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Category: Nissan

Victoria in the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder

This weekend our party of three packed ourselves into the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder for a weekend trip to the island. I am typically apprehensive about driving larger vehicles, having only owned smaller sedans, so when the opportunity came to try my hand at the largest SUV I have ever laid eyes on, I thought it would be worth practicing. After all if I nailed this one, all others will be easy. And to my delight it was an easy drive and we got to Victoria safe and sound because of it.

We stayed in a comfortable suite with two queen beds. The kitchen with coffee marker and mini fridge, shared a sink with the bathroom. The sick is located adjacent to the kitchen counter, you would do you business behind closed doors and walk out to wash your hands clean. Awkward placement, but space saving.

We spent the evening and morning after exploring Victoria the touristy way. We hit up Chinatown marked with plenty of red brick and strung up yellow and red lanterns.

Taking time to especially explore the corridors of “Fan Tan Alley”.

Stopping at “Kid Sister” for some of their small batch ice cream served in homemade cubby waffle cones. I paid $1 more for organic vanilla versus regular.

We strolled by the water, taking in the marina.

And stopped in front of the parliament building in awe.

We even contemplated a horse and carriage ride, but passed on the novelty.

We took a pause to take in the iconic and majestic “Fairmont Empress”. We missed the cut off for high tea, so instead enjoyed their lounge decorated with the Queen’s portraits with a splash of graffiti.

Naturally, when in this setting one needs to enjoy their signature spirit: a pretty purple gin. We tried it three times, in three different purple cocktails. Each strong and refined.  “Q1908”. Empress gin, lemon juice, sugar, egg white, and butterfly pea flower. “Empress 75”. Empress gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, sugar, veuve clicquot, and grapefruit pearls. “Auxiliary”. Empress gin house vermouth and laphroaig.

As we sipped, we snacked on complimentary bowls of popcorn seasoned in charcoal. Both original and delicious, salty like hickory bbq.

And followed it up with one of their desserts. The “Floating island” is finished at the table. Bourbon vanilla bean creme anglaise, fresh raspberries, meringue chips, and wild roses. This was a great textural dessert, lots to sift through. With perfect meringue, like off a freshly baked lemon pie. Shards that melt in your mouth while adding crunch. And the pear gel offered a nice fruity balance.

And for dinner we visited “Canoe”, a seafood restaurant by the water. They boasted a multilevelled patio facing the marina with the sun setting in the distance. For the full restaurant review visit the link below.

The next morning we waited 30 minutes for breakfast at “Blue Fox Cafe”. A popular cafe with over 50 menu items, 12 of which are just bennies. For the full review that click this link.

The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting some more tourist hot spots. At the “Bug Zoo” we were the oldest children in the tour groups. There are plenty of bugs in plastic cages to look at, with descriptions by each so that you can learn a thing or two.

For the daring there are opportunities to hold a few of these creepy crawlies like the giant stick bug or the hairy tarantula. My favourite displays were the ant tunnels and the cockroach box decorated to look like a cottage home.

At “Miniature World” you explored themed displays built small with vivid detail. It took you to space and through Canadian history from Victoria to Newfoundland following a train Coast to Coast.

You learned your world war history and relived your childhood through their fairy tale dioramas. And got to play a peeping Tom when you looked through the tiny windows of tiny Victorian homes. Each accurately portraying life long, long ago.

“Circus world” was my favourite theme, it gave you all the carnival fun from the big top to the Ferris wheel. And with a push of a button it came to life with motion. King Arthur had his full story told through miniatures. From the meeting of Merlin and the pulling of the sword to the retrieval of the holy grail.

Our last stop was Beacon Hill for some nature. They are best known for their wild peacocks, whom have taken over the park at 80 plus strong. They can be see strolling around the walk ways and begging for scraps from picnickers.

But for majority of them and more animals make your way to their petting farm. There, they strut their stuff and mark their territory with tail feathers flexed. They walk amongst the farm’s pigs, goats, llamas, and fancy chickens and ducks.

For those who want to get closer to the animals there are baby goats, rabbits, and guinea pigs that like a good cuddle and pet.

From here it was time to catch our ferry home. This was a success trip in the Nissan Pathfinder, a spacious SUV that easily transition from rocky roads to smooth highways, and congested city streets.

NISSAN PATHFINDER, Rock Creek Edition
https://nissan.ca/

Vancouver Island in the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition

This weekend our party of three packed ourselves into the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder for a weekend trip to the island. I am typically apprehensive about driving larger vehicles, having only owned smaller sedans, so when the opportunity came to try my hand at the largest SUV I have ever laid eyes on, I thought it would be worth practicing. After all if I nailed this one, all others will be easy. And to my delight it was an easy drive.

And with plenty of trunk space we had no difficulty cramming in three nights and four days worth of clothing and toiletries for three people. Three full luggage and bags with their contents spread out and all over the eight passenger seats. In fact during the 1.5 hour ferry ride to and from I found myself comfortably taking a nap across the back seat. And even more comfortably napping after I dropped the very back seat down and spanned myself across all that trunk space.

We drove in and lived in our spacious van, which we fondly named “The Hulk”, given his size and dark green hue. The Nissan Pathfinder drove surprisingly well given this size and girth. I didn’t think I’d be able to keep it in the lines, but I did just fine. And the brakes were so touch sensitive that they reacted to any small motion. Great for busy streets with plenty of stop and go’s I just wished that the wheel gave me a little more resistance, some stiffness to give me the feeling that I was truly steering.

The drive was easy going, along all the smooth roads we travelled. There was just more strain each time I had to stop and start it or we took a turn quick. The weight of SUV and my passengers meant I had to put the pedal to the metal and push down hard. Thankfully it was more highway driving, which also helped to reduce are gas cost. Because at $100 a fill up, and when gas in Vancouver can get up to 152.9, fuel conservation is an important factor.

