Friday, September 20, 2013

Skin Flick - Presented by the Penticton Many Hats Theatre Co. Sept 5 - 28/13

Many Hats Theatre Co has done it again.  You just have to see the hilarious play, Skin Flick! The laughs will make your day.  It is a comedy by Norm Foster and the actors were flawless in their presentation.
The story revolves around a few characters who for varying reasons have found themselves jobless.  The rather risque idea of producing a Skin Flick to make enough money for all, eventually has unanimous approval.  One of them just happens to be a film maker/camera man, and another an actress.  With the added talents of the other members of the cast,  they have all the ingredients to make the Skin Flick happen. 
The subject matter is handled in a tasteful manner with much being left to the imagination.  Enough said before I give it away except that I take off my hat to Many Hats for another stellar performance.  Kudos to the talented cast!!!!!

The play takes place at the Cannery Stage Thurs, Fri and Sat Evenings and a Sun matinee at 2:00 PM. and runs until Sept 28/2013. Tickets can be purchased at the Penticton Tourist and Information Centre.  Cost is $22 for adults and $19 for seniors and seats are reserved. We always have a delicious meal at the on premises Opus Café - Bistro before the shows, where you can also purchase refreshments at intermission.

 Skin Flick is produced by Eric Hanston, directed by Ed Schneider and stars Shannon French, Kathie Hemmingson, Rob McCaffery, Rudy Nemechek and Vance Potter.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ogos Ice-cream Parlour Penticton

I had just about come to the end of a glorious bike ride down the Okanagan River Channel, stopping in the Rose Garden for a water break and a chance to smell the beautiful roses. As I made my way home I spotted a sign that said Ogos.  I was drawn to the place and very happy to find it was an ice-cream parlour, because a cold treat was exactly what I fancied.
I chatted to Sharon the owner and found out some very interesting history about the beginnings of the place. It was started by a couple of university students a few years ago and the premises used to be an alley which has been very creatively transformed into a perky and inviting ice-cream parlour. One wall is home to a huge 50 ft. mural painted by Kelowna artist Luke Hunter.  There is also an impressive 8 ft ogopogo, standing guard in the foyer, which has tables to seat guests while they enjoy their icecream.

Eating my ice-cream in front of the mural
 Out of close to 60 flavours to choose from,  I chose a yummy orange one which always is the most refreshing to me on a hot Okanagan day.
Anyhow, as I chatted more with Sharon she happened to tell me that she had just received a phone call from a film company back in Ontario. Guess what?  They will be doing a documentary on Okanagan Lake and the Ogopogo and happened to see Ogos advertised on Urban Spoon. They are coming to Penticton on Sept 26th to interview Sharon and take shots of  Ogos Icecream Parlour.
I will be there to take some photos because after all this will be a pretty neat happening for Penticton.
By the way, Ogos is on the bead trail which I think is another fantastic Okanagan treasure. Naturally I bought the ogopogo bead for my bracelet so that completed my very happy bike ride today!

 I forgot to say that the ice-cream was delicious and really hit the spot.  There won't be too many summer days left now so go and experience Ogos before it beds down for the winter.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Summerland Fall Fair and Endless Summer Show and Shine - Sept 14 & 15, 2013

Yesterday we decided to go for a drive and take in the Summerland 104th Annual Fall Fair and the Endless Summer Show and Shine.  It was fun looking at all the weird and wonderful things that people had grown, baked and canned.



Upstairs was quilting displays, sewing, knitting and writing.  There was also Ukrainian fare for those hungry and so inclined. Entertainment was scheduled for the day and while we were there we caught some of Ari Neufeld and his one man band.

Outside, members of the SCA (Medieval Society) were giving demonstrations on days of Yore and selling their wares.
 There was a Pioneer workshop where kids were busy creating boats and other great things out of wood.

