Real, raw, & relatable me. Enthusiastic food & lifestyle blogger living in Vancouver, BC!

Category: Ford

Steveston in the 2019 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Richmond is knowns as the island city and when many think of it, they think of a strong Chinese population, however that only rings true in recent years. In reality, Richmond has a long history that began with its settlement as a Japanese fishing village, and today I would get to experience some of this rich history in this, our self guided tour of Steveston Village in the 2019 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium.

I often take for granted the eligibility of our city as a destination. Throughout the year many tourists flock to our shores to explore all that our Lower Mainland has to offer: from majestic mountains and sparking waters, to towering trees, sprawling cityscapes, and ethnic hubs teeming with diversity. And what better way to appreciate the later than with a drive around Richmond. And what better a time than when Vancouver’s gas prices are the highest in all of North America, and I have a hybrid vehicle for the week.

Standard on the Ford Fusion Energi is the EV button, this lets you switch between 3 modes, giving your the ability to go from EV Now, Auto EV, and EV Later; dictating how your drive and how your fuel is consumed.

Although there aren’t many places to charge and electric or partially electric car. The city has yet to catch up with green vehicle trends; or hear the desire of consumers wanting to spend less on fuel, while helping the planet by running less emissions. None-the-less I was able to find some outlets in my apartment’s unground parking, to fully charge the Fusion Energi daily. A full battery gave me more than enough for my daily commute to and from work, with stops for meals and grocery store excursions in between. And when there was nothing left, the regular gas engine switched on seamlessly to get me that much further. And after the course of a week including all the stops in this post, I only used 1/4 of a tank. And that’s a lot when you are facing a $80 fill up; where in between traffic and fuel economy, you spend more on gas versus groceries.

But back to our self directed tour of Richmond. Our first stop was the Larry Berg Flight Path Park, enroute to Steveston. This is a patch of green designed to best enjoy the view of all the planes flying overhead (YVR, Vancouver’s international airport is located in Richmond). There, there is a recreation of the earth that you can climb, and signs that you can read to better understand the significance of the land you were standing on.

Then it was back in to the car, for a quick zip to Steveston. But on this long weekend, the village was crowded and busy, and parking was scarce and tight. Luckily the Ford Fusion Energi was nimble and equipped with Ford Co-Pilot360™. This is technology that includes Adaptive Cruise Control and Stop-and-Go. They help to detect traffic changes, then responds to them accordingly. The Fusion Energi also comes equipped with a lane keeping system, blind spot warning, pre-collision assist, and a rear view camera to ensure safety when reversing. All this technology takes the anxiousness out of driving for a less experienced, or more cautious driver.

The Ford Fusion Energi Titanium also comes equipped with “SYNC® 3 AppLink™” with “Waze”, meaning it is now easier to use the popular navigation and traffic app, that you didn’t know you needed. And by accessing “Waze” through “SYNC 3 AppLink”, you can collaborate with other users to outsmart traffic and the police, by sharing information for the best routes, and the ones that avoid speed traps. You also receive real-time alerts about accidents, road hazards and traffic jams.

All the above had us driving safely and more strategically. So much so that we lucked out, and found on a spot to park in, right by the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, which was also our first stop in Steveston. Built in 1894, the cannery was once the leading producer of canned salmon in British Columbia. And today its memory lives on in this museum. It is an interactive way to learn and remember the men and work that went into the Canada’s West Coast fishing industry.

The same equipment that was used back then, is available here. It lays out the cannery process from catch of the day to cans with eye catching labels.

If you get hungry in Steveston, “Pajo’s” is the place to go. They are known as one of Vancouver’s best places for fish and chips. But be warned, expect a line. Everyone wants a taste of the catch of the day, battered and deep fried with a squeeze of lemon.

If you rather prepare your own fish, get some fresh from the fishermen and women that dock their boats at the Steveston‘ Fisherman’s Wharf. Here they offer their spoils of the day over ice.

