It was a dark and stormy night. Ok, apologies to Snoopy. It was neither dark nor night. It was however pretty stormy as we loaded up into my Kia Optima for the drive to the Cleveland Auto Show. As we left Cincinnati, with snacks and entertainment aplenty for Mini-Me, we were looking forward to a nice quiet drive full of contemplation and peace. Haha. Just kidding.
Within about two minutes, Mini-Me was on the laptop watching a movie we downloaded (legally mind you), foregoing the books and coloring material she brought. Oh well, a three and a half hour car ride is a bit much for an eight year old, but she was happy to be going on a family adventure. We chatted away as we adjusted our heated and vented seats from warm to cold as we felt the need. I played around with the Smart Cruise Control. No more braking constantly, it uses radar to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, I love it. We got to the Cleveland Auto Show right at the time we scheduled (ie, whenever we got there) and wandered on in to peruse the Kia section and see what they had going on. It did not disappoint.
First off, let me tell you that the I-X center in Cleveland used to build B-29 bombers during World War II. Then it built tanks. So this place is big. And I mean B-I-G. Big enough to hold ALL the cars. But we were here to check out Kia, so we did. Little did we know we came on the perfect day to see one of the hubby’s heroes, Carlos Baerga. Carlos was a 3x All-Star that played for the Cleveland Indians and the hubby is a huge fan.
So he queued up in line to get an autograph while Mini-Me and I wandered around looking at all the beautiful Kia’s. Sorry Cleveland Fans, I was born and raised in Cincinnati, so I am not a fan of the Indians. If Ken Griffey Jr had been there, well, it would have been a different story.
So, since it is an Auto show after all, let me tell you something about the cars. The main attraction this year was the Beautiful Blue Stinger up on the stage, modded by West Coast Customs. This car was a beauty to behold. And the Stinger was the real reason I was looking forward to this auto show. But I digress.
My “To-Die-For” car, the beautiful Sorento SUV. The fun Soul (don’t worry, it has more than hamsters under the hood). The full-size Cadenza (I loved the heads-up display on my Cadenza). The family friendly Sedona. I won’t mention what kind of vehicle it was, but it starts with “M” and ends with “Van.” Don’t get me wrong, my sister loves her…vehicle, but you will never see me in one. And of course there was the Stinger. Now I am definitely more of an SUV person, but I could make an exception for the Stinger this summer. *Wink*.
After we got a quick bite to eat, we headed over to the Ride and Drive. This is another reason I love the Cleveland Auto Show. Did I mention they used to build bombers there? And it’s right next to the airport? So, let’s just say that not only is the building big, but the grounds around it are also rather large, which provided us the opportunity to drive a Stinger. Unfortunately, they did not let me test out the 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, but we got to drive around the very large parking lot and hear about all the cool features of the Stinger.
How’s this for a fun fact? The Stinger has a feature where it turns the engine off when you release the gas and step on the brake and come to a complete stop. Then when you let your foot off the brake it turns the engine back on and by the time your foot is pressing on the gas pedal, you are ready to go. It’s called Idle Stop and Go. I think that is a pretty cool advance.
After the Ride and Drive was over it was about time to leave sunny Cleveland. First of course we had to take a ride on the Ferris wheel (yes, there is a Ferris wheel inside) to get a bird’s eye view of the whole show (and especially the Kia area).
So maybe we weren’t leaving sunny Cleveland, more like rainy Cleveland and head back to sunny Cincinnati. I mean pouring rain Cincinnati. Now that was a fun drive. Nothing like 5 hours on the Interstate in the dark in pouring rain so hard you can barely see (not the whole way fortunately). But the interesting thing is that with all the safety features in our Kia Optima, no one was really scared. Between Collision Detection and Lane Departure Warning and Smart Cruise Control, we felt snug as a bug in a rug. It just took a little longer. The biggest bummer about the drive home for Mini-Me was when the battery finally died on the laptop. Unfortunately, we had no way to recharge. I guess a Kia Sorento with its available inverter plug would have helped, but maybe for our next family adventure. Hint, hint.
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Kia and the author was compensated. However all opinions are our own. The hubby bought his Kia with our own money.