Summer Tours

I received an e mail from my cousin Heilke in Germany a couple of weeks ago saying she decided she was coming to Canada for a visit.  She arrived on Friday, August 13th, so I had to drive to Vancouver to get her at the airport.  Heilke arrived in pretty good shape from the nine-hour flight and we proceeded to drive to my brother Freddie’s in Maple Ridge.

On our way we stopped at a cute market that sells Cloverdale honey, and of course being the inveterate shopper, I decided I needed a jar of it.  In fact, this has pretty much been the case since I’ve begun showing Canada to Heilke.  I end up in these cute stores and I decide I need some of that stuff for myself!

My brother lives right by the cute and tiny Alouette River, which is quite a change from where he used to live on the much bigger Pitt River.  He and his wife Wendy used to rent a tiny house there, which was actually the caretaker’s house for the rock quarry.  They’d paid $75 a month rent for the past 35 years!

The four of us spent a pleasant evening sitting outside, my brother and I trying our best with our German, while Heilke had to think hard after a long flight to find English vocabulary.  In any case, we managed to hammer out our thoughts and ideas pretty well.

Heilke and I drove home to Kelowna on Saturday, and arrived to the usual stinking heat of the Okanagan in August.  She was prepared for it, as her parents and other relatives have visited here, and they know what it’s like in the summer.  We laughed over the perception of most people in the world that Canada is a land of ice and snow.

On Sunday we did some nice touristy things, and strolled along the walkway in front of the Delta Grand Hotel.  Then we drove to Summerhill Winery and visted the goat cheese farm on Lakeshore Road, too.  It’s at the edge of the forest fire that occurred in 2003, so it’s an interesting area for people to see.  It kind of looks like what’s depicted in movies after a nuclear war.

Monday was Nicky’s 21st birthday, so we drove to Penticton to meet mom and Gerry for lunch.  After lunch we drove to Naramata, because Nicky and his girlfriend had never seen it, and it’s just such an adorable town.  If you’re ever in the Okanagan, you must drive down there to see it.

As you can imagine, with the watering and so on, entertaining a guest does add an extra little thing in a person’s day.  However, I find it best to just surrender to these types of things, as fighting them and fretting over them doesn’t make them in the least bit easier.  Better to just head to that tourist site and adopt a positive attitude about it.

And of course that nasty haze is back from the forest fires burning all over B.C.  I hope it won’t put a damper on our our sight seeing, as today we’re off to Fintry and then O’Keefe Ranch.  As you may know, Germans are simply nuts for cowboys and Indians.

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