KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence

Yesterday we took three of our grandsons, thirteen, fifteen, and eighteen, on a tour of the recently opened KF Aerospace Centre of Excellence. We got our first glimpse of the almost completed project a few weeks ago when we rode our bikes to the Airport to have lunch at the Conair Cafe, located in one of the KF Aerospace hangers.

The vision for this project started with a napkin sketch by KF Aerospace’s founder Barry Lapointe. The legacy project focused on two key ideas, make it feel like a plane and use wood wherever possible, and we think they did a great job! I found these two pictures on the internet, the first is the concept drawing and the second, taken at night shows the how the building really does resemble a plane.

The KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence is shaped like the fuselage and wings of an aircraft. It is a non-profit exhibition and conference centre designed to celebrate the Okanagan’s 50-year history of aviation

The 60,000 sq. ft. building includes two large hangars, built to look like airplane wings, that house a rare aircraft collection. The hangars, or wings, are on either side of the fuselage which features an interactive exhibition that tells the story of aviation in the Okanagan Valley.

Some of the historic aircraft on display include the newly-restored Hawker Tempest MKII, the Odyssey DC-3, and the de Havilland 98 Mosquito (VR796).

The Mosquito, which features a unique wooden airframe, is one of 30 Mosquitos remaining worldwide, and one of four currently airworthy. This aircraft underwent a five-year restoration project completed by Victoria Air Maintenance, and arrived at the Centre of Excellence on June 30th.

I think the three boys and grandpa had a great time playing in the DC-10 flight simulator and the Convair flight training device 😀

Grandpa with our eighteen year old grandson in the cockpit, our thirteen year old grandson was in the flight engineer seat.

While those three were trying to fly the plane, our fifteen year old grandson was playing it smart and preparing for a crash landing!

We had a great time and even had the chance to watch a Dash 8 and a 737 land at the airport.

This plane sits on the apron in front of the Centre of Excellence … I’m hoping they will add more planes in the future. The actual airport runway is behind the plane and trees.

And on a completely different topic …

My sister, daughter, and I have longed followed the Royal Family. For my sister and I it was instilled in us from our dad and of course I’m sure our daughter got it from my sister and I. I have been expecting the Queen’s passing for awhile and was really concerned when she cancelled her meeting with the Privy Council last Wednesday, so while her passing on Thursday wasn’t unexpected it was still a shock and so very sad. The Queen was Canada’s Head of State so she often visited Canada and I can remember as a child my dad coming home from work in Vancouver with a picture of the Queen and Prince Phillip that he had taken at a stop light. It’s hard to imagine in this day and age the Queen driving down the streets of Vancouver in a covertible with little to no protection … I miss the days when that was possible.

The Queen was a remarkable women and she will be missed.

I will leave you with a very touching quote from Prince William …

“My grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love. All of the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary Queen.”

Beach Time, Friends, & Family

Most of our days are pretty routine but we enjoyed some time last week visiting with friends who were at the campground with their four granddaughters. It’s always nice to have people to sit on the beach with and even though they were very busy we did find time for some visiting 🙂

We have had some nice sunrises over the last two weeks …

But this was the prettiest one of the last few weeks …

The campground is still full, and people are pulling in for the long weekend so I’m sure it will be a busy one, but hubby and I will be busy as well … our son and daughter-in-law are coming up from the lower mainland of BC to spend the weekend with us and that makes me a happy mommy 🙂

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Until next time …

An Interesting Stop On Our Bike Ride

Yesterday we headed out early, parked the truck in a lot at the top of Westside Road, jumped on our bikes and headed off to meet our Fed Ex Coffee Group.

I liked the look of this dead tree in the gravel lot where we parked our truck.

After coffee we made a short detour for an appointment and then we rode out to the Kelowna Airport for lunch. Does that sound like a strange place to go for lunch when you are not catching a flight? It does to me, but we did have a reason to go 🙂

It is a nice bike ride along the Okanagan Rail Trail and we wanted to try out an interesting cafe hubby had heard about.

The Convair Cafe started out as an employee restaurant for the 600 staff at KF Aerospace but it’s location right along the Okanagan Rail Trail brought the public in looking for a cold drink or a tasty lunch.

The cafe has an aeronautical inspired interior that fetures airplane seats, inside plane panels, overhead bins and a drink galley … and way more leg room than you would get on an actual airplane 😀

The food was delicious and a cool fact … food left over at the end of the day is donated to the Kelowna Gospel Mission to support the most vulnerable in our community.