Covered in tarp, the dock becomes a marketplace. Shrimp, pollock, and octopus; but the most popular was the currently in season, spot prawn. These sweet sea crustaceans are best eaten raw.

Don’t like fish and chips? Or looking for something different, try “Steveston Pizza Co.”, better known for their over the top pizzas. Traditional trick crusts piled high with the likes of shrimp, crab, and lobster. These babies do get outlandish with a price tag to match. For more details, visit my restaurant review below.

Steveston Pizza Co.


Our next historic tourist attraction was the “Steveston Interurban Tram”. An actual tram car that you could enter into and explore.

Built in 1913, this and other such trams contributed to the development of Richmond’s city centre. But this would only last for 45 years, as the time of the tram came to an end with the explosion of automobiles on the roads, coupled with the expansion of new suburbs not serviced by rail. As of today, there are only 7 BCER operated interurban trams left. Of the 28 original, 1200 class tramcars, 5 survive today including Car this one in Steveston.

Steveston is also known as the backdrop for the popular tv drama “Once a Upon a Time”, and fans flock to the seaside town for photos with their favourite landmarks. Like the Steveston Antique Mall, which moonlights as Storybrooke’s clock tower. And “Granny’s Diner” in the show is the “Cannery Café Seafood House” in real life.

Next, we visited the Steveston Museum and post office. It was erected in 1905 during the cannery boom, where it housed Steveston’s first bank.

It now portrays the story of Steveston, as a fishing and farming village with Japanese and Chinese artifacts reflecting the presence of these cultures. I most enjoyed the Japanese zen garden out back.

For more on Richmond’s rich fishing history, you can visit the “Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site”. This is only a 5 minute drive away from Steveston Village. Here, they have guided tours available and actors/historians dressed in periodic wares, recalling history with actual artifacts.

I most enjoyed the full furnished homes that gave you a look at how Japanese immigrants, who came for work at the shipyards, lived. The manager and his 10 children in their more luxurious one bed room home, versus the 15 labourers crammed into one dorm.

In short, if you are looking for something to do this summer, or if you want to explore like a tourist on a budget, the scenic and historically rich Steveston deserves your consideration. All of the above attracts were free to view, and all I had to pay for was the food I consumed. And if you have a great hybrid like I did, you save even more, by not having to pay for gas. Thanks Ford Canada for the inspiration and the fun long weekend exploring Steveston like a tourist.

Vancouver Auto Show 2018

Vancouver Auto Show 2018

This is my first year at the long running Vancouver Auto Show. Seeing as I have been test driving a lot more vehicles and writing a lot more vehicle reviews this year, I was invited down to the convention centre  opening day, to cover the going ons as media.

The perk of a 8am early entry is, being able to explore the almost empty showroom in leisure. Taking closer looks with minimal bodies blocking your way from that “prefect shot”. And of course, getting a first look at several car manufacturer’s fleet and 2019 releases.

Mind you, I am by no means an auto blogger, I simply write about all my experiences that I dabble in. So my review has been written and curated for those like me, to give you a simple glimpse and some highlights of what you can expect, if you attend the Vancouver Auto Show this long weekend. And maybe what you can look forward to seeing on the streets in years to come. I am also only covering the vehicles that I witness an unveiling to, so this isn’t the place or the full detail and specs. I am sure you can get much more and much better notes on the engine, horsepower, and handling from the written word of actual car journalists. Instead, I invite you to tour the auto show with me, in a more light hearted manner.


To check out my vlog, which includes several of the dramatic, first time in Canada blanketed unveilings, visit my YouTube channel: MaggiMei for my latest video.


We would begin at Ford’s corner of the showroom. There their iconic bold blue colouring marked the way. The centre attraction was their blue blanket unveiling of their limited edition: 2019 Mustang Bullitt. Its release coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Oscar winning movie “Bullitt”, that started Steve McQueen, playing the titular role of “Frank Bullitt”. The film is most famous for a memorable San Francisco car chase featuring the police officer in his ’69 Mustang. This was a recreation of that mustang in a classic “highland green”.

