Friday, June 13, 2008

The Land Rover Event

As current lessees of an LR3 and former Range Rover owner, yesterday, John and I played hooky and went up to Rhinebeck, N.Y. to attend the Land Rover "Choice of Experts" event at the Astor Courts, aka Astor Casino.

The building is obviously impressive (and a perfect spot for a Land Rover event). Designed by Stanford White, the place is home to the first residential indoor swimming pool in the U.S., as well as a gorgeous indoor clay tennis court. Apparently the place had fallen into total disrepair when, four years ago, a family bought it and brought it back to its "original splendor," all the while adding a few modernities such as a Sub-Zero fridge in the designer kitchen and modern plumbing.

At the event, we both had a chance to drive a car of choice (we had pre-selected the LR3 to learn more about its handling). Travis took us out and I jumped at the chance to drive first (sorry John!). We drove through mud and ruts and weaved (slowly) around tree trunks, over logs and rocks, etc.

Then it was time for "The Cliff." At the top of this 30+ ft. drop where I couldn't see the bottom over the hood, Travis had us put the car in some kind of special self-drive, downhill mode (the yellow button), and after a bit of prompting by Travis and white-knuckling by me, I "drove" down this drop. Here's the photo that John took looking down the hill:

After that, we went around and drove through a "river," where the water came up near the window and I half anticipated alligators at the door.

Then John took the wheel...

Following the drive, we were welcome to explore the house, sit-in on a cooking demonstration and enjoy some crab cakes and shrimp salad.

It was Cutter, the household's Golden Retriever, however, who stole the show for us. Not sure if it was John's usual wonderful ways with animals, or the potential for food scraps, but Cutter was the perfect ending to what this public relations person would consider a flawless event.

Thanks Land Rover! Bye-bye Cutter!

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