If you wanted to help out the food bank you could savour one of the delicious kabobs donated by IGA, or you could buy an apple pie from the Girl Guides.  If you wanted a slice then and there you could top it off with fantastic home made ice-cream.
After wandering around the fair for quite awhile we decided to head over to the Endless Summer Show and Shine classic car event.  I don't know much about cars but there were some pretty cool ones there. I especially liked the old model T and a blue one with an A & W tray in the window. Not to date myself but that sure brought back memories of the old days when you could drive into A & W and got served without getting out of your car!!

There was a bin of apples with a sign that they had been donated by a local farmer to raise money for charity. They were Galas, one of our favourite so we were happy to donate to the cause.

We heard some great nostalgic music wafting through the air (oh no I'm dating myself again).  It was a band called "Flashback" playing all the oldies. They were good and the music added to the ambiance of a beautiful Okanagan September day.  The fair and car show are still on today, Sunday the 15th, so don't miss out on these annual Summerland events.
Below is a video clip I took of Flashback.


If you own a Summerland Vacation Rental you can list it on Ideal Vacation Rentals.  They need more choices in this lovely location.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Peachland - A Lovely Day Trip from Penticton

If you have visited Peachland recently you will know why it isn't hard to tell why it's billed as "The Sweetest Place Under the Sun" on the official Peachland website.
We hadn't been there for years and were delighted with how charming this little lakeside community has become.

It was the last day of August, and it seemed like everyone and their dogs were out to enjoy the day and capture the last rays of summer sun.  People spilled out of the shops, cafe's and pubs on one side of  Beach Avenue, while the lakeside hosted sun-worshippers, kids having fun, picnickers and old folks relaxing in the shade with their books. 

The Centennial Way boardwalk was new to us, and we found out that it was so named in honor of Peachland's 100th anniversary in 2009.  The 3 metre wide walkway goes along the lake for around 1.2 km and is the perfect place to go for a relaxing stroll.  The park at the beginning of the walkway, has a gazebo area, plaques commemorating the centennial, park benches, and stunning views of the lake. 

A little ways along the walkway you come to Swim Bay, with its sandy beach, washroom facilities, concession and a wharf with a diving board and rope swing. We were entertained for quite a while by some kids swinging way out and jumping into the lake.  What a great way to cool off on a hot day.

We decided to head across the road and buy a soft ice-cream cone and enjoyed watching some jet skiers from our shady park bench as we licked our cool treat.

On the way back to our car we poked in some of the little boutiques and snuck a preview at some of the restaurant menus for future reference.  One that appealed to us was Gasthaus on the Lake offering European dining.  They also advertise Medieval Banquets for parties of 10 or more. This sounds like fun so we decided to come back and try it out before the end of the season.


We made our way back to the car and continued north along the lake.  The road seemed to go on for miles and we passed a number of beaches with families saying a final farewell to summer for this year. We drove until we finally made our way back up to the highway and headed back to our home in Penticton.  What a great excursion that was, and so close to home!!!

If you are planned a summer vacation for next year, it probably isn't too late to book one of these Peachland Vacation Rentals.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Memorable Okanagan Day Trip - Penticton to Oliver and Back

On Saturday my son Dustin took me on a memorable Okanagan day trip for a belated birthday treat.  We started out for breakfast at The Bench Market on Vancouver hill, my favourite coffee haunt.  It was a Canadiano Misto and a veggie bennie for me. Yum! Then off to the Penticton Saturday Farmer's Market.  There were throngs of people as usual but more so because the new Penticton Challenge race was to happen the next day.  Dustin knew that I wanted a certain print of the Okanagan and this was to be my birthday present, so we didn't waste any time getting to the venue of artist  Bernadette McCormack.

"Okanagan Wine Valley"

The print entitled "Okanagan Wine Country" was the one I love because, to me, it truly captures the essence of our beautiful valley.
I also treated myself to a limited edition print of "The Safe Place". It is now hanging in my kitchen and makes me feel happy!!
"The Safe Place"
 After the Farmer's Market Dustin wanted to visit one of his favourite wineries down in Oliver so we left on a little journey south.  On the way we stopped off at the Vaseux Lake Wildlife Centre and did the picturesque little trek down the boardwalk.

