Bristol, Virginia – Experience The Birthplace of Country Music & The Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Welcome to Bristol, Virginia! Bristol is best known to be “The Birthplace of Country Music” in which some of the first commercial recordings of country music were born, showcasing Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. Bristol, geographically, is also unique as its state line is directly separated by the two states (Virginia and Tennessee). Basically, you can visit both states in just 30 seconds by walking across the street, it’s quite an experience!

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Due to the region’s rich history and music heritage, Bristol and other counties have united together to create “The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail” experience. This music trail experience is all-year round, tourists and the locals can drive along this famous Crooked Road and visit various venues to explore the history of each county and the live music performances.

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

You can start off the Crooked Road journey by visiting the new Birthplace of Country Music Museum. This museum’s theater experiences and interactive displays bring you back in time to experience the far-reaching influence country music has to the Americans. You can even record your own country music song! As you walked 2 blocks from the museum, you will see the famous sign that welcomes visitors to the twin cities of Bristol Virginia and Tennessee. Its motto is “A Good Place to Live”. If you are hungry, make sure to visit the famous “Burger Bar“, it has been a classic diner since 1942. Famously known as the last place Hank Williams, Sr. (singer-songwriter) was last seen alive.

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Just a short drive down The Crooked Road, along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find the Blue Ridge Music Center. Enjoy the music of local performers and tour the Roots of American Music museum to learn more about the earlier days of mixing of European and African musical cultures in the Appalachian Mountains. It’s quite an experience to be listening to the sound of music in the middle of the mountainous tops and the national park. After an evening of good entertainment, make your stay at The Bolling Wilson Hotel. It’s an unique upscale lodging experience in Downtown Wytheville, Virginia where you can grab a nice dinner at “Graze On Main” restaurant. As well as enjoying a nice cocktail on its hotel’s Perch Rooftop Terrace overlooking the entire Wytheville county!

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Time for a tour of the county of Abingdon! You can walk along the city’s main street or the farmer’s market and see the historical buildings dating back to the 1700s. Also make a visit to the famous Barter Theater, one of the longest-running professional theatres in the nation. Have a stay at the historic Martha Washington Inn which was once served as an upscale women’s college, a Civil War hospital and barracks turned into an upscale inn that offers spa services with gym, swimming pool and tennis facilities. Near Abingdon, you’ll find Heartwood, tucked into Virginia’s mountains and home to the music, crafts and food of the Crooked Road. Many of the artisans featured at Heartwood are members of Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network.

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

All-in-all, if you enjoy country music or if you enjoy the nature and also appreciates the roots of the rich history of this region, The Crooked Road is a journey for you!

Other Places & Activities to Visit Along The Crooked Road

Ralph Stanley Museum (features the life and music of the legendary music performer)
Original Country Cabin (built in 1937-38, the longest continuously running site for traditional music along the entire Crooked Road.)
Country Cabin II (built in 2002)
The Carter Family Fold (which is a rustic, music shed offering traditional Appalachian music and clogging)
The Inn at Wise (a 100-year-old historic landmark, located just off the Crooked Road)
University of Virginia at Wise (liberal arts college)
Bristol Motor Speedway (houses 160,000 people)
Davis Valley Winery (wines & moonshine)
Skeeter’s “World Famous Hotdogs

Follow my journey on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos.

And MoVernie is outta here!

Follow them on Twitter:

Virginia Tourism – @VisitVirginia

Visit Wytheville – @VisitWytheville

Visit Abingdon – @VisitAbingdon

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Skeeter’s “World Famous Hotdogs

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Famous Moon Shine from Davis Valley Winery

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Davis Valley Winery

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

The Inn at Wise

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

This way to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Martha Washington Inn

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Barter Theater

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Ralph Stanley Museum

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

The historic Carter Family Fold

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Graze on Main restaurant inside the Bolling Wilson Hotel

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Graze on Main restaurant inside the Bolling Wilson Hotel

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Country Cabin II

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Birthplace of Country Music Museum

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Live performers inside The Carter Family Fold

South West Virginia - Birthplace of Country Music (The Crooked Road)

Beautiful natural landscapes & appalachian in South West Virginia

Kia Gear Up: Day 2 – Delicious Culinary Food Truck Lunch

Kia Gear Up

After our fun Go-Kart experience, we hopped back to the coach bus and headed back to the training facility to grab some lunch before we go through our next exercise. As you all know, I am a foodie and I love food! So, the moment I realized that Kia Motors hired a personal chef and her culinary team to prepare their dishes in a food truck for us, I was super excited! What better way to try the local Spanish cuisine in an outdoor setting with beautiful high stools, tables and cabanas? It was a great sunny day to enjoy a nice lunch.

