2018 Lexus LC 500- Crafted Luxury

2018 Lexus LC 500- Crafted Luxury




In Japan, there is a deep-rooted culture called omotenashi, used to describe what the Japanese believe to be a unique approach to hospitality, meaning to look after guests wholeheartedly. Lexus values omotenashi as a means of ensuring that their vehicles exceed expectations. The aim is to create a refined luxury interior which places customers at the center of the Lexus experience.

I was lucky enough to experience omotenashi first hand while driving the all-New Lexus LC 500 (part of Lexus’ Flagship collection) through Napa Valley for three days.  Shady Oaks and world-class vineyards set the stage for the perfect driving experience.  The Napa Valley roadways dip and curve along the beautiful foothills and offer gorgeous views of the vineyard and mountains, making the LC’s engine come to life. Napa Valley is the perfect place to experience the LC 500  in all its glory. I drove the LC500 in mostly Sports+ mode and loved hearing the roar from the 471 HP, V8 engine.

Now, on to the interior! Stepping into the LC 500 makes you feel like you’ve checked into a five-star luxury resort. Lexus has crafted a sophisticated cabin with obsessive attention to detail, such as hand-stitched features that are almost too beautiful to touch. Some of my favorite cabin features are the glass roof, ambient lighting, and the heated leather-trimmed steering wheel.

I can’t talk about Lexus and not touch on the safety features of LC 500. It comes with standard safety features including eight airbag system, pre-collision warning, automatic emergency braking,  front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and a backup camera.

While driving this beauty, I noticed just how much it commands attention and sparks conversation with those who see it. Wherever it was parked, a cluster of bystanders gathered to admire and ask me questions about it.  I drive a lot every day and sometimes dread driving, but I didn’t want to stop driving the LC 500. I can’t think of another car I’d rather take a road trip in.  This is the car you want to buy to get the emotional response you would expect from your dream car. My experience with the LC 500 defined omotenashi for me, leaving me with a lingering feeling of leisure and luxury.

Visit your local Lexus Dealer to take a test drive the LC 500 or the other vehicles in their Flagship line.  If you already own a Lexus, I would love to hear your thoughts and see your photos.

Lexus LC 500
Lexus LC 500



  • 4.7-SECOND 0-TO-60 TIME


Provides immediate, simultaneous access to audio or climate controls and various systems including Navigation. It displays the current speed limit and can automatically identify nearby gas stations if you begin to run low on fuel.


As you approach, exterior lights illuminate to help prevent you from stepping in puddles or other potential hazards. And, to welcome you inside, the interior features white LED illumination.
STANDARD ON: LC 500, LC 500h


This 12-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System offers an immersive surround-sound experience courtesy of optimized speaker placement throughout the cabin, including a front-center speaker and a woofer in the rear.


The available backup camera uses an inconspicuous lens mounted above the license plate to enable the driver to view more objects in the vehicle’s path when driving in reverse.
STANDARD ON: LC 500, LC 500h


The front passenger seat is designed to detect whether the seat is occupied by an adult or a child, or is vacant. In case the system detects a child or empty passenger seat, the system prevents the passenger’s front, side and knee airbags from being deployed. The front passenger’s airbag features two chambers, creating an indentation in the center impact area that helps to provide occupant protection in a severe frontal collision.


The Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection is engineered to detect vehicles in the path of your Lexus under certain conditions. Should the system detect a pedestrian or determine a frontal collision is imminent, it’s designed to automatically prepare Brake Assist* for increased brake force and is even designed to automatically begin braking before impact.
STANDARD ON: LC 500, LC 500h


Combining exquisite craftsmanship with exceptional comfort, the interior features a leather-trimmed shift knob and steering wheel trimmed in hand-selected leather. For added indulgence, the steering wheel also includes a heating element that covers the entire diameter of the leather-trimmed steering wheel, warming the driver’s hands regardless of their placement. The system also continually monitors and adjusts the heating level to maintain a set temperature.


Experience the breakthrough that recasts the entire concept of hybrid performance. Beyond efficient, the LC 500h is our most responsive, fastest and highest-performance hybrid yet. This is innovation you can feel.

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Discover the finest hotels, restaurants, and wineries to re-create my tour through the Napa Valley.

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7 Reasons to Fall in Love With Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe

7 Reasons to Fall in Love With  Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe

Nested at the top of its own private road in North Lake Tahoe, the Ritz-Carlton feels like you’ve been transported to a castle in the Alps.  Ritz- Carlton is the best place to stay if you want to re-charge over a long weekend or take a full week of skiing and frolicking in the snow.

I was lucky enough to visit The Ritz after a strong storm left fresh powder in the area.  From the moment we drove up to the front, from the time we checked out, their staff was phenomenal. Friendly, informative, & detail-oriented.



With endless activities on the property you never have to leave the property, so I leave you with my :

7 Must- Do’s at the Ritz Carlton- Lake Tahoe

1.  Snowboarding lessons

I am a novice when it comes to winter sports, so getting out of my comfort zone any signing up for a snowboarding class what nerve wrecking to say the least.  All I could imagine was falling over and over.  I pushed through my fears and signed up for the private classes at the Burton Academy.  The entire process was easy and convenient.  A day before my class I got fitted for my snowboard boot and helmet at True North.

The day of the class my instructor was waiting for me to take me to the Burton Academy via a snowmobile. The instructor was VERY patient with me I fell about 100 times and he would not let me give up.  I ended the lesson feeling proud of myself and with 1000% more snowboarding knowledge than when I began.  THANK goodness for the magic carpet which made going back up the bunny slopes a breeze.


