Grinch don’t kill our vibe!
By Caitlin and Dani, Once Upon a Dollhouse
Our days are go, go, go.
We work as photographers and digital media content creators and we are constantly on the go. And the holiday season? The busiest! We need a car that can carry all our gear and charge our cameras and laptops while driving. Our days include location scouting, client meetings, photo shoots and of course, some shopping. during the holidays, it’s all that and more.
In planning a cookie exchange party, we hit all our favorite stores in downtown Chicago in the 4Runner, including Costco and a boutique to shop for dresses for the party.
That meant a lot of parking. We are seasoned parallel parkers, but the rear view and side view cameras gave extra help to guide us into a parking spots. And pulling into the valet at SwissHotel we got a nice reception from the parking staff! They were excited to see the 4Runner, and we were excited to see it parked in the front and waiting for us when we returned.
Getting Out of the City for Some Shopping–And Magic!
We shopped in the city for a Christmas tree but nothing inspired us, so we decided to drive out to the suburbs to shop for a Christmas tree. We found an awesome family owned tree lot that struck us; it had the magic spark. And it must have been meant to be: Just as we started our shopping it started to snow.
Once we picked out the perfect tree the attendant tied it to the top of the 4Runner for us. Seeing the 4Runner with our tree on top is a memory that we’ll have forever.
Seeing the 4Runner with the tree on top reminded us how much we love a white car: it’s so classic and clean (even in the snowy city in winter when NOTHING seems clean!).
Planning For Long Days in the Car
There are some things we do every day to get through the day. We drink LOTS of water. We have lots of protein snacks. We plan outfits for photo shoots, the gym and running around. We discovered some of the features in the 4Runner that not only made our day easier, but that we loved!
First, once we connected to Bluetooth, the system remembered us and automatically connected each time we got in the car. We loved that feature!
Then, there’s an outlet in the back seat that is perfect for getting ready. Just bring along dry shampoo and a flatiron and you’re good to go!
The JBL sound system: A killer playlist is a must. It gets us pumped for a photo shoot or an event, or helps us relax after a long day.
Here is our list of things in the 4Runner that made our days easy:
- Outlet in the cargo area to charger our cameras, laptops and more so we can charge while we drive; our cameras were always full charged when arrived!
- Back seat with room for our workout bags, computer bags and snacks
- Awesome center console storage is huge! We put both our purses in there and used it to store our camera, too. (You can also use it to hide your swag bags
- Cupholders and bottle pockets that hold four water bottles and two protein drinks, and that is just in the front seat!
- THE SEAT WARMERS! Which are also seat coolers for those months.
- The rear view camera makes this car so easy to park
- Brining home our Christmas tree! It didn’t fall off the car once (a solid win!). That is a memory we’ll cherish forever.
The Power Seat: Driving the Toyota 4Runner
Remember we said parking is easy? So is driving the Toyota 4Runner. Not only was it easy to drive, but it feels safe and solid. You can see everything! And safety systems like the blind spot monitors and lane keep assist keep you aware of your surroundings. We thought driving in the city in a large SUV might be challenging but it wasn’t. It was much easier than we thought. And, when we wanted to leave the city for the suburbs, that was easy too!