a peek inside the fishbowl

10 Aug, 2012

Stepping out with the Ford Escape

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

Yesterday I was invited to attend a very special social media event hosted by Ford Canada. It was ultimately to learn about the new Ford Escape. I was happy to attend. The agenda was one of the most creative I’ve seen for a this kind of brand-focused event, smartly designed to avoid being all about the hard sell, in fact, it was anything but. The day was more of a really fun show and tell. Scratch that, it was a show and tell with a side of WE DARE YOU TO DO IT.

I was encouraged to step outside of my comfort zone yesterday along with a bunch of other fabulous blogging friends, and it was awesome.

First up: we met for lunch and a debriefing at the Hotel Lac Leamy.

Second: we jumped into our Escapes with our assigned partners and made our way over to a very large part of the parking lot that was set aside for a road handling course (!).

Then, after a bit of instruction, we drove. There were twists and turns, and oh my, I was able to put my pedal to the metal and push it to the limit. Here is a video of my first turn around the course. Hysterical shrieking is brought to you by my driving partner, the lovely and charming Erin Blaskie. She had reason to be afraid, clearly. :)

I’ll be honest. I was scared. But I did it. I DID IT. It doesn’t seem like I’m going very fast in the video, but I was. There was a burning rubber smell when I was done.

When I completed this lap my heart was pounding a million miles an hour, at which point someone decided I would be a fun person to interview. Ha.

I will not show you the bit about me testing out the Escape’s very cool parallel parking assist function. I don’t have it yet, and I think I swore. :)

I will say this, I was very impressed by what I saw yesterday, and it’s more than just great handling and raw power for when you need it (torque! horsepower! va-va-voom!) and cargo storage, but Ford’s commitment to greening up their cars includes a lot of home-grown innovations which I think is critical – not just for our environment for our economy too.

Afterwards we proceeded to another demonstration which was divided into stations, but our role here was a little different. One part of it had us loading the roomy trunk full of foamy tetris-type shapes (Erin and I held the record for fastest time for awhile) and another allowed us to star in our own short adventure movie. It was hilarious. If I get my hands on the video I will upload it.

Next we drove the Escapes to LaFleche for a ziplining/caving part of our adventure. Not only did it give us a chance to test the vehicles on the road (along with the navigation system and all that stuff) but it was a much softer way of showing us the car on our own. No hard sell here.

I chose caving over zip-lining. I’ve done the whole course at LaFleche and hadn’t seen the caves there. I was only mildly freaked out and required a tiny bit of hand-holding. But I DID IT. Hoo boy.

Self-potrait with head lamp.

I was happy to see the light of day again:

The light of day. Thankgod.

It was DARK in there. And apparently there were bats too. Gah!

Afterwards we motored back to the hotel to change for dinner and drinks. I have not mentioned that this day required three outfit changes, a record for this kind of social media event. (I’m not complaining.)

At the end of the evening we were each given our own Ford Escape. A lovely way to cap off the day! Ha.

My new Ford Escape! ;)

Ford Ottawa gave a few of us a really great experience and made many happy memories. And maybe they even sold a few cars yesterday.

13 Responses to "Stepping out with the Ford Escape"

1 | @amwaters

August 10th, 2012 at 4:43 pm


What an adventurous day! LaFleche is pretty cool. Curious to know how the experience influenced you. When you were last vehicle shopping had you considered the Ford Escape? After having this outing, would you give it consideration next time you’re vehicle shopping?

2 | kev

August 10th, 2012 at 6:24 pm


I love how Ford has come in the last ten years. I think they’re the only company in the big three that understands how much has changed… everywhere. Looked fun from over here.

3 | Pamela

August 10th, 2012 at 9:39 pm


I’ve done the caves at LaFleche. Scariest part for me? All those ladders and stairs!!

4 | lacoop

August 11th, 2012 at 7:16 am


For another good driving adventure and skills building experience, try the Winter Driving School (Motorsport Ottawa http://www.mco.org/cms/index.php/driving-schools/wds). We did this as husband and wife a couple of years ago: frightening but enlightening! It really showed us how to drive in the winter…and it was a total blast all day.

5 | Sherrilynne Starkie

August 11th, 2012 at 9:13 am


I’m so glad you had a great adventure. I was watching your tweets from my desk at the office and envying you all.

6 | coffeewithjulie

August 11th, 2012 at 10:40 am


I think what I loved most is seeing you drive (and enjoy!) the vehicle that you mock me for owning :) See… the Escape is an awesome vehicle AND it is enviro-friendly! Not as much as your Prius of course though – that is an enviro-friendly class of its own. Nice to see you had such a fun day!

7 | andrea

August 11th, 2012 at 12:08 pm


@amwaters – the last time we shopped and bought a vehicle was in 2010 when we bought our Prius. I wrote about it here. We’re a city-living family of four and it was a good fit for us. We wanted something that was super cheap on gas and emissions. We thought long and hard about how we drove and what we needed out of a vehicle. We don’t haul anything, there is no need for extra capacity (hockey bags, moving furniture, bales of hay, etc.). Our car really only for tooting around the city. And it’s perfect for that, and we have been consistently surprised at how much we can shove in there. So the Escape, as much as I enjoyed it, is more car than we will ever really need… you know what I mean? :)

8 | andrea

August 11th, 2012 at 12:10 pm


Julie – I NEVER mocked your car! :) The Prius is in a class of its own for sure. I’d love to see one on a similar road course! Ha.

And yes, it was a great day.

9 | Ginger

August 11th, 2012 at 12:47 pm


I really like Ford. When we were buying our car at the beginning of July we were debating between Ford and Toyota. Ultimately we went with the PriusV which we love, gets great gas milage, and holds all of our stuff. But I do love Ford and what they have accomplished over the last few years!

10 | Jenna

August 12th, 2012 at 7:06 pm


We have an ’09 Escape and I just saw the new one pass me yesterday. I LOVE ours and would buy the new one someday TOTALLY. Love love love.

11 | Ravi Shanghavi

August 14th, 2012 at 6:07 am


That looks amazing! Congratulations on getting invited to such an awesome event.
Ravi Shanghavi, Ottawa

12 | Starring yours truly >> a peek inside the fishbowl

August 14th, 2012 at 12:09 pm


[…] my fun day with Ford last week? One of the things I did was participate in a fun little shoot. Well, here are the […]

13 | A quick note and a pickup truck >> a peek inside the fishbowl

July 29th, 2013 at 6:07 am


[…] for us but I really like the experience of driving something totally new … as evidenced by my time on the “racetrack” with the Ford Escape last […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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