Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Birthdays, aka Born Days, are celebrated with honor in the Rawlins family as we presented our youngest teen Kaiyana Ayako Sumi Rawlins (Aya), with a memorable 15th celebration recently in one of her favorite destinations, Los Angeles. The planning was detailed and strategic to ascertain that everything clicked, accordingly I put in a request to schedule Kia’s all-new 2022 Carnival SX Prestige since this versatile MPV can sit up to seven occupants.

We landed at LAX from Washington, Dulles, with elation after an exacerbating 5.5-hour flight being that airlines continue to treat passengers like sardines in a can during pandemic flying. We decided to bring Aya’s best friend Abby and her cousin Shayla, so there were a total of five females and one Fit Father for the excursion. We traveled with ten bags, but no worries as the Carnival magically stowed all of our luggage in the rear and simultaneously provided individual comfort for each. The older teens claimed the two middle-row VIP Lounge Seats featuring a premium relaxation position and leg rest adjustments for ultimate comfort. The seats also move inward and outward and allow guests to operate the Dual Screen Rear Seat Entertainment System, which can play different movies on each screen.

My wife Misa and I are Marriott Bonvoy members; therefore, the hotel selection was simple. We used points and picked out connecting rooms at the W Hollywood. Our plane landed early, and we planned accordingly knowing that the room wouldn’t be ready. Hence, we dressed in fitness gear. After picking up our Astra Blue MPV I drove directly to Santa Monica for a 4-mile beach run. There was no point in waiting around for the hotel check-in when you can activate the body accordingly. My oldest, Mika, was still tired and took full advantage of the resting position for an extra hour of sleep. Next up were green smoothies for purification. Vacation is to relax the mind, not the body. Stay active people!

Speaking of active, the Carnival’s all-new 3.5-liter V6 (290 horsepower) and 8-speed automatic transmission pairing performed admirably while weighted down by the Rawlins Family. At one point, I was rushing to pick up Aya’s cake at the Flour Shop in Beverly Hills and utilized Sport mode to help get us there in time. The MPV moved with fluidity despite its total capacity. Braking was similarly on point. Safety was never an issue because the Korean vehicle is empowered with standard systems such as Forward Collision-Avoidance with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Collision Warning and Collision Avoidance, Parking Distance Warning-Reverse, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Following Assist, and much more.

Around town, the Carnival stood out even in luxuriant places fitting for Benzs and Bentleys. I caught more than a few folks glazing at our ride on Rodeo Drive. The 19″ Black Alloy rims specifically gleamed in contrast with the Astra Blue body. Smart Power Sliding Doors and a Smart Power Liftgate made entry and exit simple, primarily since this often occurred with the girls’ multitude of stops. Aya is an athlete, therefore the activities included a tour at UCLA where she wants to play ball, and being that she and sister Mika are sneakerheads they sought out every shop on Fairfax Ave for vintage Jordans.

Our last destination was a drive to the lavish homes of La Verne, CA, where my wife’s Deloitte colleague resides. She set up a birthday pool party for Aya so the out-of-town Born Day could feel homely and natural. The drive down was pleasant due to features like a 12.3″ touchscreen navigation and infotainment center, dual sliding sunroof, Surround View Monitor, Tuscan Umber interior with Syntex seating trim, wireless phone charging, and Bose premium audio.

Expect to pay $47,770 total for the 2022 Carnival SX Prestige, including all amenities mentioned. It was a fantastic getaway to the City of Angels for the Rawlins Family. We are thankful for the blessings of being able to travel while creating a constellation of memories.