Monday, July 27, 2015

At The Lake....with a paddle...but without Internet.

Jeanette and I were invited to join Trevor, Ginette, Easton and Brie at Trevor's family cabin at Barriere Lake, north and east from Kamloops, in the north Okanagan.  We spent four really good days there.
A view from the cabin deck - looking west.
Jeanette and I had planned to motorcycle the 5 hour route to the cabin.  A good check of the weather WEB sites had us quickly change our minds. The foreecast was frought with storm cells along our route.  We chose to drive our Nissan truck.  Good thing too!  There were rain storms along the way up, during our stay and on our return drive.
Jeanette checks out the dock before our kids arrived with the boat in tow.
We took both kayaks out of storage and went for a long paddle. 
Our kids followed about four hours after our arrival.  We had opened up the cabin, unlocked the storage sheds, opened the water system and got the hot water tank fired up too.  Everything was ready by the time they arrived.
The family arrived shortly after dinner time.
Jeanette and I hid behind some trees and did we surprise Easton and Brie?  You bet!  They were quite excited to see  us.
Early morning breakfast.  Nana was preparing a nice batch of pancakes
Easton is always at the ready to help out.
It was not long before the grand kids were on the waterfront playing.  Although it clouded over, the temperatures warmed up by mid-morning on the first full day at the cabin.
Easton's toys.
It was a relaxed time with our grand kids and their folks.  We kept busy with all types of activities including; water sports, short hikes, horsehoes and card games, and more....especially the downtimes spent simply enjoying the views.  
Every kid has to spend time throwing rocks.  And they did a fair bit of that!
Having fun.
Just enjoying the outdoors, following breakfast.
Trevor had trailered their boat back from being serviced.  It had been taken out of the water by his cousin's husband when they were at the cabin earlier.  
Readying to launch the boat.
There is a private boat ramp on their property.  It's where the boat was launched and secured to the dock.
Following a check ride, to make sure all systems were working properly, we returned to the dock
Trevor pumped up a large 3 person tube.  It was not long after that Ginette and Easton were enjoying the fast run on the calm lake.  This was Easton's very first tubing ride.  Did he enjoy that?  You bet!  In spades too!  He wanted more and more rides. 
All smiles.
Good fun.
Trevor was at the controls while towing the tube.
Brie came along on the boat ride but she was not overly keen about that.  Although not crying, she kept her eyes closed.
Back on the beach, Trevor and Easton played in the water.
Easton is enjoying some swim time with daddy.
A western view from the cabin's private beach.
An early morning, 2nd day of fun plying the waters.
Trevor took Easton on a canoe ride to the other side of the lake and I went along in a kayak.  Trevor was looking for a nice spot on a point opposite their cabin for a possible overnight campout with Easton.  We found a nice place alright.  The weather was not favourable for an overnight camping trip....but I am betting it will happen before the cabin season ends.
Brie chooses to help daddy stack some firewood.
Awake from a nap, Easton chose to help daddy out too.
It was fun to take a couple of fishing rods to the dock and show Easton how to fish.  He enjoyed that.   It tooks some work to understand how to cast.  It will be learned over the years, I'm sure.

The kids always had something to amuse themselves with.
Pointing to the numerous boats pulling skiers and borders.
Brie learned how to say 'boat'.  She kept repeating and repeating the word everytime she saw one.
A lovely view.  I never tired of looking out at that view.
Water toys.
Trevor spent a fair bit of time playing with Easton on the beach.  They built a nice water canal and then enjoyed filling it with water as they watched a little boat works its way to the shoreline.  Below is a short video showing the fun they were having. 

Our little Edmonton grandchild, Owen is seen checking out a river cruise boat on the North Saskatchewan River off the Edmonton downtown core.

Our son, Deni sent the photo above after their bicycle ride in downtown Edmonton.  Owen is getting close to the point where he may well want his very own bicycle.  Then look out!

A lovely waterfall about one hour from our home.