Kia Gear Up Lounge

The food truck was a cute ancient classic vehicle. It had a big opening for the chef to serve us food. There were signage around the vehicle so we knew what food items were being served. Outside the truck, there was a table that neatly displayed all kinds of delicious food for us to try. There were the famous Spanish seafood paella, gazpacho (cold soup), croquette (mashed potatoes with veggies or meat), big beef burger, dessert, fruit cup and much much more. As you know, I tasted them all.

Kia Gear Up

Let me tell you, sometimes in an outdoor venue, it’s hard to provide delicious hot food. Sometimes, catering service just delivered the food and that’s about it. Quite often, the catered food weren’t tasty or it’s just plain cold. Not Kia Motors, they thoughtfully hired a personal chef that could cook food on the spot and more importantly, provide Spanish cuisine for our Global Ambassadors who were coming from all parts of the world to try. That was a 5-star service, definitely a nice touch!

Kia Gear Up

Follow my journey on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos.

And MoVernie is outta here!

Follow Kia Canada on Twitter – @KiaCanada

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Kia Gear Up Kia Gear Up Kia Gear Up Kia Gear Up

Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop – Trade in Your Unwanted Holiday Gifts for Skittles

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A survey conducted by Skittles (yes, the candy) indicated that nearly three quarters of Canadians expect to receive at least one unwanted holiday gift this year. As we all know, every year, we will expect to receive something that is either redundant or something we just have no use for it. We also know many of us will re-wrap the unwanted gifts and re-gift them to other people. You don’t have to admit it but we all know we have re-gifted something during our life time. There is no shame about that. It’s better to re-gift to someone who may have good use to them than seeing the gifts left untouched or seeing it being thrown into a garbage can.

SkittlesPawn

The Skittles Team has done something creative and unique for this holiday season. They have created an actual Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop (located at 242 Queen Street West),that will allow you to trade in any of you unwanted holiday gifts in exchange for packs and packs of Skittles. Whether you are a kid or an adult, majority of us love Skittles. With this Skittles initiative, we don’t even have to waste time re-wrapping gifts and re-gift. Better yet, all of the unwanted holiday gifts will be donated to Goodwill in Scarborough. You get Skittles in return for a good cause supporting charity. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

SkittlesPawn

So, how does it work? Yesterday, it was the first day the Skittles Pawn Shop was opened, so MoVernie was on the MOVE to check it out. It was located at 242 Queen Street West (right across the Much Music Building). It’s accessible on foot, by subway, streetcar or driving, so the spot was a good prime time location. And you won’t miss the store because they have friendly Skittles staff, all dressed in sharp Skittles red colour winter jacket and red toque, so it was very easy to find.

A friendly doorman opened the door for us and I could see all the nice unwanted gifts were on display, hanging on the walls and on the counters. Then, we saw this energetic Skittles Pawn Shop guy named Dale. He dressed in a nicely tailored blue suit and dress pants with a nice burgundy bowtie. Before you even see his face, you could hear Dale’s voice. You could feel his energy even at the end of the line.

SkittlesPawn

After 5-7 minutes wait, it was my turn. I noticed Dale had two other helpers to assist him. I noticed the two helpers were piling up packs and packs of Skittles that filled up the entire counter. I could even smell the Skittles even though they were unopened in the packs. I handed Dale my ugly sweater, Rubbermaid water bottle and a pouch bag. Dale consulted with his helpers and discussed how many packs of Skittles I should be entitled to. After a minute, Dale came up with his offer. He offered me 15 packs of Skittles for my ugly sweater. Another 30 packs of Skittles for my Rubbermaid water bottle and my pouch bag. That’s a total of 45 packs of Skittles! I was satisfied so I shook Dale’s hand. Done deal! The lovely Skittles helpers placed the 45 packs of Skittles into two transparent bags. It was quite a fun experience. Lots of peeps just took out their own smart phones and started recording their interactions with Dale for memories and share with their friends.

