HIGH SCHOOL REUNION and MORE
By Cathy Droz
THE WEDDING – New Jersey
A trip back to the East Coast, for my 50 th High School Reunion was number one on my agenda but decided to spend extra time in New Jersey and New York to visit friends, family and test drive the 2019 Toyota Camry XLE. My agenda included a wedding in New Jersey at the historic and beautiful landmark “The Manor” known for large events and the Dome Rooftop Lounge. The father of the bride, a former port authority police officer, surprised his daughter with pipers for a few songs at this Irish wedding. I love bagpipes and a man who wears a skirt with knee socks.
THE REUNION – Long Island
Next stop was to Long Island, where I tried to rest (get some beauty sleep) before I would be challenged to remember names, faces, who married who and find out about retirement, divorce, grandchildren and where they now live. As we entered the hotel ballroom I knew immediately, I was at a loss. If not for our HS photos on our nametags, forget it. Just like the Camry, it turned out, we all seemed to get better with age.
WOMEN AUTO KNOW – Queens, New York
I took a chance to meet with my long distance auto pal Audra Fordin, the founder of Women Auto Know and owner of Great Bear Auto Repair in Queens, New York. I’m from Queens so the connection was instant. We also have the same mission… empower women about their cars, buying, selling and repairs. You can see Audra on National TV on any given day with tips for men and women but she focuses on teaching women how to be safe and knowledgeable drivers. She took a look at the Camry I was testing for Toyota and commented on its reliability and style. Thumbs up from Audra …Toyota!!
SWEET MELISSA PATISSERIE – Lebanon, New Jersey
When we lived in New York we had a babysitter who lived around the corner named Melissa. She was the sweetest young lady in the neighborhood and my kids loved her. She grew up to do many things including owning three bakeries in Brooklyn for 16 years and winning a syndicated cooking show. People come from all over to taste Melissa’s Pies. I hadn’t seen her in thirty years but nothing has changed, she is still sweet and loved the Toyota Camry I photographed in front of her store. The Camry had the scent of an almond croissant all the way to the shore
THE JERSEY SHORE – North Beach Haven – New Jersey
Visiting friends at the Jersey shore was nothing like the TV reality show Jersey Shore. (Thank Goodness). Our friends live 4 houses from the beach and enjoy every day of shore living, good friends, food and its always 5:00 somewhere attitude. They were hit hard by hurricane Sandy in 2012 but like so many of their friends, they rebuilt and helped each other through the devastation. They enjoyed the ride in the Camry and I found some of my best photo shots were with sand and water in the background and the sun streaming thought the moonroof. I ended my trip by turning the Camry in because our next stop was Jersey City and planning to take the subway to Manhattan. You don’t really need a car in NYC. I’m grateful we had the Camry with large trunk space, a moonroof to see the clouds and photograph the bridges we crossed. The navigation system kept us on track, on time and was large enough for me to read. Afterall it was my 50 the High School reunion and at 68 I’m supposed to start seeing the signs of aging… hearing, seeing, eating dinner at 4 PM and raising the volume on the TV. Well that’s not me or my friends. Thank you, Toyota, for the use of the Camry XLE that is only 37 years old and also doesn’t show signs of aging.
As Tested: $35,484
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