Uttering two of those six words in the headline "sparks joy" in my life as Marie Kondo would say.
I was invited to spend a couple days with Kia Motors at the Montage Healdsburg to experience a special preview of their new EV6. It's their first all electric vehicle, and a peek into the future of the brand.
Say hello to the EV6! But more on that guy later...
Shortly after arriving at the property, I got settled into my room. That meant taking a (glorious) bath, and drinking wine on a patio with my own fireplace.
This video is of the ridiculous room I got to stay in for two nights.
The outdoor shower was amazing, and I need one. And a fireplace. And a patio. And mountain views.
This place was almost too nice.
Kia put on a stunning dinner for our formal welcome to the property, and a striking presentation of the EV6.
They had all the things. And the things were very tasty.
We drank wine, delicious Napa Valley wine.
And then we got to blend wine with Fleury Estate Winery. This white sheet of paper looked like a murder scene after I completed the arduous task of mixing said delicious wine so that I could then consume it. It was tough, but I'm sure I'd be willing to be flown out to do it again.
The morning after eating and drinking the bounty of the region, I made use of the resort's gorgeous little gym.
While working out, I got to watch steam rise off of the heated pool just before sunrise.
I went for a jog through the vineyard after lifting semi heavy weights, and the sunrise was stunning.
Of course it was.
The resort was so stunning that it felt like nature was obligated to present its best self at the property like a mandatory dress code (I wore a black hoodie, and the same black pants I always wear. Insert face palm emoji.).
After my early morning workout, I took an outdoor shower. It was glorious.
Breakfast at Hazel Hill, the onsite restaurant, was soooo delicious.
After breakfast we got to learn a little more about why we were all invited to Healdsburg.
(Hey. If you have any tips on how to not suck at writing, feel free to email me. It feels like I keep writing, "and then... and then.... and then..")
The brief was short and sweet, and then they introduced us to our chariots.
Just like Stitch, I took the red one (I like to interject random movie references in my day to day way of speaking, and it often comes from cartoons. Pay no mind, I'm just a big kid.).
Just look at that booty.
It's kinda like the Aston Martin SUV, but not.
It's like a sporty car, but not.
It's an electric crossover that goes like hell, and can fit stuff inside. I drove the piss out of it up and down the mountains, and didn't get arrested.
It was so much fun.
It's sustainable, but not in the burlap sack kinda way. 100 recycled plastic bottles are used inside every interior, and the battery has a path to be recycled/reused after it's expended it's useful life as a power source for the vehicle.
Vegan leather and suede make the whole thing pretty upscale.
I was just so impressed with the whole EV6 package. Living in MI, I'd def want the AWD in the GT trim, but the RWD was a blast to drive, and thankfully not too much different in terms of feel from the AWD as it is primarily a RWD system, that only engages the front when you need the extra grip.
It drives like a sports car, but fits stuff like a SUV. That's weird, but also awesome.
I'm not a writer, or a car reviewer, but I seem to be doing both of those things right now in the most rudimentary fashion. As a lay person, and the only person in the group who had never driven an EV, I had a blast. I could def see myself living with one of these guys as it's practical, and very fun to drive.
I'd just need to be careful not to get the thing impounded and end up in jail for doing double the speed limit (or more), cause going fast is very, very, easy in this thing. When you step on it, it feels like how you might imagine teleportation to feel. Smooth, and then all of a sudden you're where you want to be in an instant.
Kia planned a fantastic lunch for us after driving twisty bits at a place called Boatique Winery. I failed to take pictures of the boats (hence the name), because my face was buried in this plate of nutrients.
There was also a soup, that was made in a vitamix, that was powered by the car. If I was paid to be an auto writer, I think I'd be fired for not including that, 'cause it was a really cool feature. The best part was watching a guest walk up to it and turn it on without securing the lid. Thankfully the soup exploded everywhere except for on the shiny new car.
RIP his fancy sweater.
After lunch, I got to switch from the AWD to RWD for the ride back to the resort.
This is me cheesin' super hard.
I met some really sweet people there, and Susan offered to take my picture with the car as my excitement for the car, and the place, and all the things, was palpable.
After tearing around the mountain side we returned to the resort. They've got a fleet of brand spankin' new Caddy's (of course they do), to shuttle you to and fro (I image fancy people talk like that).
Kia was kind enough to put me up for an extra night because the only flight back home would have arrived at 5:30 am, so I had the opportunity to dine at one of Healdsburg's finest restaurants, Valette.
I opted for the 5 course tasting menu, with beverage pairings. It started off with bubbly.
Don't worry, this will be super short. I'm tired of reading and I'm sure you are too.
First: Tuna tartare with a rose (how do you put the thingie on top of the e?).
All the pairings were Valette private label, made for them by local wineries. My memory is garbage, so there won't be details.
Second: Scallop in a puffy thing. Chardonnay.
There she is!
Third: Duck with a pinot noir.
Fourth: Ribeye with a Cab.
Fifth: Cookies n Cream with Port.
Everything was delicious as to be expected, and my brain is going to explode if I try to recollect any more of this ridiculous weekend.
I'm so extremely grateful for Jeff, and the Kia team for inviting me out for one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I'm just in awe. I'm also really REALLY sorry to my cousin for missing his wedding to take this trip. I'm a horrible human being.
I'm such a dork. I hate selfies, but, I got a freakin Kia name tag! I'm sure no one else was as silly as me about this trip, but even if this doesn't turn into anything more than just a memory (I really, realllly wanna collab with Kia), they made a mere mortal feel like a million bucks.
I'm so grateful for life, and for the privilege to experience it in such an extraordinary way.
Thank you Kia. Thank you Montage Healdsburg.
Thank you to the many many people who orchestrated this incredible trip, and for everyone's hospitality. And last but not least, I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to Jaclyn who introduced me to Jeff just a month ago at Art Basel.