BC Day Adventure!

We had FANTASTIC weather this August, so we headed up Island to visit my in-laws, and my new nephew too!

It was so warm we swam in the ocean, every day. It was heavenly, just divine 🙂

I also went on a 27-km run that was pretty miserable, as it was 30 deg, full sun, a long, hot day AND I hit the trails to escape some of the heat and ended up tripping and falling pretty dramatically, but hey- I didn’t even get hurt!

I wrapped up the run covered in dirt/dust, lol and Ian had to go looking for me because it took me forever to get back, those trails…Not fast!

Wow, what happened to the summer?

After I left my last blog entry, it basically fell off a cliff!

Things were very busy, and lots of opportunity to blog but I just didn’t have the desire I suppose?

We went on a really nice summer holiday to visit my family in the Interior of BC, where we enjoyed camping at Christina Lake, kayaking, hiking, running, horseback riding, and biking/running the Myra Canyon Trestles, a trip to the Kangaroo Farm and then…COVID when we were in Vancouver.

We also enjoyed a fantastic dinner and wine tasting at Mission Hill, courtesy of my parents. It was divine!

Yep, the big Covid hit us, pretty hard. Not unexpected, as my sister was sick when she had dinner/visited with us in Kelowna but I was still fairly surprised and thought it was just terrible allergies when we were in Vancouver (running the sea wall, going out for drinks, out for dinner…greeeat…). Nope, COVID.

That knocked us on our butts for a while, and when I was feeling better I was working from home, and then back to work, where work proceeded to knock me on my butt again too!

Man, sometimes you can’t win!?

Christmas part 2: Royston Xmas

I forgot to write about this AT Christmas, and I finally have a moment to do so. Over the holidays I took a big chunk of time off (had to for work basically) and at that time, I desperately needed it. Things got reeeallly rough in my horse life, personal life, and work life. It was very challenging.

I then headed off to Kelowna for a good old fashioned family Christmas, which went better than I could have hoped for! When I flew home, I had 1 night at home and then we were driving off for another family Christmas- at Royston, for the first time! Ian’s folks moved just before the pandemic hit and therefore we couldn’t spend any time at their place over the holidays the past two years. This year though, no prob!

It went really well, the weather was insane though. UGH. It had snowed a bit before we got there and it was very rainy and slushy, but on Xmas eve? Blizzard with no power!! We spent about 4 hours shovelling, woof. That I do NOT MISS about living in the North, ha.

We also had a chance to visit with my friend and her mom who moved up right near Ian’s parents too, so that was really nice, and Ian surprised me with a lovely Xmas gift- visit to the Hydropath! It was sooo nice. On Christmas Day I booked x-c skiing for a half day for me and Ian, and it was just lovely. It was cold, there was a ton of fresh snow, the skiis were way better than when I went with my mom, and we had a great time!

The only thing that really sucked was driving home. It was an absolute, hair-raising nightmare on the roads and I now have more grey hairs because of it. Jesus, I never want to drive in a black-ice, blowing snow blizzard ever again. Yikes.

WordPress is pretty much broken and other Xmas fun

When I last left, I had a nice time in Kelowna visiting family, despite the growing spectre of bad weather + Omicron threatening most of everyone’s Xmas holidays!

I came home (flight was only delayed for over an hour) in the evening and then by morning we were up and packed for Christmas in Royston with my in-laws! When we left it was chilly and rainy, but that would immediately change…

But first, we visited the lovely Kingfisher hotel and spa to check out their beautiful lights display with my inlaws. They live quite close to it, and it is really a gorgeous place.

We cruised around Courtenay to look at the Xmas lights and were amazed by this guy- as it turns out, this house and skeleton are owned by an acquianteance of mine’s parents. Small world!!

Then my husband generously got us visits to the Kingfisher’s Hydropath experience, which I LOVED. Soooooo nice and relaxing, it’s a very expensive but super nice things to do and wow, you leave feeling tired hahah.

But we still had Christmas! It snowed a TON up in Royston on Christmas and we also lost power at his parents house, booo. We also spent three hours shoveling. Three of us! The worlds longest driveway?? Snow sooo heavy and thick, man. At least it wasn’t super cold out, but it did make me feel excited for our next adventure- back to cross-country skiing! 🙂

And on Xmas eve we visited with my friend and her sister and mom, of whom also bought houses close to my in-laws. That makes four people I know who have moved up-island…Maybe the writing is on the wall? Should I move to Cumberland, Courtenay or Comox???

