Lifestyle

5 Ways to Save Money for a Down Payment - Rath Auto Resources

Down payments and trade equity are two valuable ways to make your car-buying process smooth when it comes to finances. Every single person has a budget. Rich or poor, we all want to get the best value for our dollar, right? To do that, it's best to have good trade equity or more down payment. 

If you are in the market for buying a car in the next few months or year, we encourage you to take these five steps to build up your down payment! Remember, the bigger your down payment is, the lower your monthly payment will be! 

1. Cut a Major Expense. Take a look at your budget and asses what your biggest manageable expenses are and trying cutting back on them. Is your cable bill costing you $100 or more a month? Do you still have a landline? There are many alternatives to cable these days that are much more affordable. For example, my husband (David Rath) and I haven't had cable since we have been married in 2011. We pay monthly for Netflix and haven't looked back.  You can also buy a digital antenna that gets you a few channels too. We have one that we keep just in case we need it during tornado season! If you have a sports lover in your house that needs to watch the games, try watching at friends houses or renting them on the Xbox through the NFL Game Pass. 

2. Manage Smaller Expenses. For example, you might be surprised how fast those Starbucks trips or Monster energy drinks from the gas station are adding up to your monthly expenses. If you have a daily habit like that, try going every other day or buying drinks in bulk at places like Sam's Club. 

3. Set aside a specific amount from your paycheck each month. I know it sounds obvious, but try taking a portion of your paycheck each month and immediately put it into your savings account...and don't touch it! If you take $50 from a weekly paycheck and put into savings, that is $1200 toward a down payment in 6 months. You would be surprised how beneficial that is for you!

4. Think before you buy! Before you purchase that new PlayStation game, the new Michael Kors wallet or go on a Bath and Body Works shopping spree, think about what you want more? A new car that is a long-term investment and will likely bring you happiness or ease of mind knowing you are in a safe and reliable vehicle that far outlasts the joy of smaller objects that could cut into your new-car down payment budget!

5. Get Digit - a free app that saves money, without thinking about it. "To use Digit, you need to connect your checking account. This allows Digit to analyze your income and spending, and find money it can safely set aside for you. Every day, Digit tries to move some money from your checking account to your Digit account. Digit never transfers more than you can afford, so you don't have to worry about over-drafting your account. In fact, we have a no-overdraft guarantee." 

Valentines Day Reservations - Fort Smith, Arkansas

These days not many restaurants take reservations. For those few times a year, it can be difficult to balance work, finding a sitter and planning a romantic night! We have compiled a list of restaurants that are currently taking reservations. If you are looking to make a reservation, we encourage you to do so now so that you can have a perfect evening without a difficult wait in line!

  • 21 West End -(479) 434-4213 -  21 N 2nd St, Fort Smith, AR 72901 

21 West End Fort Smith Ar
21 West End Valentines Day Menu
AJ Oyster Hourse Fort Smith AR
AJ Oyster House Valentine's Day Menu

Bella Italia - (479) 785-1550 - 407 N 8th Street Fort Smith, AR 72901

Bella Italia Fort Smith AR

Emmy's German Restaurant - 479-242-EMMY(3669) - 200 N 13th Street Fort Smith, AR 72901

Emmy's German Restaurant Fort Smith AR

Doe's Eat Place - 479-784-9111 -  422 N 3rd Street Fort Smith, AR 72901

Does Eat Place Fort Smith

Movie Lounge - (479) 226-3595 - 7601 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72903

Movie Lounge Fort Smith AR
Movie Lounge Fort Smith AR

Taliano's Italian Restaurant - (479)  785-2292 - 201 North 14th Street, Fort Smith, AR 72901.

Talianos Italian Restaurant Fort Smith AR
  • River City Bistro - (479) 434-6474- Stonewood Village Shopping Center, 7320 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72903

River City Bistro Fort Smith AR
River City Bistro Valentine's Day Menu

 

R. Landry's New Orleans Cafe - (479)783-2505 - 613 Garrison Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72901 Local musician, Bill Flashpoler, will be there to serenade the crowd during their dining experience.  

