Tag: chevrolet

Healthy Swellness: Chevrolet Ron Fellows Driving Experience

Ron Fellows Driving Experience

I think I’ve ‘fessed up before that I don’t love driving. So why do I keep snapping up the opportunity to drive performance cars on a race track? I figure that even though these are performance cars and the experience different than driving you’d do in the city, the more time and skills I develop behind the wheel of any car will help me feel more comfortable and maybe even more skilled handling a car when I’m on the road.

You’ll recall I was on a track in honour of Father’s Day, and more recently I had the chance to go to Chevrolet Ron Fellows Driving Experience at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to drive both a Camaro and a Corvette. And this was a very different experience because I wasn’t in the car with my instructor, but rather Ron instructed us through a headset. I was pretty intimidated at first, but once we started going, I felt safe on the track and did my best to follow the racing line (keep eyes ahead and looking for those pylons for guidance!).

GM_RonFellowsExperience_20170823_0835

 

Photo: Ben Marans Photography

Unfortunately, I forgot to record the data from my time on the track (I guess I was so anxious to get going that I forgot to hit “start recording” for the USB as I was supposed to). I think the fastest I noticed on the speedometer was more then 150 kilometres an hour, which doesn’t sound very fast (I’ve, um, maybe accidentally done it on a highway…) but on a curvy and notoriously difficult race track, that is plenty fast to me!

GM_RonFellowsExperience_20170823_0759

Photo: Ben Marans Photography

That day, I got to learn about the Chevrolet performance car lineup (four cars were launched in 2016, including the Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Grand Sport). Most interesting to me were the reasons behind Chevy doing performance cars at all: it creates fans worldwide, drives new technologies and drives competition, and racing and performances helps inform their production vehicles (so things they learn from the performance cars can trickle into improvements to the cars that we drive on the roads); those are just a few of the reasons.

Ron Fellows race track day

I will say that this day had me feeling like I was in a scene from the Fast & The Furious. In fact, my new motto may very well be “I live my life a quarter mile at a time.”  And why’d I categorize this under “health”? Because trying new things and getting that adrenaline pumping is always healthy in my book. And, oh, I must mention that I was the only girl in the whole group of media, so patting myself on the back for my day of keeping up with the boys!

 

Leave a Comment September 20, 2017

Travel Swellness: Camping getaway in a Chevy Trax

IMG_8167

On my the fourth road trip of the summer, I went camping for the first time, and I loved it. More on that in a future post.

For this road trip, I was looking to try a car I’d never driven before so for this camping weekend, thanks to General Motors Canada, I had the chance to test drive the Chevrolet Trax. I will say, when I checked it out online, I was skeptical about whether it’d fit all of the camping gear, food, and my dog, Billie Jean. It is definitely much smaller than the other SUVs I’ve driven recently, such as the Buick Envision, Chevy Equinox and GMC Acadia.

So how was the Trax? When I picked up the car, it was indeed as petite IRL as it’d looked online (it’s category is indeed small SUV). This made the car way easier to park and simple for sometimes hectic city driving, so it definitely gets points for that. Much like the Chevy Cruze I drove the WayHome, it was a breeze to park in my cramped underground parking garage.

Billie Jean in Chevy Trax

I did get concerned as I started packing the car for the weekend, though. Trunk space is limited. Once I put in one large MEC bag of gear and my carry-on bag, and it was essentially full (save for some nooks and crannies I was able to stuff small, soft items into). Thankfully, my friend knew that the flap that covers the trunk space can easily be removed, and once we took that off, we were able to pile much more gear into the back trunk space.

Chevy Trax_camping in Rondeau

From there, we put the rest of our stuff into the backseat, leaving one spot for Billie Jean to sit. It was tight, but we made it work. So ultimately, the Trax is just big enough for a camping trip for two to three people. Although, I should mention that we ended up bringing more gear than we needed (such as an extra sleeping bag, some awkward-to-travel-with chairs, and some sleeping mats, we didn’t end up using).

IMG_6598

The soft lines of the car make it a really cute and fun SUV, and so in that way, I think it was perfect for our little girlfriends getaway. We both thought it handled well on the road and appreciated the blind-spot assist (we took turns driving that weekend) and we loved being able to connect our iPhones with Apple CarPlay. I thought it was well designed and I appreciated the black finishes (all of it felt sturdy and well-made). In terms of what we didn’t love: we found that the backseat headrests get in the way of looking through the rear window when driving; and while not a big deal, I did miss having that compartment you’ll often find between the driver and passenger seat (I usually find this cubbyhole helpful for storing things like maps and sunglasses). And the trunk doesn’t feature a button to close it (and we went into the trunk a lot over the weekend since it served as a storage space for our food and some gear).

Since I’d be primarily driving a car in the city and only doing getaways calling for a lot of space (like this camping weekend) occasionally, I think this car makes a lot of sense for someone with a similar lifestyle.

I have another two road trips this month so be sure to check back to read about my camping and driving adventures. And if you’re an avid camper, I’d love to hear any tips and tricks you’ve got!

Leave a Comment August 18, 2017

Travel Swellness: WayHome Arts & Music Festival 2017

WayHome 2017 WayHome field lounging

After going to the first year of WayHome Arts & Music Festival by chance (I happened to win tickets), and then loving it so much, I planned a road trip vacay to attend WayHome last year, I was thrilled to get tickets to this year’s festival to cover it once again (I’d been already feeling FOMO in the time leading up to this past weekend, having had decided to skip this year to be more grounded and have some quality time at home). But I lucked into some wristbands so out went the plans to kick around home and off to Oro-Medonte it was!

