Road Bucket List
Odometer (Legend): 515,676
Odometer (ILX): 15,511
Life is a highway; I wanna ride it! All night long. Anyone who’s followed my blog knows that to me, the journey is way more important than the destination. I’ve decided to start a record of roads that I absolutely have to drive someday.
1. Pacific Coast Highway – all the way from Seattle to LA
2. KEY WEST via Florida Route 1! Yes please.
3. The Million Dollar Highway – western Colorado. I just learned about this one today!
Do any of my readers have any recommendations? What are some roads in your area that would make for a great Acura-driving adventure? Check out this awe-inspiring picture gallery of 29 of the world’s best driving roads. Here’s another one with the 19 “most complex” roads in the world. The tunnel in China?! I’m practically drooling.
A Little Architecture History
But this is a car blog, right? I’ll get to that. A friend forwarded me a petition this week and asked me to “Save the home of David & Gladys Wright.” Not one to usually pay much attention to forwarded emails, I decided instead to actually research this one. Turns out, there’s a pretty cool story to go along with it.
In 1951, just 8 years before his passing, revolutionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built this home for his son David. At the time, its design was borderline crazy – concrete block construction, circular orientation. The entire 2,200 square foot home, in fact, was elevated from the ground on pillars! The idea was that when built this way, the desert breeze could be enjoyed. David passed away in 1997 and his wife Gladys died in 2008. It’s been unoccupied ever since.
Shortly after construction in the 1950’s.
And a more recent picture.
The home is now apparently in jeopardy of being razed in favor of building new homes on the site. So what did I do? I took a little Acura ILX detour on the way home from work.
Location: 5212 East Exeter Boulevard, Phoenix Arizona
From overhead, the home truly is just a circle on a huge piece of property – pictured here at center.
That’s some bright afternoon sunshine on a shiny car, but I for sure found the house. This was taken from the west side of the property on Rubicon Avenue.
I peeked over the chain link fence and snapped this picture.
Indeed, the views of Camelback Mountain are pretty sweet from this street’s location! Can anybody spot a new accessory on my ILX?
If any of my readers wish to sign the petition as well, it’s located here. There are lots of nice homes in this area now! I’d love to own one of these fine estates.
This trip to the Wright home was almost as intriguing as the time in January 2010 when I went with a couple of friends to tour the Phoenix “Mystery Castle” which was built in the 1930’s and constructed entirely of garbage!
It seemed only fitting that I also treat the Legend to a little history lesson this week as well, so on Wednesday night I set out on a quiet solo drive to downtown Phoenix. My first destination was the historic and haunted Hotel San Carlos, located at 202 North Central Avenue. The hotel in its day (constructed 1927, opened 1928) was modern and elite. As fate would have it, though, one of the hotel’s first guests checked in and never left. Legend has it that her spirit lives in within the hallways. Actress Leone Jensen dove to her death from the roof of the 7-story building just two months after it opened.
The hotel has since endured multiple ownership changes and renovations, but still retains its original look and feel. The website gives a little more detail about the timeline of its existence. I wasn’t able to park in front of the hotel for a picture on Wednesday (light rail track in the way) but visibility would have been poor at nighttime anyway, so I stashed the Legend in an adjacent parking structure and walked a couple of blocks to the corner of Monroe & Central where the hotel is located. The lobby is complete with many historical artifacts, including some original room keys, newspaper clippings, and a matchbook.
I spoke briefly with the front desk attendant and learned that “ghost tours” are offered on Saturday and Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m. for a $13 fee. I’ll be making a trip to participate in one of those in the near future, I think.
Ready to head home, instead of taking any freeways, I decided to take Van Buren Rd all the way from Central Phoenix to my home in south Scottsdale. I wanted to experience a tiny taste of the landscape that people looked at before I-10 and Loop 202 were around. The road was eerily quiet, as is much of central Phoenix after-hours on a weeknight (unless there’s a sporting event in town).
Run-down motels dominate the sides of the road – places like the Paradise Motel. I’d be afraid to even stop for a picture there, let alone spend the night. Shortly up ahead, though, a monstrous neon sign shone like a beacon in the night. I’d reached the site of Bill Johnson’s Big Apple.
From the eatery’s website:
Bill Johnson’s Big Apple, an Arizona restaurant chain for over 55 years, has been serving country style breakfast, mouth watering BBQ and delicious steaks. Generations of Arizonans have dined at Bill Johnson’s Big Apple Phoenix restaurant since 1956. Get into cowboy mode where the Old West spirit comes alive through a sawdust-covered floor and a hearty, down-home menu loaded with barbecue and fried items.
Sounds good enough to eat! And I have dined there – it’s worthwhile. I’ll be back soon. Meanwhile, a Legend picture sufficed.
Honda’s Proving Ground
Ironically, less than a week after I posted a write-up about my visit to the Nissan Proving Ground for the 2012 Z Convention in my 2013 ILX, Inside Line posted a story about having visited Honda’s facility in their “test car” 1991 Sebring Silver Acura NSX. The place is located in Mojave, California – a remote desert area about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. I don’t yet know specifics beyond that but perhaps someday I’ll check it out! Road trip, anyone?
From the Inside Line article:
ILX Text Messaging Interface = Functional!
Technology is fun! Earlier this week, I took off from work to grab lunch at Pei Wei in Fountain Hills, Arizona and while driving was alerted on the audio display in the dash that a text message had been received. It appears that after having gone through several “un-pairing / re-pairing” exercises with my iPhone and my ILX, they decided to get along! I’ve yet to investigate just all that this system is capable of, but here’s what I know so far:
When I’m driving and receive a text message, the screen will tell me who it’s from and ask if I’d like to view it.
If I hit “Yes”, it’ll read the text message aloud through the car’s speakers, but give the following message:
Since a stick shift vehicle doesn’t have “Park,” I waited until I stopped for lunch and set the parking brake. Sure enough, when I went into the PHONE menu on the dashboard and scrolled down to Text Message, Branson’s message was there:
Pretty sweet! I haven’t yet played around with the automated replies. Perhaps I can customize one that says, “Leave me alone. I’m driving to five.”
What Color Would You Want?
Now that the Acura ILX has been on sale for a few months, I decided to do a quick Autotrader survey to see what’s listed currently in the new car market as of September 27, 2012.
- 6,491 vehicles available
6-speed Manual ILX:
- 355 vehicles available
Wow! Only 5.1 percent of Acura ILXs currently available in the U.S. on Autotrader are equipped with a manual transmission and the 2.4 liter engine. Being the data junkie that I am, I took my research a step further. Of the manual cars, the following are the color breakdowns:
- Black (Crystal Black Pearl): 99 cars
- Silver (Silver Moon): 77 cars
- Gray (Polished Metal Metallic): 55 cars
- Burgundy/Red (Crimson Garnet): 31 cars
- Blue (Fathom Blue Pearl): 22 cars
- White (Bellanova White Pearl): 7 cars
Since that only totals to 291 cars, the other 64 MT-equipped cars may not be advertised with their colors listed. I’m really surprised that the white is so low volume! No surprise on the black being high on the list, though.
Photos in order of ranking:
Until next time!