SkittlesPawn

I decided to stay in the store for a little bit longer just to see what other peeps bring to trade in for Skittles. I saw all kinds of good stuff such as Blue-Ray DVDs, beach gear, toys, figurines, ball cap and much much more. Some wacky items such as un-used Band-Aid and a hotel pen were also traded in. The most I saw a family donated a box of good stuff and they got 100 packs of Skittles. That was incredible. You should see the smile on the children’s faces. I spoke to the parents, they said they thought this Skittles Pawn Shop concept was a unique one. They brought their kids down to the store so that they understand the process of bargaining and negotiating goods. Most importantly, they want their children not to take things for granted but instead realizing there are alot of unfortunate people out there who couldn’t afford their items and would find these items useful. They want their kids to learn to give back to the communities and learn to support charity at a young age. Kudos to the parents.

This Skittles Pawn Shop will continue to open until December 30th, with business hours starting from 10 am to 6pm. So, you have plenty of time to make your way down to 242 Queen Street West.

SkittlesPawn SkittlesPawn

My MoVernie Spies have informed me that YouTube Sensation, Lilly Singh will be at the Skittles Pawn Shop tomorrow (December 28th) from 10am to 11:30 am. The first 150 people lining up outside the Skittles Pawn Shop will get wristband to meet & greet Lilly.

SkittlesPawn

In case you wonder, “But what if I live far and can’t make it in person to the Pawn Shop to trade up”? No worries, the Skittles Team got you covered. You simply go to the SkittlesPawn.ca site. Snap a photo of your unwanted gift, upload it to the site. They will evaluate your item instantly in seconds and they will let you know how many packs of Skittles you can get from the unwanted item. A coupon is generated with the picture of your unwanted gift. Simply go to any store that sells Skittles and present them with the coupon with the scan code and you get $2.00 off your pack of Skittles (check the fine print of the size of the Skittles that are applicable to this offer). Best yet? This coupon is valid for anyone who lives in Canada. So, you could be living in Vancouver or Nova Scotia, you can participate online and print out the coupons and apply it anywhere in Canada. That’s a genius idea by the Skittles Team.

Have fun! Meanwhile, I am enjoying my Skittles goodies. Of course, I will share my wealth with my family and friends. Taste the rainbow!

Follow my journey on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos.

And MoVernie is outta here!

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THANK YOU KIA CANADA & KIA MOTORS! – Something to be thankful for! (MoVernie Travel & Tourism)

THANK YOU Kia Canada & Kia Motors

THANK YOU Kia Canada & Kia Motors

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was over this past September! Thanksgiving long weekend just pasted last week. I am a person who is always grateful and thankful of what I have. But after Thanksgiving was over, I decided to sit down and reflect on all the great memories that I had experienced so far. There was one thing that I had done this year that I am super thankful for and there is no doubt it was my Kia Gear Up experience back in May of this year.

A few months ago, many of you had already read my short brief MoVernie BLOGs on my Kia Gear Up journey. Ever since I returned from that trip, I had never thought that my MoVernie brand would be that busy and jam packed. MoVernie was ALWAYS on the MOVE to the point that I couldn’t sit down and reflect and boom, I was off to another event. I didn’t want to rush my thoughts or my experiences during this Kia Gear Up trip as I really want to sit down, relax and flashback all the great memories and experiences and share with you guys. Finally! I got some quiet time during this October to share my experiences with you.

FYI – Ever since I got back from that trip, all the memories were stored in my brain, but I locked the images and experiences in my memory because I didn’t have time to sit down and reflect and relish those precious moments. In the next few weeks, you will get to read my detailed MoVernie BLOGs on my Kia Gear Up journey in detail as I slowly unwind and unlock all of the amazing images and experiences during my Kia Gear Up Trip in Barcelona, Spain.

Let the Kia Gear Up journey begins!

Let me tell you a little background about the Kia Gear Up Campaign. Kia Gear Up was a global initiative organized by the Kia Motors Headquarter from Seoul, Korea. The HQ connected all of its Kia divisions from around the world, including Kia Canada, to participate and to bring a chosen Global Ambassador to represent each of their respective countries to this special project called “Kia Gear Up”. The objective of this campaign was to choose a group of young generation of people to fight over their fears, to encourage them to think outside-of-their-boxes, to be free and be confident about themselves and create their own paths in life. So…exactly, how do they achieve this? They had decided to modify their Kia vehicles into rally racing vehicles on a real race track, allowing the groups of young people to push their limits (under supervision of professional race car drivers) and discover more about themselves through this unbelievable precious opportunity of travelling to a beautiful city called Barcelona.