R landrys Fort Smith AR

Stonehouse at Chaffee Crosing - (479) 668-2828 - 8801 Wells Lake Road, Fort Smith, AR 72916 . They are doing a Valentine Wine Dinner on Sunday February 12. Limited seating available.

Stonehouse at Chaffee Crossing

Don't forget to get your special loved one a sweet treat from our favorite local candy shops and bakeries!

Kopper Kettle - (479) 474-6077 - 4300 Rogers Ave #8 

Kopper Kettle Fort Smith AR

Bliss Cupcakes - (479) 434- 3787 - 7110 Rogers Ave Fort Smith AR 72903

Bliss Cupcakes Fort Smith AR

Confectionately Yours - (479) 478-7223 - 215 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72903

Confectionately Yours Fort Smith

Healthy Halloween!

It’s October and the aisles at the grocery store have been packed with Halloween candy since the end of August. Everywhere you look there’s variety packs, chocolate pumpkins and scary delicious treats. But candy isn’t the only thrilling goodies available this time of year; your local farmer’s markets also offer a bounty of healthy and yummy surprises.

Here are some of my favorite treats that are in season this time of year:

Apples

Apples are like nature’s candy. Just add cinnamon and a touch of sugar and you’ve got a dessert that’ll please even the pickiest of eaters. Apple crisp is a favorite at my house, but really you can’t go wrong adding a new apple recipe to your repertoire. Remember, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Sweet Potatoes

Nothing’s better than a perfectly roasted sweet potato. Whether you like to turn up the sweetness by adding a little brown sugar or go the spicy route by adding chili powder, you can’t go wrong with this slow-digesting, healthy carb. They’re even a great addition to enchiladas.

Greens

From kale to spinach to collard greens October is a great time to work more leafy greens into your diet because they thrive in slightly cooler temperatures. But these leafy vegetables can do more than just your average salad. They are also a great addition to soups, stews, smoothies, eggs and even pizza. Pump up the nutrition on any of these old stand-bys in no time just by adding a handful of these leafy vegetables.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins aren’t just for carving anymore! Pumpkins are a great addition to sweets like muffins, pancakes and oatmeal, but they can also go savory in chili, hummus and lasagna. Don’t forget to toast the seeds!

 

Adding these fruits and veggies to your menu is a great way to get additional nutrients into your families meal plan to balance out all of the candy from Halloween. Check them out! I hope you enjoy!

Best Vehicles with 3rd Row Seating

 Best Vehicles with 3rd Row Seating Fort Smith, Arkansas Rath Auto Resources

Are you a family of four, five or more? Is third row seating something that is necessary for your lifestyle? There are a lot of options in today's market for vehicles, but what are the best options for your needs? Let's take a look!

