FOCUS on My City – with Ford!


FOCUS on My City – with Ford!

September 28, 2015

Our family was contacted by Ford to experience the 2015 Ford Focus 1.0L on a fun weekend around our beloved city, Edmonton.  The Focus is specially designed to give drivers extra confidence behind the wheel with its suite of driver assist technologies. It came at the perfect time to celebrate the new school year with the whole family.  I quickly started brainstorming all the sites we could visit in and around Edmonton with our 3 kids, ages 6, 2 and 7 months.  We also decided that it would be a surprise for our kids!  We wanted to make it an awesome day dedicated to them.

Here is what we settled on:

  • Smokehouse BBQ on 124th Street for lunch
  • Corn Maze
  • Jack’s Drive in in Spruce Grove
  • West Edmonton Mall Theme Room & Galaxyland


On Saturday morning, all 5 of us loaded into the Focus and got on the road!  It was a tight squeeze to have 3 kids across across with a booster, convertible car seat and bucket seat, but we did it!  I was worried about having the kids so close together, but they really enjoyed it and got along perfectly!





As a mom of 3, I had to supersize my daily vehicle and had to get rid of my beloved standard transmission car.  It was really fun to get back into a manual and actually ‘drive’ a car!


20 minutes after leaving the house, we were to our first destination; just North of downtown Edmonton on 124th Street at Smokehouse BBQ.  My husband is Texan and we met when I was living in Dallas.  He loves barbeque and I really miss it after getting used to some of the best barbeque in the world in Texas.  We have tried several different BBQ spots in and around Edmonton and unfortunately we didn’t come across anything really amazing, until Smokehouse BBQ.  It was handsdown the best BBQ we have had since moving to/back to Edmonton.  It is a super child friendly place – they even have little chalk boards for each of the kids to play with at the table.  It was a beautiful, warm Saturday, so they had all of their floor to ceiling windows wide open facing the street, which made us feel like we were sitting outside.  The food was fabulous!  Brisket, ribs, pork, beans, hush puppies, corn bread and even some sweet potato mash, which was a hit with our youngest!







After an amazing meal, we headed off to the Corn Maze just outside of Edmonton city limits.  I had let the Corn Maze people know we were coming ahead of time and when I tweeted we were on our way there, they promptly messaged me back that they would be ready for us.  The weather was so warm that day, so the Corn Maze was a busy place.  Our family was greeted with a big bag of Kettle Corn and wristbands, so we got to skip the line.  We felt like VIP’s!  The first thing we did was climb on the hay bales and go on the slides.  The kids were anxious to go through the maze, so we headed there next.  It took us about an hour to make it through the first maze.  We have been going every year for about 10 years- with and without the kids.  We love it!  It was hot, the sky was blue and the kids were having tons of fun.  We haven’t ever tried the potato guns, so we let each of the kids try it out this time.  It was really fun!  Our 2 year old really liked it.  We did some jumping on the big pillows, checked out the petting zoo and went for a ride on the train.  After a few hours, we decided to hit the road and head to dinner in Spruce Grove!















We traded in our rubber boots for our shoes and hit the road.  The next stop was Jack’s Drive in in Spruce Grove.  I hadn’t been there before, but when I posed the question of where to eat in Spruce Grove or Stony Plain on facebook, a resounding number of friends told us to check out Jack’s.  A couple of childhood school friends opened Jack’s in 1961.  It has just a few tables to eat inside or eat outside and multiple drive up spots for ordering to go.  The kids loved the retro look and really liked the sparkly red seating inside with mural’s of 1950/1960’s legends, plus a juke box! We inhaled our fries, burgers and oreo milkshakes in no time!




Everyone was getting tired, so we thought we better head to the hotel, which was the biggest surprise of the day for the kids.  We booked a Luxury Theme Room with a Hawaiian theme at the Fantasyland Hotel in West Edmonton Mall.  The room had it’s own grotto with  a tub for 4 and bunk beds for the kids.  The Polynesian suites are newly renovated, so everything is nice and new.  Since we were sleeping at the mall, we decided to take a quick walk around before putting the kids to bed.  Our two year old Carter is obsessed with hockey, so we made a stop at Sports Check and bought him his first hockey helmet.  He ended up going to bed with it on!





We had planned to go to Galaxyland the following day, but after a rough night sleep due to the hockey obsessed toddler, we decided to save those passes for another weekend.  We want to thank Ford Canada for giving us this amazing opportunity for our family!  Smokehouse BBQ was so generous with the fabulous lunch they provided and they are definitely #1 in Edmonton for a reason.  The Corn Maze was very welcoming and definitely made us feel like VIP’s!  Jack’s Drive In was a great pit stop on the way to the hotel.  The marketing group at West Edmonton Mall was super kind to offer our family attractions passes – we will be using them soon!  For a complete play-by-play from the day, follow the tag #FocusOnMyCity through @thebossymama or @mommyconnection on twitter.

