Was ‘Despacito’ REALLY the song of the summer for 2017?
Every road trip beings with a moment of reflection and introspection, doesn’t it? The status of ‘Despacito’ weighed on my mind and I knew just who to debate it with. Our girls getaway to Chateau Montebello, was all about what really matters. Like the pros and cons of Justin Bieber singing in Spanish, or what songs are truly indispensable on a cross country journey. When it came to debating the big questions in life, finding great road trip tunes, and settling the question of what ‘Despacito’ really meant, I couldn’t have chosen a better team of road warriors than my friends and fellow travel writers Sandy and Becky.
These intrepid explorers had recently made the round trip to Prince Edward Island and triumphantly figured out how to “tag” their respective Ford vehicles to receive an alert every time a certain song was playing on the radio. Amazing! Who wouldn’t want to travel with them?
The girls shared my opinions about food (the more, the better), and knew our destination-to-be like the back of their hands. Thus, with a certain sultry summer love song humming in the background, we embraced the open road. We were ready for maple, Montebello, music, and a whole lot more!
Suddenly, we’re the cool kids, cruising in style
Our Ottawa departure to the Fairmont Chateau Montebello was delayed by a few minutes. But it was a moment that all roadtrippers dream of. Someone stopped to admire our ride! But we shouldn’t have been surprised. We were cruising in the 2017 Ford Flex Limited, a seven passenger utility vehicle finished in a gorgeous glossy shade.
Burgundy Velve was a showstopper of a colour. When an employee of Ford couldn’t help but stare at the gorgeous colour and asked us what we thought about the gleaming finish, I was bursting with pride. That’s right! We’re the cool kids in the cool car!
Once we hit the road, we soon learned that the snazzy exterior of the Flex translated to great features inside the vehicle as well. As the backseat passenger –though not a backseat driver, I swear!– I was happy to have my own sunroof, as the Flex has a Multi-paneled Vista Roof.
I was also thrilled not be surrounded by tons of gear. My usual road trip experience is be squashed by all the bags and backpacks that won’t fit in the trunk. However, not this girlfriends’ getaway. The Flex’s Powerfold third row seats took care of all our bags and left me with plenty of room to stretch out – and enjoy ‘Despacito’ one more time through 12 speakers of surround sound.
It’s time for some maple madness
Our ride to Chateau Montebello was filled with conversation but it didn’t wear us out. We still had plenty of energy to make new memories to chat about on the ride home. Our rest and relaxation started at the hotel spa, where we were pampered with a mix of champagne, facials, massages, and maple body scrubs. It carried on to dinner at Chateau Montebello’s signature restaurant, Aux Chantignoles.
There I feasted on a giant maple cheese donut with parsnip veloute as my appetizer and lemon cream pasta with shrimp and baby bok choy for my main. After one last round of wine, I was out like a light and it was a good thing I caught up on my sleep. The next day brought more maple in the form of incredible maple breakfast crepes. They were spectacularly good. When it comes to maple, Montebello isn’t messing around. Finally, it was time to put all those delicious carbs to good use.
First up was a short but challenging hike through Kenauk private game reserve. There’s nothing like an uphill incline to let you know exactly how many portions of dessert you had the next before! Next, we did yoga on the beach. Our savvy instructor made the connection between the need to take care of ourselves, be it in the car, in the woods, or while we’re at work. A quick dip in the lake was all that was needed to refresh before one more maple fueled stop. We had a quick stop at Montebello’s Cocomotive chocolate shop for a maple and pecan studded chocolate bar.
A cooling ride for our hot travel plans
The trip home meant a change of vehicle. Now we were in the zippy 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport. And there was a change of driver as well. I was at the wheel! The girls graciously acquiesced to my demands to be fed trail mix, chocolate, and fruit (though they drew the line of placing the apricots directly into my mouth, in the manner befitting a Roman goddess). The Sport’s pothole detection system made our drive through the dirt roads of the nature reserve a smooth one and I was a most magnanimous driver, managing the climate control with ease and even cooling our seats for a refreshing drive post-yoga.
As we plotted the next steps of world domination – or, at the very least, another wellness weekend getaway – we reflected on how our trip couldn’t have been more comfortable, relaxing, and rejuvenating. Not to mention delicious. Now that’s a tune worth singing along to!
Guest author bio:
Vanessa Chiasson is an award winning blogger, freelance writer, and digital strategist. She has presented at TBEX, CBC Radio, and CTV Ottawa and has been published by The Globe and Mail, Flight Network, Ontario Tourism, Plum Deluxe, The Establishment, and more. In 2014, her blog TurnipseedTravel.com, was named one of the 100 most influential travel blogs in the world by the White House.
Disclosure: Life in Pleasantville was invited to join Ford at the Chateau Montebello to learn more about their vehicles. All opinions are those of the author’s.