A few weeks before the trip, Kia Canada contacted me and had told me that out of hundreds of candidates that they had carefully reviewed, that they had chosen me as the ONLY person to represent Kia Canada to participate in this Kia Gear Up campaign. The moment after I heard of this great news, I was frozen; I was asking myself if this was “REAL”. After 5 minutes, I was full of joy and felt super stoked. They told me that they will be flying me to Barcelona, Spain to join other lucky Global Ambassadors from around the world to this Kia Gear Up Event. During those few weeks before the trip, I had to be prepared, not just packing luggage, but also to re-new my Canadian passport, apply for an International driver’s license (so I can drive on the racetrack in Barcelona). Kia Motors HQ also called me from oversea to interview me and asked me more questions, wanting to know more about me before the trip.

I got to say, Barcelona, Spain was always a place that I wanted to travel and visit. And to have Kia Motors fulfilling my bucket list was extra special. I am super thankful and grateful of this trip and thank you Kia Canada and Kia Motors for giving me this wonderful once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget!

Stay tuned for my Kia Gear Up Journey!

Follow my journey on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos.

And MoVernie is outta here!

Kia Gear Up Campaign

Kia Gear Up Campaign

Timbit Poutine – MoVernie Tweet on BuzzFeed

So….a number of my peeps told me that one of my tweets made it to the BuzzFeed, which as you know, BuzzFeed is a huge source for content and interesting entertainment stories. That tweet of mine that made it to stardom was my tweet about the Timbit Poutine that created lots of buzz at the CNE this year.

buzzfeed

CNE, also known as The Ex, have quite a long list of wacky food items annually by the vendors who try to woo the people to try them during their visits to the CNE. I got to say, I love the creative attempts by many of these vendors. However, some of the food items just doesn’t taste right. But for some food items, which may sound weird, but the ingredients actually works well.

Anyhow, MoVernie is honoured that one of his tweets made it to the big shot in BuzzFeed.com. The tweet was used as a backbone to build around the story of how BuzzFeed created its own version of Timbit Poutine, which actually sounds and look better than the original Timbit Poutine. I think you should it a try by clicking this link.

MoVernie VIDEO: Timbit Poutine & other Wacky Food

In addition to the Timbit Poutine photo that I took, I also made a Mini-MoVernie video of the food that we ate, so check it out here on MoVernie vs Food Video.

Thanks again to BuzzFeed for the kind feature!

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos on my experience at CNE 2015.

And MoVernie is outta here!

buzzfeedpoutine

CNE 2015 – What’s New This Year?

In case you haven’t been to CNE this year yet, you still have about a week left to visit. Honestly, it’s not something you will miss out but I do think it’s a great festival for you and your loved ones to relax, grab a bite, try some new rides and just having a calm and collected day before school starts.

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I still recall those days when I was still in school, I had a great time at the CNE but also the reality kicked in when I realized CNE also signify that I have to go back to school. CNE is famous for wacky new food items that will wow you for all the weird reasons. Many food vendors will try to think out-of-the-box and wanted to shovel all the weird ingredients that may not make sense and try to put them into your stomach. Food items that created lots of buzz include Timbits poutine, Bison sausage poutine, double donut burger, etc.

Personally, the Timbits poutine was disappointing to say the least, it’s just purely a bunch of Timbits placed at the bottom of the coffee cup, toppled with whip cream or ice cream of some sort, it lacks flavour and both items didn’t blend well for my taste.

Timbit Poutine

The bison sausage poutine was my pick, sausage was chewy and tender, gravy on the hot fries were top notch.

Double donut burger, it looks nasty from an appearance standpoint but when I got a bite on it, it actually worked well. Must be the sweetness of the donut bun mixed well with the salty beef patty.

Double Donut Burger

And as usual, you get those game booths located outside the buildings. You have water gun, roll the ball, darts, whack a mole, etc. This year lineup of plush toys include The Minions; Big Care Bears (I mean bigger than normal human beings); Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and much much more. Back in the days, my bro and I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and there was a fishing game. My dad wanted to win a medium sized Michelangelo for us. So, he asked the staff how to win. The dude thought my dad was some guy who possibly wouldn’t know what to do. 5 minutes in, my dad used his amazing dexterity to pick out the red fish out of hundreds of blue fishes and he won the Michelangelo for me. I will always remember that and still have that plush toy in my room.

Minions

As always, there were tons of midway rides that your kids or yourself would appreciate. In one particular ride, which I highly recommend is the “Skyride”, it’s basically a ride that stretches from one side of the BMO Field and runs all the way to the Direct Energy Centre, approximately 15 ft above ground. It’s especially beautiful at night, seeing the BMO Field upclose, the Ferris wheel upclose and flashing lights were amazing. Each stretch costs you $5 per person but it’s worth it, to be high up in the air, overlooking the CN Tower and seeing human beings walking beneath you, it’s a great feeling. And oh yes, and I am scare of heights so that’s shows you how much I love this ride, overcoming my biggest fear.