We swam around in her mom’s AMAZING giant hot tub/therapy swim pool and it was sooooo cool. I loved it!

And were all limbered up for skiing the next day too! We hit the slopes in the afternoon and I rented everything online, so it was a breeze to swing up to the Alpine Centre at Mt. Washington and go for a good few hours of x-c skiing. The weather was pretty good, considering it was basically a blizzard the day before (we walked to my friends’ mom’s place, lol). A bit tricky to drive but wow, such a gorgeous day for skiing. Of course, I took Ian on the longest route possible by accident (Far East) and we had to hustle our buns to get back in time before the rentals closed and so did the trails, eek!

We did get a chance to feed the whiskeyjacks though, so cute, I just love them!

It felt nice to get out and get active for sure. The only downer part was the absolutely miserable weather we drove home in on Boxing Day. WOW it was nightmarish. Basically a blizzard with black ice most of the way back, with a special shout-out to Nanaimo for their absolute HORRENDOUS highway conditions. We got caught waiting after two minor accidents, so it was a good 5.5 hours home. At least we made it alive, jesus. It was bad.

And waiting for me at home? More snowstorms!! 😦

Man!

Being active over the holidays!

I traveled a fair bit over the Christmas holidays (narrowly avoiding what turned out to be an absolute disaster of travel later, as many airlines cancelled due to their staff getting Omicron… ) and it went well!

Outdoor skating! I was so bad at it

I wasn’t in a great headspace due to the issues mentioned earlier (colleague dying, being way understaffed at work, Oats lame with what turned out to be a months-long abscess journey- thankfully that was it though?!!) but I figured it’s better to be away from all of that nightmarish mess, isn’t it?

Actually yes!

I visited my family in Kelowna and it went completely fine. We had lots of activities and I enjoyed being in a winter wonderland for Christmas, we we don’t normally get snow here (and as I write, we have had the WORST weather in all the years I have lived here sooooo yeah we have a lot of snow here this winter?!).

Very Christmassy

We enjoyed skating outdoors in a beautiful little outdoor rink in downtown Kelowna, we went to Mission Hill winery for a truly fantastic little private tasting event, we went to see House of Gucci, we decorated gingerbread houses, I took my mom cross-country skiing to a hill near their place, and we went to a lovely and extremely pricey dinner at the Eldorado Hotel.

Mission Hill

It was a very nice experience and something I didn’t know I needed- to get away from my own life.

Next up- actual Christmas in Courtenay at my in-laws house. And they had a ton more snow? Why/how is this winter weather chasing me?!

And off to the Big Smoke (Kelowna)

Which actually wasn’t smoky really, but as the wildfires gathered strength I heard it got much, much worse. We did get incredibly lucky on this trip on the whole!

We drove through Vernon and it was wall-to-wall cars from Vernon to Kelowna and Kelowna was just terrible. Gridlock traffic the entire way. WTF??

Winery tasting with the family

We couldn’t check in to our hotel (damned Kelowna hotels, we stayed at the Prestige Beach location and I kind of hate it…) until after 4pm so we had hours to kill with Gidget. I decided I wanted to check out Gellatly’s Nut Farm which is also a beach and provincial/historical park. We couldn’t walk Gidget through the nut orchards because they apparently were worried that some dumbass child would mistake a dog shit for a nut (which then I think, they had it coming…) so we took turns cruising through the orchard and I found a hazelnut and a walnut! The walnut was interesting, all green and the nut inside the ‘fruit’. I had Ian dig it out and it stained his fingers for a week!!!

Summertime and the living is easy

We had dinner at my folks place, went for a swim and the next day met them in the morning for a swim and a nice visit to a winery close to their house.

That’s a big beer

We then staggered around in the heat downtown which was tougher than I thought, I felt so hot and dehydrated?!

Summerhill Winery’s pyramid of mystery

Back to my parents for dinner, birthday cake and a swim (which was awesome!), a walk to their beach locally and then back to the hotel. The next day we were up bright and early to drive to stay a night in Vancouver, where we ran the sea wall (yes!!) and had Moroccan dinner, which was very cool, and then back home- holidays all over!

I miss being on vacation….

Christmas (or as much of it as we can)

So we didn’t do much for Christmas. Something about a pandemic where we have orders to stay at home, avoid unnecessary travel, and aren’t allowed to mingle with people outside your family and you have… this. We did some activities at home, but honestly due to Oats extensive and incredibly draining rehab schedule, it was more or less fine to be stuck at home away from the world.

