Tag: wayhome

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!


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

Travel Swellness: Driving to WayHome 2016 with Chevy Cruze

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I had so much fun at WayHome Music & Arts Festival last year that I made sure to get tickets early to this year’s fest, which took place about two weeks ago.


And while I bought tickets months ago, the rest of the trip came together last minute: I’d booked a bed and breakfast near Burl’s Creek (because I just don’t think I’m cut out for music fest camping!) but I had my heart set on Forks in the Trail, which is where we stayed last year but it was all booked when I tried to reserve. But lucky for us, a room opened up about a week prior, huzzah! Tricia and Doug are lovely hosts, the breakfasts are ample and delicious (these pancakes were fluffy and filling, important when fueling for many hours at the fest!), and there’s the gorgeous pool to relax at all morning before driving the 20 minutes to WayHome.


A few days before WayHome, I also was able to firm up test-driving a Chevy Cruze from GM to get us to the Oro-Medonte. I’ve driven one before (in Nashville in April; you can read about that trip here) but my drive time there was brief so it was good to get more time behind the wheel of a Cruze.

The Cruze feels small enough that it doesn’t feel like I’m taking up a ton of room on the road but yet not so small that it’s intimidating to be driving alongside big trucks (I find when in some very tiny cars you can feel like the big cars will take you out!). There’s plenty of space so it’s definitely comfortable in terms of leg room; we were only two people in the car but if I’d been able to drive up other folks to the fest, there was plenty of space for both more passengers and bags. And that’s even with me packing way too many clothes (yes, I manage to over-pack still despite how regularly I travel).

As always, one of my fave features is the wifi in the car. Although I didn’t get to use it much as the designated driver, it gives me peace of mind to have it. There’s also a spot to place your cell phone (and if you’re like me, your smartphone is your most important tool!), so it’s tucked there safely (there’s wireless charging too, except I personally don’t have the type of battery to use it). With Apple Carplay, my iPhone’s maps, music, messages and phone were easily connected to the vehicle. If I’d had time before our road trip, I could’ve loaded my iTunes with the Killers, Major Lazer, Haim and Beirut to get us excited for the weekend of music to come.



Features I also appreciate? Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist (although I certainly don’t rely on it, I like knowing the car has his feature especially on trip’s like this one where I’m the only driver and I may be tired), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, to name just a few. Again, it’s of course important to practice good, safe driving, but having these features to help us be extra safe when driving is helpful and a comfort, especially for someone like me who isn’t driving very regularly.

The Cruze helped us find our WayHome (and our way home, get it? OK, bad joke) smoothly and safely (and in this brilliant blue, it made it easy to find in the fest’s parking lot).

And there’s more finding new roads coming soon!  Later this week, I’ll be Cruze-ing again as I’m doing another  road-trip adventure with a Chevy Cruze! Follow on Instagram and Snapchat (my profile is healthswellness) to find out  more on Thursday!

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Leave a Comment August 9, 2016

Travel Swellness: WayHome Music & Arts Festival

Wayhome flags at sunset

Alright, hands up if you’ve been WayHome-sick since the festival last summer…I know I had a blast and tickets for this July’s WayHome, the second year of this music and arts fest held at Burl’s Creek, went on sale last month. I won tickets from Tiger of Sweden last year, but I want to be sure I’m going this year so I’ve already snapped up tickets for this year’s fest taking place July 22 to 24, 2016.  


Last year, thanks to Ford Canada, we drove up Friday night in a Focus Titanium. It had plenty of trunk space (we girls can pack a remarkable number of bags for just three days away), and as someone who drives not so frequently, I must admit I appreciate the features it has, such as the blind-spot information system and the lane-keeping system (as I was the only driver, I appreciated the little nudge suggesting I take a rest break when the car sense I was drowsy). Plus, the Focus Titanium has a great sound system: the Sony 10-speaker sound system, which includes a subwoofer and delivers 355 watts of power, so we were able to listen to our favourite music the entire drive up as we were getting hyped up for the concerts we had in store.

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As for accommodations, since I’ve never camped (other than with my Brownie troop twice as a kid), I didn’t think my first camping experience should be at a crowded music festival in the middle of summer. Although we may have missed out on the fun part of camping with all the other festival peeps, I’m fond of real bathrooms with plumbing and a comfy bed and couldn’t have been more thrilled with the bed and breakfast we booked, Forks in the Trail. The B&B is about a 20-minute drive from Burl’s Creek and getting in and out of the parking lot was never a problem. And we indulged in not only delicious homemade breakfasts but Forks in the Trail also has this fantastic pool here, which was a dream to spend resting up in the morning before heading to the concert grounds. And I’d love to stay there again this year but it’s already fully booked (perhaps I posted it too much last year when I was at WayHome, doh!).


I’m not sure of the details of this year’s fest but the food truck options last year were great. We were expecting to be dining on fatty, greasy fare but there were loads of options, including tasty tacos and freshly pressed juices. I also got into the VIP where the Drake Hotel had their foodie stations set up and we ate like kings as you can see here.


The VIP also had some shade, which was a precious resource as many sunburned festival goers quickly discovered. We  hid out here for a few hours on the Sunday.

accessories game

The Etsy Market was dangerously tempting, with pretty flower crowns, pretty jewelry and the like. (I purchased a gorgeous bracelet from Standing O that I love, the one here with the triangular stone…and promptly lost it right after WayHome, although I’m hoping it’s merely tucked away in a pocket of mine somewhere).


Planning to go to WayHome? My tips:

  • Pack a blanket to sit on. So much more pleasant than sitting and lying right on the grass. I tossed one last minute into the Focus at the last minute and am so glad that I did.
  • Get plenty of sunscreen (and bring a hat) to last you the three days. Shade was sparse, and you don’t want your fest ruined by dealing with a sunburn.
  • Bring antiseptic hand gel and toilet paper. The portapotties on the grounds get a lot of use and better to play it safe by having some supplies with you than end up in one that’s got zero TP when you’re desperate to use the facilities.


  • Download the WayHome app. It’s the best way to keep on top of the fest’s schedule and make sure you don’t miss the acts you want to see.
  • If you’re parking for the day, budget a minimum 15-minute walk to the parking lot. If the set up is the same as last year, it’s not a hop, skip and a jump to your vehicle but a decent hike on a rough gravel path.
  • Plan on having a designated driver if you’re coming just for the day. Or, if you all want to drink, last year, there was a designated driver service on the grounds you could hire (I forget what the cost was).

That’s all for now. If I remember any other helpful tips to making the most of WayHome, I’ll add to this post. I know I’m already counting down the days until this summer’s fest.See you there!

peace out Wayhome

1 Comment March 16, 2016

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