Americans Are Ready for Vacation

summer road tripThe seasons are heating up! Summer is on its way and Memorial Day weekend is often the beginning of vacations and travel for many individuals and family alike. According to a survey conducted by Trip Advisor, one in three American’s will be hitting the roads over the holiday weekend and 86% have relaxing vacations planned for the summer.

According to the survey, 74% of respondents plan to drive to their summertime destinations. There is a unique mix of travelers setting out to enjoy various types of landscapes and environments to ease their stress, get away from work and to experience some well deserved relaxation time. 51% of travelers plan to spend their time off at the ocean, 29% will be taking in the countryside, 13% intend to explore national parks and 17% plan to have some fun in the sun at various lakes throughout the country.

Studies have shown that traveler’s that take time to relax and enjoy nature have reduced stress levels and a more balanced lifestyle. The anticipation of a vacation alone can boost an individual’s mood for up to eight weeks according to one particular study. A vacation allows people to feel invigorated and energized and helps to create a healthy work and life balance, especially when work concerns are left at work and travelers take a break from their typical digital lifestyles.

Source: Huffington Post

Oregon Auctions Unique VW Beetle

An all white 1973 Volkswagen Beetle is being auctioned off to the highest bidder by the University of Oregon’s Athletic Department. The bid currently stands at $2,500.00 and the auction ends at 11:00pm ET on Monday.

oregon-helmet-carSo, what’s so special about this car, aside from the fact that it’s a Volkswagen Beetle and evokes a sense of nostalgia? Well, fans of the Oregon Ducks might want to get in on this auction since the car has been fashioned with a giant green helmet emblazoned with a yellow letter “O” on its sides.

The auction listing repeatedly indicates that the car isn’t in working condition. But it’s likely that doesn’t matter to Volkswagen enthusiasts or to die hard Oregon Ducks fans. The listing further indicates that seats inside the vehicle have been designed to look like a football, even featuring laces and the Nike Swoosh logo and has a CD player, though it doesn’t specify if it is currently operational. The Beetle’s license plate says “QB” and according to the auction listing, the registration is set to expire on 10/03/2013.

The winning bidder is responsible for moving the vehicle from Autzen Stadium within two weeks of the close of the auction.

Source: Yahoo!

China Welcomes VW

Volkswagen-ChinaVolkswagen has plans to open ten new plants throughout the world, with seven on them being opened in China. The car manufacturer intends to invest $1.95 billion for a manufacturing plant Changsha, the capital of the Hunan province. It is expected that the manufacturer will continue to be a leader in its industry and the opening of a new facility in China will assist in maintaining the company’s position as a leading automaker.

The agreement to build the plant will be signed on Wednesday, with construction officially beginning on Thursday according to an official with Volkswagen Group. The production at the plant will not begin to take place until 2016. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German daily newspaper, Volkswagen has joined forces with China’s SAIC Motor to produce 300,000 units annually from the new facility.

The consulting firm KPMG released their 14th annual Global Automotive Survey and indicated that China tops the list for automakers as an investment destination. The survey also placed Volkswagen in the top spot for an automaker that is set to maintain its leadership position within the industry for several years. Volkswagen and BMW are the only manufacturers from Western nations out of the top 10 manufacturers that anticipate gaining market share, with Volkswagen in the top spot.

Source: Forbes

VW Steps Up the Horsepower

design vision gtiFrom May 8th through May 11th in the town of Reifnitz in Austria, there will be a crowd of approximately 150,000 people with a love for Volkswagen. The GTI-themed party will not disappoint anyone in attendance, thanks to something very special – and very powerful – that Volkswagen has cooked up.

In a standard VW GTI, the vehicle boasts 230 horsepower. But Volkswagen has decided to have a bit more fun with the Design Vision GTI, giving it an astonishing 503 horsepower. That’s nearly the equivalent of what the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is capable of.

