Colours of Fall

This is our last weekend in Kelowna and we have been busy … but fun busy. We have spent the last week saying our final goodbyes to friends, doing all those last minute things that have to be done before you go, and spending time with family.

I say this every year but here it is again … I love getting back on the road and seeing new things, having new adventures, and heading to warmer climates … I hate leaving our family and friends and the great life we live in Kelowna. I know I will get over, it but it is always bittersweet when we leave.

It was sad to clean out all my flower baskets, they were still blooming and looking pretty!

We spent the first part of our week at the campground where it was very quiet because the park closed for the season last Monday. It is always so peaceful and nice to walk around in complete silence except for the animals and birds.

Tonight we will move to our daughter’s driveway, well actually their neighbours were kind enough to let us stay in their driveway since they were away, which meant our son-in-law didn’t have to move their RV out of their driveway. They are fortunate to have awesome neighbours who never complain when we live in the driveway … in fact they like it because we can hear if someone is trying to break into anything in the middle of the night. One time somebody did break into the neighbours truck … two nights after we headed south!

We have a few nights of hanging out with our daughter’s family, getting as many warm squeezy hugs as I can pry out of our grandson’s … they are getting older but still humour grandma 🙂 Our granddaughter has moved into her own place so we don’t get to see her as much but she is coming home for Sunday dinner before we leave on Monday.

I was very brave one morning and, armed with bear bells and bear spray, I walked across the bridge to the third loop of the campground and caught a beautiful sunrise. I thought it only fitting that I end our final blog from the park with some sunrise pictures 🙂

A great final memory of the park for 2019 🙂

Stay tune for more regular blogs as we begin our travels south.

Until next time …

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Happy Anniversary Maxx

Six years ago today we moved into Maxx full time … that’s

  • 2191 days
  • 313 weeks
  • 52,584 hours
  • 3,155,040 minutes
  • 189,302,400 seconds

We are basically packed up and ready to leave for our daughter’s place on Saturday.

And it has been a lot of good times … we look forward to the next six years and the adventures they will bring 🙂

Hubby was slowly dumping the oil from our turkey fryer onto the fire … yes we had a hose standing by! It was the best way to get rid of it, most campers dumped their oil into the garbage cans and it made a real mess for park staff to clean up ☹

I have a question for you all, has anyone taken fresh eggs from Canada into the US? And if so did you have an agriculture inspection and where you allowed to keep your eggs? We always go with an empty fridge, but I miscalculated on our eggs and I still have three dozen left. I could give them to our daughter or boil them all but I’d really like to take them with us as they are but I don’t want to loose them at the border.

We will miss our backyard.

Until next time …

And That’s A Wrap

The leaves are falling around the park 🙂

 It was a busy Thanksgiving weekend at the park and we were almost full. For the most part the weather cooperated, although it was cold overnight and it did rain most of yesterday.

Yup there were a lot of people!

While there was definitely a real party mood and a lot of eating and drinking most people behaved reasonably well. We had lots of knocks on our door from people looking for wood, to move sites, to ask any number of dumb and not so dumb questions.

By noon Monday everyone had been chased out and the gates were locked! Wow what a difference 🙂

This is the same section of the park that the above photo with all the vehicles was taken.

After the gates were locked we cranked the music as we were working outside … because who are we going to bother 😀

I took a few walks, in between cleaning out the pamphlet rack and doing some packing up of our site, and it was nice to see nothing but trees and the lake.

We, along with the other park hosts, and the park managers, are here for the week and I’m sure we will all enjoy the slower pace.

You never see the sites, in these two pictures, empty from the May long weekend through Thanksgiving. The sites in the first picture have power and the sites in this picture are pull through, full service sites.

My sister and brother-in-law joined us for Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday and we had lots of leftovers, so on Monday the park manager and his family brought their tofurkey dinner over and, along with the other hosts, we finished off some of our leftovers and maybe a few … or more … bottles of wine. It was a perfect last day of the year.

Can you see Maxx at the far end of the lawn? This is our backyard and for the next week there will be nobody but us enjoying it 🙂

Until next time …

We Are Going To Be Movie Stars :-)

Okay maybe not stars, more like extras, and not on anything you will probably see … but we are going to be in a movie so I’m feeling a little famous and would be willing to give out autographs if asked 🙂 Well that’s probably not going to happen because our faces will never been seen, are you curious to know what the heck I’m talking about?

Well a friend of ours asked if we would be extras for a film the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association is doing to try and promote some our beautiful, but lesser known, tourist sites. The movie involves a grandfather and his granddaughter touring around and trying to deal with crowds and our role was to be part of the crowd. Hubby and I had to be the mean people who wouldn’t let the granddaughter push through to get to her granddad who was standing in front of us at the viewpoint :frown:

There were around ten of us, with many taking pictures and selfies just like you usually see at a view point

The film location was at the third viewpoint on the Canyon Rim trail at our park. The views really are beautiful, panoramic views of Okanagan Lake and downtown Kelowna. You can see the floating bridge running across the lake and looking the other way you can see Knox Mountain and the multi-million dollars houses that dot the lakeside

I didn’t take my camera with me so I had to make do with my cell phone which doesn’t show the views as well as my camera would have.

