Florida “Staycation” with Toyota

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Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC provided me with compensation and use of a Corolla for three days.  The opinions I have shared about this vehicle are my own.


Happy Monday! It was so nice to be home this past weekend.  I usually get the majority of my work accomplished on the weekends so anytime we travel, I definitely feel behind the entire week.  We have been in major save mode for a house as I have shared with you of recent.  We have definitely scaled back on our traveling.  Even though I say to Mark on a daily basis, “we live where people vacation you realize that right?”  When we were thinking of places for our 2nd Anniversary I asked if we could road trip around Florida.  Mark’s family lives on the East coast by Miami, so we try to get there and visit with his parents and brother.  I suggested we head to Miami and we could stop on the way and see them.  I had everything planned and then the week of I realized it was the Hospitality Festival down there. Our low key relaxing weekend was suddenly taking a major turn.  Mark suggested we try something a little closer such as Naples.  He vacationed at Marco Island growing up and luckily we were able to align the plans.


As we were finalizing our Florida “staycation” I was contacted by Toyota who wanted to know if I would take the new Corolla for a spin and give my honest review of it.  It seriously worked out perfectly with timing.  As some of you may know, my husband is obsessed with cars.  I’ve always been a buy a car and drive it to the ground kind of mentality. My husband and his family like to rotate cars and there always is a fleet of new options whenever we visit his parents. When we travel long distances Mark will rent a car because he likes trying out new options and doesn’t like putting miles on his car.  He was pumped about working with Toyota as well since his favorite car to date was his Sequoia from college and he currently has a Tacoma truck.


We picked up the Toyota Corolla from our local Toyota dealership Stadium Toyota in Tampa.  They have a huge operation and a beautiful new facility.  I was met and welcomed by one of the managers who gave me an overview of Stadium Toyota and the new ride.  Stadium Toyota is still completely family run and wins customer appreciation awards every year and I can see why.  I immediately was struck with how sporty the car was.  I love the front grill details, the LED accent lights, and chrome detailing.  I mean how fun are the rims right?


The one thing about my car I will say is it is super boring on the inside.  I was completely blown away with how far technology has advanced.  The touch screen on the inside was so user-friendly.  It synced immediately with my phone and I was able to use the hands-free talking.  It even read my text messages back to me.  So much safer right?  I can’t stand how many people text and drive.  It is my biggest pet peeve.  The other safety features worth mentioning was there is a built in camera in the windshield that sends information to the car that allows it to hard break in emergencies.  The Corolla also has lane assist that if you start drifting it will alert the driver.  I loved the push start ignition and you can double tap the handle to lock and slide your hand through the handle to unlock.


My other favorite part about being able to drive to a vacation destination is that I am not limited by packing in a carry-on.  You know that I am the queen of not checking bags but it really does limit what I can bring with me.  You know I had that car packed with lots of looks to shoot with.  Luckily the trunk was huge and I barely had to utilize much of the back seat.  I also really appreciated the gas mileage.  We were pretty much able to drive to Marco Island and back on one tank of gas.  My car would have never have done that.  We opened the sunroof and definitely took in all the local sights.

We made sure on the way back up to stop by Siesta Key and Casey Key my two favorite places in Sarasota.  We parked and had lunch at the Casey Key Fish House which is a total locals spot.  It is fresh seafood right on the water.  There is a tiki bar that you can grab a drink at if the lines are long.


We then cruised around Casey Key which is the best-kept secret.  You will not believe the real estate on that Key and the close proximity to the water.  Florida living at it’s finest.


We had such a nice anniversary that was low key and highlighted all the best parts of living in Florida.  Thank you to Toyota for sponsoring this post and letting us cruise around in the Toyota Corolla for the weekend.  We had such a great time and can’t wait for our next adventure!




