Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tickleberry's In Okanagan Falls - Our Last Icecream of the Season

A few days ago we decided to take advantage of a beautiful October Penticton day and head south for a drive.  On the way back we simultaneously agreed that we must stop at Tickleberry’s in Okanagan Falls for our last ice cream of the season. Even though there was a hint of winter in the air, the sun shone down valiantly and made it a perfect day for our cold treat.

On entering the store we saw that the long line ups so typical all summer were nowhere to be seen, and in fact there were only 2 people there to serve us our ice cream.  One of them turned out to be Dale Hoy, owner and founder of Tickleberry’s (along with his wife Jen) and the other was Aaron, his son.  I was happy that we were the only ones there because Dale told us a little of the history of this popular Okanagan Falls ice cream parlor.
It turns out that the name Tickleberry’s come from the name they gave to their jams (ie. Tickleberry Jams) while living in White Horse prior to moving to the Okanagan in 1989.  Tired of competing with bears to find enough berries for the jam, they decided to move to Okanagan Falls where fruits were much more plentiful. In the Spring of 1990 Tickleberry’s was open for business.

Dale told us that before selling ice cream, there was only a small gift store and they lived on property right beside it. In fact their home was where the gift shop is now.  As shopping was Jen’s passion, she was in charge of bringing in unique and wonderful gifts to sell in the shop.  Dale decided to start a small ice cream parlor to keep the men busy while their wives were shopping.  It became so popular that they expanded over the years and now sell 72 different flavors of ice cream. 
Mix that with a fine assortment of sweets, including homemade chocolates and fudge, plus freshly popped kettle Korn and a fantastic gift shop where licking and looking is encouraged, and you have the famous Tickleberry’s of today. 
It has been a family venture with all three of their children helping in the business.  Dale also commented on their wonderful staff and said that each season they hire over 30 young people to serve the ice cream.  He says that as long as you get them before they drive they are eager, willing and able.

We love to go there on a hot summer’s day and sit on a picnic table by the creek while enjoying our yummy cone.  You bet your boots that we also have a frequent licker card that gives us a free ice cream after every 10. 
As we made our way out of the door, about a dozen cars were pulling up out of nowhere so I guess many other people wanted to savor one more Tickleberry cone before they close for the season on October 30th.
All I can say is a big thankyou to Dale, Jen and family. We are so glad you took a family vacation to the Okanagan in 1988 and that you settled in OK Falls and gave birth to Tickleberry’s.
For more information visit Tickleberry’s Website. You can even order some of the yummy chocolates and fudge online as well as some T-shirts and other sundries.

For more information visit Tickleberry’s Website. You can even order some of the yummy chocolates and fudge online as well as some T-shirts and other sundries.

It's not too early to start thinking about your summer vacation in the Okanagan Valley.  If you choose an Okanagan Falls Vacation Home to stay in you will be able to walk to Tickleberry's.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Twisted Tree Theatre Company Presents - "Wilde At the Winery"

Combine an alfresco picnic amid grape vines and wine barrels, a warm Okanagan summer evening, delectable wine, then top it off with live theatre, and you have a delicious escape from everyday chaos.
This is the second year that Jen Vien’s Twisted Tree Theatre Company has paired up with Township 7 Vineyard and Winery to offer a wonderful experience of wine and the arts in a beautiful setting.  Township 7 has a location on the Naramata Bench as well as one in Langley BC and both venues take turns at hosting the play.
We attended last Saturday night’s performance of "An Ideal Husband", a clever political satire by Oscar Wilde, and went away singing the praises of the very talented five member cast.  Not only did Jen Viens adapt and direct the play, but she was also flawless in her role as, the very idealistic and perhaps moral to a fault,  Lady Chiltern.  Tommy Cowles was unequalled in his portrayal of Lord Chiltern as he struggled with blackmail, political corruption and possible dishonor.  He was also hilarious in the smaller role as Phipps the butler.  For the life of me I never know how actors can remember so many lines!!!! Jean MacLean-Angus also had a double role and her professional experience shone as she seamlessly played the very opposite parts of the corrupt and nasty Mrs. Cheveley and the charming sweet Mabel Chiltern.  Braleigh James also became either Lord Goring or Mason the butler, as required and she carried off both opposite genre roles with expertise.
Donna Lynch, a familiar face with Many Hats Theatre, was delightful as the rather empty headed but well-meaning Lady Markby.
All the cast carried off their English accents with plausible ease to say the least and as the sun sunk down and spotlights came on we hardly realized that it was dark by the time we made our way back to reality. 

