If you were given the keys to a brand new FF Ferrari, where would you go and what would you do?
That question was on my mind when I was handed the keys to the most magnificent piece of machinery I've ever laid eyes on for a week's test drive.
The FF Ferrari (FF for four-wheel drive and four seats) is a V12, and one of the most powerful and versatile cars Ferrari has ever built. As soon as I turned the key in the ignition and the motor roared, I was in love. So where to?
I chose to head to the Interior, where I could really have fun. If you've never driven in the Interior before, it's a must-do for many reasons-there are endless outdoor adventures waiting to be experienced.
Besides spotting black bears along the side of the road, I also discovered the Othello Tunnels, just outside of Hope.
It's a provincial park on the canyon of the Coquihalla River. Once part of the Kettle Valley Railway, it's now become a free walking trail with five tunnels and a series of bridges. Bring a flashlight to take into the darkened tunnels and a camera to capture the park's fantastic rock cliffs.
Back in the Ferrari, I tried hard not to speed, but let's face it, the car was built to move fast. The paddle shifters are easy to use, which allowed me to go from automatic to manual or race mode with one flick.
When I arrived in Vernon, I stayed at Sparkling Hill, which is famous for its millions of Swarovski crystals infused throughout the hotel. Its many saunas and relaxing spa really make you feel you are away from home. And with Lake Okanagan as the backdrop, it was paradise.
On my drive back, I stopped along the highway in Penticton to see the "floaters" along the Penticton River Channel. I watched as hundreds of adults and kids alike float along the river channel (which is just over seven kilometres long). You can bring your own inner tubes or air mattress or rent them from launch site). It's a big draw for families thanks to the shallowness of the water and it's free.
In Penticton, a stop at Pier Watercraft Sports is a must if you want to try water sports such as sea-dooing and parasailing.
Penticton's Main Avenue also has some cool little shops that are worth a visit.
I also had to a stop at Peach King Orchard in Keremeos for some highly anticipated peaches. There is nothing like freshly picked fruit. I also found vegetables that defied the laws of physics including a zucchini that weighed at least five pounds.
When you visit the U.S., you stock up on alcohol (well, some of us do) and when you visit the Interior, you have to stock up on fruit-which is exactly what I did with two-flats of peaches that nestled nicely in the trunk of the Ferrari.
On my way back, I chose the longer route of Crow's Nest Pass (the Hope/Princeton Highway) from Penticton for its hair-pin turns and the winding road, which the car handled effortlessly.
If you have time, stop at Bromley Rock Provincial Park (just before Princeton) to see the beautiful Similkameen River, which was a perfect place to pull off the road for a quick dip. Several other people had the same idea. Some bolder adventure-seekers were cliff diving as well.
After several days with the Ferrari in the Interior, I felt a bit spoiled. It's like travelling first class and having to go back to coach.
As well as having an exhilarating road trip, I also learned a great deal.
The first is that it's hard to hand back the keys to a Ferrari, because- let's face it-it's an incredibly fun car to drive.
The second is that the Interior is one of the best places for outdoor adventures in B.C.
And the third?
No matter how much you like peaches, two-flats is just too much fruit for anyone.