It took almost an hour to get all the takes from the various angles but it was a lot of fun. We were finished by 9:30, and the sun was making an appearance, so hubby and I decided to do the rest of the 2.5 km (1.5mi) hike around the canyon.

After a short walk through beautiful fall colours we climbed down a short staircase to a bridge that crosses the river.

At the bottom of the stairs you can see where the river carves its way through the canyon. Many fallen trees clog the river as it flows under the bridge and every spring when we walk up the trail we see more trees joining the pile from the strong spring runoff.

After you cross the bridge the trail skirts the edge of the river and this is a popular swimming hole during the heat of the summer.

 In the heat of summer it is good to cool down with a swim because the next adventure on the trail is a long set of stairs which help get you up back up to the top of the canyon.

Once at the top there are a few more viewpoints and the trail meanders through grassy, sparsely treed mountainside … this is the hottest part of the trail in the summer. In the early spring this section is covered with wildflowers, mostly the Arrowleaf Balsamroot which is Kelowna’s official flower.

From this section of the trail you also get a great view of the campground, which is looking really pretty right now with all the trees changing colour.

 The next viewpoint is of the waterfall, which looks nice in the fall but is way more spectacular in the spring.

And then we headed down the last set of stairs (149 stairs to be exact).

Well our morning started with a fun new adventure for us and finished with a hike around one of our favourite trails, and by noon we were back home 🙂

Until next time …

Okay How Did That Happen!

I have no idea how it became October all of the sudden 😯 The last I remember it was the September long weekend (labour day in British Columbia) and now all of the sudden it is October and fall is here. And of course for us, and many other snowbirds, it is now time to start heading south …yes folks this snuck up on me fast 😮

The other thing that caught me by surprise was the drop in temperature! One day I’m out walking in my flip flops and the next day …

I had to put my boots on to keep my toes warm, I have also added a hat and gloves for my morning walk 😦

Our daughter and her family came out to the campground for a few nights last weekend. It was cold but we were able to keep warm around the campfire and had a great time.

The temperatures have dropped down to the low teens but it wasn’t enough to stop this rose from blooming. Very weird, it is not wild rose season but two blossomed in the last week.

Hubby and I have walked along the creek most afternoons to check out the progress of the salmon during their spawning season.

It is a pretty place to walk and once we get going we warm up enough that the walk is enjoyable.

Even the ducks are starting to disappear.

So far we haven’t spotted the bears that are hanging out in the neighbourhood around the park, but I always take hubby along when I walk these trails cause I think he would make good bait … although he can run faster than me so this plan could backfire on me 🙂

Now if the snow will just hold off until we get south we will be happy snowbirds!

Until next time …

A Screen Saver Blog

Hubby has set up our TV so that all the pictures from my blog play on it when the screen saver comes on, and we love it because it brings back many great memories 🙂

Now I have a bunch of pictures that I really have nothing much to say about, but I would like them to come up on the TV so that means they have to make it into the blog.

So folks that is all today’s blog is about, leftover pictures 😀

The first set is … surprise … sunrise pictures from the park, but this will be the last of them for this year. There is a mother bear with three cubs in the neighbourhood surrounding the park so I’m not going out for my walk until other people are up and moving around … yup I’m letting them be the bait just in case the bears come into the park 😀

The second set is flower pictures I took around the pump house at the end of Blundell Road in Richmond, B.C.

Oh and two pictures from my sisters garden, the sunflowers were to pretty to leave out 🙂

Some of the above pictures have made it into the Best Picture of 2019 folder which is another reason they had to go onto the blog, although that folder is pretty big so they may cut left on the cutting room floor!

Until next time …

A Trip Down Memory Lane

We had an appointment in Richmond, British Columbia last Monday (not health related, a good appointment) and, since Monday was also our 41st wedding anniversary, we decided to spend a few nights there.

I grew up in Richmond and hubby also lived there as a child so our original intention was to take our bikes and ride around our old neighbourhood’s, but the weather put an end to that 😦

Richmond, BC is on Lulu Island, which means either crossing a bridge or using the George Massey tunnel.  I still refer to the tunnel as the Deas Island Tunnel, which was it’s name from it’s opening in 1959 to 1967 when it was renamed after George Massey, a former MLA who had passed away. 

When we were little my sister and I would hold our breath when we were driving through the tunnel, I don’t even attempt it anymore!

When we first started dating hubby took me to see what the tunnel looked like from above, and it kinda freaked me out! In my mind the top of the tunnel was at water level so if anything happened we could get to the top and be out of the water. Nope that wasn’t the case, the tunnel is deep … deep enough that large freighters can go over it.

Located at the mouth of the Fraser River, Richmond is a suburb of Vancouver and encompasses Sea Island, which is home to Vancouver International Airport.  Around the time hubby and I moved to Kelowna, 42 years ago, Richmond became a popular home for immigrants and with a population of almost 200,000 60% are immigrants, the highest proportion of immigrants in Canada.  While that does make for interesting cultural experiences it sure does change the Richmond I once lived in.

