What a great, little getaway.
I get a feeling that running away like we did to the Okanagan[wiki. def.] would be a cliche thing to do for some Vancouverites, but there is no way that we are not going to do trips like this again. You can see how people flock to the valley for summertime vacations, even more so for those family holidays that your mom and dad dragged you along to. Miniture golf courses, beaches, B&B’s, real golf courses, hotel after hotel, and huge homes on the shores that one can only dream of ever owning.
Kelowna is a great community. However, it’s a city with two faces. Off-season and on-season. It seems like all of the hotels are hiring right now, the phrase “for the coming season” being key. To me, it’s a bit like the Wisconsin Dells[wiki. def.], but Kelowna has it beat for sure. I don’t think you can check out as many attractions as you can back in the states. At the same time, I don’t think that is why people flock there.
The drive to get there and back was a treat for myself. I have this ongoing love of road trips, and Rebecca couldn’t be a better companion for that. With both of our iPods, we had plenty of tunes to make up for the lack of radio stations between populated areas. We took a different route there than we did back, so I got to see a lot of the mountainside between destinations. It could have been the fact that we set out early on Friday, but I said very little the whole way there, my head turned out the passenger side window with the hope that I might get to see a bear. No luck.
To say that the Okanagan is “wine country” seems like a bit of an understatement. Wineries thrive in the valley. During the summer, this place gets hot, dry, and sunny, a perfect climate for thousands and thousands of vinards and orchards to thrive. Some people have these growing in their yards for their own harvests. Then there are line after line after line of something growing for mass production. Unfortunately we were there just as the growing season is getting underway, but I would love to try some of the produce from any of the numerous stands we passed.
The climate here is nearly that of a desert. The patches of ground that inhabit the areas where trees are not growing have little else other than sickly, brown grass covering them. Even at this time of year, you can see how arid the area gets in the depths of summer. The other evidence that displays this fact is the hundreds of acres of scortched trees that were victims of the fires from 2003 [wiki. def. “2003 Okanagan Mountain Fire”].
The weather was noticable warmer while we were there, and we really liked that. This is to be expected, but we are both getting anxious for the days of summer to return to Vancouver. It felt comfortable enough to take my jacket off while we were throwing stones into the lake during a slight hiking adventure. In fact, we were trying to find a park when we went completely off road and ended up in some dead end with a gate telling us that we were not welcome beyond that point. The tiny excursion we fell back on was pretty awesome. Trails, climbing slippery rocks, and a little sweat is always a good time.
I do want to add that if you find yourself passing through Hope and are in need of a good breakfast, check out Rolly’s. Eggs, bacon, sausage, and hashbrowns, killer service, and all the small town feel that a guy who grew up in small town Iowa could ever ask for. I think we even got the morning coffee crew sitting in the back to look us over. That wasn’t as bad as our brief pit stop in Princeton. Everyone watched us come in and out of that place. Freaky.
Vacation, mini-honeymoon, getaway, adventure, or whatever you want to call it, the Okanagan was a good time.