Carpool Mom Finds Her Inner 'Drive' at La Quinta Resort & Club

Waldorf Astoria Driving Experience puts guests behind wheel of flashy sportscars

Michelle Roe Attractions


Today, I drove a Ferrari.

I’m a carpool Mom. I drive an 8-year-old Honda Pilot. I am a low maintenance car person. More function than flash.

I don’t necessarily feel the need for speed.

So, imagine my surprise when I was recently invited to participate in the Waldorf Astoria Driving Experience at the La Quinta Resort & Spa.    

This unique experience is offered to Waldorf Astoria hotel guests for a limited six-week tour at some of their most iconic establishments as an exclusive opportunity to access some of the most scenic roads in America.

The promotion runs through Oct. 20 at La Quinta Resort & Spa.


VIDEO: Watch Michelle Roe drive a Ferrari 458 Italia Spider.


Under the guidance of Belgian sports car race champion Didier Theys, hotel guests can opt to drive the Ferrari 458 Italia Spider or one of these world famous super cars:

McLaren MP4-12C

Porsche 911-Turbo

After a VIP greeting and a very brief, briefing, a group of hotel guests and I head out to the trio of cars for our photo opp prior to hitting the pavement. I gingerly slide into the Ferrari Spider and really …it’s so pretty. Didier kindly gives me a quick overview, familiarizing me with the basics:

Acceleration is via a petal shift activated by your fingers, located behind the steering wheel. Huh?
Blinkers located on the left/right steering panel.
Breaks are sensitive. Good to know!

The rest, he assures me, in his thick Belgian accent, is simple, “This car has state of the art electronics. You cannot break this. Don’t be afraid. You will be fine.” OK!!

I’m feeling…petrified.  

As he moves on to educate the other drivers, I grip the wheel tightly and my foot starts to shake. I’m a mom of two young children in a $300,000 car about to take it out for a leisurely drive on a perfectly sunny day.

What. Am. I. Doing?

Didier’s voice calmly comes over handheld radio frequency speaker left in the car stating, “Follow me…we’re ready to go.” I edge the Spider out behind the Porsche and the McLaren and we head to the grand entrance of La Quinta Resort. The hotel staff has lined the lane with checkered flags to mark this momentous occasion.

I now feel… like a rock star.

Didier does not disappoint. His trusting confidence in my “superior” driving skills proves right on. Incredulously, I begin to understand that this car really can be driven by anyone. This car is worth every penny. It does drive itself…it has little arrows that tell me when to shift into a higher gear.

I would not call myself adventurous by any stretch, but after this experience I left empowered. I received a trophy at the end my trek to commemorate this unforgettable day. At the end of session, I hopped into my trusty Honda to pick up my kids from school with renewed confidence.

Ready to command my vehicle, in control of the carpool lane, and a master of the Mom transportation domain.


La Quinta Resort & Club, 49499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta, 760-564-4111,

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