A day or two prior to leaving for the cabin, Jeanette and I were on a motorcycle ride that led us across the Fraser River and into the north shore mountains.  We were quite surprised to come to a dead end road and to discover the beautiful falls in the photo above.  Cascades Falls Regional Park was a complete surprise.  Although we have lived in this area for all of 35 + years, we had never heard of this place.  What a gem!
Dropping better than 150 below, the pool is very shallow.
The mountain fresh waters are a draw for local families and teenagers.  It is a place that offers many fresh mountain fed water pools to cool off in.  Ant eh place was busy.  
The park ranger told us about how it is nearly impossible to track everyone who wishes to thread with extreme danger above the falls.  Every year someone is seriously injured or killed doing what you will see in this very brief video I took.  Talk about flirting with danger! 

Jeanette's nephew from Calgary.
Jonathon, Jeanette's sister and husband from Calgary, Alberta, was visiting Vancouver with a group of friends.  We met him just off the downtown Vancouver area for lunch.  It was nice to see him again.  The group was enjoying its holiday while touring the Vancouver area.
Jonathon was chatting me up while waiting for his friends to come and retrieve him.
While at the cabin in the woods and mountains, we had no internet or cellular service.  The only contact with the oustide world was by land line.  And that was actually a well received treat.  It really is nice to be off the grid.  And the four days we enjoyed there were just great.

Now back at home, we are making plans to roll into the neighbouring Province of Alberta.  It is there that we will spend some quality time with grand child Owen and his folks.  We will also look after Owen while his folks take a break to attend an out of town wedding in the south western part of the Alberta Rockies foolhills.

A golf round is planned for this week along with a chance to meet up with a California based RV couple we met several years back.  We are planning a get together with them this Wednesday.

And that covers things from here, for now.  Thanks for dropping in.

Sunday, July 19, 2015 Time Flies.

The blogger header photo is the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as seen from Kitsilano Beach, just off from the downtown core.

Why the delay in blogging these past couple of weeks?
 The only true answer is due to a lack of time.   
 We have been so busy that blogging and blog reading had to
 take second place to the other stuff.

Other than one major activity that has taken up a great deal of my time, these past several weeks (and that I will write a post about in the future), the other activities are covered in this post.  Phew!  
Beautiful Brie is such a treasure to watch develop into a sweet little girl.
Jeanette and I look after Brie and Easton most Thursdays and Fridays; including an overnight with us.  That time period gives their mom, Ginette an opportunity to focus on her business.  And with dad, Trevor busy with his business and firefighting too, the parents get to catch up on paper work and other necessary chores around the house.

Brie and Easton love hanging out with us.....and, of course, the feeling is mutual for us too.  What a treat!To have the chance to spend time with Owen (in Edmonton, Alberta) is something we long for too.
Easton always brings his favourite fire truck to our home when he comes over. 
A favourite activity for both kids is when we take them to the local forested trails or to the local park.  There are so many activities for them to partake in.  
Cooling off on the sun deck play pool is fun on the hot, hot days we have been experiencing.
At Aldergrove Park, forested trails
Helping to prepare dinner by shucking corn  cobs

Heading out for an early morning bicycle ride
Loving the local park's activity centre.
Easton is trying out the off road  bicycle course.  So did his grand papa.
We were invited to join our good friends, Lorne and Mariette for an afternoon and evening out on the town, so to speak.  Mariette called with the idea to purchase theater tickets for 'Bard on the Beach'.  With that planned, we met up in the Kitsilano area near downtown Vancouver - on the waterfront - several days back.  Meeting before the evening theatrical performance allowed us to enjoyed a nice, leisurely walk around the Kits beach area before settling in for a nice outdoor dinner.
One can barely make out West Vancouver on the other side of the bay, due to smokey conditions brought on by so many forest fires.
L-R  Jeanette, Mariette and Lorne.  I manned the camera.
We chose a good, outdoor spot for a refreshing beer and dinner before heading over to the tented theater site at Vanier Beach.
Mariette and Jeanette were questioning who would want this old jalopy.  I caught the photo.
Shakespearean plays - professionally produced and acted.
I won't get into detail about the plays produced and acted in a professional setting under these large tents but the quality is job 1.  When it comes to Shakespeare plays, I am usually at a loss to understand them (even after having studied Shakespeare in University).  But it was still a great night out.

