Baltimore to Minneapolis: 1 Volkswagen Later

Well, I officially have another Volkswagen added to the collection! On January 26th, Tony and I flew to Baltimore to pick up a 2004 Volkswagen R32. We planned on driving it home, but didn’t plan on the issues we ran into on the way back…

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How An Accident Helped My Perspective

I’m not really sure where to start with this. Obviously the beginning would be the logical place, but I’ve come to realize that isn’t the most important part of this story.Read More »

A Car Show & An Experience

Last weekend, Tony and I took a road trip up to beautiful Holland, Michigan for a European car show called Euro Hangar. We took the day off work on Friday, loaded up Tony’s R32, and headed out for an 8 hour drive.Read More »

8 States in 15 Hours…And Back

Ever since I bought my first Volkswagen, I realized how tight knit the community of drivers was. But even I didn’t fully comprehend the extent of this until I bought my R32. Wookies in the Woods started as an event to honor the 2004 R32, but has since grown to include other models of the R32 and Golf R. I bought my R soon after Wookies last year, so I knew this year I had to attend. Being one half of an R32 power couple, it was a big decision deciding whether Tony and I would both take our cars or not. Since the red R was being a little sassy leading up to the event, we decided to take the blue R this year.

The event is held in the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, right off a stretch of road known as the “tail of the dragon”, one of the greatest driving roads in the US, with 318 turns in 11 miles.

We started our 1,000 mile journey at 8PM on Tuesday, driving through Chicago at about 1AM, and it was a weird experience with nobody on the roads. After driving through numerous states and stopping to take a few naps, we finally made it to the cabin where we were staying. Since there were only 5,000 2004 R32s made, it was extremely cool to see so many of them gathered in one area. Over the next few days, we drove to waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and through the mountains. On Saturday, everyone gathered for the “sound off”, where only Rs were allowed to park and rev their engines for all to hear.

I was so excited to be part of the events and activity going on, and I can’t wait to go back next year in the new and improved red R!

We can’t help how attractive we are.


In Like a Lion…

Okay, so I’m a few days late on the end of March update. But here it is! Because who doesn’t want to read about someone else’s month??

March definitely came in like a lion, with the first few days being 65 degrees, and then quickly taking a downturn for the worse.

My mom was in Florida for the first 10 days of March, so that meant I had a lot of pasta. Then, to honor my mom’s return to dairy land, we went to a new wine bar in La Crosse, and had the fanciest “cheese journey” I’ve ever seen. So much cheese. So very Wisconsin.

Tony and I had a long weekend together, so we traveled across Wisconsin to Milwaukee to explore what it had to offer. We toured numerous breweries, explored hipster coffee shops, saw mansions, walked on Lambeau Field, lost credit cards (okay, so maybe that part was just me…).

And then, in the biggest and best news of all…I was reunited with my R32!! I had been counting down to this day for 4 months, and being able to drive a manual transmission was easily the highlight of my month.

Just look at how comfortable the Subaru looks being on that trailer. (It was then sold before it made it off the trailer again.)

The last few days of March were very nerve-wracking but so exciting. More news on that to come… 😉

German Engineering

lauren dad and vws

It began as a simple 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. I was moving on from my 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet, which was an adorable car, but didn’t fit my suitcase full of black and grey clothes or my location in northern Wisconsin. A family friend was moving to Boston, and therefore didn’t need his car anymore. I looked at numerous cars before I decided I wanted to buy another Jetta. I’ve owned more than enough unhappy VR6’s, which made me hesitant to invest in what I thought would be a unreliable money pit. But after finding out the car had everything on my “must have” list (sunroof, heated seats and a clutch pedal), I was sold. Even better, we knew the previous owner had taken excellent care of it. When I finally got the car, I was so excited to have more than 100HP! (My Cabriolet had maybe 4 by the time I owned it) I thought I was being careful about my speeding, until I was pulled over 4 days later… Because my dad knew about my affinity for speed, he decided it was time to get me on a real racetrack. We’ve gone to Road America numerous times, and have loved every minute of watching the racecars zoom past. This time, it was my turn. We were able to get on the track during a drive-around event held while the real racers had their lunch. Finally, an opportunity for me to truly use my turbo! As I sped around corners and passed numerous cars, I felt a rush of happiness and excitement that I’ve never felt before. I had become more attached to this car in the first 2 months of owning it than I had become to any of my other 6 cars. 

A few months later, my fellow Volkswagen loving friend asked me when I was going to start modifying my car. I told him I was saving my money for a faster and more exciting car, that my Jetta just wasn’t worth it. I figured if I kept this car completely stock, it would be easier to sell for more money, making me able to achieve my dream of owning a Fahrenheit GLI. This idea lasted up to the day I found out APR was having a sale on tunes. After I got my car back, I knew I had made the right choice. It did, however, make it much easier to disobey the speed limits…

After that, it seems like everything happened at once. I immediately bought Bilstein coilovers and BBS wheels to make my car look more like a GLI. Because of this, I decided to rebadge my basic Jetta as a “JetLI”, half Jetta, half GLI.

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One of one. #JetLI #Jetta #GLI #Volkswagen #mk4

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(I do have to credit Jordan Simon with this idea, or he’ll never let me live it down.) I upgraded my brakes to those off a 20th anniversary edition GTI. At this point I had parts from so many different cars that even I was confused about what my car was. And from that moment on, my car had become the Confused Volkswagen. 

I’ve always loved Volkswagens, but this car has made me feel like I’ve become truly immersed in the Volkswagen community and experience. I’ve met awesome new people that have taught me more than I ever thought I could know about cars. I plan on continuing to upgrade my car thanks to all these wonderful people and opportunities, and can’t wait to see what label my car will achieve next.