Good Enough Mother:
Mazda CX-5, MX-5 Miata RF
and The Joy Of Being Moved! (VIDEO) 

(Disclosure: My travel and accommodations were paid for by Mazda USA. All opinions are my own) 


How many times do you actually THINK about your car? I don’t mean where you left the keys or making sure the radio is on the station you want or that there’s not too much crap in the back seat.

No, none of that.

I mean the joy of the experience?

I know it’s hard when you’re running out the door to jump into carpool line or headed out for a day’s worth of errands. 

I’m like that too.

I AM you.

So when the folks at Mazda invited me to the beautiful Rancho Valencia Resort in San Diego, California to drive the 2017 Mazda CX-5 and the MX-5 Mazda Miata RF, I vowed to do something different. I vowed, this time, to really connect with the car. 

The resort was BREATHTAKING! 


This was my ROOM!


Evening reception on the lawn at Rancho Valencia


BUSTED! Ha! Me preparing to do a Facebook Live about the event!


Okay I know you’re saying, “That sounds all new age-ish, Rene.” 

Well actually it’s more OLD than new. 

Mazda’s corporate culture is based on many aspects of Japanese philosophy. The one that spoke to me most, especially in light of my mission for this drive was this: 

The Exhilaration and Liberation Felt From Being Moved

Learning about the history of Mazda 

Before we headed out on the drive, we had a chance to learn more about Mazda, its history and culture. Did you know it started, many moons ago, as a cork company? 

I also did not know that the city where Mazda was located, was destroyed in a matter of seconds when the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb during World War II.  Much of the city was obliterated and 30% of the population died from the blast and ensuing fireball. 

From that awful event, the company’s indomitable spirit was born. 



After learning about the company and its culture, we paired up and headed out.

Getting ready to pick a beauty!


THE 2017 MAZDA CX-5 

I joined up with my longtime friend Jawn Murray and we hopped in our ride for the morning, the Mazda CX5. 

Jawn Murray and me heading out! 

When I was a kid growing up it was all about the sedan,a mainstay for many families. Now, consumers are really looking for more functionality without having to forego style and comfort. The CX5 is hitting on all cylinders there. 

The 2017 Mazda CX-5

The CX 5 is a crossover utility vehicle or CUV. That means it’s part Sports Utility Vehicle and part Sedan. I love them mostly because they can do so much, including a bit of light-utility, off road work.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Jawn drove first so I got to experience the CX-5 as a passenger. One of the first things I noticed was how QUIET it was inside,  something that has been improved upon in recent years. Once buckled in, I began to breathe in the vehicle, reminded that part of the company philosophy is the belief  in the transfer of energy from the craftsman to the consumer. 


Jawn behind the wheel and doing what I do best.. talk. 

The interior is sleek and on point. 5 passenger seating with adjustable headrests, power windows and door locks, remote keyless, illuminated entry with push button start just to name a few. Also impressive is the audio-infotainment system including Mazda Connect, the infotainment system which you can easily see on the 7″ color touch screen display.  Being somewhat tech savvy this is the kind of stuff that gets me excited. You can link your smart phone (there are also USB ports in the vehicle, Hallelujah!) and have access to all your apps as well as internet radio and so much more! 

Beautiful interior!  2017 Mazda CX-5

Of course the CX-5 is loaded with safety features, including a couple of my favorites like the back-up camera, dynamic stability control and traction control and my new favorite, the Lane Departure Warning System

BREAKING NEWS: The Mazda CX-5 has just been awarded the IIHS top safety pick for its class! 


We changed drivers midway to our lunch location which was the Temecula Olive Oil Company. In another first, I and my fellow influencers were treated to lunch among the olive groves. It was truly a first for me;  it was lovely and relaxing!

Our lunch table; Temecula Olive Oil Company


Just a few of the Temecula Olive Oil Company offerings 

After lunch it was time to switch vehicles.. and we got a chance to jump behind the wheel of the super fun, sporty Mazda MX-5 Miata RF.


Look at this beauty! The car.. not me!


We pulled out of the Temecula Olive Oil Company to continue our journey. 

And AWAY we go!

We pulled out of the Temecula Olive Oil Company to continue our journey. 


And Oh.My.GOD! 

Come with us for a minute.. 
Fun, fast, nimble, road-hugging and seriously good-looking, the MX-5 Miata RF is a vehicle for serious roadsters. Great acceleration and handling, this is pure, unadulterated FUN to drive. Y’all.. this took my right back to my days when I was learning how to drive. Yeah.. I learned on a stick shift!

Beware a woman who can handle a stick shift!

 Power retractable Fastback roof

The interior is absolutely mouth-watering!

The MX-5 Miata is perfect for those looking for the Joy of Speed. Consumers can choose between automatic and manual transmission, complete with paddle shifters for the driving enthusiast. But you don’t have to sacrifice safety for style. The MX-5 Miata is replete with safety features like Anti-lock Brakes, Lane Departure Warning System, Rollover Protection System and Traction Control among the many features. 

My trip was capped off with an incredible party under the stars where we got to compare notes about the vehicles and how they handled. 



I can honestly say that day changed the way I feel while behind the wheel. When I left I had a newfound appreciation for the craftsmanship of Mazda and the people for whom this is their life’s work. 

If you’d like more on either of the vehicles I experienced, go to and tell they you want to personally experience Hashiru Yorokobi!

Are you a Mazda owner? What model do you have? What do you like or love about it?