Are you like me? I have a knack for forgetting to plug my phone in at night and end up with a low battery the next day. Oh and the battery pack for my “big” camera…? Same thing. It is never charged when I need it. That is why I was a little apprehensive when I agreed to test out a brand new Ford Focus Electric for the weekend and focus on fun things to do in our city. I decided to take the
chicken cautious route and split up our adventures into two days. I mean if I can’t remember to charge my PHONE will I remember to charge a CAR?
When I picked up the Ford Focus I wanted to pay extra attention to the instructions on how to charge the car. I am nervous around anything electrical so I was ready to take notes. Imagine my surprise when the instructions were given to my eight year old! Little T listened and followed the instructions and had the plug set up in seconds. . The convenience plug just clicks right into place in the Ford Focus Electric charge port. The other end of the convenience plug plugged right into our 3-pronged outdoor outlet. So easy even the eight year old did it. Little T was very proud to show her Dad how to plug in the car.
The car sat over night and charged to the max. Little T was in charge of charging so there was no way I would forget to plug it in. While the car was charging away I searched the internets for hints and information about the Ford Focus Electric. That is when I came across Mike’s post over at Puzzling Posts. I used his post as a kind of study guide or cheat sheet. In the morning, the Ford Focus had a full charge and was ready for DAY ONE of our two-day tour around Ottawa.
Our first stop was Saunders Farm in Ottawa. Little T headed straight for the jumping pillows. They are so neat and a one of a kind experience. Next, I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I slid down a slide. Not just any slide but a very long, fast and bumpy slide. Witch Mountain slide was a blast had a group of excited kids running to line up and try it over and over again. We loved riding the pedal cars. We raced each other and splashed through mud puddles. What a fun first time visit for us to Saunders Farm.
We spent a good time trying not to get lost in the numerous mazes. Saunders Farm has been planting hedge mazes and labyrinths since 1993, giving them the largest collection in the world! We also enjoyed a puppet show and mining for gems. We stayed for lunch and extended our visit. To finish off our day at Saunders Farm, little T had a blast cooling down in the splash pad. The splash pad is a great spot to relax and watch the kids play. After 3 hours of playing it was a great spot to enjoy a cool lemonade in the shade while Little T splashed away.
I have to admit I was a little worried about the battery charge in the Focus. There was surprisingly no spot to plug in at the farm and we had used up quite a bit of power. I felt as though I was using up our available kilometers faster than I should be.
While driving there an indicator (bucket) that tells you when you are driving energy smart. The idea is to stay within that bucket so you use your energy the best way possible. I found that when I started, as in from a stop sign, I was wasting precious kilometers. Cruise control quickly became my best friend. The electric car is so quiet and is something I had to get used to. Pedestrians and cyclists have to keep this in mind as well. I startled an older gentleman out for a bike ride who did not hear us coming. No harm done but I definitely got his attention.
After leaving Saunders Farm we went to one of our favourite out-of-the-way spots for a refreshing drink and snack on the patio. Again there was nowhere for us to plug in, but that was okay because we still had lots of charge left over, besides we were closer to home now. Something happened when we left our patio retreat. After being on a dirt road for a bit I noticed a LOUD rattling flapping sound as soon as we hit the paved road. I could tell it was coming from the front of the car and I couldn’t help thinking “Oh great I broke the Focus!!”. I pulled over on the side of the quiet highway and immediately noticed the problem. There was a rock stuck in the groove of the tire! It made such a racket but then I realized that of course I would notice that otherwise subtle noise. This car is so quiet! Before we headed home my youngest wanted to stop by our neighborhood farmers market.
We headed home tired and with lots of fresh veggies and fruit. The Ford Focus was full of surprises for me. It handled a lot like a gas operated car, had great pick up on the highway and is easy to charge. It is an attention grabber as well. Almost everyone had questions about the car. I was more than happy to answer the curious questions the best I could. Little T plugged in the Ford Focus, said goodnight, and was excited for our next day of focusing on Ottawa. A little more adventurous day was planned.
More about our Ford Focus Ottawa day 2 coming up in PART 2.
Places we visited: