Kelowna & Area

What a beautiful part of our country the Okanagan Valley is.  We’ve been in the area for close to a week and seen the diversity of the area in terms of activities, terrain and people.

Kelowna sits in a valley on the west side of the Monashees, one of the mountain ranges that make up the Rocky Mountains.  It is situated at approximately the mid point of Okanagan Lake and if you follow the lake south you go through West Kelowna ( formerly called Westbank) , Peachland, Summerland,  and eventually arrive at Penticton at the south end of the lake.  A drive north of Kelowna takes you along the lake through Lake County, Oyama, Coldstream and Vernon at the other end of this huge lake.

Each community boasts amazing views of the lake,  great restaurants and outdoor activities that go hand in hand with lake living.   Beautiful walking paths, gardens and beaches are showcased along the waterfronts and even though it is still April, many people are out on the beaches…some even venturing into the water.  We spent an afternoon on the beach at Skaha Lake which is located just south of Okanagan Lake in Penticton.   The beach was hot…very hot!  But the water had not been warmed enough by the sun yet for me to go in.  However, we did see kids swimming in it!  I’m a bit of a chicken!

The hills on both sides of the valley are lined with vineyards…approximately 200 wineries in the area…and orchards which supply most of the fruit we buy in our grocery stores across Canada.  Kelowna is headquarters for BC Tree Fruits.

Interspersed among the vineyards and orchards are well groomed golf courses to suit any level of ability.  We enjoyed the view from the balcony of the Sunset Ranch Club House one day for lunch and today played a nine hole course not far from our condo.

We were told that in the summer Kelowna and the area grows in population by more than 20,000 as tourists converge on the area to camp, golf, enjoy the lakes, tour the wineries and sample the great restaurants.  We’re just at the beginning of the tourist onslaught at the end of April and the weather has been amazing!

For the outdoor enthusiasts, Big White ski hill is not far away for mountain biking, hiking, etc.  but we did not fit that into our week this time.

There is so much to do in this region that we would definitely recommend a vacation anywhere in this area!

Wine Tasting: The Golden Mile

We drove to Osoyoos today with the intent of checking out some of the vineyards along the way back.


Wines are produced all along the Okanagan Valley  from the US border all the way north to Salmon Arm but the area between Osoyoos and Oliver, called the Golden Mile, has the greatest number of wineries in the whole area.


We enjoyed visits to six of them today and came away with eight bottles of wine and some wine jelly.

The wine tastings at all the wineries were lovely but most memorable would have to be Rustico Winery. This one is owned by an older fellow from the Vancouver area who bought the place in about 2007 because of the history of the vineyard.  The owner, who looks like a retired posse leader from Bonanza, lives in the original log house with a sod roof.

imageHis tasting room is a replica of the Wild West with appropriately named wines like Silver Garter and Farmer’s Daughter, Bonanza and Mother Lode. He’s a colourful character with a quick wit and a few good stories.  The wine was not necessarily the “Best in the West” but the showmanship of the tasting sure was!

Creston Hospitality


I would be remiss if I didn’t brag about the great service and hospitality that we have experienced in the last 24 hours.

After our wonderful stop at Tie Lake we continued our journey west to the beautiful little town of Creston.  With all the gardens and orchards in bloom, we were excited to breathe in the fragrant air and soak in the warm sunshine.  The forecast had been for rain but it was nowhere in sight!

We had arranged a room for the night through AirBnB.  When we arrived, we were greeted at the door by a wonderful smiling lady named Grietje.  She had a lovely little house with a beautiful back yard of flowers….magenta coloured magnolias in particular caught my attention!  Wish we could grow them in Claresholm!


Grietje showed us to our pretty little room and our comfy bed.  Since it was early yet, we headed out to see a bit of downtown Creston and treat ourselves to dinner out.  After window shopping for a bit we came upon  a new restaurant that had just opened its doors to the public an hour earlier.  The Memories of Indian Cuisine turned out to be an amazing place to eat!  Kudos to the chef and the servers as people lined up outside to be seated!  How lucky we were to have been seated immediately! We would highly recommend this place if  Butter Chicken, kebabs or Naan bread are on your list of favorites.


Since the restaurant was not yet licenced, we headed to Jimmy’s Pub for a drink after dinner.  Jim couldn’t decide what kind of beer to have and the waitress suggested the sampler… Three ounces each of six different local brews!  He loved it!  So I also decided on the wine sampler…2 ounces each of three different local wines.  Great suggestion for us and very tasty.


Back to Grietje’s house where we were invited to visit with her in her living room.  We shared a glass of wine and chatted for a couple of hours about families, travelling, art…it was like catching up with a long lost relative!  We would encourage anyone needing a room in Creston to look her up!  She is a wonderful hostess!


Hospitality did not end there… We headed out early in the morning.  An hour and a half later we were at Jim’s sister’s doorstep!  Margo and Dave had just woken up but they welcomed us in for a big waffle and bacon breakfast and a few cups of coffee.  Hospitality everywhere we go!

Thank you to all of you!  And hugs to little Landyn!

Memory Lane

On our way to Creston today we passed by Tie Lake… about half an hour east of Cranbrook.  I suggested that since we were in no hurry we should drive up to the lake and see if we could find the cabin that my Aunt Myrtle and Uncle Bert owned many years ago.  By chance, we came upon Thistle Drive which sounded familiar to me.  A walk down the path to the lake confirmed I had the right area but I couldn’t remember which cabin was theirs.  Then we stopped to chat with a neighbor who steered me to the right cabin and she suggested I go knock on the door and introduce myself.

image Continue reading Memory Lane

Off to the Okanagan

April 22- May 2, 2016 will find us on the road again for a visit to the beautiful Okanagan Valley in BC.  With a 9.5 hour drive west on the Crowsnest Highway, we’ve decided to break the trip into a two day drive with an overnight stop at a little AirBnB in Creston.  We could shave 1.5 hours off our trip by taking the TransCanada Highway through Banff and Lake Louise but we’ll do that route on the way home.  We love Highway 3 and the way it meanders through all the cute little towns.  Besides, we’re in no hurry!  Our destination is Kelowna, where we’ve traded a week of time shares at Panorama for a week at the Holiday Park Resort.   I’m pretty excited to see what the Okanagan is like in the spring.