Life in Vancouver can be funny. Our city is described by many travel magazines as a resort in and of itself - one of the most livable cities on the planet (not to mention the most expensive in terms of cost of living). But there are days when the stress of day-to-day work, the commute and the frenetic rush of checking things off your To-Do list become too much. You’re overwhelmed and you just need to escape. 

Escape to Where?

But you don’t have a lot of time, so where would you go? Here in Vancouver, our spectacular location offers us a lot of options - from Tofino to the Sunshine Coast, to Whistler or even down south to Seattle and Portland and many places in between and beyond. 

What’s great is that you can hop in a car and just go. I’m not really one for road trips (nothing exceeding 6 hours non-stop please) so I typically pick somewhere that falls within that driving radius.

Escape to Whistler

Luckily, I decided on a very quick trip up to Whistler, the ski capital of North America. Although I’ve been to Whistler a number of times, I still count it as my favourite destination in under two hours by car. While known for its spectacular skiing, Whistler has become even busier in the summer months with its pristine lakes and numerous hiking trails to get lost in. I’m in Whistler nearly every summer and winter nowadays… the thought of spending time sitting lakeside with a glass of wine, catching up on reading (books, not the internet) and gazing at Blackcomb and Whistler is such a perfect image to me. And I’ve been to enough places in the world to have seen what my options are and I choose Whistler. Beaches, deserts, canyons are all fantastic - but give me a snowy white mountain range any day and I’ll call that paradise. I’ll also let you in on a little secret: one day, that’s where I hope to retire. Gotta start saving my pennies for my little cottage...

Escape with Ford…err, Escape.

On this particular trip, I partnered with Ford Canada, who loaned me a Ford Escape for the week - and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. I was really looking forward to testing out the vehicle on the Sea-to-Sky highway leading up to Whistler. The drive along the Sea-to-Sky boasts some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine, with islands dotted along Howe Sound that comes to a head near Squamish, just 45 minutes outside Whistler.

Packing a Punch in a Small SUV

I was pretty excited to be testing out the Ford Escape, a small-sized crossover SUV. I have been driving different types of SUVs in the past but all by European manufacturers, so the complete driving experience was of particular importance. I don’t like feeling like the passenger when I’m behind the wheel - I’m definitely a ‘driver’. The car I currently own is a manual transmission - no paddle shifting here, folks - so I’m a bit of a purist.

The Escape is big on power - it had great acceleration, unlike the Fords of the past. In high school, my girlfriend owned a Ford Escort and I swear a bicyclist would pass us while putting pedal to the metal. No joke. On the Escape there’s no delay on the gas - nor surge, as I’ve felt from other vehicles - just pure power. It comes with a ton of features including voice activation, plus a ton of cargo space in the back. If there was one drawback it would be that it rolls a bit while on corners along the Sea to Sky. I pushed it on elevations and it performed as well as any larger European SUVs I’ve driven.

Navigation worked well - the display panel was large and simple to use and the SiriusXM radio was a bonus. Its panoramic sunroof was a great way to further connect me to the outdoors. That is one feature that I absolutely love - whether it’s a sedan or SUV. I hate feeling claustrophobic inside a vehicle. The parking assist was great - especially when trying to park in tight city streets. Heated seats for both driver and passenger were super handy, especially on cold mornings.

On my next post, I'll talk about escaping to my Chateau... 


*Special thanks to my partners at Ford Canada, for the lending me the Ford Escape for the week.