CNE Skyride

If you love country music, there is a venue called the “Northern Saloon”, country talent such as the rising star Cory Marquardt and many other talents performed there nightly. If you prefer pop or rock music, Bandshell Stage featured various talent daily, including the pop sensation Cody Simpson, who performed last evening.

Cory Marquardt

Cody Simpson

So….you still get your chance to check out all the goodies that CNE has install for you until Labour Day long weekend. Don’t forget the traditional air show that happens throughout the long weekend as well. Sit back and enjoy the rides!

Let’s go to the Ex and MoVernie is outta here!

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos on my experience at CNE 2015.

CNE 2015 Photo Album

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Kia Gear Up Event in Barcelona, Spain – Day 4 (MoVernie Sightseeing)

The Kia Gear Up event is a 4 days, 3 nights trip to Barcelona, Spain, that consists lots of fun and adventurous activities for the global ambassadors to experience. On my Day 1 MoVernie BLOG, I have shared to you my first day tour around the city of Barcelona. On Day 2 of my MoVernie BLOG, we got to wear our personalized Kia Gear Up racing uniform & helmet. Day 3 is another special day. Every day is special and different. Just like Kia’s slogan, “The Power to Surprise!”

On Day 4, all the other Kia Global Ambassadors returned back to their respective countries. As for myself, since it was Victoria Long Weekend in Canada, I requested to Kia Canada that I would like to stay for 2 more nights so that I can sight see more about this city and get to experience a little bit more. And I thank Kia Canada for being so accommodating.

On Day 4, my Kia buddy drove me to the next hotel, which was called “Hotel Curious“. I made the booking and stayed there. It’s a boutique hotel that was located close to the famous La Rambla. Check out the photos below to see what I did during Day 4 of this Kia Gear Up Journey.

By sharing the photos and captions, I hope everyone can get a sense of what’s it like at the Kia Gear Up event and feel as if you are participating the fun activities with me 🙂

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos on my MoVernie Journey!

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Welcome to Hotel Curious, located 50 metres from the famous “La Rambla”.

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Hotel Curious upgraded my room from single bed to double bed, to the top floors and having my own balcony. Thank you Hotel Curious.

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Beautiful La Rambla

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Meeting up my friend who is from Toronto, but is in Barcelona teaching English. It was so nice to see her.

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Spanish loves tapas and I understand why. Tapa are small dish to share with your family and friends. It’s great because you get to try different stuff.

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I decided to check out the Real Madrid Official Store

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C. Ronaldo and other players jersey on display inside the Real Madrid Official Store.

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More Real Madrid gift items

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Apparently, Barcelona has its AutoShow happening, talking about great timing, so I had decided to check it out. Especially the Kia Motors display, I want to check out some of its vehicles.

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Kia Soul EV on display

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Kia Soul regular engine

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Kia Cee’d

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Kia Sorento. It’s extra cool to see the Kia vehicles again after we drove them around during the Kia Gear Up Event.

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Kia Cee’d looked so good!

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Doing a selfie with the Kia vehicles

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The Barcelona AutoShow was held at a historic place, so you could see some historic artitecture around the venue

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Went inside the exhibit and I saw Kia Motors Display. This Concept Car called “Sports Space” was on display

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The hot red on this Sports Space was amazing!

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Kia Sorento. I love this design.

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Soul EV

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The sporty Procee’d GT, which is not sold in North America.

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Love the aggressive headlights on the Procee’d and its unique 4 mini fog lights

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This building looked interesting. The taxi driver told me this was once a bull fighting building until it has changed into a shopping mall once the bull fighting sport was banned a few years ago.

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After the Barcelona Auto Show, I decided to go near the beach area to meet up my friends.

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People playing recreational soccer.

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As I walked around to check out the beach area

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More actions from the soccer game

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Our friends were just chillin after the game

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I always go to the SOCO at Delta Toronto but out of the blue, we randomly chose a restaurant and it was called “SOCO Restaurant”. What are the chances?

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I have been craving for nice and simple spaghetti and I got my wish

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My friends told me that this dish of cheese and potato wedges are fan favourite here with the locals.