2. Apres Ski, at the Living Room

Nothing better after a long day on the slopes than to relax with friends, delicious bites and exquisite drinks.   The Living Room at the lobby level of the Ritz offers a relaxed place to enjoy the warmth of the fireplaces, the sweeping views and delicious food and drinks.


3. Dinner at Manzanita Bar

Top notch dinner service in an upscale setting.  We ordered family style and portions were generous and beautifully presented.  Go in there before your reservation to enjoy a cocktail at the bar.


4. Marshmology

Bring out the kids or bring out the kid in you to the Ritz’s Marshology, a fun hands-on experience where you get to roast marshmallows on a stick and get sticky while devouring your creations. The program takes place nightly by the fire pits and free for all Ritz Carlton guests.


5. Lake Club

The stunning lakeside property is only a year old and is opened year round.  In the winter for small private events, and in the summer for a fun vacation house vibe. During the summer expect to enjoy water sports, BBQ drinks and a lot of relaxation. The sunsets from the club are some of the most beautiful I’ve seen in Lake Tahoe.

6. Gondola Ride

Make sure to take the free ride on the gondolas that connect the Ritz to the village.  The view on the gondolas is breathtaking so get your cameras and phones ready to snap the perfect scenic photo.  The village offers shopping and some additional dining options.

7. Spa

The perfect way to rejuvenate yourself after a long day on the slopes, the Spa offers many treatments and massage that make you feel pampered.  Make sure to arrive earlier than your appointment to take advantage of the spa amenities, such as their eucalyptus steam room and heated lap pool with incredible. view of the slopes.  I opted for the 1 hr relaxation massage.  My massage therapist, Michael was great and would highly recommend him.

There are way too many amenities at the Ritz to even mention, but whatever you decide to do I am sure you will have a great time, even if it’s just relaxing and taking in the views. Everyone from the valets to the masseuse and housekeeper is genuinely dedicated to making your stay unforgettable.  I can’t wait to visit again!!




http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/lake-tahoe .

The STARZ Sensory House at SXSW

The STARZ Sensory House at SXSW

This year the STARZ Sensory House at SXSW was centered around its upcoming series Sweetbitter, based on the National Bestseller book.  Sweetbitter  debuts on Starz on May 6, 2018, but you can view an official trailer here:

Here are some of the highlight from the STARZ Sensory House which ties into the food, wine, and coming of age that is featured on Sweetbitter.


Sensory Room: Taste

Sugarfina Candy Bar

Champagne gummy bears!!! Do I need to say more? You can sample some of Sugarfina’s finest gummies and chocolates. My favorite was the Chocolate martini and the Champagne gummies.

Cocktail and Wine Bar:



Choose from a nice wine list or handcrafted cocktails. I started off with a rosé wine from Texas and moved on to the “Sweetbitter” Cocktail. So refreshing and perfect to enjoy while relaxing or networking with other SXSW attendees.

Sensory Room: Smell

With three months in the making, scent expert from Rouz Saint James formulated a one of a kind scent for each of the characters in the series.

In the sensory house, you enter a beautifully decorated room filled with books,  and flower You get to sample all 4 scents and take two samples home.  I loved the Jake and Jesse perfume.

Of course, you can’t miss the very Instagramable flower wall, perfect for a perfect selfie.

Sensory Room: Touch

T-shirts and tote bags are printed on sight with a wide variety of designs, based on the Sweetbitter’s themes.  I opted for the “Fuck Brunch” shirt, can’t wait to wear it to my next brunch outing.

Sensory Room: Sound

Indulged in the talent of an all-women DJ collaborative, Chulita Vinyl Club. Who are perfect for celebrating Sweetbitter.  They were spinning a few classics and some new unique beats who had people moving and having a great time.

I had an amazing time getting pampered, eating and drinking my way through the STARZ Sensory house. I am leaving the house with a happy heart and lots of swag.

Make sure you follow SWEETBITTER on their social channels:

Official Website





The opinions expressed here represent my own

Las Alcobas

I visited Las Alcobas Napa Valley during the Holiday season, which made my visit especially magical.  I visited the property, with a friend, specifically to dine at Acacia House by Chris Cosentino.  From the moment we arrived at the property I knew that I was going to fall in love.   The staff here has gone above and beyond at every step to provide luxury service that one would expect from a luxury hotel.  I was also lucky enough to indulge in a unique spa experience at Atrio spa.

This is the perfect romantic getaway or to catchup with girlfriends. I am excited to go back.


The pool area boasts heated pool, fire pits and very comfortable seating to lounge it.  I can see myself drinking many glasses of bubbly here while enjoying the views of the vineyards.



Acacia House


Enjoyed one of the best brunches of 2017 at Acacia House by the incomparable Chef Chris Cosentino.


Some highlights were:

HERBtonic: apple, basil, cilantro, cucumber, spinach, ginger juice

Turmeric Shot: Fresh turmeric root

Oranges & Dates: Fresh Oranges serves with dates, pistachios and mint

Bananas & almonds: almond butter, coconut, coco nibs and tonka bean

Buttermilk buckwheat pancakes served with mascarpone,  fruit and maple syrup

Croissant milk toast: croissant bread pudding French toast, vanilla and whipped mascarpone.  This blew my mind, the BEST French toast  I’ve had and I am picky when it comes to French toast

Purgatory: baked eggs, savory spicy tomato sauce, olives and fresh flat bread

Chilaquiles: enough said


Atrio Spa

Atrio is a aroma driven spa, my experience started with a customized blend of essential oils using a proprietary technique to find the best scent for me.  This blend was later used on me in the massage room.

The massage was magical, I left feeling renewed. Can’t recommend the spa enough.


Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Napa Valley

1915 Main Street, St. Helena, CA, 94574, United States


Images copyright © Teresa Barajas and may not be copied, printed, reproduced, or used in any form without permission