Other than a 4-year stint away for university (and a bit after), I’ve spent most of my life in Vancouver. I’m proud to call this city my home; from the stunning landscape, the outdoor adventures, the world class food and culture plus amazing people, I really couldn’t love this city any more than I do. Although I must admit, when the rain is pouring down for the 35th day in a row, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees, if you know what I mean.

So when Ford Canada reached out and asked if I’d like to test drive the 2017 Ford Escape, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to explore my city like a tourist — to see Vancouver through fresh eyes and explore hidden nooks and crannies nestled in the city’s hidden corners.

The first place I knew we had to go was to Granville Island, I mean, how could you not? This is the first place I take all out of towners. The first thing that hits me is the scenery: the brightly coloured buildings, the cool sculptures, the painted silos, and let’s not forget the juxtaposition between the inlet and snowcapped mountains. Throw in a talented musician, give me a coffee and a couple of freshly baked pastries, and it doesn’t get any better than that.

To really get a feel for the place, we signed up for the Granville Island Market Tour with Vancouver Foodie Tours to eat and drink our way through the shops, and learn more about the history of a location I’ve visited so many times before but knew so little about (other than how to avoid getting your food snatched by a hungry seagull, of course).

The tour was amazing — I honestly couldn’t believe I’d never taken it before. Nadia was our talented guide and she walked us through the market with her lens of a chef. I literally gorged myself on a starter from Edible Canada, bread from Terra Breads, cheese from Benton Brothers, charcuterie from Oyama, coffee from JJ Bean, and my favourite, the glazed doughnut from Lee’s. I scarfed them down so fast and was so enthralled by Nadia’s tour that I literally didn’t take a single picture the entire time. Confession: I had to go back a week later to take this photo above (it was rough, but I forced myself to eat another doughnut lol).

It was a wonderful day, with no plans on the books, where we simply enjoyed each other’s company. What took our date weekend to another level was the smooth ride we took to and from the venue. We do own a car of our own – with a dog you have to – but the thrill of test driving something new elevated the entire experience.

The 2017 Ford Escape was an amazing car to drive. It’s smooth, it’s sleek and while it’s large (especially compared to our compact Fit), it doesn’t feel like a beast to drive on the road – in fact, it’s quite compact, in comparison! To prove my point, I managed to parallel park, on the left hand side no less (!), in busy Granville Island without a hitch. The car came with all the bells and whistles: heated leather seats and steering wheel, Enhanced Active Park Assist, Sync Connect (you could literally unlock your car with your phone!), Sync 3 (the voice activated tech in the car – so you just had to yell “Call Home!” and it would), and my favourite, the blind spot sensors. I’m a simple woman (lol) — and while I enjoyed all the extras that came with this car, the one I found most helpful was the light on the side view mirror that would light up orange any time anyone was driving in your blindspot. In a city like Vancouver where bikes weave in and out of lanes and pedestrians dart across the streets, this was the most helpful navigating the downtown core, but also along the major routes, like Broadway and Granville, putting my heart at ease as I was driving this loaner.

The 2017 Ford Escape starts at $26,430. For more information on this car, please click here.

Thanks to Granville Island Market Tour and Ford Canada for an amazing weekend!

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