the rocks brought out the most incredible bluish tones I’ve seen in a while.

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It was literally mile after mile of ocean and mountains.

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Just to give you a sense scale, that’s Annie next to the edge.

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Seriously, no filter.

The New AddThis

AddThis Tool Dashboard

We’ve been making some serious headway at AddThis recently. We’ve transformed the entire product—and it’s great feeling to see everything come together.

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Kudos to the entire team for pulling it together so quickly. I’m really proud of our new direction. It’s been a while since we’ve had so much momentum. I’m excited for what’s next.