The production will be moving to the Township 7 Langley Winery for August 5 and 6.  See video clip from play below.  
We will be sure to stay tuned for future performances by the Twisted Tree Theatre Company.  Jen Viens will be teaching a drama program through the Penticton Rec Centre from Aug 15 -19 for ages 12 to 17 years.  She is also available for workshop bookings, team-building, and one-on-one coaching - and birthday parties! If you have a space, and you have a vision (and it involves drama) then get in touch with Jen!

There are many great Vacation Rentals in Naramata, which offer a perfect base for enjoying the local arts and culture and exploring the many wineries in and around Penticton.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Poplar Grove Opens Spectacular New Winery In Penticton

Thankyou Travlin' Pat for this postView from Poplar Grove Winery in Penticton BC

After raining most of the afternoon, the early evening sky turned out to be one of the finest so far this summer.  Seems like an auspicious start to a new era for Poplar Grove. 

Its new look is one of sophistication and elegance, which of course which pairs nicely with the fine vintages that Poplar Grove consistently produces.

Right off you are struck (if not awestruck) by the magnificent setting.  Both Okanagan and Skaha lakes shimmer in the distance and one can see the whole of Penticton nestled cozily in between.  

The winery is situated to take advantage of the marvelous summer sunsets that the Okanagan is so famous for.

The fortunate ones to receive a much-coveted invitation poured into the winery around 7 pm.  Locals, out of towners and possibly a few celebs made up the festive, cheerful and tipsy (oh that was later!) crowd.  Right off the bat every one was given a glass and it was your job to run around tasting all your favorite vintages.  

The wine flowed freely all night long. My personal favorite was the syrah but my husband stayed steadfast and claimed the famous legacy was the supreme ruler of the night.

At one point we were all ushered outside to witness the barrel dropping.  A wine barrel is hosted onto a forklift and ceremoniously dropped, smashing on the ground and I think spreading good luck for the winery.  Don’t quote me.

The food was terrific.  Wonderful appetizers kept appearing just at the perfect time and there was the scent of meat in the air as a pig roasted in an outdoor spit.  yumlicous!


I could go on and on …about the harp music and the terrific band and the dancing etc, but point is …it was a classy delightful experience.

Best wishes to Poplar Grove Winery!

Why not explore all the wineries Penticton and surrounding areas have to offer, and make your base an Okanagan Vacation Rental.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Penticton and Friends Celebrity Golf Classic - Gran Fondo in Penticton

This weekend was chocko block with activity in our city.

The Penticton and Friends Celebrity Golf Classic held the 10th annual charity golf tournament on Friday and Saturday. Some people may remember it used to be the Andy Moog and friends celebrity Golf Classic. This year was dedicated to a local restaunture Rob Wylie the former owner of Salty’s Beach House. Over the years they have raised lots of money and seen celebrities, pro hockey players, retired pro hockey players, politicians, and fathers and sons hitting the links with a vengeance (and then some!) Although as far as I know there was no clubs tossed into the way to numerous water hazards.

They have pretty impressive prizes for the skilled or lets just say “lucky” players. The big one is $50,000 for the main hole in one prize and 2 $20,000 and 1 $10,000 prizes.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

On the first day I dropped by to have a look. There were men everywhere all dressed in their golf finery diligently working on their putting strokes and all the carts were lined up loaded and ready to go for the 11:00 shotgun start. That seems like an odd thing to call that.  Maybe it’s because sometimes during the game you kind of feel like you could use something to put you out of your misery…… The weather was fine and some good and bad shots played but you can bet everyone had a great time and supported a worthwhile cause.