20 responses to “Florida “Staycation” with Toyota”

  1. Biana says:

    The perfect way to get to your anniversary destination! Definitely loving the interior of that car and I have to say toyota’s are such stable cars. My mom had one for 23 years (which I drove as well in high school) and my aunt just upgraded her corolla!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  2. Lauren says:

    It sounds like such a fun weekend, especially while getting to drive around a new car! I’m amazed at how far technology in cars has come in the past few years. I feel like mine is ancient!

    By Lauren M

  3. Kelsey says:

    First off, your striped outfit is GORGEOUS! Also, this post comes at an ironic time because I was literally just at a Toyota dealership test driving some cars last week! (My honda is about to give out on me…). I was so impressed with how nice the Corollas look, especially compared to the cars they were about 10 years ago!
    However, I need a bigger car, so I’ll probably end up going with a Camry. But they’re all so sleek!

  4. Heather says:

    This sounds like such an incredible way to celebrate your anniversary!! You’re so right – SO many people vacation in your area so you should too!!! ;)
    Siesta Key is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to – what a lovely place.
    That car looks amazing too. We love Toyota – we have had a Rav4 for 4 years without any problems….it’s such a reliable company. When our Honda Civic finally dies sometime, I think a Corolla is our next choice so I’m glad to know how much you and Mark enjoyed it!

  5. Ashley says:

    What a fun car to test drive! That dashboard looks awesome!

  6. Well, I’m going to note down these ideas, tips and such because I just booked a flight to Florida And can I borrow your abs when I’m down there? Thanks!!!

  7. Karly says:

    How fun! It looks like you had beautiful weather and that relaxing getaway that you were hoping for. Happy belated anniversary!

  8. Lindsay says:

    It looks like you guys had the best weekend! LOVE the Gulf side of Florida! I also love my Toyota and the text messages being read to you is seriously a game changer!

  9. What a wonderful getaway and beautiful pics! I love my Audi, but miss my old Toyota sometimes, so reliable, and my car doesn’t have half of those features!

  10. Cars basically drive themselves now, it’s so crazy! I test drove a new Volvo XC90 last week and everything is touch screen and sensors basically drive the car for me. If I want it backed into a space, I just hit a button! If I want it parallel parked, another screen and another button! Cray cray.

  11. nadine says:

    Sounds like you guys had a fun trip! I love the touch screen in my car. I went so long with very basic, minimal luxuries in my cars and now I am totally spoiled with my current one and could never go back!

  12. I’d say that’s a super fancy and sporty looking Corolla. So nice you got to take it for a whirl and not use your own miles. A beach getaway driving distance sounds like the perfect way to celebrate your anniversary. I love love Siesta Key so great to see you were able to make a stop into that cute beach town!

  13. The pics of you sitting on the hood are my fave! Looks so gooood! :) And I wish my car read my texts too me. THat’s pretty fab haha

  14. Emelia says:

    I’ve never had a Toyota but all of these safety features are really amazing. My car will be paid off next year so I would love to drive it until the wheels fall off (ha- half kidding ;) ) but the Toyota sounds like something I would love!

  15. Helene says:

    I can’t think of anyone who deserved some time off more than you!! looks like you guys had a relaxing time, sorry you had to change up your plans but looks like you guys had a blast!

  16. Shenine says:

    I love driving new cars! Every time I drive a rental I try to drive something different. I”m like Mark, love cars…so much…so awesome that you got to test this little corolla for the weekend. Those cannot be stock rims ;)

  17. Tiffany says:

    Technology is not what it used to be that’s for sure. We had a rental MDX last week and it made my 2005 look like something out of the Stone Age. We love Toyotas and that car is seriously so sporty! Not the Corolla of days past. Glad y’all had a great staycation.

  18. Jaelan says:

    Glad you had a great trip – how’d you like the cupholders? ;)

  19. Loved driving a Corolla back in November for the same reasons you listed here! My car definitely doesn’t have that much technology! Glad y’all had a great anniversary! Can’t believe it’s been 2 years! xx, I’m Fixin’ To

  20. Rachel says:

    What a fun getaway! My car was pretty outdated for the longest time – I remember that feeling when I got in a new one and the technology was insanely different + much improved!

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