Imagine you had been sick for a while – sick enough that you can’t travel too far from a hospital. Then after a lot of hard work, you finally get better, and with some well-deserved good luck, you win the use of a Ford Escape for a weekend. What do you do? Where do you go?

Ask Paul Hand.

Off and on for about six years, Paul fought a serious illness. When Paul finally recovered late last year, he and his family won a mini-vacation, including the use of an Escape and $1,000 to spend. The timing of the win was very lucky—he managed to fit in a long weekend trip before returning to work. Paul, his wife Kristal, and their kids Carter and Colton took the Escape to Winterlude in Ottawa.

The family poses in front of the world’s largest skating rink.

“Getting away, relaxing and enjoying this amazing beautiful province and country” is very important to Paul, and this was his first major trip after his illness. You can imagine how much the trip meant to Paul and his family.

If you’re going to go on a celebratory road trip, you have to go in the right car. Tunes on the satellite radio? Check. Navigation system and other bells and whistles for the passenger to play with? Check. Heated seats and enough room for the kids and all their stuff? Check. The Hands loved the Escape. In fact, at the end of the weekend, the kids asked, “Daddy, we’re going to keep this, right?”

The kids enjoy the back seat of the Ford Escape.

Once in Ottawa, the Hands crammed as much fun as they could into every minute. They saw ice sculptures, rode the giant ice slides at Snowflake Kingdom, took ski lessons, walked along the canal (Paul forgot his skates), sat in an Olympic bobsled, and even took advantage of all of the fun amenities in the hotel, including the pool and foosball table. Paul told us that he lives “every single moment to the fullest because I know how quickly it can all go away,” and he wasn’t kidding.

We couldn’t think of a more deserving family than the Hands, and we’re glad that they got to enjoy a weekend Escape.

Carter and Colton enjoy a ski lesson.

Love road trips? Find out why you’d love the Escape.