On top of that;

The first annual GranFondo was held on Sunday. For those of you who haven’t the vaguest idea what that is, it is a horribly long bike race that people actually are happy to go in. There was some serious mileage happening as the ride is 160 Kilometers long! The winner did it in 3hrs and 57 min. Wow I thought I did well when I did my 30 minute run to Starbucks!
Everywhere you looked cyclists were zooming along looking all very professional in their brightly colored (not to mention tight fitting!) outfits.  But I digress….. The weather was perfect for a long ride such as this, warm but not zoiling hot.  Congratulations to all the participants.  Well done.
To see some great photos of the race go to My Penticton Photography.

While this was going on people who were looking for a more sedentary way to spend the day were drifting down the channel parkway doing their summer thing.  Ah, bliss……

Penticton is such a happening place!

Thankyou Travlin' Pat for covering these two weekend sports events.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Here On The Flight Path - Many Hats Theatre Company - Penticton

Many Hats Theatre production of Here On The Flight Path
'Here On The Flight Path’ is the name of the play, Norm Foster is the author, Ed Schneider the director, Ross Arnot and Ben Amos the producers, and The Cannery Stage in Penticton, the place where we attended a packed opening night last Thursday. 

Eric Hanston plays the part of John Cummings, a recently divorced newspaper columnist, who lives on the fourth floor of a big city apartment which happens to be on the flight path of the nearby airport. 
The whole play unravels on his deck and the deck of the apartment beside him, which over the course of the story is occupied by three different women, each role hilariously portrayed by Megan Kimberley.   John calmly relates the story in a flashback kind of way,  so we can get to know the struggles of each of his neighbors over the course of 3 or 4 years. We gradually become endeared to him as the friendships with these women help him mature as a person.

John and Faye

First there was Faye, who is revealed to be in the sex trade and inevitably gets thrown out of each place she lives, when the landlord discovers her profession. 

John and Gwen

Angel belting out Don't Rain on My Parade

Then a saucy young woman named Angel moves in with aspirations to make it in show business. After she gives up and heads back to Alberta, Gwen, the recently separated driving instructor, is John’s final neighbor in his story.
Laughter was contagious in the audience as Norm Foster’s unsurpassed wit and humor offered funny one liners and comedy.
A favourite line was when Faye stated “Men are like kitchen tiles, if you lay them right the first time you can walk over them for the rest of your life” or something like that. I loved it when Angel belted out a pretty good rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl” and when the prim and proper Gwen ends up being not quite as she appeared at first glance.

Actors Eric Hanston and Megan Kimberley
After the play we attended the opening night reception with yummy nibblies and complimentary local wine.  We also met Eric and Megan in person and thanked them for a marvelous performance.
On the way home we both agreed that the well worn phrase “Laughter is the best Medicine” still reigned.  Thankyou, Many Hats Theatre Company for making our day.  We’ll be back for your next show.

If you are in Penticton on vacation this month be sure to take in 'Here on the Flight Path' You won't be disappointed. 

If you have seen this play we would love to hear your comments.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Canada Day Celebrations in Penticton BC

ClipartThe Penticton Herald had a list of events happening July 1 for Canada Day and it seemed the central location was Gyro Park.  Camera at the ready, I sauntered down to the park to take in some of the festivities.
Entertainment was in full swing judging by the music filtering through the trees and as I entered the park, I was in the middle of throngs of people moving around and stopping at the various tents selling everything from palm readings to popcorn.

Many young families were there and a giant person decked out in maple leaves and a Canada flag for a cape, was handing out flags to eager children.

I was in time to see the end of a show by the Bahiti Belly Dancers and after that Michael Musclow on guitar. 