 

Kia Gear Up Event in Barcelona, Spain – Day 3 (The Amazing Race – Kia Edition)

The Kia Gear Up event is a 4 days, 3 nights trip to Barcelona, Spain, that consists lots of fun and adventurous activities for the global ambassadors to experience. On my Day 1 MoVernie BLOG, I have shared to you my first day tour around the city of Barcelona. On Day 2 of my MoVernie BLOG, we got to wear our personalized Kia Gear Up racing uniform & helmet. Day 3 is another special day. Every day is special and different. Just like Kia’s slogan, “The Power to Surprise!”

On Day 3, every Kia Global Ambassador, along with their buddies and camera operators hopped into their respective Kia vehicles and they drove and cruised around a number of Barcelona well-known and must-visit landmarks. In this drill, I drove the Kia Sportage with turbo diesel in a manual gear transmission. The objective was to tour around the city of Barcelona in the Kia vehicle and reached for different check points, just like the famous reality TV show, “The Amazing Race”, but this time, the “Kia Edition”. Check out the photos of my Kia Gear Up journey below.

By sharing the photos and captions, I hope everyone can get a sense of what’s it like at the Kia Gear Up event and feel as if you are participating the fun activities with me 🙂

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos on my MoVernie Journey!

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Leaving my hotel room and just grabbed a coffee to go downstairs to the conference room to attend the Kia GearUp session.

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Apparently, our surprise of the day was to drive a Kia vehicle to different check points around the city of Barcelona. That sounds super interesting. In this picture, the instructor is showing us in PowerPoint slides the places we were asked to be visiting.

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I really like this last PowerPoint slide “We wish you a fun drive in Barcelona!” I was super pumped at this point. Feel like “The Amazing Race” – Kia Edition 🙂

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One of our Kia GearUp Ambassadors was driving this brand new 2015 Kia Sorento SUV. It’s a beautiful ride.

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One of the instructors, Karim was showing the global ambassador the first check point with the traditional map.

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This was a fun activity as another global ambassador’s ride arrived at the starting point.

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And my ride had arrived as well. It’s a 2015 Kia Sportage with turbo diesel engine in manual gearbox.

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Well…we got to take a group selfie before we start off our “Amazing Race” journey. Beside me was Silvio who was my “human GPS” for the day. Mark, our photographer/videographer will be filming us throughout the entire journey.

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What a beautiful day in Barcelona! First checkpoint was the famous Olympics Stadium.

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And we had a selfie pic to prove we had arrived at this checkpoint LOL

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Love my “jumping” pose! I got hops bro!

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The magnificent Olympics Stadium.

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Can you spot the sculpture? It’s a runner sculpture! LOL

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On our way to the next checkpoint, we saw these energetic skateboarders outside the Olympics Stadium.

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One of them were very interested in the Kia vehicles so I invited him to sit in the backseat of the Kia Sportage and check out what Kia Motors has to offer. He was very impressed with the dual sunroof in the Sportage!

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Our next stop was the famous church called “Sagrada Familia”. It was a super busy checkpoint as there were tons of people. We were lucky we got VIP parking so that I could pose a nice picture like this with this historic church.

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I took a breather so that I could tweet and instagram my picture and shared with my social media followers 🙂

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Next stop, we arrived at one of the high altitude point in Barcelona, this mountain side is called “Tibidabo”. I really love this picture alot, seeing the historic buildings and the Kia Sportage underneath.

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A beautiful playground at the top of Tibidabo.

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What’s beautiful about Barcelona is the fact that this city has beautiful ocean shores plus mountain view. It got everything!

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Historical building at Tibidabo.

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Some of the other Kia GearUp global ambassadors had arrived at the Tibidabo checkpoint as well.

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The last checkpoint? The Beach Club, where we got to have our brunch with awesome BBQ food.

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With cabanas, beach furnitures, a great way to chill at the Beach Club.

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Beside the Beach Club was the beach, so we went and checked out. The fine sand was so comfy that I took my shoes off.

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I love my “jumping” pose! I got mad hops bro!

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After the brunch and the Beach Club, the whole crew of Kia vehicles lined up to go for a nice coastal drive. Beautiful view isn’t it?

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That’s me driving the Kia Sportage cruisin’ along with other people along the coast. A memorable drive indeed!

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Beautiful blue ocean, blue sky and white clouds! Amazing view!

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After the fun drive along the cruise, we transformed and dressed classy to attend the Kia GearUp Gala, located at one of the famous and amazing restaurant called “El Prinicipal”.

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Welcome to Kia GearUp Gala!