IMG_5856

Thanks to General Motors Canada, I was able to test out a Chevy Cruze for this road trip. It was exactly what I had in mind: something zippy and easy to drive around the city, with a decent sound system (we would be listening to music from artists performing at the fest for the drive up, after all, made easy thanks to the car’s Apple CarPlay). And I essentially did a happy dance when I saw the bright pop of red of this Cruze, which seemed positively adorable after driving a series of crossover SUVs such as the Chevy Equinox, Buick Envision and GMC Acadia this summer! I’ve never really been a fan of hatchbacks but I think this one is cute and sporty. And I’ve also never really been a particular fan of red for cars, but this one looks great in this colour.

WayHome 2017 Chevy Cruze hatchback

My fave features of this Cruze: It was so damn easy to park. I’m not a fantastic parker, so getting those SUVs into a spot is always trying for me, but this Cruze, I was able to pull right into any spot and rarely had to make adjustments. Also, it features wireless charging, which I think seems super convenient (hello, definitely need a fully charged smartphone while at WayHome), and it definitely made me want to get the proper adaptor for my smartphone so I could more easily charge it in this vehicle.

WayHome 2017 Billie Jean in Chevy Cruze

Not only did I drive it north to Burl’s Creek for the fest (where its red paint job made it super easy to find in the field of parked cars!), but I also used it to drop my dog, Billie Jean, off for dogsitting, and drove some friends to go try out some amazing Hakka food in Markham. So this adorable zippy car was a good size for fun outings within the city, and it had enough space to pack up my hound and all of her essentials, such as her crate and giant bag of kibble. And the backseat works for her just fine as you can see here. She usually prefers to get cozy on the floor of the backseat (versus on the backseat itself) when we drive anywhere.

WayHome 2017 at the W

As for WayHome? This year was fun, as it always has been. I will admit that I don’t know a lot of musical acts in general, so I often only recognize a few names, but this year, I knew even fewer, but that’s fine, as I knew I’d enjoy Solange and Frank Ocean, and I was happy to discover artists I wasn’t too familiar with. Turns out I like Daniel Caesar, Imagine Dragons and Mura Masa, and I’m going to be checking out more of the artists we caught such as Banks.

WayHome 2017 Coors hot air balloon

While the first year, there was a billowing balloon made out of a beautiful artistic fabric, and last year a Ferris wheel, I felt this year a large scale highlight of that scale was missing (although, yes, there was a Coors hot air balloon). There were cute vendors with pretty jewelry and a DIY flower crown vendor (which I so wanted to do, but I didn’t trust my non-crafty hands to make a pretty one!).

WayHome 2017 We are here

I think (but am not 100 percent sure) that there were fewer food truck choices this year but we never felt like there was nothing we wanted to eat and happily chowed down on both Barque and Food Dudes, and even tried that Colossal Onion when we bumped into a friend who had it (verdict: looks gross, but goddammit, that fried pile is delicious comfort food).

WayHome 2017 Barque ribs

To help us feel we were balancing the heavy foods was the smoothie truck to save the day. And on the flipside, there are great cocktails to enjoy, like the rum punch and mojitos at Casa Bacardi, which was one of the liveliest spots all weekend long.

WayHome 2017 Food Dudes

 

WayHome 2017 Casa Bacardi

While Casa Bacardi wins my vote for liveliest, MEC had a great set up for chilling out, complete with hammocks, photo booth, shaved ice treats (missed out on those, doh!), slackline set-up, and more.

WayHome 2017 VW vanagon

Those hammocks were in high demand and we practically did a happy dance when we finally lucked out with nabbing one on Sunday night as we listened to the last few songs of Tegan & Sara’s set from the WayBright stage. (And I haven’t posted any pics of the artists and groups because we chose to just enjoy the music lounging on the grass away from the fray up front, in case you’re wondering).

WayHome 2017 MEC hammock

Another huge improvement at this year’s WayHome, and it’s actually something that made it a much more enjoyable WayHome weekend for me? Day parking was moved this year to the field near the entrance/exit, rather than the field that was a good and uncomfortable 25-minute walk along the rocky road through the camping area, which is where it was the first two years. This made it easier for us to drop off or grab something from the car in the middle of our eight-hour days at the festival. On the downside, parking is pricey (nearly $40 a day, I think it was the same for 2016, and it was free for year 1) and when we arrived Saturday (we skipped Friday), we had to wait in a long line to get our day parking pass (we had purchased online in advance), and were told we would have to wait in line again on Sunday for our Sunday parking pass, which is not the level of customer service I expect when you’re dishing out a hefty amount for parking. Thankfully, the lineup was short on Sunday.

WayHome 2017 WayHome field

WayHome has become an annual tradition for me that I truly look forward to. You’re there surrounded by people having a good time; I’ve never witnessed any fights or drama and people are giving high fives to strangers. Everyone just seems happy to be there with friends and taking in the music and enjoying the summer weather. Looking forward to “finding my WayHome” next year!

 

Leave a Comment August 3, 2017

Previous page


Recent Posts

Categories

Recent Comments