Vernon – Days 63-66

When we left Fort Langley and headed to the Okanagan, we were ready for some creature comforts. It seemed like it had been ages since we had a proper space with a kitchen and separate bedrooms. We had booked a sort of ski chalet on Airbnb and could not wait to arrive.

The car ride was long. I tried to do school that day in the car which is never easy. We have come to realize that we can successfully have the kids do schoolwork for 2-3 hours during a long car trip. We also have accepted that, by the end of it, the parents are worn out from trying to keep the girls engaged and keeping them from fighting over dropped pencils and the only eraser they can find even though we know there are 4 in the backseat. On this drive, Julie and I worked on sight words while Isabella worked on math. The drive was only supposed to be 5 hours but it seemed like a long 5 hours.

The drive was also the first time that we experienced the side effects of the wildfires. We could smell fire in several places and we started seeing haze. This becomes something that we grew to live with throughout interior BC and into Alberta.

When we arrived at the chalet, we were so happy to have an equipped kitchen, laundry and separate rooms to sleep in. Within the first hours, 4 showers and 3 loads of laundry were done. I cooked every day and we watched TV which rarely happens these days.

We were staying there for 4 nights and we decided to do nothing on the first day. By 4 pm, I had only left the condo to buy groceries and Mike took Izzie’s bike for a tune-up which needed one after 15,000 km of being towed in the dust. It was not until we met our hosts in the afternoon and she suggested we go to the Rodeo that our day of relaxation became a normal day for us. Yes, that sounds like a good idea, go to a Rodeo.

The rodeo combined a trip to the Royal Winter Fair (seeing the prize pigs, chicken and pumpkins) with a visit to a town carnival (one with scary rides like the zipper) and then there was the rodeo itself. I had never seen anything like the barrel racing, bronco bucking and calf roping that we were shown. Julie asked me at one point “but why are the men wrestling cows mom?” and I did not have a good answer. The skills demonstrated were however impressive; Mike and I were very taken aback by the men who roped both the neck and feet of the cows in a kind of synchronized routine. Overall this was the first culture shock of our trip!

The next day was my winery day. I planned it meticulously. we’d do a bike ride to tire out the kids and then a tasting menu at a winery followed by a few visits to other ones. If we still had energy, we go hit up a fantastic swimming pool that even had a wave rider. And overall we did all those things despite my sending us to the wrong place for the bike ride and then realizing the ride was next to a cliff (not ideal for Julie who learned to ride a few weeks ago). It was also a million degrees so winery visits were short and the meal was in an air-conditioned inside instead of on a patio.

Isabella and Mike’s faces tell the story of what we thought of the rodeo. Disbelief.

Riding along the trestles!

The bike ride is worth mentioning. Myra canyon features 2 tunnels and 18 trestle bridges that are quite spectacular . A memorable moment was when Julie ran over a snake with her bike. She was so upset that she created a false memory that Michael did it instead of her and swears to this day “I might have almost run over one but daddy did run over one.”

Vernon and the Okanagan were a welcome “stay-in-one place” kind of 4 days. We have to remember to stay places longer. Keep reminding us!

By the Numbers

  • Trestles that Isabella crossed in Myra Canyon: 7 plus a tunnel
  • Trestles that Julie crossed in Myra Canyon: 1
  • Wineries Visited: 3
  • Times Paige jumped off the 3 metre dive platform: 2
  • Times Isabella played “Here Comes the Sun” from her playlist: 17

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