August 2, 2012 4:14 PM
Sometimes the everyday challenges of life need to be countered with
bold action – something different, or daring, even fun.
Like a road trip.
And that’s exactly what three women from Canada decided to
experience first-hand, with the help of a generous and thoughtful
Angele Lafond, Ann Bacciaglia and Barbara Dundas – all ardent
social networkers from Ottawa – were looking for a way to
attend the annual BlogHer conference in New York City.
“We met through Twitter and tweet ups in Ottawa,”
Dundas said. “We hadn't spent much time together until we
hopped in the van. It's amazing how much you can talk with near
strangers and all of a sudden, you're not strangers.”
Wait a minute … we’re getting a little ahead of
ourselves. The story about how the ladies were able to secure a
vehicle for a long summer weekend is a good one, too.
“I first made contact with Barbara (Dundas) during the Ottawa
Auto Show in March of 2012,” said Sean Gibson, automotive
dealer at Ottawa Dodge. “I saw her tweets and gave her a
personal demonstration of our products and sent information that
she was looking for. We have exchanged tweets and comments since
“Barbara contacted us via Twitter wondering if I could
arrange for a vehicle to the BlogHer event. Since the conference is
sponsored by Dodge, and she had already expressed interest in a new
minivan. I thought this would give us the opportunity to make her
another happy Dodge owner.”
The ladies were loaned a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T with all the
amenities, like leather seats, dual-screen DVD system, backup
camera, power sliding doors, liftgate, and MyGig multimedia and
"I haven't been on a road trip in ages, and BlogHer was the perfect
excuse to run away for a few days,” gushed Lafond. “I
love the friendships and bonds that are formed on such trips - and
taking a few days for 'me' was a much needed luxury with two kids
and a third one on the way. I love an adventure and this might just
be the best one yet!"
The ladies planned a whole schedule of tweets and blogs to their
followers, and they were all set to depart the Ottawa area this
morning, but then …
“The excitement took over, and all of a sudden we were
planning an overnight trip that had us leaving 8 hours
early,” said Dundas. “It was entirely out of character
for three women with kids. But the moon was full and the drive was
fun. It's good to be impulsive.”
And smart. The ladies seemed to think of everything. They even had
a letter from the dealership explaining the unique vehicle
loan-out, just in case they were stopped and questioned about it at
the U.S. border.
It proved not to be necessary, though. Our three adventurers
arrived safe and sound in New York City early this morning, and
after a little shut-eye, started catching up on tweets and blogs to
friends and followers.
“Going on a road trip to New York City with two girlfriends
is the sort of thing most people do in university, but I was too
‘old’ for that,” said Dundas. “Twenty years
later, thanks to Dodge, that's exactly what I'm doing. We drove
through the night to maximize our time in New York. The navigation
system guided us easily along the unfamiliar route. The driver's
seat was comfortable for driving and the backseat let me have a
good - but short - sleep."
“This road trip is a first for me,” said Bacciaglia.
“I am attending to participate in great sessions and meet my
Tweeps in real life. The Dodge Caravan was a great choice for a
road trip. After that drive we arrived feeling relaxed and ready to
Now that they’re settled in, they’ll be joining
thousands of bloggers who are coming together to connect, learn and
inspire. When BlogHer 2012 begins on Friday, it will have close to
4,000 attendees, and about 90% of them will be women.
The Dodge brand ran a “Journey to BlogHer” contest
targeting mom bloggers, with two lucky bloggers winning a trip to
the 2012 BlogHer Conference. The program was designed to build
awareness of the Dodge Journey and its product features to an
important audience – the mom bloggers who entered the contest
and the thousands that will attend the conference.
The Grand Prize winners are Emily Vanek of “Colorado Moms
Blog” (http://coloradomoms.com/) and
Laura Franklin of “Better in Bulk Blog” (http://betterinbulk.net/).
And this one-of-a-kind “road trip” will certainly end
on a high note for Angele, Ann and Barbara. They are invited to the
exclusive Dodge Decompression Session spa event Saturday afternoon,
and following the close of the conference that night, a free Dodge
Journey shuttle will take them to Times Square for a head start on
a night out on the town they won’t soon forget.