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Thoughtful and beautiful Kia GearUp dinnerware.

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The Kia GearUp Gala took place at the courtyard inside the restaurant. Very beautiful setup.

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Speaker, Fraser Doherty, Entrepreneur of SuperJam flew in from UK to speak to us about his success and sharing his success stories at the Kia GearUp Gala.

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Two beautiful Kia GearUp cakes (close resemblance of the two actual Kia Pro c’eed GT Rally Edition vehicles that we took for a spin in the Castelloli Cirtcuit the previous day. Very beautiful cake decorations indeed!

 

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The El Principal restaurant was only located a block from one of Gaudi’s famous buildings called “Casa Mila”. Really interesting curves and lines in the design. It looked beautiful at night! I love this picture very much!

 

Kia Gear Up Event in Barcelona, Spain – Day 1 (Tour around the city)

The Kia Gear Up event was a 4 days, 3 nights trip to Barcelona, Spain, that consists lots of fun and adventurous activities for the global ambassadors to experience. Since Toronto has a Victoria long weekend last week, I had requested to stay for 2 extra days so that I can get to know Barcelona alot more and a chance for me to gather more content and share with my followers and audiences.

For starters, I am going to share my Kia Gear Up daily itinerary with you so that you get a glimpse of the fun activities that I got to experience throughout this entire trip. My daily itinerary will be organized as Kia Gear Up event Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 & Day 5. In the later weeks, you will have a chance to read my in-depth, detailed MoVernie BLOG on all the activities and the happenings throughout this Kia Gear Up event.

By sharing the photos and captions, I hope everyone can get a sense of what’s it like at the Kia Gear Up event and feel as if you are participating the fun activities with me 🙂

Let’s begin this Kia Gear Up journey, shall we? As Kia Motors slogan states, “The Power to Surprise!

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos on my MoVernie Journey!

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Worked really hard at the office and then finished up my work and headed to the Toronto Pearson Airport. The Digital and Social Media Manager met up with me and we grabbed a bite before we boarded a red eye flight to Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona! See you in 8 hours! Here we go!

 

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Coke with ice on my Air Canada direct flight from Toronto to Barcelona.

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Dinner was served on the Air Canada flight with bread, cream of chicken, corn salad, a dessert cake and a bottle of water.

 

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After flying in the air for approximately 8 hours, we have arrived at Barcelona Airport! The Barcelona Airport was huge, modern, clean and technological advanced. The airport made me felt so welcome already!

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The moment I got out of the airport gate, the whole Kia Production Crew greeted us. There was the Director, Producer, TV Host (whom interviewed me at the airport) and along with 10-12 Photographers and Videographers. I felt like a celebrity already 🙂 Then, a stylish Kia Sportage (SUV) parked at the VIP area to pick us up from the airport to the hotel.

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Yup, they start filming and taking pictures of me inside the Kia Sportage from the Barcelona Airport to the 5-Star Grand Central Barcelona Hotel.

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Representing the 6ixSide Clothing (Toronto). Making sure I look good before I get filmed, lol.

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Welcome to the 5-Star Grand Central Barcelona Hotel, where I will be staying. I can’t wait to check out my own room and the sky rooftop with an infinity swimming pool 🙂

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Camera crew taking pictures and recording footage of me at the entrance of the hotel.

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Checking into the hotel and awaits my access key from the concierge. During this time, cameraman from behind the concierge desk; in front of me and on the side of me are taking more photos. They were everywhere which I enjoyed the experience alot and feeling quite comfortable with the paparazzi.

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Once I got my hotel access card, I was guided by the Kia Production Crew to enter a VIP Conference Room to conduct my first initial interivew.

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After the initial interview, I was tired but yet curious of what my hotel looks like.

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Once inside, there was a big mirror leaning against the wall and on the other side, it’s a wall that separates the closet area with the entrance.

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My comfy bed with lots of pillows. This room looked very modern, chic and comfortable. There were power blinds at the window with flat screen TV.

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This area was my favourite because it’s a semi-open closet area to put all of my clothes and luggage. Even the coat rack has “Grand Central” labelled on them. I also really appreciate the electronic safe box to put my valuables in there.

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Once I pushed the opaque glass door and I would see the toilet and glass shower stall. It’s quite a good organized concept to the bathroom.

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Here was the sink with bright lights on the mirrors. They also gave me flip-flops which not all hotels provided that, so it was a nice touch!

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Went up to the top floor and here was the rooftop patio with a nice view of city of Barcelona. The infinity swimming pool really elevated the vibe and the mood at this rooftop.

