Tag Archives: Okanagan Valley

Okanagan Spring

Apparently, spring has been early, and I’ve been enjoying every minute of it, even when the temperature went up to 30C for a couple of days. It’s more seasonal now, but those warm days ensured that blooms are everywhere, that the hills are verdant, and that lushness prevails. The wine is growing! 🙂

It's green!
It’s green! (And blue!)
More green!
More green! (And blue!) The snow on those far hills has been gone for a couple of weeks now.
And yellow. These beautiful daisy-like wild- flowers are everywhere.
And yellow. These beautiful daisy-like wildflowers are everywhere.
IMG_20160410_133008
This very popular trail is on the site of an old railroad track. It’s a favourite walk of M’s and mine.
A final view ... for now.
A final view … for now.

🙂

How is your spring going?

A Few More Okanagan Views

M and I have been doing lots of walking around our new home in British Columbia’s truly spectacular Okanagan Valley. Lots of wine is produced here and the landscape reflects that. There are moderate, wet winters with very hot summers, great for grapes and all the other types of fruit that are grown here. There’s so much more, however. Here’s a sample:

This is the view from Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park. It's high above Skaha Lake and is great for rock climbing, but also for us walkers.
This is the view from Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park. It’s high above Skaha Lake and is great for rock climbing, but also for us walkers.
Another view from the Skaha Bluffs. It was a beautifully warm day.
Another view from the Skaha Bluffs. It was a beautifully warm day.
There are some furiously fast snow melt creeks in the hills around the village of Naramata. We stopped to admire this particularly stunning example.
There are some furiously fast snow melt creeks in the hills around the village of Naramata. We stopped to admire this particularly stunning example.
A pine forest in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park.
A pine forest in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park.

 

We are continually oohing, ahhing and wowing as we explore this amazing place.

We feel truly grateful to be here. 🙂

Changing, Moving, Growing

IMG_20151004_165227When I realized that change was headed my way, I didn’t realize that it was going to be this intense.

In July, we sold our house in preparation for a move next year. We packed up all our stuff and trucked it to a rental. I whined about that a couple of posts ago.

However, life is not always orderly nor predictable (nor should it be). In late August, the opportunity for a great job came up. I interviewed, and a couple of days later I accepted their offer.

The job was 1000 km. away in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. Wine country. Some of the best wine in the world.

Real wine.

I was on my way west (even though I’m not a young man) inside of a week with my car packed to the rafters, my poor Rudy dog parked in a kennel and my dear M left on the prairies to finish up a work contract.

Now I live near all those wine grape vines you see in the top photo.

After finding a long-stay motel to reside in and starting my new job on August 31, I immediately got sick. Go figure.

There was sniffing, snorting, blowing and wheezing. A cough that came out of my bootlaces. A jackhammer headache that doubled in intensity every time I coughed. Aches and pains in my muscles that could have been caused by digging the equivalent of the English Channel tunnel but weren’t. I sounded like a four-pack-a-day, 60-year smoker. If I laughed, I broke into a cough. Sneezing turned into a chain of mini-eruptions with attendant lava flow. I was feverishly hot and cold at the same time.

And through it all, I kept working. New job and all that. I was the queen of hand sanitizer, giant tissues and elbow coughing.

Then it started to go away.

I started to feel better.

I started to get cocky. I’m like that.

Then I started to feel really, really bad. I woke up one morning feeling like I needed to get the bolt in my neck tightened.

Which would have been all fine if my name had been Frankenstein.

But it’s not.

I decided to investigate by taking a look in the bathroom mirror.

I looked like I was wearing a turtleneck sweater with an inflation device inserted into the neck part.

The side of my neck was swollen from my ear to my shoulder and the pain that accompanied it was intense. My tonsils were swollen. My ear ached and crackled. I could hear everything inside my mouth but nothing outside.

A secondary infection had taken up residence. Yum.

It’s still not gone but I’m about to start my second round of antibiotics, for which I am eternally (and internally) grateful.