Crossover SUV's

Dodge Journey - starts new at $21,145 | City/HWY MPG 19/25

Nissan Rogue - starts new at $23,290 | City/HWY MPG 26/33

Mitsubishi Outlander - starts new at $23,495 | City/HWY MPG 25/31

Kia Sorento (limited model years) - starts new at $25,400 | City/HWY MPG 21/28

Chevy Traverse - starts new at $28,700 | City/HWY MPG 15/22

GMC Acadia - starts new at $29,070 | City/HWY MPG 21/26

Ford Flex - starts new at $29,710 | City/HWY MPG 16/23

Toyota Highlander - starts new at $30,490 | City/HWY MPG 20/25

Hyundai Santa Fe - starts new at $30,800 | City/HWY MPG 18/25

Mazda CX-9 - starts new at $31,520 | City/HWY MPG 22/28

Buick Enclave - starts new at $39,064 | City/HWY MPG 15/22

Lincoln MKT - starts new at $43,530 | City/HWY MPG 16/24

Acura MDX - starts new at $43,950 | City/HWY MPG 20/27

Audi Q7 - starts new at $54,800 | City/HWY MPG 19/25

SUV

Nissan Pathfinder - starts new at $29,830 | City/HWY MPG 13/19

Honda Pilot - starts new at $30,345 | City/HWY MPG 20/27

Dodge Durango - starts new at $29,995 | City/HWY MPG 19/26

Ford Explorer - starts new at $31,660 | City/HWY MPG 19/27

Chevy Tahoe - starts new at $47,215 | City/HWY MPG 16/23

Nissan Armada - starts new at $44,400 | City/HWY MPG 14/19

Toyota 4Runner - starts new at $34,010 | City/HWY MPG 17/22

Infiniti QX60 - starts new at $42,600 | City/HWY MPG 21/27

Toyota Sequoia - starts new at $45,325 | City/HWY MPG 13/17

Volvo XC90 - starts new at $45,750 | City/HWY MPG 22/26

Ford Expedition - starts new at $46,225 | City/HWY MPG 15/21

Chevy Suburban- starts new at $49,195 | City/HWY MPG 16/23

GMC Yukon - starts new at $ | City/HWY MPG

Vans

Dodge Grand Caravan - starts new at $24,995 | City/HWY MPG 17/25

Kia Sedona - starts new at $26,400 | City/HWY MPG 18/25

Nissan Quest - starts new at $26,580 | City/HWY MPG 20/27

Toyota Sienna - starts new at $29,750 | City/HWY MPG 19/27

 

Cars

Mazda 5- starts new at $21,240 | City/HWY MPG 21/28

 

 

 

 

Bob Grubbs- Lifelong Customer, Vietnam Veteran and Service Dog Advocate

Bob Grubbs is a lifelong customer of Rath Auto Resources (and formerly our dealership known as Putnam Lincoln Mercury). A few years ago while shopping at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade with his wife, Bob noticed an event held by  Soldiers on Service Dogs at the mall. A day that changed his life forever. 

Soldier on Service Dogs

Taking it back a few years, Bob served in the Vietnam War and was also deployed to Berlin during the Cold War. During Vietnam, Bob suffered a severe injury that resulted in a broken back and was also exposed to Agent Orange. After returning from the war and being discharged from active duty, Bob began seeking assistance from the VA which had lost his medical records and was unable to prove his injuries. Not being one to complain, Bob carried on obtaining his Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Arkansas and began a career working as a professor and with various oil industries.

It wasn't just Vietnam that provided Bob with lasting injuries, he also fell while working on an oil rig a few years ago. This injury was one that put him out of commission indefinitely. As a person who spent a life eager to work, this was a difficult sentence for Bob. Not only did he suffer physically,  but it was a mental and emotional obstacle being home alone without a job, he became depressed.

It wasn't until about two years ago that Bob was able to admit he had been living a life with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)- even before the more recent fall. This is a mental illness that affects a vast majority of our service men and women on a daily basis as a result of traumatic experiences faced while at war. Thanks to a Northwest Arkansas based service known as Soldiers on Service Dogs, people like Bob are able to find a specific match with a dog that best meets their needs. 

Soldier on Service Dogs in non-profit that provides the local community veterans who suffer from PTSD or TBI (traumatic brain injury) with a paired service dog. The average cost of a trained service dogs is about $25,000, but Soldier on Service Dogs provides these trained therapy companions at no cost. It is currently estimated that over 2,500 veterans in the Northwest Arkansas area are currently in need of a service dog. Bob Grubbs was the first veteran in the Fort Smith region to receive a a service dog from the non-profit. 

There is no predictability on how long it may take someone  to find the right dog. Some dogs are and humans are paired quickly while others may easily take up to a year or two waiting on the right match. Bob specifically needed a dog to help with his PTSD, insulin changes due to diabetes and physical disabilities due to back injuries that can often cause him to fall. Bob was originally paired with a smaller breed but was soon re-paired with his dog Scout, a young German Shepherd. When Bob starts to fall or lean too much in one direction, Scout senses the weight shift and pulls him in the opposite direction to keep him upright. 

SOLIDER ON SERVICE DOGS ARKASNAS
“I don’t feel like I’m dragging my feet throughout life anymore. I have purpose. This program has just helped me tremendously. I adopted him from a shelter so I feel like I saved him, but after having this program and feeling the connection that I have with him, he definitely saved me.”

