#HyundaiDriveSquad: That one time I RODE AN ELEPHANT at African Lion Safari

 

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Hay kids, hay!

Remember that one time I RODE ON A FREAKING ELEPHANT? No? That’s okay. I haven’t even told you about it yet, bwahaha. I’m about to though, so buckle on innnnn (like I did, that one time I rode on an elephant!)

 

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Yeah, that’s an ele-selfie.

Okay, so a few weeks ago I hit up African Lion Safari with my boyf (Steven), my brother (Brodie), and my brother’s girlfriend (Meghan) in the sweet 2014 Hyundai Veloster I was testing for the week as part of the Hyundai Drive Squad.

 

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African Lion THUGFARI

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For those of you outside of Ontario (and my analytics tells me that’s quite a few of you — what up ‘Murrica?) African Lion Safari is pretty much the sickest place ever — as in you get to ride elephants sometimes and monkeys will jump directly onto your car sick:

 

 

From Wikipedia:

African Lion Safari is a family-owned safari park situated [near Toronto.] It includes more than 1,000 animals, representing over 100 species of mammals and birds from across the globe. Guests may tour seven game reserves (with a total area of about 740 acres) traversed via tour buses or the visitors’ own vehicles where animals roam freely in large contained areas.”

 

Yeah, so basically you get to drive your car through a private reserve with lions, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, and tons of other cute baby animals… Well, they’re not all babies, but to me every animal is a baby animal. You know how it is.

CHECK THIS OUT THOUGH: An actual baby animal, attached to a mommy animal!

 

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Awwwwwwww!

Now before I continue, I must give the maddest of props to Hyuandi for letting me take one of their gorgeous Velosters (in a colour called Vitamin C that I really actually dig) through the safari. Fortunately, the only “damage” caused to the car was by way of tiny monkey paw prints on the windshield. I mean, the giraffes are pretty chill… they just walk around and look cool. nobody tried to bite through a hubcap. It was all good.

 

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Can I get a little bit auto on you for a sec and talk about this car I was driving? Because man, this car. It’s so… zippy! I’ve tested out zillions of whips (or like 15, maybe) throughout the course of my blogging career (career, ha!) and can honestly say that the Veloster was one of my favourites yet.

 

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Not only is it powerful and great on gas, it’s freaking cute as heck to boot around in. I had multiple people ask me about it after watching me parallel park like a BAUCE (legit though, I will never stop bragging about my parallel parking skills. I am so good.) and the Insta-famz was eating it up.

I would drive this car again. I would buy this car if I didn’t live in downtown Toronto and actually needed a car every day. True say. Even my parents were smitten! I let mom sit in the driver’s seat for a bit so that I could take an Annettski selfie :)

 

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For more information on the Hyundai Veloster, clickez ici or get thee to a dealership and test one out for yourself if you can. Popsicles not included (and yes, I was parked when I took this.)

 

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More on the African Lion Safari adventure though — which, as you may have guessed by now, was part of my #hyundaidrivesquad experience.

I had a blast with my bro-bro and Meghan, with Stevie, with the animals, with the Veloster, and ESPECIALLY upon buying these elephant ear thingies (and in Brodie’s case, a proper safari hat) :

 

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We all got some headgear, because how can you not? HOW CAN YOU NOT THOUGH? RIDDLE ME THAT?

If you’re into animals and cool stuff, check out the sweet sweet photo-dump Storify below for more photos and videos from our day-trip. If you’re not… step up your life game, bruh.

 

 

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E-bikes, World Pride and CANADA DAY!!!

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Good sunny Saturday afternoon, durrlings!

I’m blogging from Steve’s house today — his Mac is like, good. Better than the one that I spilled gingerale all over at home (wahhhh.) Yeah, word to the wise: Don’t drink from a 2-litre of pop whilst cruising Tumblr on your MBP. Now I’m back to the Dell for a bit… until I can either purchase a new Macbook or (the more likely option) bring mine somewhere to get the water damage fixed.

Anyhoo, this past week was a glorious one, filled with colour and happiness and ELECTRIC SCOOTER BIKES. For posterity’s sake (as in for the purpose of showing my kids how cool the 2010′s were when I’m like, 50) I’ve decided to Storify some of the highlights from World Pride 2014, Canada Day 2014, and that one time I rented an e-bike with my boyfriend 2014. Also, here’s a gratuitous shot of me and Steven’s cat, Wiz Katlifah:

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ET VOILA:

 

C’est tout! Today, I’m off to a BBQ in a Bob Marley shirt from Billabong. GO SUMMER GO!

 

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Love always,

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Bombay Sapphire’s 5 to 7: That one time I fell in love with riding in helicopters

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, my name is captain Lauren O’Nizzle and I’ll be your blog-pilot today. The internet looks pretty clear right now, which means that we’ll likely be arriving at the end of this post oooooooon schedule at, ya know… whatever o’clock.

 

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Bwahaha. Hi.

GUESS WHAT GUYS? I WENT ON MY FIRST HELICOPTER RIDE ON THURSDAY!!! Please excuse my gratuitous use of capslock and the exclamation mark, but like, it was really cool.

 

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Previous to Thursday night’s Bombay Sapphire 5 to 7 event, I’d never been in a helicopter. Ever. Not even just for fun to poke around one or something whilst it was on the tarmac — and I maybe could have when I was doing co-op in the ER during high school. My mom goes up in those cats all the time and I’ve always been a little bit jealous…

Like, why don’t news people get to go up into the sky on anything other than the occasional airplane (unless they’re traffic reporters)? WHY CAN’T I FLY A PRIVATE HELICOPTER TO AND FROM WORK EVERY DAY? WHY?

