This is a sponsored post thanks to Mazda; however all opinions are my very own based on my experience. 

Have you driven a Mazda before? If you haven’t let me try and explain how it feels. I cannot think of better words to describe how Mazda evokes emotion with those that dare to get behind the wheel of their cars than saying that they want everyone to experience an exhilarating yet soothing ride. And that is exactly what I felt the moment that I test drove both the 2017 CX-5 and MX-5 Miata RF at the Journey with Mazda event that I was invited to at the luxury Rancho Valencia Resort near San Diego.

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As soon as I arrived to the resort I was greeted by the Mazda team with champagne. Cheers! Then as I made my way to my room, which was an oversized villa, I was pleasantly surprised to see everything beautifully arranged in Spanish accessories and décor. As soon as I stepped into my room it made me feel as if I was at my grandparent’s home back in Mexico.

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When I first opened the door to my room I felt welcomed and the smell of the tile reminded me of so many childhood memories. Now, I call that a great emotional connection. It was in that moment that I immediately knew how much attention to detail Mazda puts into their cars because this was an overall experience that they wanted everyone to witness since the start.

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The first evening I participated in a welcome reception with fellow bloggers and influencers where we were surrounded by the entire Mazda car lineup that we were allowed to sit-in and admire. I learned from some of the Mazda team that each car is hand crafted with beautiful dynamics and withholds strongly to its Japanese authentic aesthetics. That evening I sat in almost every car to fully take in all of its craftsmanship. Of course we kicked off what would be an extraordinary journey for the following days with drinks and amazing food.

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The next morning I woke up early to get my morning workout in my system and walked around the resort to continue enjoying more of this beautiful experience. That morning we had a brief presentation from the Mazda media representatives and we learned all about the evolution triumphs and challenges that Mazda has lived.

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We even learned about the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima and for the Mazda brand that has been a symbolic turning point and sign for overcoming and pushing forward to prevail against all odds. It’s become their “Hiroshima Spirit”.

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I especially enjoyed learning of the 4 phases that the brand has gone through from establishment, growth, global expansion to re-establishing the brand or being innovative (current). It is no secret that Mazda evokes emotion in all aspects of their creative process. From concept to creation, Mazda explained why they focus on relaxation, joy, well-being and exhilaration, which we discovered during the test drive, is a concept they refer to as “Hashiru Yorokoni”.

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As Mazda continues to get away from being recognized as a mainstream brand they’ve put in a lot of work to rather be known as premium because their purpose is simple; make people smile and they attribute this to their never-stopping challenging spirit.

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Mazda will continue to deliver one & only unique vehicles and I discovered that as I began driving the CX-5 for a guided tour to Temecula hosted by the team. I felt so much tranquility (no outside noise inside the cabin) and cleanliness in the interior layout of the car. Mazda engineers and designers focused on giving the driver the best experience by incorporating a driver-centric interior that allows the driver to simply focus on the road.

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The CX-5 is simply luxurious in my most humble opinion – so much that I could not stop bragging to Carmen (fiancée) when I returned home. On another post I will share what we ended up doing immediately after this event. SURPRISE.

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Going back to the CX-5 driving experience I really enjoyed driving the white sports utility vehicle (SUV) in the hilly roads. A cool feature that I wanted to highlight was the traffic sign recognition that automatically read stop signs, speed limits and “do not enter” symbols. I must mention all the extra space everywhere too, which does not make the car look gigantic while it still serves an entertaining and comfortable ride.

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Our next destination was an olive oil tasting experience and lunch at the Temecula Olive Oil Company. This was my first time olive oil tasting and it was fun to learn about how the extra virgin oil is prepared from California olives that are grown at the ranch. A peaceful picnic-table-style lunch waited for us tucked away into olive oil tree orchards. Now this was also an exceptional experience because I had never done something like this and it was pure joy to talk with fellow influencers about our most recent driving experience.

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Once lunch was over, we began making our way to the car line-up and were handed the keys to the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF to drive back to the resort while making other pit stops along the way. Ever since I was introduced to this two-seater car at another event it’s become one of my favorite sports car. It’s a real fun ride and if you decide to put the top down you’ll feel a blissful joy and liberty.

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During our drive back to the resort we made a pit stop at a run-down and vintage gasoline station to capture some stunning shots of the red Miata RF. Take a look at the pictures below… Doesn’t it look hot??!

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After a long day of all the activities the Mazda team had organized for us we arrived back to Rancho Valencia Resort to participate in a meditation session with a Sensei. This was my very first time practicing meditation and I must admit that it was very difficult for me because my mind never stops working and processing. But here I learned how important it is to shut down and sooth and harmonize oneself after all the busyness we live day and day out. Meditation is supposed to balance you similarly like Mazda has been able to create a bond that combines well-being, balance and joy to enrich Mazda owner’s lives.

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After an excellent meditation session everyone participated in tequila tasting (my first time) and saw an artist modeling and carving clay in a way that provoked emotion. I decided to play and construct different designs in a way that felt natural to me. It was a lot of fun to do this because I felt as if I was a child with all of the imagination in the world. I discovered that Mazda creates their canvas and that it is a primary point in the creation of a body-type.

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Thanks to the Mazda team for allowing me to experiment a lot of “first-times” during this “Journey with Mazda” experience from olive oil tasting to tequila tasting and of course test driving the 2017 Mazda cars. It was a real bittersweet moment when it was time to check-out from Rancho Valencia Resort because I felt calm, joyful and truly blessed for being able to take moments of exhilaration and overall tranquility.

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Don’t forget to stay tuned for a follow-up blog post because there’s a second part that was definitely sparked from this incredible experience.

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HINT: We have a brand new addition to the Gutierrez-Melgoza household.

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