It was a bit of an adjustment for everyone involved, including the two small dogs already living at home. Bob continues to drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas twice a week for training. Scout currently knows about 80 different commands ranging from the basics to opening doors and bringing him his cell phone. 

Bob has since dedicated his life to pursuing an effort to bring awareness to the value and need of service dogs to other veterans like himself. He has been a guest speaker at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, other local colleges and continues to speak on the topic.  If you would like to help Bob with his expenses, please consider donating to his campaign here: https://www.gofundme.com/6u56cyrk

Bob and Scout are two best buddies. Scout loves his Lincoln that is most often referred to as the "Scout Mobile," by friends and family!

SOLDIERONSERVICEDOGS3.jpg
Soldier on Service Dogs Northwest Arkansas

 

 

Dog Accessories for Cars - Rath Auto Resources

Dogs are part of the family and deserve to be treated like so. I don't know about how it is at your house, but we have to say "R word" when referring to going for a ride if we don't intend on following through, otherwise, we will have one disappointed husky on our hands. If you follow our dealership much at all on social media, you have likely already seen, Lizzy Rath. She is our baby!

1. Car Seat For Dogs. Tru-Fit Smart Harness with Seat Belt Loop lets you buckle up your pet and hit the road with confidence. 

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2. Waterproof Hammock Back Seat Cover . This is a great accessory to protect your seats from accidents, dog hair, dander and dirt. 

3. Pet Ramp . If you have a large dog that cannot be easily lifted in and out of the back, this is a great option to help keep your dogs hips and joints free from damage from jumping in and out. 

shopping.jpg

4. Back Seat Barrier - Travel with your pet safely in the backseat or cargo area using a pet barrier. Easy to install and remove, the barrier is adjustable to fit perfectly in any vehicle. 

There is another variation for the backseat barriers as well. 

5. Collapsable Water Bowl - Expandable food and water cup that you can latch onto your dogs leash when you are on the go. 

6. High Road Doggie Organizer - Large compartment holds 24 cups of dry food or fill with dog toys and treats. 

Top Father's Day Gifts for 2016 - Rath Auto Resources

Father's Day is coming up...Sunday June 19, 2016. So, if you are like us you probably don't have your dad anything for Father's Day just yet. Don't worry, we have made our annual list of things we think dad will like. 

Rath Auto Resources 2016 Fathers Day Gift List

1. For the sentimental dad, we recommend the Legacybox. By visiting their site right now, you can get a 25% discount. With pricing from $75 -$500, there are lots of options to choose from. Why we love it:  We may be biased considering Kala Rath is a professional photographer, but we truly believe that preserving your families images and video is important for you, your children and your children's children. 

2. Harry's Father's Day Shave Set. This special limited-edition shave set that's both practical and special for dad. It includes: 1 limited-edition Winston Razor Handle, 1 Razor Stand, 1 Shave Cream, 3 German Engineered Blade Cartridges and 1 Travel Blade Cover. According to Harry, " We spent over a year meticlously crafting our first Harry's line. Our blades are made by German engineers with decades of experience honing high-grade steel. Our handles were designed to blend timeless simplicity and modern ergonomics. Our shaving cream comes from the same chemists who make creams for high-end brands. The result: a set of modern shaving products made with respect for tradition of a good, clean shave." Why we love it: It's a gift we know he will use for one. Secondly, they donate 1% of their sales and volunteer 1% of their time to organizations. You can also set up for recurring deliveries based on the shave plan you choose.  

Harry's Father's Day Shave Set

3. Grill Accessory Organizer - $21.87 . This organizer makes grilling for dad a breeze by having all the grill tools available and within reach. It features four double-sided hooks for holding your most important barbecue tools and a mounted paper towel holder. Why we love it: it's a unique tool that dads need for cooking for the whole family but is great on the budget. 

Grill Accessories for Fathers Day

4. Big Dipper & Little Dipper - $48.00 . Father and child matching shirts that are stylish and clever. Why we love it: we love supporting small business and think these are the perfectly cute shirts!