Once we finished lunch we rode back to Kelowna and of course we had to stop at a new brewery that just opened. We had to do it because I’m sure you would have been let down if we didn’t make at least one brewery stop! Railside Brewing is located right along the Okanagan Rail Trail and we were impressed with the four samples we tried. They have a Ramen Food Truck on site, but they don’t open until 2:00 p.m. and normally we are done our lunch and heading home by then so I’m not sure if or when we will get to try out the Ramen, but we will definately stop for a beer if they are open when we are riding by.

Many hours, and 50km/30mi , later we arrived back at the truck, but not before making a detour to Indiginous World a winery/distallery that we recommend to many campers.

We have been there before but it was about three years ago so we wanted to stop and make sure it was still worthy of our recommendation and it definately is! We were greated inside and then invited to go out to the deck where we could enjoy our tastings while being surrounded by the beautiful views.

We are waiting for our tastings and looking down the lake toward the campground.

I believe the five tastings normally cost $10.00 and that is deducted if you make a purchase, but we didn’t have to pay … they appreciate our sending patrons their way so they covered our tastings 🙂 Of course we went home with a few bottle of wine because they were all so good.

2018 Single Vineyard Syrah … yummy!

Indigenous World also makes whisky, vodka, and gin so there may be another visit in our future to try out the hard spirits.

Another wonderful bike riding day!

Until next time …

A Week Full Of Family Time 🙂

Our youngest son and his family arrived a week ago Saturday, our daughter and her family arrived on Monday and our oldest son and his family arrived last Saturday. We enjoyed a week of family time with visits to the beach, some game time, and a final night when my sister and her family joined us for dinner and we party on late into the evening.

Our youngest son climbing the tree to put up a hammock, with some help from our son-in-law.

And a fun drone shot of our family and my sister’s family.

The only pictures I took, other than family, was an almost spooky sunset picture that was enhanced by smoky skies …

And this morning when I took what I thought was going to be the best sunrise photo of the week …

But, as I was finishing my walk, the sunrise showed it wasn’t done and the sky filled with stunning colors!

This couple saw the sunrise from their tent and got up at 5:30 a.m. to take some pictures.

And now we are back to our normal every day routine and while I enjoy that routine I do miss having my family here.

Until next time …

Just Enjoying Summer

I havent had anything overly interesting to write about the last few weeks, we have just spent our time enjoying summer. It took a long time to arrive but it has come in full force with temps in the high 30’sC/100F and I am loving it!

We enjoyed a 40km/25mi bike ride last week and I didn’t take any pictures but trust me it was very scenic. We followed that adventure up with a trip down to the coast to see hubby’s mom.

There are still sections of two lane traffic on the Coquihalla while they try to repair all the damage down by the huge rainstorm last fall.

The traffic wasn’t bad on a Tuesday morning and we were entertained by some helicopter logging.

It was great to see hubby’s family and our son and daughter-in-law but the drive home was not fun. It took us three hours to get out of the lower mainland traffic, a drive that normally takes less than an hour 😦

Fortunately, once we were north of Chilliwack traffic lightened up and the rest of the drive was clear sailing. It is always nice to visit everyone but it is also nice to get back home and enjoy our little piece of paridise.

This leafy tree just showed up this year. The lake level is still very high but once the water goes back to normal and this tree grows it will provide some nice shade on the beach.

Until next time …

Guess What We Did This Week?

Here is a hint … 

Actually we did more than one fun thing this week, we also went to dinner and the new Elvis movie with a good friend, but if you guessed wine tasting when you saw the picture then you guessed what this blog is about 😀

Last Thursday we joined a group of friends and headed off on a great wine touring day with Uncorked Wine Tours as our driver.  One of our friends works for Uncorked and, along with getting us a great deal, he picked five awesome wineries for us to try.

The day started off with a nice sunrise

We toured three wineries, had lunch, and then toured two more.  I was really enjoying the company and the wine and only ended up taking pictures at one winery.  Of course that winery, Ancient Hill, had the most stunning views so I had to take a moment for pictures 🙂

The Okanagan Valley is home to 86% of British Columbia’s vineyard acreage and is considered to be BC’s premier grape growing region.  With quiet family-run boutique vineyards to world-class operations, Okanagan Valley wineries consistently rank among the world’s best at international competitions.

The valley climate is unique and daytime temperatures can reach 40C/104F, but the cool nights allow the grapes to maintain their natural acidity which is a signature trait in BC wine.

The Okanagan Valley is warmer and more arid than Napa Valley, and  gets nearly two hours more sunlight per day during the peak growing season.

The sunrise the next morning was just as pretty

Ancient Hills may have had the best views but we all agreed the very small, family run, Nagging Doubt Winery was our favourite and we all went home with more than one bottle of wine from their selection.

Until next time …

The Snowbirds

We had some entertainment yesterday, after nearly ten years the Snowbirds returned to put on two shows in Kelowna.  The first show was yesterday, the second show was today, and we were also able to watch their practice runs on Friday.

