DISCOVER ONTARIO WITH FORD CANADA ECOSPORT AND #FORDSMALLTOWNS

#DISCOVERONTARIO: EXPLORING SANDBANKS AND PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY WITH FORD CANADA #ECOSPORT AND #FORDSMALLTOWNS

#Ad: This blog post is a partnership with Ford Canada. All opinions (ours is fabulous so why not use our own?) are our own. #Ford_Partner.

FORD ECOSPORT: MAKING MORE FAMILY MEMORIES THIS SUMMER WITH FORD CANADA

Summers are made for pure, uninhibited fun. This summer, we had the privilege of exploring a small town in Ontario with the Ford EcoSport. We made new memories as a family with Ford Canada’s #FordSmallTowns program.

It’s a curious thing really…  ‘coz it’s not like you can’t make memories in the winter, spring or fall. Of course you can make them all year round. But there’s just something about summer adventures.

Pro Tip: Wear comfortable shoes like SKECHERS CANADA on road trips.

Something about packing up your bags, loading the kids in the back seat and blasting the perfect summer playlist for a long trip on the road!

Shoes courtesy of SKECHERS CANADA. Get yours here.

Since its release, the EcoSport has enjoyed favourable reviews as a viable choice for a subcompact crossover in 2018.

To be honest, the EcoSport was not a love at first sight for E. He was quite concern with this CUV’s ground clearance and roll-over tendencies. That soon changed as the Ford EcoSport does offer a long list of great features known amongst Ford Canada vehicles.

FORD CANADA ECOSPORT IS A VIABLE CHOICE FOR CUV CLASS IN 2018

Let’s start with the not-so-fabulous specs. As you can see, the #EcoSport is built more modestly. It’s a foot-and-a-half shorter than the Escape, which you can empirically gauge when you look at its cargo capacity. While the Escape provides you with 34 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, the EcoSport offers just 20.9 cubic feet. Comparing it to another Ford Canada best seller, the EcoSport is about 2 cubic feet fewer than a Focus hatchback.

Take important note however, among pint-size crossovers (think subcompacts such as the Mazda CX-3, Chevrolet Trax, Toyota Rav4 and the Honda HR-V), the Ford EcoSport’s cargo area is actually one of the largest in its class. Ain’t that a plus for those of us who tends to pack more and shop even more!

HELLO GORGEOUS: THE ECOSPORT IS BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT

And did I mention the stunning trim of the interior?

Hello copper trim with dark charcoal seats. It’s like Ford Canada made this one exactly for me, thank you very much!

So with 3 kids at the backseat of our EcoSport, we set off Ford’s Nav System to head to Prince Edward County for our #FordSmallTowns #roadtrip. PEC or The County is the glorious wine country on this side of Canada. Sadly, you cannot fully explore when you’ve got children as baggages.

Ahemmm… I mean, children as passengers. Precious, precious passengers.

For longer than 10 minutes on a road less traveled (Okay, that’s not quite true. I was trying to be poetic. It’s a road very well-traveled, just not by us until now!), we needed all the entertainment we can get.

FORD’S SYNC 3 INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM FEATURING APPLE CARPLAY

The EcoSport, like all recent Ford Canada vehicles, has you covered with the latest entertainment technology. With 3 kids who have an attention span of a chipmunk (disclaimer: I cannot scientifically vouch that chipmunks have attention deficit issues!), the EcoSport’s excellent Sync 3 infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay, large central touchscreen and Android Auto integration is a godsend.

I think Wifi was the only thing standing between me and Eric getting the Nobel Prize in the Uncle and Auntie of the Year Category. Perhaps we’ll look into strapping a huge satellite plate on top of the car during our next Ford Canada adventure!

Top to bottom outfit courtesy of Le Chateau. Shoes and accessories by Roxy Earle X Le Chateau Collection.

Now, while I’m all about style and excitement, E is all about safety. Gah, I know. How did we ever get along?

A must for any road trips – SAJE Pocket Pharmacy. I never leave home without one!

Though not equipped with advanced technologies such as lane keeping assist or Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), the EcoSport does have the standard rearview camera. It also has the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) – the blind-spot monitor that’s quite a useful safety feature, especially on highways.

Dress & sunglasses by Le Chateau. Shoes & accessories by Roxy Earle X Le Chateau Collection.

FORD CANADA ECOSPORT CAPACITY AND DRIVABILITY

Perhaps the thing that’s most surprising for E about the EcoSport is the drivability. This class of ‘CUVs’ tends to be heavier, less adaptive and not as nimble as its sedan counterparts. Not the Ford EcoSport. It proved to be a fun drive and quite an attractive looking car, both on the exterior and interior.

Overall, the EcoSport, despite its modest proportions and generous ground clearance. This CUV (again think small SUV or Baby Escape) boasts of great handling characteristics and surprisingly ample interior space. Though it’s not a performance car, it’s precisely a car that can take you from city driving to road trips. First released about a decade ago in Brazil, the EcoSport was perfect for our epic adventure to Sandbanks & Prince Edward County.

Top to bottom #OOTD: Dress & sunglasses by Le Chateau. Shoes & accessories by Roxy Earle X Le Chateau Collection.

