Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wine a Bit

We've been in Oliver, BC since Thursday. Or what I'm starting to refer to as the day Mother Nature tried to end Alberta. Hey, we all know we have some less than enthusiastic fans out there, and PETA would love nothing more than to see the end of the Calgary Stampede, but given all that, I don't think you could ask for more from the people, our municipal governments & our community services. These people have worked their asses off for the last 4 days. I couldn't be prouder. I think one Calgarian summed it up nicely. On CBC, when asked about his home, which was under water, he said, well it's sad, but we've got somewhere to stay and the city needs our help so were just going to do what needs to be done. I think pretty much tells you who Albertans are. 

Mark & I have been torn for the last few days between guilt that we aren't there to help, and the need to enjoy a well deserved vacation. It's been unreal watching homes, communities & businesses of friends and family be threatened or destroyed with each new  Twitter or Facebook update. So we've resolved that when we get back later this week we're going to volunteer to help the City get cleaned up & ready for the stampede. If you want to know more search the tag #csvolunteer on Twitter. 

But I'm sure, you, like us have been glued to the news for days so let's get to the lighter side, adventures in Canada's wine country!  This is the lovely vacation rental we are staying at, right on a working winery. We are surround by vines as far as the eye can see. It's a beautiful place & I'd recommend it to anyone. If your interested, email me & I'll send you the details. The owners are fantastic!

This is the first vacation we've taken Jessie on & she was a real trooper making the 13 hour drive. We were very proud of her. She's been having so much fun we have had to carry her to bed the last couple nights, she's just crashed!

It's so nice to find a place to stay that's gorgeous & allows dogs, without having to pay a fortune. 

The last couple of days we've been exploring the area, which includes the town of Osoyoos. I haven't been there since I was about 13. My family used to come every summer to pick cherries. But I think as we became teenagers the thought of driving all this way with a bunch of whiney, mouthy, know-it-alls probably appealed less & less to my parents. So I haven't seen this place in about 30 years & it is nothing like I remember. 

It's been transformed from a small farming community into a tourist driven wine mecca. There are over 20 wineries criss-crossing this valley. And probably more to come. 

This picture was taken on the deck of the  Platinum Bench winery and doesn't even give you a good idea of how green every hill and rise is with vines. Literally in every direction. Yesterday, we went to 5 wineries. Not really knowing what to expect, we had a delightful time entering each taste room & meeting owners who were happy to answer all our questions. 

We had a great time & found ourselves in possession of almost a full case of wine when we returned home. Today is supposed to be the last day of sunshine before 2 days of rain. Of course, I'm hoping the weather man is wrong, but just in case we are going to go kayaking today on the lake & then to the Brew Pub for supper. A brew pub in the wine capital of Canada seems kind of brilliant to me. They make their own beer, so we are excited to check it out. This will be our first foray into eating out here. Mark did such a good job of preparing & packing food for this trip. Honestly, the man is a genius. We've been eating like kings for this whole trip with only one small stop needed to pick up a few items like olive oil. 

Tomorrow if it rains we'll check out a few more wineries & than sit back with a good book, a glass of wine & relax!

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