Once we had settled into our Airbnb Sunday afternoon we headed out for dinner and a visit to the Richmond Night Market.  The market opened at 7:00 p.m. and we arrived just a few minutes before to find an extremely long line to get in.  We got in line and waited about fifteen minutes without really moving much, I’m guessing it would take at least an hour to get through the gate.  As we were discussing whether or not we wanted to stay a fellow offered us his Zoom Pass, which had four stamps left on it and would get us in immediately and without paying the $4.75 admission … sounded good to us!  Two young women behind us asked if they could join us so off the four of us went, I felt bad for all those we left waiting in line 😳

Honestly we were glad we didn’t wait in line because it would not have been worth it.  Many of the booths were closed and those that were open were selling cheap tourist stuff, which didn’t interest us.  There was a small amusement area, again of no interest to us, and then a lot of food booths, none of which appealed to us.

We came, we saw, we quickly left!

After our appointment Monday morning we headed to Steveston, a fishing village in Richmond along the Fraser River.

When we were kids my sister, my cousin, and I use to ride our bikes along the dyke to Steveston to buy penny candy from the drugstore.  Oops I’m really aging myself, when was candy last sold for a penny!

Steveston remains an active fishing port but has developed a heritage character and it’s waterfront attracts tourists from all over the world.  It is often used for filming movies and TV shows.

I remember my dad taking us to Steveston on Sunday’s to buy lawnmower gas from the marine pumps. We would drive right down onto the piers … you can’t do that anymore.

We enjoyed a nice lunch of fish and chips, I had cod and hubby had halibut so that we could do a taste comparison and as we suspected the halibut was much better!

We ate inside the restaurant on the right, it was to damp to sit outside.

After lunch we wandered around the area reliving childhood memories 🙂

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery was a big employer back in the day.

There is lots of new growth in Steveston but it is nice to see they are making it fit into the existing area.

We also made a stop at the Steveston Hotel where my parents would often go for a date night.  The hotel was built in the late 1800’s and I’m sure it has a lot of salty stories to tell 😯  Up until I was in my late teens the hotel still had two separate doors, one for men and one for ladies and escorts.  I always thought that was strange until my parents explained to me that women were not allowed in the bar until the 1960’s when they could then go in if a man escorted them and they had to use the Ladies & Escort door.  Today there are still two entrance doors to the bar area but the signs are no longer there.

After our time in Steveston we drove and walked around my old neighbourhood. The house we lived in when I was born in is no longer there but the house we moved to when I was six is still there.  It had just been built when we moved in but it is now an old house surrounded by many new, modern, and much larger homes … I’m sure it is not long for this world 😦

My dad put this light post in shortly after they bought the house and he would paint it twice a year to keep it looking nice, it doesn’t look so good now 🙂 Back when we lived here the address was 844, when I was in my late teens they added a zero to house numbers in Richmond.

We drove by my house first and then parked at the end of Blundell Road and walked along the path between my Aunt and Uncle’s house and the Quilchena Golf and Country Club.  My cousin, my sister and I were very close and always played and went to school together (I was the oldest, my cousin was a year younger, and my sister a year younger than her), so as kids we spent a lot of time at their house.  Our family moved to Lac La Hache, BC the summer before I entered grade nine but when I graduated high school I moved back to Richmond and lived with my Aunt and Uncle (who lived around the corner from my childhood home) for a few years.  

When we were growing up this path had ditches with steep banks on either side and all three of us fell in more than once while crossing a plank to get over to the path.

At the end of the path sits the Blundell pump house but it is much fancier now.

Our house was separated from the dyke by a wide ditch as well and we used to spend our summers floating down the ditch on a raft that dad had built us.  Now the ditch is all but gone and what’s left is mostly overgrown, and the dyke itself is now a nice wide walking and biking path.

This use to be a much narrower path.

We had a great view of the Pacific Ocean from our back deck and would often see freighters and large ships heading toward the port in Vancouver.

Looking south toward Steveston

Looking north toward Vancouver

Looking west towards Vancouver Island. In the fall the tide would bring the water up to the dyke and my sister and I would go out, fully clothed, and float on driftwood logs for hours. We would come back cold, but so very happy 🙂

Well after all that walking and our trip down memory lane we decided it was time for dinner.  I had heard about a pub on the Fraser River where float planes land so we headed there.  We had a nice table by the window with great views of the goings on along the river.

Just as we finished dinner the float plane that landed in the above picture moved over to the edge of the river in preparation for a move across the road into it’s  hanger for the night … that was an interesting thing to watch!

Up on the shore of the river.

The funny truck coming across the road to pull the plane out.

All hooked up

There is a stop light and barricade arms that come down and close off the road for this process

And with that, and a wave to the sunset, we headed back to our Airbnb for a good nights sleep.

Definitely not the best sunset we have ever seen.

Thanks for joining me during my trip down memory lane 😀

Until next time …