Thursday, September 3, 2009

DB's "B" Day Road Trip

On Tuesday evening DB and I took off for a little road trip to celebrate his forty-*ehem* birthday! While DB and I have done more than a few road trips around California, Nevada, and Arizona we've never ventured further than an hour North in our own fair province! I've spent quite a bit of time in the Interior of British Columbia but DB hasnt been since he still wore aviator glasses and a mullet...needless to say, this trip was overdue.

We started out by heading East towards a wine growing desert town named Osoyoos which is on the border between BC and the Eastern region of Washington State....however, we never made it to Osoyoos. When DB and I arrived in Princeton, population 2687 and we discovered that they dont have a McDonalds (*gasp*)! DB was suprisingly freaked out...(either that or by a group of rather frightening looking locals gathered at the A&W) and asked that I please deliver him, as quickly as possible, to the nearest city with a Starbucks. Poor DB is no country boy... And so it was decided that Osoyoos (in all it's 4963 resident glory) could safely be skipped in favor of reassuringly populated Penticton (pop. 43,300) where DB would presumably be safe from any small-town-okies Tuesday night lynching party.

We travelled along a dark and lonesome highway for some time when ahead we spotted the distant lights of a fruit stand and a little orchard town named Keremeos. As we stepped out of the car I was surprised by the warmth and strength of the was like when you step off a plane and finally feel the air of some place tropical...there is something magical about that feeling that at once makes you feel a million miles from home. Anyways, I grabbed my camera and headed into the fruit stand to find a little snack of local peaches, apples, plums, and so much more....

I actually took a lot more pictures but these stood out.... The cukes that freaked me out a little...I cant quite say why....

DB fell in love when he saw there selection of chili peppers....

And I loved the bright color of these yellow tomatoes....

We left Keremeos behind with the feeling that, for the first time since leaving home...and actually, the first time in a number of years, that we were out on some great adventure, footloose and fancy free! I LOVE a road trip!

We spent the night in Kelowna, the largest city in the Interior, and thankfully equipt with not one, but many Starbucks:) In the morning we toured around town and found a lookout over the west side of the city looking out of Okanagan Lake....

We then headed over to the West side of the lake to the field where my old gelding Rocky was boarded (at least for at least for a number of years after I sold him). The last time I went to see Rocky I believe he was about 23 (we were born the same year).... so I didnt know if he would still be alive, even if he were still boarded at the same place....

This was as close as I could get to the section of field where the horses where. For a long time I thought that the gelding towards the back fence was my Rocky but after about ten minutes I realized that the front left sock was far to short. I tried not to be disappointed when I left without seeing him....after all Rocky would be 27 today so I knew when I went up there that the chances were slim... but I had to try... I also had to choke back tears as we drove away.

Thankfully, the next stop was sure to put a smile on my face. We visited this restored cabin at Quails Gate Winery. I swear this house is straight out of my dreams....

More on Sarah's House next post!

Next we went over to Mission Hill's Winery which is world renowned for both it's wine and the architecture of it's estate....

There is a restaurant on site (the long awning on the left of the above picture) but we decided to head back to Quail Gate as it's restaurant's menu was more to our taste and they had an equally stunning view of the lake and vineyards....

They actually had even prettier gardens... (the baskets do not show well in these pictures but I swear they were the largest I'd ever seen, probably eight feet round.)

Another look at the view over the vineyards...

The meal was so simple and yet just as delicious as can be. We started with:

A beet salad: Sweet and tender baby beets, fromage frais (creme fresh), on a bed of macro greens with a raspberry vinaigrette that was very light....the greens gave crunch to the tender beets and added acidity while the cheese gave a creamy touch without competing with the other flavors.

Did I mentioned the bread? Oh heavens! Even the bread was to die for!

I had the Halibut and it was devine! Cooked to perfection and crusted with leek, dill and pumpkin seed..... Topped on a bed of fennel, summer squash and greens sate with a lovage vinaigrette that was supple but still full of flavor.

DB had the Trout, which is actually what I ordered but didnt enjoy at all, however DB did like it and so he gallantly gave up his Halibut and switched plates. The trout was baked in a Hazelnut butter and was very light but too fishy for my liking.

However, the dessert was to both of our taste. Apricot Pana Cotta and a Citrus Creme Brulee- paired with an award winning Roisling Ice Wine.

*excuse me while I take a minute to savor the memory*

*sigh* The memory just wont do! I must go back!

Needless to say, I highly recommend the Old Vines Restaurant at Quails Gate Winery, West Kelowna, BC. (link to menu here)

From there we headed up to Vernon, BC to check out a golf course and residential development called "The Rise" that is still under construction and appears to have run out of money. The site was not impressive but the view certainly was....

We also checked out Predator Ridge, another golf and living community and it was stunning! The day was not done but as I was driving I have no pictures to show! We had a fabulous trip but were not at all ready to come home. We hope to head up country again this month to check out some real estate! A move might be in our future!

I'll leave you with one last picture from the The Rise looking out over the city of Vernon. I hope you all are enjoying the last little bit of summer!


  1. Absolutely beautiful country!! Love the views, love the restaurant, love it!
    Sounds like you had a fantastic time!

  2. Sounds like ya'll had a great time. I love the photos!! It would be very hard to go back to where an old horse was/is and have to leave and not see him. I would have been choking back tears too.

  3. Aren't road trips fun?!

    For a brief moment you were rather close to me. You are welcome at our place any time if you find yourself in the neighbor BTW.

    Yeah that's sad realizing that you gallant old ponies probably aren't around any more, huh? Sorry I have been there too. Some are so great and so worth they truly do deserve to live forever.

    Our road trips were a tad different as I couldn't pay my guy to walk into a Starbucks or McDonalds - in fact several time in the past he went hungry rather than eat at MCDonalds. But we still had so much fun!

  4. Oh my! What a fabulous road trip! I love and really miss being able to take roadtrips and just go where the wind blows ya! All our animals make it kind of hard to organize such things though. Oh well, I wouldn't trade it, but reading about that certainly made me wistful! Amazing scenery and just sounds like such a fabulous time!

    Happy birthday to DB!

  5. Ooh I love Vernon - more so than Kelowna. There is also really nice skiing there in the winter if it blows your hair back.

    If DB can handle it you should take a trip to Northern BC - very nice around William's Lake too.

  6. Great trip report! Sounds like something I'd enjoy. Don't give up hope on Rocky - who knows? Maybe he's boarded somewhere else now, or maybe he was just in for the day. Think happy thoughts about him, 27 isn't necessarily THAT old these days. BTW, don't you have DB converted into a horse loving country man by now?

  7. That first photo is just amazing! The names of towns you visited sound so lovely. And your lunch sounds like the lap of luxury. It's been years since my hubby and I have ate at a very nice restaurant. You inspire me. :)
    I'm glad you enjoyed such a wonderful road trip. I'm sure it was sad not to have seen your special horse out there in the field. Doesn't mean he's not still grazing on another green pasture, though. Horses can live into their 30's easily. :)
    Thanks for sharing your road trip with us.


    ps. Loved the produce photos. Yah, those cukes are creepy. I was thrilled to see Big Jim chile peppers. We grow them here in New Mexico. They make awesome Stuffed Rellenos! And, by the way, it's CHILE peppers, not CHILI peppers. Chili is that stuff they eat in Texas that comes with ground beef and beans. lol!