Well, I'm back. And it was FANTASTIC!!!! I got home about an hour ago and can't sleep, so here I am at the computer. I am really going to be hating myself for this tomorrow morning when I am dragging my sorry ass into the office .....
Anyway, we had a fabulous time and packed A LOT into a very short amount of time. When we finally arrived in Kelowna we discovered that our idea of being spontaneous and whimsical (read, let's not make a hotel reservation and just find a place when we get there) was not such a brilliant plan. There was one room available, a queen murphy bed in a room with no window which could be ours for the bargain basement price of $360.00 PER NIGHT! I don't think so. We made it to The Accent Inn where Kevin and Terry called pretty much every hotel in a 4 city radius for us, to no avail, and just as we were about to head all the way to Vernon in hopes of finding somthing, someone called to cancel so we got their room. Horseshoes, my friends, horseshoes.
With a place to stay now secured, we made a quick change out of our driving clothes and headed into town for dinner and some liquid refreshment. Now, it was hot. I mean really, really hot. Like 36 degrees hot. I like the heat, but I am also used to Vancouver and living by the ocean where there is always a cool breeze and the evenings, even at the peak of summer, generally require that you wear a light jacket. Not so out there in the desert, so I had to make a quick wardrobe adjustment. My jeans were just going to be too bloody hot and my only alternative was to fashion a skirt out of my sarong. This worked great, when I was standing still in the hotel room. Suffice to say that I did a lot of "creative walking" and probably exposed a tad more of myself than originally intended to the good folks of Kelowna. My travelling companion Jennifer was promtly fired as my "preventer of wardrobe malfunctions". She did, however, resist the urge to point and laugh at me as I pretty much threw myself against the outside wall of the pub we were entering when I realized that my skirt was nowhere near where it was supposed to be. For this I thank her.
My impression of the Kelowna "scene"? Too much testosterone and high-powered water sports equipment in one small space. Lots of men who wished they were 2 inches taller and were named "Brad" (who wears a visor and sunglasses at 11 at night?). Lots of butt slapping and "booyahs!" all 'round.
Today was winery day and we hit 6 in as many hours. Mission Hill was the most spectacular and you definitely get a lot of bang for your buck: $15.00 gets you the full tour, 5 tastes and the $14.95 crystal wine glass that you use at the tasting. Our favourite "experience" though was at Dirty Laundry --- a husband and wife team that actually welcome you into their home for tastings and education. They have a fabulous shaded patio overlooking their vineyard where they encourage you to bring a picnic and sip their wine. The story behind the name (briefly) - the first Chinese Laundry opened in Summerland was by a very enterprising man who ran a (very lucrative) brothel above his laundry. Hence "Dirty Laundry". And their wine was yummy, too. (not to mention an absolutely gorgeous label/logo)
Funny moment: Quail's Gate refused to serve me as I had forgotten my ID at home. I mean come on -- I am 37 years old. Thanks for the compliment, but seriously, I don't look at least 25??????? So that tasting became a spectator sport for me. They wouldn't even give me a Callebaut Chocolate Ice Wine Tasting Cup sans wine as a consolation prize. Bastards.
We also went to Straw Hill (their Tapestry is outstanding), House of Rose and we tried to get to Burrowing Owl but it was closed. I was there 2 years ago and it is definitely worth the trip.
Oh, yeah, and I did actually remember to buy the peaches for canning which was the original purpose of my trip. I'll get to that task later in the week.
One more funny/odd thing: as we were driving out of Osoyoos last night, we passed what I can only assume was a sheep farm owned by new immigrants with a culture/language barrier because hanging from their sign were three blow-up sheep/goat things usual only seen at stag parties and the like. Or maybe it was some sort of niche-market sex toy shop. Given the location, it just seemed odd.
* When I got home last night and opened the fridge to put the peaches in, there was a note on the top shelf: "Stole your hummous" from my sister. That was my lunch for this week (or an important component thereto, anyway)!! well, I guess she did look after the princess for the weekend ......