Looking across the lake at downtown Kelowna waiting for the show to begin.

The Snowbirds, officially known as the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, are the military aerobatics flight demonstration team of the Royal Canadian Air Force.  They used to perform in Kelowna every summer and we always took our three kids to see the show.  The last time I remember them being here I took four of our grandchildren and my dad to watch them.

Here they come!

It was a nice warm day and sunny towards Kelowna but there were some nasty looking clouds coming in from the west, fortunately they did not spoil the show.

I like the shot below, it looks kinda sci fi to me 🙂

But hubby thinks this is a better shot so I included it as well 😀

The picture below looks like they had a collision, but don’t worry, they didn’t.

I do love the colour of the planes.

And forty-five minutes later they headed back to the airport.

Hopefully it’s not another ten years before they come again!

Until next time …

Happy Canada Day!

We have had a very busy day today and it’s not over yet, but I wanted to take some time to wish you all Happy Canada Day and I hope you are all enjoying it 🙂  And happy early Fourth of July for my American friends!

I spent many hours yesterday and this morning blowing up red and white balloons for our Canada Day Parade at the park.  This was the best place I could think of to store them overnight.

Once I added today’s balloons, I had to move outside …

It was so busy with parents and children decorating that I didn’t have time for pictures, but I did get a picture of the parade.

And now it’s time to make dinner before heading off to the beach to watch the City of Kelowna fireworks.

Until next time …

A Few Drone Shots

Hubby was given a very very nice drone for Father’s Day and he has been having fun learning how to use it.  Of course, and I know this will shock you all because I haven’t really talked about it, we have been having some very crappy, non drone flying, weather 😀  But today was a really nice day and he got some quality flying time in so I thought I would share a few of the pictures with you.

These were all taken from his chair in our site outside of Maxx.

This is our view above the trees, facing towards the lake, looking north.

And above the trees looking straight towards the lake

And finally above the trees, facing towards the lake, looking south towards Kelowna.

I’m sure there will be more drone pictures to come 🙂 but I hope you are all enjoying a sunny warm Saturday!

Until next time …

A Heat Warning!

Well now I am very confused??  I received multiple alerts on my phone this morning at 4:53 a.m., just as I was starting my morning walk.  I have to say it gave me a scare, what could be so urgent that I needed multiple alerts before most people are even out of bed?

I immediately stopped to read what was going on.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw that I was receiving a heat warning!  We have had so much rain lately that I feel like I’m living on the coast, and we certainly haven’t had anywhere near our normal temperatures for this time of year.  Usually June in the Okanagan sports temperatures in the mid to high 20’sC (78 to 85F) but this year we have been sitting in the mid-teens to low 20’sC (70F).  We did reach a high of 23.8C (75F) yesterday before it quickly cooled down and the rain started again.

Hubby caught this picture of the Mountain Sheep trying to sneak into the park.  They actually were finally running away from an ambulance, enroute to an emergency call.  They wouldn’t let the ambulance past but I guess the lights and sirens eventually convinced them to let it move on.

But back to the heat warning.  When I read the headline I was very happy, it was going to be above normal and very warm … because otherwise why would I be getting a heat warning at 4:53 a.m.?  Nope not so, upon reading further I realized that this early morning heat warning was telling me that, starting Saturday, we would be hitting 27C (80F) and Monday we would hit 31C (88F) and then the temperatures would start to drop again.  How is this a “heat warning”?  Those temperatures are normal summer weather for us and I have been anxiously awaiting them.

If the warning had been a flood warning I would understand.  Right now a sharp uprise in temperature could lead to the snow pack melting too quickly and our rivers and lakes are already above full pool, they can’t handle a quick thaw … that, to me, deserves a warning.

Just like our cold rainy spring I guess summer is also changing.  A few weeks ago the province of BC announced a newly formed Heat Committee who determined that our regional temperature threshold was a daytime high of 35C (95F), and a nighttime low of 18C (64F).  That also surprised me because … guess what … that is our normal summer temperature!  Once those temperature thresholds are met the committee will make the call to send out an emergency broadcast through the national text alert readiness program.  Really? I don’t need a text telling me we are having a normal summer!  Although wait … maybe I do … because by the time it finally happens this year I might have forgot what a normal Kelowna summer is 😀

But I think this means that if we ever get back to our normal summer weather, I can expect to be annoyed every morning at 4:53 a.m. with an alert telling me our weather is NORMAL!  Good thing I’m awake at that time of day!  And to be fair this morning’s alert was from Environment Canada not the Heat Committee, maybe the Heat Committee will alert people later in the day.

Okay, rant over and since the last few days have warmed up slightly I will really, really, try to stop complaining about the weather … honest, I will try 🙂

Until next time …