I’m not a podcast person. I hate people telling me what to do or eavesdropping on the conversation of two friends. I don’t even like listening to my own friends sometimes. So when Lexus announced a new program called Retreats in Motion—wherein one takes a curated road trip in the new IS, accompanied by exclusive podcasts from the wellness media brand mindbodygreen—I was skeptical. But their promise of a luxury driving experience from Boston to Cape Cod (History! Whales! Nice hotels!) beat my desire to sit in silence.
My girlfriend, and companion on the trip, is a podcast fanatic. The only major fight in our relationship thus far has been my distaste for Dax Shepard, who I despise and she adores. Nevertheless, shortly after we awake at the XV Beacon, an elegant hotel in a beaux art building atop Beacon Hill in Boston, and slip into the low-riding sedan, the voice of Jason Wachob, founder and co-CEO of mindbodygreen emanates from the stereo. “You’ll get to be a fly on the wall during my candid conversation,” he says, over the purr of the 240-horsepower engine. The first guest is Dan Barber, apostle of mindful eating and proprietor of Blue Hill restaurant. We are on our way to the Blue Hills Reservation for an early morning hike. This is, I think, extremely clever programming.
Zipping through Boston’s notorious traffic snarl, soon we’re among verdant poplars and pines of the 7,000-acre preserve. Dan Barber has enlightening things to say about seed diversity and adversity, and it’s with some regret I leave the red-leather womb of the car to stroll in the wild. After a light hike among the nuthatches, flycatchers, and blackbirds, we return to Boston proper, wending through the narrow side streets of Little Italy before walking among the Red Sox fans in Beacon Hill. Dinner, at Moooo…, a steakhouse of impeccable quality but questionable name, is at the hotel and thus, is not preluded by a podcast. Ah well, I think, there’s always tomorrow.
The next morning we set off for Cape Cod. The Lexus IS is, in fact, a sedan but handles like a supercharged coupe. And it takes careful listening to Riche Bostock, “the Breath Guy,” to keep my heart calm. We make a pit stop at Plymouth Harbor to take a picture of Plymouth Rock—it looks like… a rock—before rolling into Chatham Bars Inn, a sprawling inn originally built in 1914 as a hunting lodge for wealthy Bostonians. After lobster rolls on the veranda, we ditch the car for a 38-foot Shelter Island runabout to go whale watching—minke, humpback and fin whales populate these waters. Though we don’t spy any whales sounding, we do see the sun setting, feel the wind blowing, and hear the pleasant sound of waves lapping the hull: nature’s own podcast.
Packages from $2,360, mindbodygreen.com/lexusretreats
Next Up: The Ultimate Leaf-Peeping Road Trip Through the Berkshires