Quite a few people got into the spirit by wearing red and white, and sporting Canadian flags in many wild and wonderful ways.  I met a couple of women named Jo and Phyl who were obviously having fun and enjoying the day.

There were special fun things for the kids, including a climbing wall from Loco Landing, face painting and a toy store.
I wandered around for a while enjoying the festive ambiance and chatting to friends.  The day ended with a colorful fireworks display over Okanagan Lake.

Happy 144th Birthday Canada!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cirque du Soleil Dralion at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton

Cirque du Soleil Dralion at the South Okanagan Events Centre
Fantastic! Incredible! Unbelievable!  Just a few words to describe the production of the Cirque du Soleil ‘Dralion’ held at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton June 29 to July 3.
We sat open mouthed as a continuous succession of marvelous acts appeared on stage right in front of us.  Aerialists flying through the air, ‘with the greatest of ease’, a woman balancing on one hand, while she contorted her body like a pretzel, a marvelous performance of diving and rolling through various sized hoops, amazing acrobatics performed within Chinese skipping ropes, which I couldn’t even master as a kid, by just plain skipping.  This one ending with an incredible human pyramid of acrobats skipping in unison.  A beautiful woman floating down from the ceiling on colourful scarves which became the medium for her exhilarating  routine. Not to mention other awe-inspiring acts within the hoops that also floated from above.  Lorant Markocsany  thrilled the crowd as he flew across the stage suspended only by a wrist strap.
One of my favourite acts featured colorful dragon costumes that came alive as the people inside danced, pranced and played while a few brave souls balanced on their backs and performed other daring antics.  
The surreal wall to the right featured trampoline artists who literally walked up the wall to the top ledge after various summersaults and bouncing manoevures. The high energy level of the performers was boundless, sets were out of this world and the costumes were brilliant.    
Three clowns speaking a gibberish cross of Italian and French, provided comic relief during set and costume changes.
I think it is obvious that we enjoyed this show, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves live entertainment at its best.
Tickets can still be purchased, at the Penticton Wine Country Visitor Centre, by telephone at 1-877-763-2849, or online.   

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Myra Canyon Walkabout

Myra Canyon trestle
Thankyou Travelin' Pat for sharing your experience at Myra Canyon.

An engineering marvel not to be missed is only 18 km from the city of Kelowna.  I’m referring to the Myra Canyon trestles. Built between 1910 and 1915 the trestles are part of the legendary Kettle Valley Railroad.

In Aug 2003 a bolt of lightning hit the ground at Squally Point on Okanagan Lake and a fire swiftly spread up the hill and then raged out of control, first burning over 200 homes in Kelowna, then on into Okanagan Mountain Park.  By the time the fire was extinguished several weeks later 12 trestles were destroyed and 2 were damaged.  History gone up in smoke.

Evidence of the fire still apparent
Rebuilt in 2005 they are now available for all to enjoy.

A tunnel on the Myra Canyon Trail
One of the tunnels along the way

Along the way we drove past the posh Gallagher’s Canyon Golf course then made our way into what felt like ever-increasing wilderness. The car bumped and jounced along the dirt washboard road and at one point a gorgeous, healthy looking black bear bounded onto the road, skidded to a stop, took a good look at us then hot footed it back into the bush.  Now we really felt like we were on a mini wilderness adventure!

Looking down towards Kelowna

Track Bed for walking and cycling
We strolled along the track bed awed by the breathtaking views and the truly impressive engineering feat.  The information station gives you the skinny on the fire and the wildlife and the track bed is wide and relatively smooth making it easy to bike ride or hike.  Strategically located benches are situated for folks to sit and take in the view, which stretches all the way down to the city and Okanagan Lake, the reported home of Ogopogo, but that’s another story.