This ultimate increase in power is thanks to a twin-turbo, direct-injected 3.0 liter V-6 engine rather than the standard turbocharged 2.-liter 4-cylinder. The vehicle also features a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive system, carbon-ceramic brakes that measure 15 inches in the front and 14 inches in the rear and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Volkswagen has only revealed glimpses of the new design through sketches and has revealed that it’s slightly larger than the standard model, making it 2.2 inches lower and 2.7 inches wider. The concept is a high performance version of Volkswagen’s hatchback that is loved by many fans of the automaker and this new idea is likely to please all of the fans in Austria at the GTI-themed party.

Apps to End Texting While Driving

Everyone knows that texting while driving is extremely dangerous, yet many people continue to do it. It’s so dangerous in fact that 39 states have made the act illegal and the U.S. Department of Transportation has indicated that those who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than those who opt not to text and drive.

texting and drivingRecently, there have been a variety of apps designed to deter drivers from committing this dangerous offense. Text-Star by Cinqpoint, DriveScribe by Drive Power and DriveSafe.ly by iSpeech are just a few of the latest apps that are working towards keeping people safe and free from distractions while on the road.

Text-Star is a free app and is available to only Android users at this time, though Cinqpoint may offer an app for iOS users in the future. The app allows the user to select from three different modes which include automatic, manual or passenger. In automatic mode, the app will deliver a response to incoming text messages; users can choose a preset message or create a custom message to be sent prior to getting on the road. The automatic response kicks into gear when the app recognizes if the speed of the car is greater than 10mph.

DriveScribe is available to both Android and iOS users. The app detects if the vehicle is traveling at a speed of more than 12mph and blocks any incoming calls or texts. Similar to Text-Star, this app also has an automated response feature and will allow any blocked calls or messages to become available after the vehicle has stopped. For parents with teen drivers, data about driver’s habits can be accessed on the web. The driver’s can be awarded for good driving habits and earn points that can be used for discounts at participating stores.

DriveSafe.ly operates in a slightly different manner by allowing texts to come through. However, the app reads the messages aloud so that the driver isn’t distracted by trying to read an incoming message. App users can create custom messages to be used as automated responses so that they can stay connected without creating hazardous driving conditions. The app is free and is available for Android and BlackBerry 10 but not currently available to iOS users.

These apps are an excellent option for anyone that needs to stay connected but doesn’t want to create a dangerous situation while on the road. Although these won’t completely eliminate the issue of texting and driving, it is a great step forward and can certainly work to deter drivers from the temptation of texting while behind the wheel.

Support Our Troops at Cantigny Park

rockin eventIf you’re looking for an exciting way to show your support for United States troops then come on out to the Operation Support Our Troops concert on July 20,2013 at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL. The event will feature an array of wonderful music as well as delicious food for purchase from vendors within the park and it’s all for a good cause, supporting America’s troops.

Ronnie Dunn, an ACM, CMA and Grammy Award Winner, will be headlining the Rockin’ for the Troops 2013 fundraising event. Also performing is Arra, the Kimo Williams Band and the Voices for your listening entertainment.

Tickets for the event are $25.00 each and can be purchased at participating Jewel-Osco stores as early as May 3rd. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased at Music Today. It is highly recommended that tickets be purchased ahead of time, as tickets for the event have sold out quickly in the past and will likely not be available for purchase on the day of the event.

“Only In America” will be this years’ concert theme in order to commemorate the anniversary of Operation Support Our Troops America, which is now in its tenth year. If you’d like to enjoy an evening of good food and great music to support America’s troops, don’t miss out on this event!

Tips for Tire Rotation

tire rotateDepending on the make and model of a vehicle, tires should be rotated a minimum of once per year. Typically, tire rotation should follow the same schedule as a routine oil change in any vehicle. This is usually required every six months or every 7,500 miles. Some vehicles such as Volkswagen recommend an oil change every 10,000 miles or in the case of BMW, every 15,000 miles. However, 15,000 miles is far too long to wait for a tire rotation.