For details on Bard on the Beach and the plays, click on the following link:  Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival - Vancouver, BC
We took in this play.
I also love 'theater in the round'.  The actors move from the stage to centre and the action is very close to all paying customers.
Taken through the smokey Vancouver sky following our evening performance.
The smokey skies cleared quickly once some nice breezes blew in from the Pacific Coast.  And the forest fire situation in British Columbia has greatly improved.

Taking a hike on a very warm day.  The jacket is for the coolness under the forested canopy.
Looking for a shaded activity one day, in the past several, we chose a long, forested walk under canopied trees.  And what a relief that was.  We worked up a nice sweat on the walk - faced with different elevations - but we sure enjoyed the cool breezes while walking.
Pretty wild flower.
This gives you an idea of how well canopied the trails were during our walk.
 Fast pitch action at Soft Ball City
Jeanette and her nursing friends organized an evening out to attend the  Canadian Open Fastpitch International - Welcome ball matches one evening last week.  And they got to watch the Japanese team beat Cuba for the championship trophy.

Jeanette has always loved baseball, fast pitch and slow pitch ball.  And she played a lot of it in her younger days.  Attending this event was a must for her and her friends. 
Canadian Open Fastpitch International - Welcome
The scene from one of our golf rounds.
Although our fore-some could not get together for our regular Friday golf round, my friend, Denis and I did get to play at the  Abbotsford Golf | BC Golf - Ledgeview Golf Club.  What a treat that golf course is.  And I scored well there too.

Two PGA Canadian players (Adam Hadwin included) are regular tour players on the prestigious PGA (Pro Golf Association) tour.  In fact, as I write this blog, a couple Canadian pro golfers are competing at the premier original home of golf; the Open Championship at St. Andrews in Scotland.

For more details, click on the following link:  St Andrews Links : The Home of Golf

First break on our four day motorcycle ride - July 15, 16, 17 & 18.
Six like minded motorcyclists - some whom we ride with during our winter snow-birding months in southern California and Arizona - left on July 15th for a great 1600 km ride through the West Kootenays of BC.  What a treat that trip is.  Although we have done it many times in the past, it is always a joy to ride through that pristine country.  Although we have many rides that include our spouses, this was a guy only ride.  We tend to ride harder and longer.   What fun!
Our first night in Midway.  Midway Bc Canada - Yahoo Image Search Results

A couple of sarsaparillas enjoyed on the outdoor deck of this grand old hotel in Midway.
Countryside view near Midway, BC
Hundreds of motorcyclists converged in the small mountain city of Nelson, BC. City of Nelson | Home
From Midway, we rode east through the towns of Greewood, Christina Lake, Rossland, Trail, Castlegar, Slocan, New Denver, Kaslo and south along the wonderful Kootenay Lake and into Nelson.  That was a long day in the saddle but a rewarding one for all the beautiful topography we rode through. Village of New Denver | Home             Kaslo, British Columbia, Canada webguide

Many motorcyclists chose this wonderful boutique downtown Nelson hotel for their overnight.  What a gem!
While I was motorcycling, Jeanette, Ginette and Courtney (our daughter in law from Edmonton, Alberta) gathered the grand kids and everyone met at White Rock beach for some play time.

Owen and mom, Courtney were enjoying the shade from the heat of the day.
 The tide was far out while Brie, Easton and Owen were running around.  Good fun!

And, without turning this blog into a novel, that's a sampling of what has been keeping us busy.....and, I might add, out of trouble too.  Who can get into trouble when there are so many good activities to occupy us?

Thanks for dropping in.  The next blog will detail the one activity I mentioned early on, in this blog, that occupied many, many hours of my time these past seven weeks or so.