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All,

Thought I'd post about our first road trip in our FIAT 500 Pop. No great revelations here, just a little light reading for you.

We took Friday through Monday off. My wife had a free hotel night coming to her at Marriott, so we decided to start with that. We live in south-central Ohio (Wilmington), so we drove all back roads up to Columbus.

First stop was an Amish dry goods store along the way, to stock up on beef jerky and cheese cubes for the weekend, haha. Next stop after that was the dealer where we'd bought the car. I wanted to say hello, see how they were doing (I really like these guys, I must say) and find out some additional information.

Had a nice visit there, then onto the hotel in downtown Columbus. After checking in, we headed right back out and went to Schmidt's Sausage Haus in German Village. This place is fairly well-known, has been featured on FoodTV a few times, and is famous for its 1/2-pound cream puffs. We ordered the buffet (five or six different sausages, all the usual sides like red cabbage, warm potato salad, sauerkraut, soup, salad, etc) and a couple of locally-brewed beers. Rounded out with a cream puff for my wife and a cherry cheese tart for me, all homemade and it was all delicious.

Back to the hotel, where we cooled off a little, then stepped across the street to a nice bar for an after-dinner drink (old fashioned for me, amaretto sour for her). The bar was nice and subdued, dark, soft piano music, perfect for talking.

FIAT CONTENT FOR THE DAY: We interacted with valet parking three times that day. Each valet was highly interested in talking about the car. One couldn't figure out how to unlock the passenger door. Also, the car was fantastic doing what it was born to do -- zipping around congested city streets. Especially in German Village, where the streets are tiny, it was a dream.

The next day, up for breakfast at the hotel, then we hit the road, headed for Sugarcreek. It's a big Amish area, but we were going for our favorite winery, just outside the Amish part (Amish part is dry).

First stop was to fill up. Two people asked about the car while we were there. The best quote was from my wife: a woman came over and asked, "Hey, is that a sMart car?" My wife, not missing a beat, said, "No, it's an even smarter car." Ba-dump!

After that, down the road for an hour or so, stopping for lunch and zipping through a lot of the back roads in Holmes County, being mindful of the buggies, of course.

Stopped at an auction that was attended by a lot of Amish. While I was sitting in the car, waiting on my wife, an Amish man came over to speak with me. I thought he was going to tell me to move but, no, he wanted to ask about the car. He'd read about them, but he'd never seen one. Yes, even the Amish are up on FIAT, it seems.

After lunch, we stopped at a cheese shop where they had something I'd been looking for, beer boots. These were nice because I'm a plain-and-simple person (that's why I drive a Pop) and all the beer boots I ever see for sale have a logo on them. These were plain. Nice heavy glass, too, and made in Germany. Funny, with a logo around where I live, a litre boot is $40-$50. In Charm, OH, no logo, $18. I'll take two, please.

After that, off to the winery (Breitenbach), where we sampled all they had, then bought two cases. They fit perfectly in the car. I have to say, we managed to pack a carry-on bag, two coolers, her purse, my murse, jackets, hats, two beer boots, snacks, and two cases of wine in the car with no problem, and we didn't even have to put the seats down. While loading the wine in the car, a man pulled up and came over to give the car a check, he'd been following FIAT in the papers and was excited to see one up close and personal.

After the winery, we went to New Philadelphia to check into our hotel, then we turned right around and headed out to a cheese shop to get a bunch of cheese to take home. On the way, I saw my first 500 (besides mine), pulling into a shop. We were in a hurry or I would have buzzed him.

From the cheese shop, to a chocolate shop, then to dinner.

On to the Swiss Chalet Restaurant for supper. Their signature dish is fondue for two made with local cheese and it's really good. We had that for an appetizer (it's huge) and we split a single entree and had Black Forest cake an German Chocolate cake for dessert. After that, we headed to our hotel in New Philadelphia to collapse in a food coma.

Next morning, packing the car to leave, another person approached us to ask questions about it, mentioned he had a FIAT when he was a teenager in the 70's, really liked it.

Headed out at a leisurely pace, more back roads all the way to the house. At some small town, maybe Greenfield, there was a car show in town so I tagged along with that for a couple of blocks, beeping and waving like I was part of the show. That was fun.

All in all, we drove maybe 480 miles, lots of 2nd-3rd-4th shifting on the back roads, lots of hills, lots of curves and we averaged... 43.2mpg. Not bad! Also, the car was extremely comfortable, both to drive and to ride in (according to my wife). No fatigue, no real need to get out and stretch our legs if we didn't want to. To steal an old Mazda jingle, this really is a great little car.

Now, my car is filthy, covered in bird poop and road dust. Just waiting for the sun to set a bit so I can give it a good bath.

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know, I know. There just wasn't much to take pictures of. It's a trip we make once a year or so and has evolved into a glorified wine and fondue run. And Amish fry pies, musn't forget those!

Ryan
 

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awesome trip, thanks for sharing it with us, I enjoyed reading it.

Pictures would've been good to see! All that story and no pictures.

How goes everything with cleaning the Fiat 500 from all the dirt, bird poop and dead stuck on bugs? this stuff can be hard to clean
 

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Great Story

Nice to hear from someone who knows how to enjoy the simple things in life and can slow down and smell the roses. I'm in Southern Ontario (Burlington); if you ever wish to explore over on this this side of the border, there are plenty of scenic drives throughout Small-Town Ontario. Let me know if you would like suggestions!
Good luck with the Fiat 500; I see myself as a future owner. Please keep us posted on this forum as to how you are doing.
 

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Sounds like you had a great time. I like the attention the Fiat gets. I'm hoping mine will attract the same curiosity when it finally arrives
 

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Cleaning is going well. I should mention, I've never really been a car nut. I generally just get my cars washed when the dealer does it at servicing. This is the first car I've ever waxed (and I'm no 20-something, I'm in my mid-40's).

So, saying that, actually committing to washing it once a week is a big deal for me.

Now, here's the sad part -- we have a trip planned for July, going to upstate NY, up past Lake Placid. The fast way, it's about 11 hours. I'd love to take the FIAT because we'd cut across the mountains instead of the interstate and really take our time. The problem, someone is riding up with us and two are riding back. No way four people and luggage can fit in that car. But I really, really want to take the FIAT.

Ryan
 

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Cleaning is going well. I should mention, I've never really been a car nut. I generally just get my cars washed when the dealer does it at servicing. This is the first car I've ever waxed (and I'm no 20-something, I'm in my mid-40's).

So, saying that, actually committing to washing it once a week is a big deal for me.

Now, here's the sad part -- we have a trip planned for July, going to upstate NY, up past Lake Placid. The fast way, it's about 11 hours. I'd love to take the FIAT because we'd cut across the mountains instead of the interstate and really take our time. The problem, someone is riding up with us and two are riding back. No way four people and luggage can fit in that car. But I really, really want to take the FIAT.

Ryan
That's why the Fiat sucks as is. We really need a diesel engine with the power to tow a small trailer to stuff unwanted guests in!:D
 
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