Saturday, July 16, 2011

Off to Peachland in the Okanagan

Trans-Canada Highway 1 - east of Chilliwack, BC.
Jeanette and I had contacted our very good - former White Rock - friends who retired to Peachland a few years back.  We shared a lot of dinners together and our children grew up together.
Coquihalla Highway #5 - approaching Merritt, BC.
Garry and Aline moved into a beautiful home, several years ago, overlooking Lake Okanagan. They have been very busy, these past several years, with completing some renovations to the house and making major improvements to their property.

Weather was improving as we made our way into the Nicola Valley.

Signage on the Connector road from Merritt to Peachland and the Okanagan valley.
The Coquihalla highway was again true to form with clouds, very cool temperatures and rain, from time to time.  The highway climbs to very high elevations and there can be sudden weather changes.

It was our intention to motorcycle up there but after exchanging emails with Garry, it was clear that we would not be riding.  So, we drove up.

Our descent into the Okanagan Valley and only a few minutes from Peachland.
Lake Okanagan

Approaching Garry and Aline's home.
After three hours of continuous driving, we arrived @ Garry and Aline's home in time for lunch. Garry and Aline's daughter, Tamara, came over with her two children, Tahlia and Aidan.   Proud grandfather, Garry, is busy entertaining them both.

Tahlia (@ 2 years of age), Aidan (@ 2 months of age), Garry (@....well,...ah...we won't reveal his age!!!)
From a brand new deck above, we view the beautiful garden below and the build of a future greenhouse.
I walked down to the construction site for a proper inspection of the work.  Like these two really need another inspector!!!!  Jesse  (with the hat) is Garry and Aline's son.  He is spending the summer building and renovating and renewing things - as well as building his very own boat.  His uncle (Aline's brother, Marcel) chose to drive out from Calgary, Alberta, to help out with some of the work. Marcel was on his way to Vancouver and Vancouver Island for business reasons and thought to stop in to help out for a week.  How nice that is!

Inspector Garry is hidden behind me.   Jesse in the black muscle shirt and Marcel in the white t-shirt.
Aline is a green thumb - loves gardening - and will now have the opportunity to grow stuff all year long.
This side and the front of the greenhouse will be covered in clear plexiglass panels.  One inside rock wall - exposed to the majority of the sunshine - will release passive heat when the sun goes down.  This is a passive solar greenhouse.  Neat concept!

The garden has netting to prevent the local deer, bears and other wildlife from stealing the vegetables and fruits.
A view from their front deck looking east towards Lake Okanagan.
Although it may not look like it in this photo, the workers were making good progress and working hard.  Garry and I had to continually caucus and provide direction on the build.  Hey, every job site needs a supervisor (inspector) or two....or more, right?
 Seriously though, Jesse and Marcel were on top of this project and they made fast progress with the build.  Meanwhile, Jeanette was indoors and keeping busy with little Aidan while mom, Tamara, was busy with her mom, Aline, getting some dinner ready. This little fella hardly makes a sound - unless he is hungry - but is very content otherwise.

Aidan doesn't shy from anyone.  He's a happy little guy.  His father, John, was away on business in Kamloops during our visit.  John is a good friend of our son.
After a hard day (for some) we enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail.  Marcel is resting his weary bones after a day of work.  Garry is holding court!
Could not help myself!  What a cute little fella....and oh so good too!!!
Later in the evening - when the others had gone to bed, Aline, Jeanette and I stood out on the east forward deck to admire the beautiful reflection of the moon on Lake Okanagan.
Hmmm... is Aline giving Garry some lessons on the computer or is Garry showing her a web site with a special lift mechanism they need to raise a glass roof panel to release heat from the greenhouse?
The greenhouse is built to emulate the look of the house up the hill.  Very creative design!
A view of the second - and newest - deck that was just recently completed.  I sure like the spiral staircase.
Jesse, me and Marcel.
 Jeanette and I were leaving the next day so after saying our good byes to Garry and Aline, we stopped down below to do the same with Jesse and Marcel.

I think Jeanette was hoping that I would zoom in a little to make it appear as though she is as tall as Jesse....but hey, I could not tell a lie. 
Jesse and our son, Deni, grew up together, went to the same elementary and secondary schools together, and chummed around too. Our two families are just that - family to us and them.

Jeanette and I had a good three hour drive back home.  It was a quick, 27 hour visit but it was so nice to spend the time with them.  Our thanks for the awesome hospitality, the wonderful meals and the always engaging chats.

Thanks for dropping by.  Wishing you all a very nice weekend.

......where's our sun? .....where's our sun?....where's our sun?........Ho Hum.......will summer arrive soon?  Let's hope so!


  1. I always enjoy seeing photos of the good old Okanagan Valley where I lived for a few years in the early 70's.

  2. love the Okanagan area too!..boy you are well travelled these past few posts!!

  3. Your friends have a beautiful home in the Okanagan. It looks like you had better weather than we did here on the coast!

    I can see you and Jeanette have the makings of fantastic grandparents!!