View of Vaseux Lake from the Boardwalk
We took the back road to Oliver and weaved our way through lush and thriving vineyards until we arrived at the Silver Sage winery.
The wine was good and there was a particularly novel one to which they add a jalapeno pepper to give the wine a spicy zest.  After the wine tasting we did our share of buying some bottles and then continued on our way. 

We stopped at Aunty Ag's Seafood Cafe in Oliver for lunch. It is my favourite place in the valley for fish and chips.  No wonder they have won awards!  Currently they have a promotion underway to name their new mascot, which is a six foot tall British beefeater.  Fun!!! The contest ends September 30th so you still have time to drop in, taste some fantastic fish and chips and drop your entry into the fishbowl.  You may want to read the blog called A Day Trip to Aunty Ag's Seafood Café.

On the way home Dustin mentioned that he really wanted to pick some blackberries. My recollections of the same were picking them wild at the coast, so really didn't know if they existed in the Okanagan. We were somewhere in between Oliver and OK Falls and I saw a sign that said "Blackberries, You Pick"  I made a quick right turn and "voila", we were right in the middle of a blackberry farm.  Thornless no less!!!!!! I can only testify to the days when you couldn't tackle picking blackberries without coming away with a zillion scratches all over your legs and arms.

Allan Hogg, the owner gave us some containers and took us to one of the rows where the berries were plentiful.  I must say it was great not having to worry about thorns on the bushes, so we were able to pick the small amount we wanted without scratches, and quickly.
Afterwards we chatted to Allan for a while and he told us that the one acre farm was a family run operation started by his father Bruce 7 years ago.  I guess he previously had owned a farm called Greystone in Keremeos and decided to called the new venture Greystone Blackberries.

Allan Hogg under the sign
His Mom Nell was at the end of one of the rows picking for their many customers.  Allan told me that they supply Whole Foods in Penticton, several Okanagan restaurants, a number of fruit stands and truck drivers who haul the berries to Alberta and other locations. 
It is only $2.50 per lb. to pick your own and the berries are big and sweet. 

As we drove home along Skaha Lake on the eastside road I felt so grateful to be living in such a beautiful, plentiful valley.  No wonder the native settles called Penticton "A Place to Stay Forever"
Thank you Dustin for making my birthday such a special occasion!!

Sicamous Paddlewheeler Boat on Skaha Lake

Thursday, August 22, 2013

KVR Bike Ride - Penticton South to Okanagan Falls

Thanks Travelin' Pat for yet another great post!!
Usually when I think of riding on the KVR I think of riding north past all the wineries, doing the odd tasting and maybe even having some bread and cheese (to keep my strength up of course).  Or if I have lots of energy, possibly riding all the way to the little tunnel to savor the breathtaking vistas of the mountains and Okanagan Lake.

This time however, the needle zoomed south and I knew it was time to ride the old Kettle Valley track bed on the west side of Skaha Lake to Okanagan Falls.  It is a sweet ride really.  You are at lake level practically the whole way which keeps it cooler and because it is a little less “well known” there are not too many people on it. 


The trail starts at the west end of the lake at Wrights Beach Camp.  We were happily ambling along as we approached Banbury Green, a little gem of a campground choko block with families.  It’s the kind of place that makes me think I’d like to take my grand kids to sometime. 
Farther along the trail just at Kaleden, Ponderosa Point with its long fabulous beach almost entices us to have a rest stop but we soldier on. 
We also passed right by the Kaleden Hotel.
The old Kaleden Hotel
We know, just ahead is the bridge that takes us all the way in to OK Falls and a homemade muffin and coffee at the Dog Town Coffee Co.


All fueled up we retrace our ride back to Penticton.  Such a good day!

This is just one of the many great Okanagan activities for locals or visitors staying in Okanagan Vacation Rentals.