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College Tour Road Trip in a Chevy Equinox

This Summer it was time to start touring colleges for my youngest son – and Chevy offered us the chance to test drive an Equinox for our family road trip.

First of all, the thought of my youngest son going off to college in a couple of years seems unreal, but he’s got the paperwork to prove he’s the right age for such a thing, and so we started planning.

My son is in a STEM program in High School, and he wants to continue studying Engineering in College, so we headed off to see a couple schools within our Pacific Time Zone, and thought we’d do a little Northern California touring while we were at it.

The Chevy Equinox in Pacific Blue Metallic
The Chevy Equinox in Pacific Blue Metallic

The College Tours

We toured Stanford University, a school with a well-respected Engineering program, and a lovely campus, and which is home to the very first Google Server (can you see the Legos?), among many other claims to fame.

Related: Need a place to stay near Stanford? Check out the La Quinta near the San Jose Airport.

Sarah pictured with the first Google server at Stanford University
The very first Google server!

We also toured UC Berkeley, another school with a well-respected Engineering program, which also has a lovely campus, but is much more urban, as opposed to the Stanford “farm.” Cal, as it is also known, was the very first University of California campus, among its many other claims to fame.

Related: Looking for hotel lodging near Berkeley? Try the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Oakland.

my family at Cal Berkeley with a bear
Cal Bear with my family

The keys to a successful college campus tour are (in no particular order): wearing comfortable shoes, being ready to hear lots of facts about the school (and remembering some of them), and trying to judge your student’s interest in things the tour guide talks about.

And then, over a nice snack break, find out if your kid even liked the place in real life, as opposed to on paper.

The Fun on a Family Road Trip

This trip was a chance for us to have fun as a family this Summer as well as tour schools, so we took a detour and headed out to Tomales Bay, North of San Francisco.

my family at Tomales Bay

The Bay is a lovely spot with calm water and warmer temperatures than along the coast, and we found a charming spot to grab a bite. Oysters are farmed in the Bay, and there are several roadside stands that serve them up for you, along with sandwiches and drinks, fast and casual. And delicious!

The Chevy Equinox

We wanted to make good time on the way up, so we flew up the 5 freeway in the Chevy Equinox. With so much time on what is not that scenic of a road, we listened to a ton of podcasts for entertainment.

front console inside the Chevy Equinox
Front console in the Chevy Equinox

The Equinox came with all the available options and features possible, and they were part of the reason we loved the car. The safety features were particularly appreciated, including collision alerts, lane keep assist, following distance warnings, the safety alert seat, and the front and rear cameras.

I love that the Equinox will connect to my iPhone and let me play anything in my library, from podcasts to music, right in the dashboard.

Related: Baby Road Trip Essentials

Apple Play in the Chevy Equinox
Apple Play in use

It even allows for touchscreen monitoring of my incoming texts and calls — and Siri will read them to me. Sweet!

Chevy Equinox rear cargo area — plenty of room for all of our stuff!
Chevy Equinox rear cargo area — plenty of room for all of our stuff!

And for those parts of the drive when it was even hard to connect via LTE, we were in luck: we tapped into the Equinox’s WIFI hotspot.

rear seat console in Chevy Equinox
Rear console with USB ports and temperature control

The Equinox was zippy when it needed to be — especially on the California freeways and in the hills of Berkeley. And it was a comfortable car to spend hours in, as we drove home down highway 101.

Chevy Equinox stopped at the famous Madonna Inn
Chevy Equinox stopped at the famous Madonna Inn
Chevy Equinox stopped along Tomales Bay
Chevy Equinox stopped along Tomales Bay

The model shown is a 2019 Chevy Equinox AWD Premier 2.0T. The exterior paint color is Pacific Blue Metallic, and the interior is Medium Ash Gray. The engine is a 2.0 Liter Turbo SIDI 4-cyl, with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Mileage is estimated at 22 City and 28 Highway. Vehicle price (as shown) $39,040.

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