Staying Close to Home with a C-HR

Toyota C-HR next to its big sister, my little sister’s RAV4

In the ‘before times’ I had elite status on Delta and traveled frequently for work, and to see friends and family.

But with Covid-19 on the rise, staying close to home, and restricting any socializing to outdoors, is more responsible. Still, I wanted to see my sister and my cousin’s baby, and get in another hike. Armed with negative coronavirus tests and a shiny Toyota C-HR, I got to do everything.

Stocking up on peanut butter. The trunk was plenty roomy for a compact SUV

Plus, I got to load up on peanut butter at Whole Foods. It was out of stock at every Whole Foods in NYC. Not sure what that says about the pandemic, but I also picked up some toilet paper just in case.

Drive-in Makes a Comeback

My sister has a large enough house that we could have our own entrance, and sleep two floors away. We walked in a state park, ate outside and drove separately. To minimize indoor time at night, we went to a drive-in movie, in separate cars. Her RAV4 hybrid was actually a better option for a drive-in. She could listen to the movie through her car’s audio system and run the battery on electric. We had to keep the car running for the much of the movie or risk draining the battery. Luckily, the Toyota CH-R gets great gas mileage for an SUV; 31 on the highway, 27 in the city.

Walk in the woods: Ridley Creek State Park, mostly mask-free because no one else was there

We didn’t need it, but the CH-R also has heated seats in the front. I was convinced I’d be freezing in the car, so I brought a blanket and an extra coat. But apparently the insulation in the car is quite good. It was barely 40 degrees out and we took our coats off while watching the movie.

The compact SUV was roomy enough for three adults (my husband and youngest daughter came too) plus our oversized yellow lab. You could fit three adults in the back, but best for short trips.

Pizza and Babies. And Dogs

Pizza: my young cousin couldn’t wait to grab a slice

We met my cousin, her kids and her dog at La Pizzeria Metro, in Wilmington, DE. [Apparently, President-elect Joe Biden and his wife were biking nearby but we missed them].

We were close to Kennett Square, mushroom capital of the US, so we had 2 pizzas with fungi: Cool Spring with mushrooms, caramelized onions, fontina cheese and basil, and Brandywine, with portobellos, zucchini, roasted garlic and truffle oil. We also had one with spinach, artichokes, and peppadew peppers and a classic square pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella.

My cousin doesn’t allow pics of her kids online, but her dog (on the right) is fair game. Mine is on the left.

Socializing, and Exercising, Outside

Not very crowded in the parking lot

We met friends to hike in Rockland Lake State Park. We used to only hike when it was between 60 and 75 degrees, but now, unless there is a tornado, hail or a hurricane, anything is game. Cloudy, windy, 48 degrees? Sign me up!

Most of the leaves were off the trees on a mid-November hike

One of the great things about this hike is that it’s only 40 miles from Brooklyn, and has moderate trails from five to seven miles long. We even found a double length picnic table in the parking lot so we could socially distance while eating lunch.

Note: Toyota loaned me the C-HR. Opinions and peanut butter are all my own.

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