Since we couldn’t book wine tasting tours with the kids in tow, we had an informal itinerary. Okay fine, there were binders and printed infosheet about each of our destination and activities. It’s me planning guys, there’s no such thing as casual or go with the flow.

Check out the new Roxy Earle X Le Chateau Fall Collection here.

How else could I coordinate my outfits to the Ford Canada EcoSport with the spectacular landscape of The County as a backdrop?

Got my Roxy Earle High Heels for dining out and my SKECHERS CANADA for long walks by the beach!

Day #1 we headed to Sandbanks Provincial Park, checking out the spectacular sand dunes and the getting our swim on at the beach.

CHECKING IN AT THE ISAIAH TUBBS RESORT AND CONFERENCE CENTRE IN WEST LAKE

As the drive took longer than expected, we arrived at the Isaiah Tubbs Resort and Conference Centre, a comfortable country resort located on the shores of West Lake.

Nestled on the beach and less than 5 kilometres away from Sandbanks Provincial Park, this Picton resort has 74 guest rooms including beach, fireplace, lake house and Jacuzzi suites, and 12 cottages. Quite a popular wedding venue, Isaiah Tubbs also has 8 function rooms.

While it is true that the rooms are dated and the buildings are not the most stunning,  they are quite spacious. The highlight, we all agreed, was the beach! Exclusive to hotel guests, it’s perfectly sandy and beautifully close to our suite. Isaiah Tubbs also has a star with their Restaurant on the Knoll and the Sandbar Lounge.

We had a generous breakfast buffet at the Restaurant on the Knoll, which offers a friendly restaurant staff, relaxing atmosphere and outdoor patio with a marvelous view of the sand dunes across the waters of West Lake.

Dress courtesy of Le Chateau. Shoes & accessories by Roxy Earle X Le Chateau Collection.

SUMMER FOREVER WITH KIDS IN THE WATER

I don’t know what it is about kids and swimming and summer but unlike my ridiculously expensive Shellac Manicure, they could stay in water forever. The most difficult part of the weekend was trying to get them out of the beach.

On our first night at Prince Edward County, we had a fancy schmancy dinner at our hotel room because they would not get out of the water. We dined on five star take-outs from McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s and the local gas station. Apparently, restaurants are only open ’till about 9 pm on Saturday nights at The County.

Tip if you: pack food and drinks. There’s a small restaurant at the Sandbanks Beach with very limited hours of operation.

On Day #2, while Angelo, Kate and Cookie swam and frolicked like Nemo, Dora and Ariel on the West Lake Beach, I start day dreaming of The Drake Hotel Devonshire. The Drake is the next stop in our 3-day itinerary.

WELCOME TO THE DRAKE HOTEL DEVONSHIRE IN PICTON, ONTARIO

We actually tried to book our stay at The County at The Drake Devonshire but they were completely booked. So was their restaurant in fact. Big thanks to the patient team at National PR for booking our late lunch ahead.

Tip if you go: book ahead for both the hotel and restaurant.

As soon as we got seated to our large table by the window overlooking the sea of bright neon umbrellas and the rocky shore, it was easy to see why the Drake Devonshire is such a popular hang out.

This hip contemporary and Instagram worthy hotel and restaurant is a 1-minute walk from the Wellington Heritage Museum and 21.7 km from Sandbanks Provincial Park. The extensive food and wine menu, featuring great local finds, was full of mouth-watering choices.

Tip if you go: perhaps skip the burger and try menu items that are less than traditional.

Nevertheless, we had a feast of the Devonshire’s bestsellers.

I’m glad our server insisted on our rosé of the day. Rosehall Run Winery’s PIXIE was precisely the kind of chilled bubbly you want on such a gorgeous summer day. It was a burst of flavours on the mouth. The lovely citrus, and delicious peach, peach, apricot and tangerine tree fruit combo delivered a lively refreshing acidity.

The perfect complement to some of the rich dishes we savoured at The Drake Devonshire.

While the terrace and the lakeside view are the hotel’s stars of the show, the game room was the clear winner for us. When you’ve got 3 precocious kids who are full of boundless energy and enthusiasm, you want to burn that out with thoughtful entertainment and exciting games.

Perfect for travel and life – Fall Collection by Roxy Earle X Le Chateau Collection.

We spent most of the afternoon playing Ping Pong and the good old Sandbag Throwing competition.

We truly love the #FordSmallTowns program as it opens up our horizon to new travel destinations within Ontario. While Sandbanks and Prince Edward County is not geographically small, it is not big city Ontario such as Toronto, Ottawa and Kingston.

Thus, have this hiddem gem feel to it when you visit. As for the 2 adults, the 3 kids (and the massive amount of luggages), we certainly had a great time driving and eating and singing our hearts out in the Ford EcoSport as we set our journey out on the open road.

Try the Ford Canada EcoSport today!

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This post is a collaborative partnership between Ford Canada and Twenty York Street. A HUGE  thanks to Ford Canada and National PR’s Melissa (the family loves ya!) and Valerie for putting this together for us.
To get more fashion, style and beauty inspirations, shopping and travel tips, follow @20YS on Twitter & @20YS on Instagram today. For behind the scenes and updates on what to do and where to go (especially in #Ottawa), follow @20YS on Twitter  and @20YS on Instagram.

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