As I'm sure you've heard, Our family was recently chosen by Chevrolet Canada to take part in a Canada wide promotion: The most road trippable town in Canada. We were chosen to represent Saskatchewan, and were competing against 11 other provinces for the crown as well as a brand new Equinox! Needless to say, we didn't win the car, however I still totally feel like a winner.
I'm not sure exact numbers, but the last count that I saw on You Tube video was over 13,300 views!!! 13,300!!! In just two weeks!!! To say I'm speechless would be an understatement. The amount of support I have felt from friends, family, clients and complete strangers was overwhelming! I would like to extend a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who watched and shared our video!!! Your kindness has not gone unnoticed!!!
So if you are wondering what it was like to go on this unique adventure, read on... and if you don't really care, you can stop reading here;).
The application: After applying for the Saskatchewan spot, we received an email saying we had made it into the top 5 and we had to submit a video to introduce our family. I have never done video before, so I grabbed my iPhone, and started recording. I downloaded a free ap on my phone to string them together and voila, my video career has launched! (kidding!) A week later we got the phone call that we won!!! (not kidding!) We were chosen to represent Saskatchewan on a road trip in a brand new Equinox and we would have a chance to win the SUV! (Best phone call ever!!!)
Prepping for the trip: If you think preparing for family photos is stressful? Try planning for a 3 day photo/video shoot. I will never complain for family photos again! LOL. Finding outfits that coordinate, are plain with no big logos or busy patterns times 3 days, well actually 4 or 5 in case we needed back up outfits, isn't the easiest job but it is not impossible! We did it, we found 4 outfits for each of us that fit the bill, pack them up! I also decided that I would try using my DSLR for some of the filming, so I was in a mad panic on learning video on my DSLR before we left as well.
We finally got the email, we were eagerly anticipating... where would we go?! Would it be North to the gorgeous Waskesiu at the National Park or South to the majestic Cypress Hills? Or maybe somewhere else? It was... DRUM-ROLL.... Regina to LLoydminster... Lloydminster... most road trippable town in Canada? I haven't spent much time in Lloyd, despite having some family who lives there and unfortunately our time there was short this time around, but honestly, I never really thought of Lloyminster as being a destination before today. We were certainly up for the adventure, and I was determined to prove our province is a gorgeous place, and that Lloyminster is THE most road trippable town! I also wanted to show that we have a blast here in Sask!!! So off we go on our adventure!!!
First day of the road trip: All of our carefully thought out outfits were packed in our bags, along with our photogenic floaties, ready to go at the door. We were eagerly anticipating the arrival of our brand new vehicle (for the weekend), with a plus 34 degree day ahead of us. This gorgeous rep from Chevrolet rolls up in this beautiful black Equinox along with some swag. Feeling like rock-stars, all of our neighbors, (who are retired) are out looking at us wondering what is going on. We load up the fancy new Equinox and head out to our first stop, Regina to Blackstrap Provincial park. We tour around there a bit, then jump back in the car, check into the the Delta Besbourough here in Saskatoon. Upon checking in, the guy at the front desk says, did you know a ghost lives here in the hotel? Maybe you will see it?! Seriously?! I didn't know the guys at the front desk said that!!! I thought it was just one of those things that get long lost on the web, but doesn't actually exist. At the end of the day, I'm thankful we did not see the ghost, in case you were wondering;).
Feeling excited for what's to come we head to Wanuskewin for the afternoon (after a fantastic lunch at cathedral social hall). The staff made some special arrangements and showed us some traditional aboriginal dances, then we wandered the trails, we found some tipi's and headed back to the air conditioned Equinox.
Shortly after leaving Wanuskewin, we get a phone call from our alarm company, our alarm is going off at our house!!! We make a quick pit stop at our house and, THANKFULLY, it was a false alarm! (Our garage door wasn't latched well). After a mild heart attack, we headed back to the hotel for an hour, grabbed some hotdogs at the bus for supper and talked about how fun the afternoon was. (I'm pretty sure Jesse and I were fighting, but lets just remember it as 'talked about our day'? haha... don't tell him I told you that.)
Feeling refreshed, with full tummies from those delicious dogs, we headed back out for our river tour on the Prairie Lilly boat. This was probably the highlight for me. I love seeing Saskatoon from the river, and find the tour really interesting. I feel like they have changed up the tour a bit too since we were on it last a few years ago on a date night.
After a fantastic, and long day, we were excited to sleep in Saskatoon's castle on the river and see what the next day had to offer.
Day 2: We woke up, grabbed a coffee and muffin and headed back out on the road, after gassing up, a car wash, and a lot of excitement for what was to come, we headed back on the road to start day 2.
After a few pit stops on the way, a picnic on the back of the Equinox, we hit Cochin lake. We decided we need to swim in a lake on this road trip!!! We pulled up and unloaded the car, only to pack everything back up within minutes as a storm rolled in and it started to rain.
We jumped back in the car and had some downtime while we waited for the storm to pass! (Thank goodness for the Wifi in the Equinox! Netflix on a rainy afternoon with no where to go saved the day!) It was only 45 minutes and the rain stopped. We headed back to the beach for some fun. It was a bit cold to swim, but we made the best of it! We grabbed supper and ice cream at The Dairy Shoppe before making our way to Lloyminster.
We arrived at Lloydminster and found the World's Largest Border Markers, which had to make an appearance into the video, to find that they were blocked off due to the road construction right beside them. (Just our luck!) We got some great photos and video, while we avoided those metal gates and all the other vehicles, and checked into our hotel and called it a night.
Day 3: We woke up and promised the kids we would do some water sliding, which ended up making the video as well! (I didn't think I would ever put myself in a bathing suit in a national campaign, but it was too funny not to!) After checking out of the hotel, we hit the road home. On our way, we stopped at a few fields to get more footage, and Jesse and I saw a moose in feild! We turned around to try and capture it but it had taken off into some trees. It was a bit of a bummer we didn't get to see any wildlife, but that's the way it goes sometimes.
We stopped at the Borden Bridge, and saw my grandparents in Battleford. We rolled into Saskatoon feeling so happy, and so tired. It honestly took me a few days to recover!
Overall the experience was one of the coolest things we've ever done! I have to admit, it's extremely nerve racking to make a video for the SECOND time EVER, using software I've never used, in less than a week!!! It was quite stressful job, but I did it!!! Then to have it run as a national campaign, and have over 13,000 views in 2 weeks! UNREAL!!! The amount of positive feedback has been phenomenal, but I do realize my video skills could use some work, lol. All in all, this was such a rewarding experience! Huge thank you to Chevrolet Canada for choosing our family to take part in the #EquinoxExperience!!! It was an adventure our family will never forget!!!
If you haven't seen it yet, you can view the video HERE. I finally had a chance to check out my competition and it makes me want to go see the rest of our beautiful country!!! You can see all of the video's back to back HERE. Great job to everyone involved!!!