Fathers Day Shirt

4. Fish Illustration - $24.50 - "Hand-crafted original artwork printed into real British antiquarian book pages from the 1800's. The pages are between 150-180 years old. Every Print is unique. Each one is hand-designed and printed onto the original page - no one else will have the same piece. Some having "foxing" age marks, others include corporation seals in the corner. Yours may even have handwritten notes made by a 19th century reader. Images are positioned onto the pages so that they can be trimmed to sit perfectly in an 8x10 frame." Why we love it: Dad's love fishing and these are perfect wall art for his office, bathroom or man cave!

fishing art work for dad

5. Digital Camera - Canon Powershot G9 X Silver - $429 - According to Canon, this camera takes pictures with that deliver high detail in low light, clear photos in almost every light, slim and stylish, intuitive user interface and controls. Why we love it: everyone takes pictures these days. This is a great way to save high-quality photos without taking up space on the smart phones but also easy to use and carry around. 

FAthers Day Gift

THE END OF THAT LONG WHITE LINE

I’m pretty sure I was a roadrunner in a past life. Between my daily commute from Fayetteville and back and at least one solid road trip per year, I spend a ton of time on the road. Like a roadrunner, I love the American Southwest - the sandier and drier the better. I, too, like to go fast, although I prefer to do it behind the wheel instead of on foot. Heck, we even have the same haircut.

   Six months ago, right about when we got home from a 2,600-mile road trip to Breckenridge, CO by way of New Mexico, my wife and I started planning another trip. After three trips to New Mexico and Colorado, this would be the farthest West we had ever been together. We started saving for our trip to California. 

  As the departure date got closer, we debated whether we wanted to fly or save some money by driving. Based on what I heard from everyone I talked to, I would assume most people would have chosen to spend a little extra on a pair of round-trip plane tickets. More time on the beach, right? More importantly for most, less time in the car dying of boredom.

    My wife and I are weird, though. Since we first got married, some of the best times we have had have been in the car. Being “stuck in a car for 12 hours” on the way to Albuquerque has become the new drive to Dallas for us. It’s amazing what you can get used to if you do it enough. After five years, road trips are our new normal.

  Selfishly, I also just wanted to see more of the Southwest from behind the wheel. I had never driven through Arizona, Nevada or California. What’s more, flying is the absolute worst. I would rather cruise through the desert for hours on end in my car, constantly scanning for decent local radio stations, than spend two hours going through security and waiting in the terminal only to be in a cramped coach seat for a few more hours, landing in Vegas or wherever while my bag ends up in Portland. Plus, the road trip is almost always a more interesting story. A movie like “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” wouldn’t be half as funny if it were just called “Planes.”

   Add hating flying to that roadrunner thing.  We loaded up The Rallenium Falcon (my 2015 Subaru WRX) and headed out WAY too early on a Sunday morning. Still dark kinda early. “My favorite coffee place down the street isn’t open yet” early. “McDonald’s is the only place to stop for breakfast” early. “The low tire pressure light just came on less than a block from our house” early. “Okay I’ll stop here and put some air in the tire and, yep, there’s a nail right there in the tread and thankfully it’s a slow leak but Walmart is the only lube and tire shop open on Sunday and they don’t open until after eight o’clock” early. “Whatever I’m going to drink this gas station coffee and eat this McDonald’s breakfast burrito and we’ll hit Oklahoma City at about eight o’clock and we’ll get it patched then” early.

 It wouldn’t be an adventure if something didn’t happen to slow you down right out of the gate. What’s an adventure without adversity, right?

   We took a detour to Hollis, OK after we got the Falcon’s tire fixed and played an entertaining people watching game at the OKC Walmart. My parents grew up in Hollis, and my wife wanted to take a few photos of my father’s old  service station. Seeing Hollis for the first time in over ten years was bizarre. Nothing much had changed, but seeing the town as an adult was just different. We stopped at my grandfather’s old airplane hangar, now owned by my aunt and uncle, and took a few photos there, too. The 30-minute stop was the shortest trip I had ever made to the small town, but we had some serious ground to cover, so we gassed up and moved on West.