To learn more about each of the stops on our Staycation, visit their websites:



Want to know more about the great car we drive? Here is more information on the 2015 Focus, right from Ford’s Media Center!


  • A complete suite of driver assist technologies provides extra confidence behind the wheel – including the introduction of BLIS and lane-keeping aid.
  • We offer a Focus for everyone; including an all-electric, an EcoBoost fuel-saving 1.0-liter and an AWD 315 hp RS and a few more members that make this the largest Focus family ever.
  • From the quiet all-electric Focus and even the “Small but Mighty” 1.0-liter EcoBoost model, every Focus provides spirited driving dynamics and power.

Ford Focus adopts the new face of Ford for 2015 with a bold exterior and interior redesign and more advanced technologies that enhance driver comfort and convenience. The available, award-winning new 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine is projected to raise the competitive bar for fuel efficiency, while the new model comes with a standard rear view camera and available driver-assist technologies including a lane-keeping system and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert.

“We have taken the title of world’s best-selling nameplate to impressive new heights with the redesigned Focus,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president of The Americas. “Its combination of compelling, modern design and the high-tech interior will appeal to contemporary customers who desire a small car with very sophisticated features. What has always made Focus so attractive – being great to drive, having exceptional fuel economy and value, and offering leading-edge in-car technologies – is amplified with the new model.”

Award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost
The new Focus will offer the remarkably efficient and fun-to-drive 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine with a six-speed manual transmission. This EcoBoost powerplant is the first engine to be named International Engine of the Year three years running.

“The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is proof that excellent fuel economy and performance can come in one package,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Focus is already known for bringing together efficiency and fun, and our latest addition will bring customers a whole new level of enjoyment – on the road and at the pump.”

The smallest engine in the company’s growing EcoBoost family will increase the choice for Ford customers in the United States, as Fiesta is already available with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost.

In Europe, where it is available on five nameplates, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost accounts for 32 percent of sales of the current-generation Focus and 26 percent of Fiesta sales this year. Robust demand for the 1.0-liter in Europe has prompted Ford to double production capacity at its state-of-the-art plant in Cologne, Germany, to more than 1,000 engines a day.

EcoBoost technology combines smaller-displacement engines with turbocharging, direct injection, variable valve timing and proprietary Ford software to bring customers outstanding performance and efficiency. Ford EcoBoost engines can deliver significantly better fuel economy than larger-displacement gasoline engines with comparable output.

Stylish new Focus
Focus will arrive with a bold new look. It features a restyled hood, grille and trunk lid, available LED signature lighting for headlamps and taillamps, and new rear lamp clusters. Sedan and hatchback versions will be available in the United States.

Inside, colors and materials have a clean, modern look, with satin chrome detailing, new seat trims and switches, and an available heated steering wheel. Storage is improved with a new center console incorporating adjustable cupholders and an easier-to-access glove box.

Advanced technologies
A package of sensors brings a new level of convenience for compact car customers by adding driver-assist technologies including a rear view camera, available BLIS with cross-traffic alert and a lane-keeping system.

Standard on Focus for the first time, the rear view camera will appear on either a 4.2-inch screen or the available 8-inch screen that comes with MyFord Touch®-equipped cars.

BLIS uses two multiple-beam radar modules packaged in the rear quarter panels, one on each side, to detect vehicles where the driver may not be able to see them. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror, providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching. When backing out of a parking space, cross-traffic alert can detect coming vehicles that may not be visible from the driver’s seat.

Should a Focus driver start to drift out of the current lane above 40 mph without a turn signal on, the available lane-keeping system provides a warning through a series of steering wheel vibrations that mimic a rumble strip. If the unintended lane departure is not corrected by the driver, the aid function of the system actively applies steering torque to help the driver direct the car back toward the center of the current lane.

SYNC AppLink
2015 Focus drivers will have access to powerful capabilities thanks to a host of new functions developers can integrate as they modify their apps to communicate with enhanced SYNC® AppLink.

Android and iOS smartphone owners can download more than 60 AppLink-enabled apps from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

New functions include:

  • Connected apps can access a variety of real-time data such as vehicle speed, acceleration, odometer and location information that can be used to further customize and personalize the user experience. For example, access to the in-vehicle GPS signal can enable more precise and accurate location-based services than phone sensors
  • More consistent user experience thanks to voice pass-through capability. This enables developers to use on-device or cloud-based voice-recognition systems to evaluate driver commands, meaning drivers can use the same set of voice commands to control an app when connected to the vehicle as they would use when not connected
  • Notifications read aloud as a driver enters the car, with no need to touch the phone. Best of all, alerts are available any time a mobile device is connected to SYNC AppLink, even if the app is not currently active. This means a driver could get an alert about a traffic jam ahead while listening to the radio or using another app

The new Focus also will benefit from suspension and chassis upgrades. These include a new shock absorber valve design providing improved interior quietness, a new electronic stability control system with less intrusion and improved comfort, and a change to the rear suspension to give drivers a more connected feel to the road.




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