In 2018 Ford is also releasing its first performance tuned SUV: the 2019 Edge ST midsize crossover. This is the first Ford SUV ST series specifically engineered and tuned by Ford Performance.

And the all new 2019 Ford Ranger is a mid-size pick up that has been developed and tested to the demanding standards of being “Built Ford Tough”. It is designed to be tough both on and off the road. The entire Ranger lineup goes from the base XL to the LARIAT with the FX4 Off-Road Package.

At the Ford area you also get a chance to try their “Ford performance simulator”. You get buckled up into an arcade style game that gives you a taste of how it feels to drive a Ford Mustang on the famous nurburgring. This one cannot be missed, so much fun!

At Hyundai They unveiled their 2019, zero emissions, Kona Electric. With 250 miles of range from small electric hatchback

Coming to all Canadian dealerships this fall is the 2019 Kia Forte, compact sedan. It is longer, wider, and higher than the previous versions.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the best selling plug-in hybrid SUV in the world. It is the only plug-in hybrid SUV with 4WD in 100% electric mode with quick charging battery; bringing it from 0% to 80% in less than half an hour.

The all new 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has super all-wheel control for unmatched handling, and the best warranty in the world

At Toyota we witnessed the unsheathing of the 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback, the sportest version to join the Corolla family.

At Genesis they unveiled the GV80 Concept, a progressive fuel cell SUV. It provides subtle glimpses into the bold future of Genesis’ design and product development.

The 2018 BMW M5 has a 4L twin power turbo V8 engine, which is now capable of 600HP, and for the first time that power is now transferred to all 4 wheels.

The 2019 BMW X4 M40i is the second generation of this compact fastback SUV. It is lower, longer, and marginally wider than both its predecessor and the X3.

The Rolls Royce Phantom is the epitome of luxury since its debut in 1925.

And this is the one everyone came down to the Auto Show to see. The Koenigsegg Agera RS is officially the world’s fastest car. Completely swiss made with a full carbon fibre body and unique patent scissor doors.



Be you a car enthusiast like my partner, or someone simply looking for something interesting to do this long weekend, there is much to see and do at this year’s auto show. For those who aren’t fascinated by the latest or the greatest car, the Vancouver auto show also serves as a great place to shop around for your next day to day vehicle. You get to explore all the brands and chat up industry professionals. Enter contests and read specs to find your potential next ride or maybe a new aspirational drive. You can get up close to each car and take a seat in most, you can pretty much do anything that you would at a dealership, except drive or buy one. Tickets are $20.00 each for adults, with discounts for seniors and children. Bring the whole family out as there are plenty to see and do with photo ops, samples, and demonstrations to keep everyone occupied.


Ford Escape Review

A few weeks ago we were fortunate enough to test drive the “Ford Edge”. And after enjoying every minute of it, we were now curious to see how it’s little brother, the “Ford Escape” would stack up.

The 2017 “Escape” gets a new and revised exterior and some minor interior improvements from the 2016 edition. This is the titanium model that we tested. It comes with a 4 cylinder turbo ecoboost engine, and had plenty of power for a smaller SUV. Of note, “Ford” also offers a naturally aspirated V6 on its base model, and a 2.0 turbo engine as an option on the SE and Titanium models.

We found that the automatic transmission was shifting smoothly, not unlike all the other “Ford” vehicles we had a chance to test drive so far. With quicker downshifts and upshifts, thanks to the paddles mounted on the steering wheel. And a suspension that felt firm and comfortable, and more sportier than that of the “Edge”.

The interior came with comfortable leather seats, which are actually standard with the titanium model. As well as all the modern gadgetry you would expect for a newer vehicle. Auto start-stop, active park assist, and a foot activated tail gate; just to name a few. Being a sport utility vehicle the “Escape’s” cargo space was decent. We found it the right amount of room for running everyday errands with, or taking the occasional road trip in.