    Albuquerque has become kind of the gateway to road trips, largely because there is NOTHING to see and very little to do between home and there. Everything starts getting interesting once we get into New Mexico, and we have a couple of wonderful friends who put us up for the night in their downtown, loft-style apartment whenever we are passing through. A free bed and, often times, free dinner are very welcome after 12 hours of driving and eating nothing but fast food along the way.

  The drive through Arizona was mostly uneventful. The impressive parts people think of with all the cacti and red rock formations are further South than our I-40 route. That said, Flagstaff was a highlight of our trip. The surprise mountain town in the middle of the desert felt like home roughly 1,000 miles from our house. Shooting North toward Nevada was more interesting, seeing the glow of Las Vegas from many miles away in the night.

* * *

  After two nights in the time warp that is Las Vegas, we continued West toward California. My only regret about our stay was that I didn’t end up going back to the gift shop for the gold plastic Elvis sunglasses that had fake sideburns glued to the earpieces. We all make mistakes on these trips. That just gives us reasons to go back. 

   As we drove, we saw more desert. More mountains in the distance. Cruising along the outskirts of the Mojave desert with the windows down was a weird dream come true that included interesting terrain, skyrocketing gas prices, and my left arm turning at least two shades darker than the rest of my body. At one point, about 100 miles outside of Barstow, I’m almost certain I saw the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson - a bright red Cadillac Eldorado convertible, complete with giant fins, heading back toward Vegas and trying to make good time in Bat Country. We stopped for a few pictures, but made it quick and continued toward the coast.

   We stopped in Bakersfield to give The Rallenium Falcon a break and grab some dinner. After some looking online, Lengthwise Brewing Company seemed like an interesting place to cool our heels/wheels. Great food. Cool atmosphere. Really nice people. I recommend stopping there if you’re ever in the neighboorhood... you know... on the other side of the country. 

IMG_2444.jpg

  An important side note: never underestimate the importance of a goodnight time radio DJ. “The Real Bruce Wayne” on 98.5 out of Bakersfield kept me going once it got dark and there was nothing else to keep me entertained. Nothing like hilariously offensive between-song commentary that, hopefully, the FCC wasn’t listening to. 

* * *

  Multiple time zone changes had me waking up earlier and earlier the further West we went. Even after having driven late into the previous night. waking up just after sunrise in Santa Cruz was refreshing. Our hotel was right on the beach, so sleeping with the sliding door cracked let in the sounds and smells of the ocean. I got up and made a cup of free coffee to enjoy on the balcony while my wife slept in.

   Before our adventure would end, we would get to drive up Highway 1 to San Francisco, bomb around Santa Cruz for a few days enjoying the mild weather and laid-back feel of the relatively small surf community, and head South toward Carmel. I even got to surprise my wife with a detour to Pasadena on our way home for lunch with a good friend of hers.

   As always, the time to drive home came too soon. Aside from hitting Flagstaff after midnight on that Sunday, and experiencing a drop in temperature from 90 degrees outside L.A. to 28 degrees there, the drive home was uneventful. We went to the end of the road and back, and I’m already itching to get back to running on the highway. 

California Road Trip - Rath Auto Resources
California Road Trip - Rath Auto Resources
Golden Gate Bridge - Rath Auto Resources
Oysters on the shell - Rath Auto Resources
San Fransisco Bay - Rath Auto Resources
California Road trip - Rath Auto Resources
dog surfing in santa cruz - rath auto resources
Santa Cruz - Rath Auto Resources
Hoover Dam - Rath Auto Resources
Verve Coffee Santa Cruz - Rath Auto Resources
Dream Inn Santa Cruz - Rath Auto Resources
San Fransisco Bay - Rath Auto Resources

Story: David Rath Photos: Kala Rath Photography

Our 5 Roadtrip Mistakes

Two weeks ago we packed up and drove from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Santa Cruz, California. Our exact route was Fayetteville to Albuquerque. Albuquerque to Las Vegas. Vegas to Santa Cruz. We logged over 4,100 miles of just pure destination driving - not including driving in town on our days in Santa Cruz. That is a lot of driving, folks. Overall, I feel like we were adequately prepared for the drive. I stopped in at Whole Foods and got healthy snacks, moist wipes, lots of water and allergy and headache medicine. We put everything in a small plastic tub in the middle of the backseat of the car. We also had two phone chargers available, a paper bag for trash the camera ready. There were, however, a few mistakes we made along the way. 