 

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Nevermind.

I finally DID get to go up into a helicopter with a crew of bloggers on Thursday evening thanks to Bombay Sapphire, and it was everything I could ever have hoped for and more (minus the unicorn riding alongside us, because let’s be real — unicorns are totally afraid of choppers.)

 

For the record, I totally felt like a power ranger with that gilded safety belt on. I wish cars had those.

 

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So, why did Bombay (as in the top-shelf gin brand) bring a bunch of bloggers up into the air for a helicopter ride on Thursday?

Because dey be on a QUEST, mangs — a quest to bring back cocktail hour.

And I, for one, am 100% for it.

“Born in clandestine speakeasiesduring Prohibition in the 1920s, cocktail hour quickly became aclassic gin occasion, a revered part of our culture and eagerlya waited event that ushers in an evening of leisure,” reads a release I received from the company. “Over the years cocktail hour has lost some of its charm and allure. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE urges Canadians to rediscover the magicof this social ritual by indulging in modern, yet simple-to-make gin cocktails that define sophistication.”

‘Bout it, BOUT IT! Especially after trying all 4 of the signature cocktails we were provided with pre (and post) flight. Long live the cinq-a-sept! WHERE DID IT GO?

 

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Bombay actually had a bartender on the tarmac for us pre-helicopter flight mixing up fancy G&Ts (recipe below,) and a professional also schooled us on how to drink whilst helicoptering. Basically, you hold the glass between your middle and ring fingers in a fashionable way and cover the top of  your glass when the going gets turbulent. Simplement! Myaw!

 

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We had three helicopter experience options to choose from and, just so you know, I chose the “adventure” ride. This saw us swooping through downtown Toronto like “shwoooooooop!” and it was wicked.

I didn’t spill my cocktail once, because I was basically born to ride in a helicopter I think.

 

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K, maybe not that one.

Would you like some sick cocktail recipes? I’m going to give you some recipes, courtesy of Bombay Sapphire. Trust me friends, they’re good drinks — especially the East Gin and Tonic. Dat lemongrass tho!

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THE EAST GIN AND TONIC : There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer afternoon than a BOMBAY SAPPHIRE EAST Gin and Tonic. With a subtle hint of citrus and spice, this light cocktail is a summer classic.

Recipe:
1 ½ oz BOMBAY SAPHHIRE EAST
Fever Tree tonic
Lemongrass stem
Cracked peppercorn
Lime wedge

Garnish:
Peppercorn sprinkle and lemongrass stem

Directions:
Press 3 small bulbs of lemongrass and lime wedge into the base of glass. Build other ingredients. Serve in a stemlessred wine glass.

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SPARKLING SAPPHIRE:  Nothing says celebration like a sparking BOMBAY SAPPHIRE cocktail, infused with strawberries and mint. Topped with Prosecco, this refreshing recipe is perfect for summer!

Recipe:
2 oz BOMPAY SAPPHIRE
1 oz fresh lime juice or juice of one small lime
1 oz simple syrup or 2 tsb fine white sugar
2 small fresh strawberries
Martini Prosecco

Garnish:
Mint Sprig

Directions:
Press strawberries into a base of glass. Add other ingredients and shake. Strain into a large wine glass filled with ice. Top with prosecco.

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SAPPHIRE MARTINI: A good classic never goes out of style. This sophisticatedcocktail exudes confidence and class.

Recipe:
2 oz BOMBAY SAPHHIRE
1/fourth Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
Lemon Zest
Ice

Garnish:
Lemon twist

Directions:
Fill a mixing glass or shaker with ice and splash over vermouth, stir once, then strain the excess liquid leaving the ice in the glass. Pour over the BOMBAY SAPHHIREand stir carefully but rapidly for 20 – 30 seconds until ice-cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with lemon zest. Use garnish pick.

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SAPPHIRE PINEAPPLE GINGER COLLINS - This is an easy-drinking, laid-back twist on the original Sapphire Collins,elevated with a hint of pineapple and ginger to compliment the spice from BOMBAY SAPPHIRE EAST.
Recipe:
1 ½ oz BOMBAY SAPHHIRE EAST
2/3 oz St. Germain
1 oz fresh lemon juice of juice of a small lemon
four small pineapple cubes
2 slivers of ginger
2 oz soda water

Garnish:
Candied ginger and pineapple cubes

Directions:
Build and stir into an ice filled glass. Garnish with pineapple leaf, candied ginger or pineapple chunk.

 

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If you’re not drooling, you need to up your gin game. Legit. Muddled strawberries? I’ve been at like, 5 events this summer already with muddled strawberry cocktails and let me tell you this: I want to learn how to muddle my own strawberries for oatmeal purposes. Perhaps I shall purchase a muddler. Perhaps.

Can I just show you one last thing, bbs?

 

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See that necklace (or “pendant,” as some of my tweeps called it) ?!?!? That’s a freaking POCKET WATCH.

I do wear a lot of dresses and skirts with pockets in them (see: my Instagram #ootds) but not enough that I’d actually have use for a pocket watch… so I turned this sweet gift I received from Bombay Sapphire into a necklace. BAM! DIY! MAKERS! YEAH!

Seriously though, I’ve received so many compliments on this faux-clace so far. I dig it. I dig helicopters, I dig Bombay, and I dig Citizen so freaking hard. Thank you, homies, for a fun and well-executed adventure. I was truly impressed.

Next post, I’ll (probably) talk about that one time (see: yesterday) Stevie and I rented e-scooters, just because. Holy kamole was that ever fun.

 

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Much love always,

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