In conclusion the 2017 “Ford Escape” is a great vehicle for anyone looking for a smaller crossover/suv, after all “Ford” has been making the “Escape” for so many years now, so I can only imagine that they are only getting better and better as each new generation comes out, each year. Thanks for the ride again Ford Canada.



Ford Edge Review

My partner and I had enjoyed our week with the Ford F-150 a little while back, but given its size, wanted to try what it would be like to behind the wheel of a more moderately sized Ford vehicle. This curiosity has led us to loaning the Ford Edge for a week.

We like the versatility of an SUV, and this one transitions easily from errand runner to Saturday night chauffeur. With plenty of cargo room it accommodates either, with an exterior that allows you to look good while doing it. It is a good size with modern, urban exterior styling. The cabin looks really chic with the beige faux leather seats paired with the maroon of the car’s paint. And it is inviting with cushiony seats that adjust. Every inch of the chair from back to legs can be tilted or leaned back for optimal comfort. Even the lumbar support can be tinkered with for your ideal comfort. And then they have that useful cooling function, blowing cool air at and around you. Ideal for those longer summer drives.

The Ford Edge’s centre display is easy to navigate. And its gigantic panoramic sunroof gives you the illusion of driving a convertible. Which is further achieved through the smooth power delivery from its v6 ecoboost.

In short this vehicle is a good all around SUV. With its colour scheme it attracts a younger crowd, and with its reliability it is optimal for a retired couple to a budding new family.

Thanks for the opportunity Ford.


Ford F150 Larait test drive

A drive with the Ford F150 Lariat on Canada Day

Wanting to enjoy Canada Day like only a Vancouverite can, I looked to Ford Canada for some help. To me part of the Canadian’s identity is loving our great outdoors. Specifically the crystal blue waters, cascading mountain range, and vibrant green trees that our beautiful province is known for. So much so that it is even highlighted on our license plates, as we deem it “Beautiful British Columbia”. So for our nation’s 150th we planned an excursion into this majestic nature.

However, we Canadians do not have a vehicle manufacturer to call our own. A brand of rugged SUVs or pickups to transition from heated summers to bone chilling winters. A vehicle that is stead fast and built strong in which to explore with. So this had me looking South and reaching out to Ford for a vehicle loan for the weekend. They were happy to oblige me with their 2017 F150 Lariat sport edition. I was superficially crossing my fingers for a red one, cause how fitting would that be? Wearing our red and white Canadian pride on the truck that we will be cruising around in for the weekend? Although, instead, we got the keys to their grey one, and it was just as great.

My original plan was to take her camping, traversing rugged terrain for secluded camp grounds; after all the Ford motto is: “Go Further”. However, I didn’t think about the thousands of other city dwellers looking to escape the city’s noise and lights for some country crowds this holiday long weekend. So due to over booked camp sites and congested parking lots, what was intended as an overnight stay in the wilderness became a day trip to parts unknown. Still very Canadian-y and fitting of the occasion, if you ask me.

Our sport model Lariat was most noticeable with its car seats modelled after that of a race car; leather and cloth coming together at red piping seams. As the top of its line, you’d expect such extras like this and the spacious crew cab. The latter gave us plenty of passenger seating room and even more for storage with the tailgate. And the F150’s double panorama sunroof, cooling seats and satellite radio are an excellent addition for this summer’s road trip. My favourite is the individual temperature controls for the driver and front passenger seats, a luxury when one likes it hot and the other cold.

As for the way it handles: the automatic 10 speed transmission makes the ride much more quieter than the older v8, without diminishing on its power. The V6 ecoboost helps with gas mileage, and this does make a difference in the long run. The rear back up camera also comes with an aerial view for a great 360 degree look at your vehicle. Something I noticed as being very useful, given how wide the truck is. Definitely a drive for the experience and those with great spatial skills. Built for every day city driving with an easy transition to the great outdoors.

Thanks Ford Canada for the great ride and my fun weekend with the F150 Lariat sports edition.


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