Monday, June 29, 2015

Kelowna - Day 2

What a great sleep we had - biking over 50KM will do that, particularly when you mix in the fresh mountain air and all the beverages that we drank!

With a solid night sleep, we woke early and made camp-fire breakfast which is my favourite. We packed the car and were off to find a place to shower... 2 nights camping and 50K biking will make you feel like you need a long hot shower. Good thing there are plenty to go around in Kelowna and we found one at the Husky in town.

Camelot - you could touch the vines
We had an incredible shower and got ready to tackle the day, we grabbed some coffee and went to see if we could find some of the places we went to the day before. We had purchased wine from one of the vineyards and planned on purchasing some from another, so we sat and waited... but in the waiting we figured out that if we drove 2.5 kms we would see another vineyard and I am so glad we did. Camelot was our 3rd vineyard for the weekend and it was my favourite. We drove through the opened gates and saw the beautiful vines that make such sweet nectar on either side of our car. It was so intimate and quiet... and then I came around the corner and they had a stone with a sword in it... it was so delightful. The chatty, friendly gentlemen they have serving wine was knowledgeable and entertaining and clearly is a big fan of their wine. We ended up purchasing more wine there and left happily, as we petted Molly their 'guard' dog as we left.

We found the other 2 vineyards, made our purchases and headed out of town. We found a road side dinner to eat at that was less then spectacular and then made our way to the Enchanted Forrest to break up the drive. If you have ever been on the TransCanada Highway in British Columbia, you have seen the entrance to this magical place. While I had thought I had never been, conversations with my parents revealed that I had indeed been to this forest when I was a little lass... so little I don't remember going. It seemed that around every corner was a new delight, and filled my heart with so much happiness. There were characters from every nursery rhyme I have ever known, ducks and swans and gnomes, all made out of cement and painted with love. While in reality, it was hokey, it was still delightful to climb around and inside the little houses and characters. I loved it - every cheesy, delightful moment.
We left with smiles on our faces, the beautiful sun was shining, and our journey continued. We drove the winding mountain roads, windows down, radio up, and smiles on our faces. We needed this weekend to let go of the stress of life, and to reconnect with ourselves and each other. It was a perfect, beautiful weekend. We will be back to Kelowna... in fact, we might just make it a yearly retreat! :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Kelowna - Day 1

This past weekend, Justin and I took a road trip to Kelowna. It was delightful, restful, amazing and well needed. We hit the road just after work on Friday.

The Black Bear
It had been rainy and dreary in Calgary but as soon as we hit Canmore, and began our drive through the mountains, the windows rolled down, the breeze flowed through our... er... my hair, the smell of beautiful wild roses in full bloom filled the car. 

It was a delightful. We saw many animals on our journey, one being a Grizzly Bear and another being a black bear that was munching on food just off the road. I could see the flies on his nose, we were so close. 

We found a camping spot that was back-woodsy and available and free. It was a magical looking panorama of mountains and a valley. We climbed up and up and up to a spot that had a bubbling waterfall behind us and the panorama in front of us. I must admit that I was a little weary about being attacked my a mountain lion or a bear, but we were too loud and our fire was just spooky enough to keep them away. We managed to make a small little snack and had a bit of a fire, a beer and relaxed listening to the bubbling of the waterfall. After working all day and then travelling about 5 hours, we hit the sack to get a good start in the morning. 

We got up and got breakfast made, ate and packed up the subie. We had vineyards to see! We made it to Kelowna before noon, found a new campsite and hopped on our bikes to begin the tour. It was 20+ that day and beautiful blue skies allowed the sun to shine on us. It was a perfect day!

After biking for 45 minutes, we arrived at our first vineyard, Sperling. We walked into the tasting room and were greeted by their sales agent and she gave us a tour of all their delicious wines. We found some really delicious wines, their White Market Wine being my personal favourite. We were then bombarded as a wine tour arrived and we skulked out of their tasting room and into their market place. We ordered some sandwiches and spudnuts (or homemade donuts, that were incredible) and sat in the shade in the Sperling vineyard yard and ate our lunch. It was restful, delightful and a perfect afternoon. Alas, we had to continue on and that we did.

Justin at the top of one of the hills. The views were stunning.
We biked for another 45 minutes and managed to find the Tree Brewery - a refreshing stop on our tour to be sure. After getting the sales pitch, we selected a small sample of each beer (there were 8), That is after we drank a delicious pink grapefruit bevy that was designed for bikers - it was super refreshing. We sampled all 8 beers and found out that pineapple beer is gross and amber beer is awesome! Cooled off and refreshed, we hit the bike trails again in hopes of finding another great vineyard at the end of the journey.

The View Vineyard
About 1 hour later, we rolled up to "The View" vineyard, which was at the top of a very steep hill. Tired and thirsty, we thankfully went inside the cool tasting room and shared the sales pitch with another couple. The wine was very delicious and fresh; their pinot noir was a delight. We didn't spend much time at this place, as there wasn't much to see and the pitch was not very long. The pourer was only allowed to pour us 4 glasses each, so once that was done, we figured we'd make our way back to our camp site.

After about an hour and a half, we managed to find our way back to our site. Immediately, we soaked our legs in the cool mountain stream beside our camp site... nothing like an improv ice bath to make your legs feel better! We settled in for the night, enjoying the nice warm evening and the campfire, a beer or two, and some of the best s'mores I've ever made. Camping is the best!