Front-wheel-drive vehicles place most of the weight and work on the front tires, which causes them to wear quickly. In order to prevent this, the tires should be rotated from the front to the rear at least a couple of times per year so that there is even wear on all of the tires. Rotating tires on all-wheel-drive vehicles is just as important in order to maintain proper tread and to reduce uneven wear; this should be performed every 7,500 miles or every 7.5 months.

A tire rotation and oil change should be performed a minimum of once per year. The owner’s manual of a particular vehicle is the perfect resource to determine an appropriate schedule to rotate tires on a specific make and model of a vehicle.

Visit Bill Jacobs VW for more tips on how to care for your tires.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Spice Up Summer With WDSRA

WDSRA kidSchool aged children dream of summer with intense excitement and anxiously await the days full of sunshine and playtime. For many parents, finding ways to keep their children occupied and in a structured environment can pose a challenge. However, the Naperville Park District program is making it easier for parents to keep their kids active throughout the summer.

Parents of children with special needs can receive additional support from Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) when they register their children in the programs offered by the Naperville Park District. An alternative for parents of those with special needs would be to enroll their children into a program developed by WDSRA for those with disabilities. WDSRA offers a wide variety of exciting programs that include, but are not limited to, dance, social clubs, arts, sports and music and are available throughout the seasons, not just during the summer months.

In fact, WDSRA programs are also available to parents of children with disabilities that are now grown. For over 35 years, WDSRA has been serving the needs of families by providing structure and education to those with special needs. The programs available provide children and adults alike with daily structure, the opportunity to grow socially and allow each individual to improve their self confidence and build up their self esteem.

Source: positivelynaperville.com

Best Mexican Restaurants in Naperville

mexican fiestaIn honor of the holiday recently celebrated on the 5th of May, we would like to share with you five Mexican restaurants favored in the Naperville area. One of the best things about celebrating Cinco de Mayo is all of the great tasting food.The holiday represents the Battle of Puebla, where the Mexican Militia defeated the French and is celebrated throughout the United States, but not so much in Mexico.

Nowadays, the holiday is a time for gathering with friends and family to enjoy festivities such as food, drinks, dancing, art and culture and much more. But food is something that has a tradition of bringing people together in many cultures.  After reviewing the Yelp! Directory, it was clear which restaurants ranked highly with Naperville residents. The top five places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo food festivities any day of the year are:

  • Burrito Parrilla Mexicana
  • Totopos
  • El Burrito Loco
  • The Jalapeno Grille
  • The Mexican Grille
  • Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant

These are some favorite places to enjoy some great Mexican food and margaritas.  But there are certainly more places that did not make the list. Submit your own restaurant reviews by visiting Naperville Patch.

Solar Power for Volkswagen

solar panelsIn collaboration with Unirac, Volkswagen recently built a solar park in Chattanooga, Tennessee on 33 acres of land alongside the facility where the Volkswagen Passat is manufactured. The site contains 33,600 solar panels and is the largest of its kind of any automaker in North America. The solar park will provide the manufacturing facility with up to thirteen percent of the energy it requires for operation.

The ISYS Ground Mount 2.0 system was developed for the project by Unirac. This system allowed Volkswagen to cut the overall cost of the project because it required less on-site labor and a quick delivery of pre-assembled components. The Vice President of Unirac, Tony Borck, indicated that the utility group’s partnership with Phoenix Solar US for the purpose of the project gave the company the ability to provide Volkswagen with a top notch product at a reduced cost. Borck was also proud that the project allowed Volkswagen to be awarded the LEED Platinum certification by the USS Green Building Council.

Unirac is a leader in its industry, proving mounting solutions for solar projects throughout the United States. It is a rapidly growing company that has expressed its excitement to have been involved with the solar project for Volkswagen and assisting in providing an alternative source of energy for the company. For more detailed information about Unirac, please visit their website.