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Here was the view of the rest of the rooftop, with sofas, cabanas and stretched sunbathing chairs.

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The classy Grand Central Hotel Lobby

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There were two elevators but this was the main elevator with glass doors.

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Since all the Global Ambassadors were arriving at different times during the entire day, this day was like a “free-time” day. So, Kia Canada Social Manager and I walked around the city to get to know more about Barcelona. Beautiful weather by the way!

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Every block of Barcelona felt historic, all the buildings were nicely maintained and it’s a good scene.

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Ordered this tapas combo, which included a pint of regular size of beer and 3 choices of tapas. I chose the tuna salad, the olive & potato salad a plate of bread, fried potatoes and a sausage. All for $8.95 Euros. I think it’s a good price.

 

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I got to pose with some historic churches and buildings.

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This was a super market called Mercat de Santa Catering. Somewhat like a St. Lawrence Market with seafood, fresh meat and vegetables and other goodies.

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Some fresh seafood inside the mercat. I had never seen this type of fish before.

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We decided to check out the Picasso Museum, which is highly recommended. Lots to see and checking out the history of Pcasso. #MoVernieApproved

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After strolling the city and spending time at the Picasso Museum, decided to take a siesta break with a glass of wine and some more tapas. In case you wonder, tapas is basically a term to describe a small plate of appetizers for people to share, so the group gets to try a little bit of everything. These were what the Spanish referred as Croquette. A croquette is a small breadcrumbed fried food roll containing, usually as main ingredients, mashed potatoes and/or ground meat,

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I am fly’in in the Spain with my woes! 🙂 Peeps should know me by now that I love to pose “jumping” shots!

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Beautiful Citadel Park. Just look at the gorgeous golden sculptures!

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Another historical landmark.

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This is the well-known famous Sagrada Família. I told my peeps that if you can only visit one place in Barcelona, you have to visit this. That’s because once you visited this place, it means you have visited Barcelona.

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After all the nice walking touring the city, I got a nice hot shower at my 5-star hotel, then off we went to the restaurant to meet other Global Ambassadors. This Kia GearUp backdrop looked good at the entrance of the restaurants, easier for us to find the spot.

 

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We didn’t know which restaurant we were going so it turned out this restaurant was located beside the mercat that we visited a few hours earlier, that was cool!

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Introducing and meeting other awesome Global Ambassadors. We had a total of 13 Kia Global Ambassadors, so it’s a very Exclusive VIP Group. They came from Panama, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy, Spain, China, South Korea, France and of course Canada.

 

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Lovely fresh salad, just some of the items that we ate that night.

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Awesome creamy rice.

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These were my buddies. On my left, his name is Silvio, he had lots of talent because he was my tour guide, my assistant, my buddy who took care of me for the entire trip. On my right, his name is Andrew, he is the Social Media Manager of Kia Canada and accompanied me from Toronto all the way to Barcelona. I developed a great friendship with both and I thank both of them for their kindness and assistance. Everyday, I was going through different activities and being on camera or video at all times. They took care of me and making sure everything was fine. That sense of peace of mind was greatly appreciated. As Silvio often said “Coool!”. LOL

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After a great meal, I went back to the hotel and sleep. That’s because I worked a full 8 hours, then flew a red-eye & didn’t sleep and went sightseeing, finally, my body took a toll and wanted some rest.

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome pictures and videos on my EPIC Kia GearUp Journey. Stay tuned for my MoVernie Itinerary for Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 & Day 5!

And MoVernie is outta here!

 

 

Kia Gear Up Event in Barcelona, Spain – MoVernie on the MOVE (Getting Ready)

Kia Brand Ambassador

This coming week, MoVernie will be on the MOVE going international once again to Barcelona, Spain. The reason? I am flying to Spain as Kia Canada Brand Ambassador to meet other Kia Global Ambassadors to test drive some vehicles on a race track course.

Kia Motors Headquarter from Korea is organizing this global event. It’s a great honour that I was the chosen one to represent Canada to attend this Exclusive Special VIP Event.

Want to know where I am staying in Barcelona? What vehicles and fun activities I am going to drive and attend?

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) with hashtag #GearUp to find out more.

I am super excited! I heard great things about Barcelona from my friends and I look forward to check out this beautiful city. Special shoutout to Kia Canada and Kia Motors for having me!

I just checked the weather for Barcelona, it’s going to be nice and warm. So, I am packing mostly short pants and tees. Oh yes, sandals as well 🙂