The Road Trip
I absolutely love road trips and the feeling that comes with exploring. There’s just something about long drives, good music, and passing landscapes that is so soothing to the soul. Embarking on a road trip is all about detaching from the taxing monotony of our daily lives and letting go. Sometimes we get so caught up in everything it’s hard to realize how stressed we are. This is precisely why it’s so important to get away and have a change of scenery from time to time.
As you can imagine, I was super excited when Ford Canada approached me with the opportunity for a road trip getaway to Blue Mountain with the 2017 Ford Escape. My ride was comfy, roomy, fun to drive, and decked with handy features like active park assist, blind spot notification, and SYNC 3 technology with voice activated navigation, all while having the power and control of the intelligent four-wheel drive system to handle the unpredictable Spring weather conditions.
The road trip was short and sweet, but the perfect amount of time to relax and recharge. As we left the city, the Spring weather was on its best behaviour for the road trip; warm, sunny, and perfect window-down wind-in-my-hair cruising weather. I felt so carefree driving down the highway blasting tunes while exploring the fun features that the Ford Escape had to offer. It was so lovely driving out of the city and into the country side, experiencing the landscape as it turns from city high rises to rural areas, and then seeing transition from farmland, to forests and mountains. I could already feel the stresses of city life being left behind.
The first dot on the map for our road trip was Scandinave Spa. If you’ve never been before you simply must put it on your bucket list. It takes relaxation to a whole new level. Surrounded by Canadian wilderness, it’s a Nordic-style spa, with hot and cold pools, Finnish sauna, eucalyptus stream room, solariums, and tons of areas just to relax, like lounging around a fire pit, or in taking a nap in one of the hammocks on the spa grounds.
I started my afternoon at Scandinave Spa with a relaxing massage and spent the next few hours taking dips in the pools and unwinding and relaxing in the various areas. A unique feature of Scandinave Spa is the the use of hot baths and cold plunges for Hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy uses hot and cold stimuli to elicit specific reactions in the body to relieve stress, soothe the skin and muscles, calm the organs, and improve circulation. Cold is stimulating, and causes blood vessels to constrict, while the hot water stimulates removal of toxins from body tissues. Alternating in the hot baths and cold pools creates this invigorating feeling that leaves you both refreshed and relaxed.
After the relaxing afternoon at the Spa, it was off to Blue Mountain, just a quick 10-minute drive from the spa. Blue mountain is a charming ski town about 2 hours outside of Toronto. It’s a picturesque place, nestled on the shores of Georgian Bay on the beautiful Niagara Escarpment. The heart of the town is an adorable village filled with restaurants, bars, shopping, apartments, and hotels, all surrounding a beautiful lake and set against a backdrop of the ski slopes. It’s the ideal place for both adventure and romance and it has everything you need for a getaway – from great food, to gorgeous landscapes, to tons activities like skiing and snowshoeing in the Winter and a number of trails to explore in the Summer.
For our stay, we had a suite booked at the newly renovated Mosaic Suites Hotel right on the edge of the Blue Mountain Village. It was situated in the perfect location, just a minutes walk from the centre hub and main ski lift, but far out enough that while we relaxing in our room we were away from the outside buzz and activity of the village. Our room was comfortable and spacious, with all the amenities including a kitchenette equipped with everything you need, and to top it off it opened up to a lovely patio space with seating area right in front of the outdoor heated pool!
After settling in, we took an evening stroll around the village to explore. It was a little quiet since with the ski season winding down, but it that made it all the more romantic. The village felt so friendly and cosy with strung lights and colourful buildings and friendly little shops, all so cute. The architecture is in the style of Georgian Bay lodges, which has a very distinct and welcoming Canadian feel.
After spending some time getting acquainted with the village, we had of a beautiful dinner with drinks at Tholos, a bustling Greek Restaurant in Blue Mountain Village. It was the perfect way to round up our evening after our day long day of travel and adventure. We wandered around the village a little more after dinner and closed the night curled up in front of the tv watching some old movies in our hotel room.
The following morning, we enjoyed a delightful breakfast at Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill overlooking the quaint Blue Mountain Village. It was a very peaceful morning in the village, and we spent some time taking pictures surrounding areas and as well as doing a little shopping in some of the stores. One of my favourite shops was The Olde Stanton Store (pic below). This darling shop was filled with country style home decor, gifts and trinkets you might not find anywhere else, not to mention a huge selection of fudge!
This was the calm before a storm, since on our drive back we hit some crazy weather, including a thick fog followed by a wind and rainstorm, and even some dirt road driving since some construction took us for a detour! Lucky for us, the Ford Escape and its four-wheel drive system was fully equipped to handle this unpredictable weather beautifully. We were driving in pouring rain and rocky mountain roads and the Escape didn’t struggle or skid at all, in fact I think the bad weather made the drive even more fun!
My Favourite Ford Escape Features
The Ford Escape was a such fun vehicle to drive with great power, handling, and ready to take you on any road trip adventure that you choose. It’s also packed with clever technologies that make you feel safe, while enhancing your driving experience while you’re on the road. Here are a few of my favourite features on the 2017 Ford Escape Titanium:
Blind Spot Information System
This was my favourite feature and it came in handy so many times especially when driving a larger vehicle like the Ford Escape. The Blind Spot Information System uses sensors to detect traffic in the driver’s blind spot, and provides a visual warning when there’s something in your blind spot. In the 3rd picture below on the right you can see how the light comes on in the side view mirror as someone pulls up into my blind spot.
Enhance Active Park Assist
This feature felt like it came straight from the future! It’s the first time I’ve ever had a car with parking assist, and it honestly blew my mind. You simply pull up to wherever you want to park, and select whether you want to parallel park or perpendicular park. Once you shift into reverse, just take your hands off the wheel and the system will steer your vehicle into the space while you control the accelerator and brakes. Amazing right?
SYNC® 3 System with Voice Control
The SYNC® 3 is a whole system combining navigation, stereo, hands free calling into a responsive platform with a fresh design. I found the clean interface easy to use and navigate. It also has a handy feature that allows you to interact with the navigation through voice control, enabling drivers to keep their eyes on the road and the hands on the wheel. You can even ask your car for restaurant suggestions by saying, “I’m hungry!”
Foot Activated Hand Free Lift Gate
This is such a handy feature I had to mention it too. I always seem to have my hands full whether it’s luggage from my road trip or shopping bags from the latest trip to the mall, the foot activated lift gate is such a convenient feature for the opening trunk. The hand free operation works with intelligent Access Key in your pocket or purse, so you just need to kick your food under the read bumper and lift gate opens and closes.
This road trip getaway was the perfect way to unwind and get away from the city life. I had such a fun and memorable road trip driving the Ford Escape. I want to give a huge thank you to the Ford Canada team who invited us on the trip and made it so special. We had such a great journey, amazing time, and had the best ride to accompany our travels!
A big thanks to Ford Canada for loaning me the car & sponsoring my trip!