1. We didn't sign up for hotel newsletters/promotions before booking. We stayed at The Venetian in Las Vegas. It was an amazing experience. If you have never gone, definitely go. The rooms were very affordable - however, we missed a 25% discount offer on our room rates. 

The Venetian Discount Promo

2. Eating A&W at Holbrook Arizona. Traveling along Interstate 40 from the middle of the country to the West Coast, you will find that there are random points of lots and lots of good food options and then there are stretches of absolutely nothing. After several hours of driving through nothing, we approached Holbrook, Arizona. There were a few options to choose from, but not many. We came across an A&W shared with an old service-station style gas station. Our thoughts were that it either made the A&W really cool or really bad, depending on how it was done. Not having an A&W in our area at home, we decided to give it a try. Worst. Food. Decision. Of. The. Trip. While I don't go to a fast food restaurant for the atmosphere, the place was dirty, cramped, and the gas station atmosphere did the latter of what we expected....it really brought it down. The restrooms were absolutely terrible. There was only one person working and it took 15-20 minutes to get our food....and somehow...even with it being fresh, the food wasn't hot and fresh. David's cheese on his burger was still cold and never melted. The other patrons in the restaurant were rude and only added to the already negative experience. If you find yourself on this route...wait just a few more miles and hit Winslow, Arizona. You will have many more options! 

A&W Holbrook Arizona

3. Driving 20 minutes off route to visit the Meteor Crater. Not long after our A&W experience, we were back on the road just past Winslow, Arizona when we started noticing all these signs for a meteor crater.  David and I both share a pretty similar interest in science and history and decided it might be neat to check it out. We detoured and drove about 6-7 miles off the exit at I40 in the middle of no where with nothing but desert around us. It took a little more than 10 minutes to arrive at the site. There is a main lobby that is very impressive with spinning doors and pretty steps leading up and a nice parking lot. "Admission to say this giant hole in the Earth is probably going to be ridiculous because of all this fancy stuff they put around it!" I said jokingly to David as we walked up the stairs. We got inside the lobby and saw that tickets were $18 per person! That is $36 to view a crater. While I have seen other meteor craters and they are really neat to experience, it is naturally occurring. All the excess fancy things around it driving the sales prices up to nearly $20 a person is crazy to me. We felt bad, but we walked out and got back on the road to try to make up for lost time. 

Meteor Crater Winslow Arizona

4. Not spending enough time in San Fransisco. We are both pretty laid back people and we like to take our time and not put schedules on our trips. We got up that morning in Santa Cruz and had breakfast, went to see Natural Bridges then made our way up to San Fransisco via Pacific Coast Highway (by the way, add this to your bucket list if you haven't done it yet. So incredible). We made a couple stops on the way at a beach area and at the Highway One Brewing Company. We made it into San Fran later in the afternoon and walked the Wharf, ate dinner, drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and did some exploring. There was so much more I would have liked to have done and seen there. It is a beautiful city. I definitely hope to go back soon and spend more time!

Golden Gate Bridge - Copyright Kala Rath Photography

5. Coconut Water. Remember that trip to Whole Foods I mentioned earlier with the perfectly packed snack box and water? Well, I included Coconut Water in that box. On this road trip, we learned that coconut water can be used as a natural laxative. Need I say more?

Coconut Water Whole Foods

Follow us on Instagram to keep up with behind the scenes, fun at work, special events and inventory! @rathauto 

Netflix Wifi Troubleshooting Tips

We recently changed our wifi network password from the standard code that is on the modem to one that is easier to remember. The next day when we turned on our TV to watch Netflix, it gave me an error that said "Your device may not be connected to the internet. Please make sure your connection is working and try again. Code: nw-1-1000" Then it gave me the options to Try Again, More Details or Exit. 

We were using a Smart TV to access our Netflix. If you are having the same issue, use the "Menu" option on your TV (not Netflix) to reset your password and you should be good to go! 

Wifi password changed netflix wont work