“Where will your escape take you?” This was the subject line of an email I received early June and, of course, it piqued my interest. The message was from Ford Canada inviting me to take part in an exciting weekend experience.
I have a longstanding relationship with Ford Canada; over the years I’ve taken many road tips using their cars in and out of the country, and hearing from them is always a pleasure – they always having something fun planned.
However, unlike the last few projects I’ve worked on with them the weekend getaway they had planned was a surprise with a capital “S.” No matter how much I poked and prodded for a hint everything was kept under wraps; Sherlock Holmes himself couldn’t have deduced what was to come.
Not to keep one totally in the dark Ford dropped several hints in the forthcoming days; tweets on Twitter and posts on Instagram created a volcanic-like build-up of anticipation with other invitees both on and offline; this eventually made me throw up my hands in the air and say “I give up!”
Early Saturday morning we met for the big reveal and discovered I was one of 12 exclusive guests who were to leave Toronto for an unforgettable overnight experience for Ford’s #EscapeAndDiscover program. We were evenly divided into four teams journeying to four different places within Ontario; Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Sarnia and Sudbury. I was on Team Pink which included Karen Kwan, Jason Fitz and our Ford team captain Anson Dixon. Our itinerary required us to fly to Ottawa and explore the sights of our nation’s capital, then drive to Kingston, overnight there and fly home to Toronto. Basically we were hitting up two cities within a 24 hour period – wild!
After arriving in Ottawa we picked up our sleek ride which was a rich, ruby red 2017 Ford Escape that was, of course, fully loaded. Team Pink was all about getting the perfect shot to document our exciting road trip. We took the Escape to some of the most picturesque and well-known spots in Ottawa; National Gallery, Parliament Hill, Notre Dame Basilica, Hogs Back Falls, Rideau Canal, 24 Sussex Drive and Supreme Court of Canada, which made a stunning background for the ideal team picture.
The next portion of our journey required us to drive to Kingston. I couldn’t resist the chance to spend an hour or two behind the wheel, so I took over driving duties with pleasure. I’ve always enjoyed driving Ford’s cars because they handle well, are very comfortable and are equipped with the latest technology. One of the newest features for the 2017 Escape is the adaptive cruise control, which I used heavily during this leg of our trip; the technology uses advanced radar which monitors slow moving traffic ahead.
You must be thinking, so you went to Kingston huh? That must have been boring. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised to discover this city of 120,000 residents is not just home to Queens University but it has a vibrant downtown area; they have a beautifully laid out waterfront, burgeoning food scene, grand old limestone buildings and many charming B&Bs; we stayed at the lovely Rosemont Inn & Spa.
As soon as our #EscapeAndDiscover journey started it ended. The whirlwind of the weekend reintroduced me to Ottawa and showed me at part of the province I would normally drive by on the highway without a second thought – Kingston you’re all right. Next time I’m on the road, I definitely plan to keep an open mind to the sights and surroundings about me and look at them with a renewed perspective.