Typical Okanagan mountain view
Make your base at at Kelowna Vacation Rental when you explore the Myra Canyon trail.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Penticton Car Show Shines - Peach City Beach Cruise 2011

Penticton Lakeshore Drive was teeming with action this weekend.  There were cars everywhere and not just any old cars; they were sensational, beautiful, fantastic, amazing colorful vehicles of all types!  There were hot rods and Chevies, Mustangs and Daimlers, cars from the 20s and 30s plus super modern ones I have never seen or heard of.  Not being a car buff myself I could only stare openmouthed at the sheer numbers of them and marvel at the artistry required to get these old things into that pristine condition.  Wow!  You don’t have to be an expert to know these cars were the cream of the crop. 

My favourite novelty entry was a chevy which had been decked out with an A & W tray at the window and The Great Root Bear mascot sporting his bright orange jersey in the passenger seat. A wave of nostalgia hit me as I remembered those carefree days of the 50s with hoop skirts, saddle oxfords, real milkshakes and drive in movies.

One of the cars was black and had doors that opened like bat man wings about to take off, while others were bright orange, baby blue, lime green and oh yes, one called the Pink Panther with guess who as the driver?

The street was packed with enthusiastic looky loos and the atmosphere upbeat and energetic along with the help of some great music.  Bonus….the sun was shining.

Between Elvis roaming the streets and these marvelous classic cars crawling around, Penticton was surely the place to be this weekend.
This is an annual event so think about reserving accommodations now so you won’t be disappointed in 2012.
For more information about this event visit the Peach City Beach Cruise Website

Monday, June 27, 2011

Penticton Elvis Festival 2011 - 10th Anniversary

Sitting at Starbucks lost in a daydream, at the edge of my mind I honest to god thought I saw Elvis.  Of course I knew he had died a long time ago but I could have sworn …..  Snapping out of it I sipped my Grande chi tea latte and darned if I didn’t see Elvis again just a few minutes later!  Woweee was I losing it?  Well guess what?  I DID see Elvis and not just one… I saw lots of them!  It’s that time of year in Penticton…The Elvis Festival is alive and well!

My friend Julie and I, folding chairs in hand trooped down to the event, grabbed the best spot we could and settled in for what would prove to be a delightful “blast from the past” music experience.  The tunes were so familiar and I found myself humming away toe tapping and whopping after each Elvis performance.  These guys are dedicated and talented performers who take their Elvis impersonations seriously.  They are judged on things like stage presence, costumes, singing ability and how much they actually sound and seem like Elvis. The festive atmosphere was very evident and the crowd sang along, beat time with their feet, waved their arms and cheered enthusiastically when a particularly good Elvis belted out a popular oldie.

The guy beside us, David from Cranbrook was a dyed in the wool Elvis fan and filled us in on some Elvis info.  For example: Did you know that Elvis made 31 movies and 2 documentaries?  We were curious to know if the various costumes worn by the performers where actually ones that Elvis would have worn. The answer was yes.  Apparently in the 50s Elvis wore red jackets because he was into Karate at the time and this was a nod to that.  Then in the 60 s it was black leather (must have been his bad boy stage!) and finally in the 70 s he wore his oh so famous white jumpsuits.  David shared many more tidbits of Elvis trivia that only a dedicated fan would take the trouble to learn.

Contestants come from all over the United States, Canada and  other parts of the world to compete in this very popular festival.  This year we were treated to a pro from Australia named Mark Anthony, who apparently has wowed audiences in many countries and was rated top performer by our new friend David. (see video clip below)
When it was time to gather up our things and leave, we both agreed that it was a fun albeit surreal experience even though we are not anywhere close to being Elvis “fans”.  It is amazing that this “King of Rock” as he is called, can be so revered years after his death.
Elvis died on Aug 16, 1977 at only 42 years old.  Judging by the turnout at the Penticton Elvis Festival he left legions of enthusiastic fans in his wake.
This year was the 10th Anniversary of the Penticton Elvis Festival.

For more information visit the Penticton Elvis Festival website.

Don’t forget to book your Penticton Vacation Rental early for the 2012 Festival.