Balancing Act

First Road Trip With the Tucson and a Visit at the Doberman Ranch

We took our new Tucson on its first road trip back in early August, I just haven’t had time to post this entry. Our trip consisted of two stops. The first stop was at our favorite place in the world, the Central Coast of California, no other than our favorite gorgeous coastal town of Cambria. The second stop was in San Jose. We drove up to San Jose to tour a Doberman Pinscher ranch, meet some puppies and to ensure we get to bring home a black male puppy in the latter half of December 2019. The entire road trip spanned 802 miles round trip. It was the perfect opportunity to break-in and test the fuel efficiency of the Tucson. Load wise, the cargo area was fully loaded but we did not have to install the roof rack and cargo basket. Not for this short trip.

Our road trip began on a Tuesday morning and started out just like any other weekday road trips we’ve taken in the past. Endured the 405 freeway traffic just like any other people on their way to work and popped onto the 101 north for some more early morning traffic jam. The dual climate control was on spot – yeah, some folks who are accustomed to this luxury take it for granted but you need to understand that we’ve been driving our 2012 Prius Four and Prius c Four for the past 7 years, so this is all new and luxurious to us, lol!

I like it cold, she likes it hot.

After we passed Santa Barbara, the drive was pretty much smooth sailing and I have to admit, the ride in the Hyundai Tucson was pretty seamless and comfortable. We set the Tucson on cruise control and it practically drove itself until we hit our lunch stop at the vintage beach town of Cayucos in the Central Coast.

For lunch, we finally got to try the infamous smoked fish tacos down at Ruddell’s Smokehouse. I swear, we’ve been telling ourselves (my wife and I) that we would try it out one day. Six years later, we finally gave it a shot and the critics are correct. Best smoked albacore fish tacos I’ve had in my life. Abby had the smoked salmon tacos and she agree that they are just equally tasty.

Smoked albacore fish taco at Ruddell’s Smokehouse in Cayucos, CA

After the short stop at Ruddell’s Smokehouse, we trekked up to Cambria for a quick drink at Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill served up by our favorite bartender, Javier, who we’ve had the opportunity to know for almost a decade now as of this writing.

2019 Hyundail Tucson Limited, Gemstone Red
Pitstop in Cambria, CA
Along the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah…

With a child, with special needs no less, it’s harder to enjoy doing what we used to do. In the Central Coast, we love to have a few drinks at the Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill and then wander around Moonstone Beach a little buzzed.

Us with Javier back in August 13, 2016 at Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill before we had our son.

Can’t do that with a little one, so after a single round of beer (we used to enjoy 5~7 rounds of cocktails), we trekked down to Moonstone Beach and allowed our son to enjoy the ocean to his own device. And enjoyed did he!

Passing on the love of the ocean from my wife to our son.

We enjoyed two full nights in Cambria before calling it North. And north we’ve headed! The main purpose of this trip was to meet a European Doberman Pinscher ranch in northern California, meet the breeder, get a tour of the ranch, meet the current litters and puppies and ultimately put down a deposit for a puppy we can pick up in December. And that’s exactly what we did. Since we are not planning to have any more kids, and our son will be our only son, we want to a fur buddy to be by his side. After much thought and consideration, we decided to have a Doberman Pinscher as our son’s fur buddy and future body guard.

When we got to the ranch. we were fortunate to meet a litter that was only 6 days old and another litter that was 4 weeks old. Both litters were just absolutely adorable. By seeing the litters and meeting the Dobermans in person, it really secured our decision to go with the Doberman Pinscher breed.

Doberman pinscher puppies
Doberman pinscher puppies
I choose you!
I choose you!
6-day old Doberman puppies!

My wife was trained to fear German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers while growing up in the Philippines, and I don’t blame her! These two breeds have had their reputation on the map and national media, and it is probably the reason why I’ve gravitated towards the Doberman when I was kid growing up.

Needless to say we put our deposit down for a black and rust male Doberman puppy that is expected to be born in November for a mid-late December pick-up.

Before we left, the partner of the ranch owner released a retired senior female Doberman named “Sam” unbeknownst to my wife. At the time, she was tending our son. As soon as Sam was released from her kennel, she charged towards my wife. When my wife noticed what was happening, she dropped everything and froze in place, letting our son run off, while Sam charged towards her at full speed. As soon as Sam got to my wife, all Sam wanted to do was wrap her body around my wife’s leg and be petted:

Sam and my wife getting to know each other.

This encounter pretty much lifted the innate fear my wife has had with Dobermans. At that moment, she was fully on board with me.

Sam and I, just chillin’.

After we’ve said our goodbyes to the puppies, Sam and the ranch, we wasted no time driving back down to Los Angeles. On the way down, we hit our first 1,000 miles with the Tucson, clocking in at a magnificent 30.5 MPG. It’s no 55+ MPG like the numbers you’d expect from a Prius but I’ll settle for 31 MPG on an SUV.

First 1,000 miles!

Of course, we got to enjoy the midday 405-South traffic on a Friday. At one o’clock PM. ONE O’CLOCK!!!!!

Traffic on the 405-S, on a Friday around 1:00 PM!!!

But despite that crazy drive back to Los Angeles, we had a summer BBQ party planned for the weekend, and boy, was it one heck of a party. It has got to be one of the best BBQ parties we’ve thrown in a while!

Kamado Joe and Weber Kettle firing all cylinders!
Beef sausages and St. Louis style ribs smokin’ in the Kamado Joe Classic II.

The weekend ended spectacularly. Everybody enjoyed the smoked mac n’ cheese, ribs, sausages, BBQ beans, greens and cornbread. And my boy Alex and I had a little nerdy fun together snapping each other in and out of existence LMAO:

Infinity Gauntlet vs. Power Gauntlet!

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