After we got off of the ferry, our first stop was Parksville for lunch. A quick Google search lead us to the cafe “Bread & Honey” for some soup and sandwiches. For the full review, click the link.

Bread & Honey Food Company, Parksville BC

 

Then it was time to check in to our accommodations of the night. Accommodations like no other at “Free Spirit Spheres”. A unique outdoor hotel that is featured in many international travel guides, located here in our own BC backyard. You eat and sleep in a handmade pod suspended in the air, and there you live out your childhood, tree house, slumber party fantasies.

For the full review in video check out my latest travel vlog on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.

Free Spirit Spheres

And for the detail blog recap click the link.

For dinner we ventured to Coombs, home of the famous “Old Country Market”, where goats live on the roof. We visited too late in the day to shop or dine within, but came at the right time to interact and take photos of the goats. There were no customers and/or crowds and the 3 live in goats were resting. One was especially friendly, approaching us in hope of food.

We also got an opportunity to explore the “Coombs Emporium”, a garden of stone statues and and antiques. Curious without context, but it made for a great photo opportunity. A farm of stone animals including lions, fish, and giraffes; oh my.

Dinner was at “Cuckoo”, a popular restaurant amongst locals serving Italian cuisine and pizza. The food was pretty standard, but the setting is the reason you would visit anyways. For the full story on “Cuckoo” click the link.

Cuckoo Trattoria & Pizzeria, Coombs BC

 

There isn’t much to do in the area, so we headed back to our sphere for the night. There, we enjoyed the space with the board games made available, while sipping wine from glasses they had in the cupboards.

The next day we made our way to Victoria, with some pit stops along the way, pausing at points of interest. Like “Ladysmith”, Canada’s “greatest street” with historic buildings and artifacts, and the placards to explain the significance of each. Ore hand carts and rainbow crosswalks and benches.

While there we stopped by an old town bakery for one of their many varieties of cinnamon buns. This is the berry and ginger.

Next we stopped at “Damali” farm and winery to check out their lavender fields. Sadly, it was not as expected. Not enough purple in the fields, and the labyrinth maze turned out to be only small ridges raised from the ground. The gazebo was not well kept, and the remainder of the crops have yet to really bloom. So this ended up being a quick visit. A few photos and a bottle of their lavender flavoured wine to go.

 

From there we continued our adventure in to Victoria for a two day and one night stay. For the continuation of this trip, click part two!

Nissan Nismo 370z, review

The latest Nismo version of the legendary Nissan “ Z “ sport car was released a few years back. This was during a time where most of its competition opted to follow the same technological advancement curve. Natural transitions such a as low displacement turbocharged engines, direct injections, and electronic safety features. And here was the “Z” bucking against this trend, it set out on its own path, refusing to follow suite with any of the above.

Nismo is the in-house tuning, motor-sports, and performance division of Nissan. Its name brings about the expectation that you will be getting something more, something better. And this more and better is the refined 370z that we were gifted the use of for the week.

Starting with the exterior, the Nismo trim comes with some aero/exterior upgrades, such as front lip, side skirts, and rear wing. The wheel base is 3” longer and 1 inch wider, under each arch sits some beautiful 19” wheels, produced by Rays engineering in Japan. This is an exclusive for Nissan’s special “Z” version. And to finish it off, Nissan added some red accents here and there, just to highlight and differentiate, making it clear that this is not just another regular 370z.

On the inside, the red accented theme carried forward. The Recaro seat holds you tight with beautiful craftsmanship. Although being a pretty curvaceous female, I do find the fit a little more snug if you have hips. None-the-less it is safety first when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle with this much power. It perfectly matches to the Alcantara steering. As a knit pick, my partner found that the bulky shift knob made gear changes awkward, and cumbersome. Something more delicate for more precise shifting would be ideal given the size of my hand and personal preference.

Another minor issue my partner found a hassle was the lack of a telescopic steering. Him having long legs, meant it was difficult trying to find the perfect driving position. As for myself, with my shorter stumps, I had no issue climbing in and out and making myself comfortable in the cockpit.

Tech wise the Nismo Z is a bit behind, the main and only screen display GPS/map is very basic, with a fairly outdated look. The eight speakers Bose sound system was alright, but nothing special, or even worthy of the cockpit it was outfitted in. I don’t know about you, but when I get behind the wheel of a fine vehicle such as this, and feel the power underfoot, I need the perfect background track to complete the scene. And it is hard to get it without satellite radio, or speakers that can exemplify everything else around it. Although all this is pretty standard, considering that the Z was intended as a good and reliable sport car, not some groundbreaking technological marvel of a vehicle. This was built for a driver in mind, not a commuter.

Under the hood you get a naturally aspirated, 3.7 litre VQ-series engine (VQ37VHR). The V6 engine that powers the standard 370z was tweaked to generate 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. This is a notch up from the standard 370z’s 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The Z comes standard with a 6 speed manual transmission with SynchroRev to match. The synchrorev system ensure that you match the engine speed on every downshift. This little piece of precision makes it feel like you are a pro-race car driver. Nissan does also offer it as an automatic transmission with paddle shifter, but why would you choose this option in a car that was built for spirited driving?

Having your right foot heavy, the Nismo left you will a lighter wallet. The fuel economy wasn’t great, but then again, this isn’t meant to be your daily driver.

In short, this was a masterfully built piece of machinery, meant to propel the driver and highlight the sensations of driving. We enjoyed our week with it, taking her on spontaneous cruises along the mountain side, and showing her off to the pedestrians walking around downtown under twinkling lights. Truly a pleasure, thank you Nissan Canada, until the next one.

 

NISSAN NISMO 370Z
nissan.ca
#NissanNismo

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