Nevertheless Continue reading Changing, Moving, Growing

21 Things I Irrationally Love

This post has been prompted by the wonderful Aussa Lorens who in turn got this idea from the equally wonderful Samara. Check out the 21 things that they irrationally love as well as their funny, irreverent, witty and flat-out amazing posts about all sorts of things.

So, without further ado, the 21 things that I irrationally love:

1. Red. I love red. Red shoes. Red pillows. Red cars. Red scarves. Red jackets. Red airplanes. Fun red is always good red.

2. Chocolate (and Nutella!). Whither thou goest, chocolate. When I do without it for a while I appreciate it even more. 🙂

3. Star Trek, et. al. Crazy about it, ever since I was a child. But not the last series, the one with Scott Bakula in it. With that crew, it sort of went from being deliberately campy/cheesy to just being kind of dumb.

4. Fast cars. I would love to own a Mustang. Sigh.

5. Pasta. With almost any kind of sauce. I sometimes dream about pasta. The ultimate comfort food.

6. Red wine. And not because it’s red, because I like white wines, too. But red wine – well, what can I say? Yum! Especially the wines of British Columbia’s Okanagan valley.

7. Steak. Especially with red wine. With a side of pasta. And a brownie for dessert? Yesss! (Have you noticed how a lot of this is about food?)

8. Airplanes. Love those, too. In fact, am completely passionate about them. Which works out really well because I’m a pilot.

9. Ocean beaches. Love ’em. Love walking on them. Sitting on them. Digging in them … and also love the

10. Ocean. Make that any ocean.

11. Cigars. I used to occasionally smoke them, but not any more. Still love the smell, though.

12. Laughing like a mad fool at stuff that other people think is rather lame.

13. Original Craftsman houses. Especially the red brick ones. They have character, they have personality, they have charm.

14. Fine line pens. Black. I really dislike having to use anything else.

15. Jacuzzi tubs. Not the outdoor hot tubs. The indoor ones.

16. Scarves. I’m not very talented at tying them, but I love them!

17. Italy. I adore all things Italian, not just their pasta and red wine. 🙂

18. Ireland. What a great country!

19. Countries that start with “I.” (Just kidding.) 🙂 Handmade pottery. I’m actually a little potty about pottery.

20. Museums. I love ’em.

21. Art galleries. Love these, too.

What are some of your irrational loves?  Are you willing to do a post?  Would love to read other “21” lists!

A Little Thanks for Good Wine and Other Things

Last weekend – Oct 12 – 14 – which was Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, M and I went to the Okanagan Valley, an area renowned for its fruit and wine. We in indulged in both and had a wonderful little mini-holiday!

300° panaroma near Penticton, Okanagan Valley,...
300° panaroma near Penticton, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The above photo will give you an idea of what it’s like. We stayed in Penticton, from which we launched our wine tasting adventure. I took the “featured image” photo at the top of the page from a winery on the Naramata Bench. You can tell that the weather was fabulous. I’ve borrowed the photo below, but it also can give you an idea of what this landscape is like – forested and rugged with lots of grapes!

Naramata Bench 1
Naramata Bench 1 (Photo credit: pvsbond)

I took the next photo from quite an elevation. If you enlarge it, you can see many of the plots of grapes.

Osoyoos, near Penticton

We attended a major wine tasting where I learned to stick to just one kind to avoid getting a confused palate. Mine got confused anyway – typical!

March 2006 tasting panel convened to determine...
March 2006 tasting panel convened to determine if certain Merlots from the Okanagan could have characteristics attributable to certain geographical areas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

M and I had a great dinner at the Borrowing Owl winery where I had my favourite dessert, creme brulee. Here is the photo I took. Yum!

Creme Brulee!

The Okanagan produces some rather wonderful reds, such as the Black Hills Note Bene, a blend that I am in love with. M and I aren’t into the whole wine snobbery bit but we like to have fun with it and we also like to drink it! After all, for me, it’s an important part of my cultural history!

It was also important to remember to give thanks. Not only for the great wine, but also for each other, for our families, for our friends, and for many other things.

Do you have a wine experience you would like to share?