We cancelled our Ucluelet holiday after my office put out the orders banning travel, and cancelled our Xmas with my in-laws. Sucks, but what else is new??

Otherwise, enjoy some photos of what we did do!

More summer vacation adventures!

As I left off, I celebrated my birthday with family in Kelowna, and took my dad trail riding in the Westbank, and we picked a ton of sour cherries.

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The small red dots? Swimmer’s itch…picture it EVERYWHERE.

We also went to Peachland and went swimming- it is such a gorgeous spot, and excellent for visiting and swimming. There are bathrooms aplenty, free parking, a dive tower, a swing rope over the lake, and lifeguards.

The only thing I didn’t realize they also had? SWIMMERS ITCH! 😦

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Swimming- in the pool this time, phew! 

Dude we got it so bad. Hah. I was scratching like crazy out of the water and at lunch (outdoor patio at the big German place. It was good!). But damn we got it bad. We were soooooo itchy. And the next morning, we realized that everyone had tonnes of red welts all over. Hah. Lesson learned!

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Great margaritas on the patio in Penticton!

I stuck to swimming in the pool after that 🙂 And at Skaha Lake, where we went for a quick dip after visiting Penticton, such a lovely little town with quaint shops and a great and very reasonably priced Mexican restaurant, where again, we chose safety and sat outdoors at a patio with no patrons nearby.

Ian and I also spent a day going to two different wineries and checked out BNA Brewery. It was really cool (literally…it was about 35 degrees out) and they offered you still or sparkling water for FREE! Bonus points in my books!! Plus they had some giant model horses that I was sooo envious of!

Next up in our adventures…Going to Nelson!

 

Love at low speed

Back from a week of holidays and wishing it was more like…THREE weeks. MAN.

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Safety first! 

I went to the Interior (Kelowna) to visit my parents who moved there this winter. It was super hot, gorgeous weather, and I can’t complain! 🙂 I also celebrated a birthday, which was nice. We had black forest cake with sour cherries that we picked ourselves!! Can you believe it?

I flew, which is an experience on it’s own these days. All people in terminals and on the air plane must wear a mask, and there are no drink services. Instead, the air line gave out little baggies with a tiny water bottle, gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitation wipes, and a mask. I thought that was a pretty good touch, though I had my own water because I get super thirsty.

It was eerie, for sure though. I have not been close to people in months, and now we were crammed in shoulder-to-shoulder, all wearing masks. There was a temperature check at the gate, where they hold a little heat sensor to your forehead and then mark on your ticket.

Flying itself was fine, though I had approximately 4 screaming babies per airplane and no headphones, mine died the minute I got on the plane and I was trying to charge them up unsuccessfully the week before…:(

But anyways, it was about 34 deg in Kelowna! I took my dad trail riding to a place we used to go for years…Probably for about 20 years! It was called Mandy and Me, and it went under about 5 years or more ago. Now, a lovely young couple runs it as ‘Broken Rail Ranch’ and we enjoyed the same trails as before. Awesome eh?

The trails also run alongside a defunct sour cherry orchard, and the owner of the trail business said nobody picks it, so if we wanted, we could come and pick from it. And we did! The next day in the evening, we went to pick about… 50lbs of sour cherries.

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And there were even more than this! So many cherries. 

They were great! I did realize the next day when we were pitting them that there were a ton of maggots in them too, hahaha. Whoops! No chemical sprays here! Good thing a little maggot eating isn’t bad for you.

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Cherry picking with my family.

Our next adventures to be continued…

Getting creative when there’s nothing else to do

And of course, now that we can’t really travel or do things we are used to: Visiting with friends, happy hour, running races or in groups, horse shows, going to a movie, swimming, etc etc etc…

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My watercolour attempt! 

Ian and I have had to get much more creative- literally! We have done a few fun projects, from an Easter gingerbread house to making Sculpey animals, to watercolour paintings. It’s been pretty fun, and I guess, a fun distraction from the things we can’t normally enjoy.

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My Easter house- isn’t it fun? I bought like 5 gingerbread houses from Thrifty’s because they were a dollar each, so I used one this year for Easter. My friend even bought me some amazing flavored Peeps from the USA!

Of course, we can get take-out meals, drinks, have a picnic and have done many of these activities throughout the past 3 months as well!

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Our sculpey projects- I want to get some magnets and do up the backs of these, they are too cute not to share!