Vacay Part Uno

July 1 - Canada Day!
Left home and drove to Golden where we met our group for our white water rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River. They prepared a delicious BBQ steak lunch before we hit the river. I'm not gonna lie, I was shaking in my wetsuit and helmet a little but once we got out there it was sheer excitement. We rafted for almost 3 hours and hit rapids that were levels 1-4. One stretch of level 4 rapids was 1km long and looked freakishly crazy but it was over in less than 30 seconds. Survived - check! It was SO fun!

 We are in the sunglasses on the right side.

 Then we continued on to Vernon and spent the evening with Justin's Aunt Sandy and Uncle Gary.

July 2
Woke up early and headed up to Silver Star Resort (in Vernon) for Justin to ride.
I dropped him off at the top and came back down into Vernon to get some cold meds (still not feeling so hot this day!) and did a bit of shopping.
Justin met up with 3 guys he rides with in Calgary so he had a great day (other than the snow, hail & rain)! I managed a short run and then read in the car while it poured!
That afternoon we met up with A.Sandy & U.Gary and went to watch Justin's cousin Kirk play in a Lacrosse game. It was exciting despite the loss. Then we headed up to Kirk and Erika's place in Lumby. Beautiful new house on acres and acres of land. Then Tye, Chayse and Grady ran around showing us all their forts, bones and zip-lines. They showed us their tricks on the small zip-line and then Justin and I tried out the higher one. Had a great dinner on their upper deck and had a fantastic visit. Those 3 kids are just too darn cute.

(Why no pictures of those cuties you ask? Urg. At the last minute we took A.Sandy's Jeep and my camera was in our car. I'm still sad AND I am still kicking myself in the shin over this)

July 3
After breakfast we headed out to Kelowna for our day of wineries. Stopped on the way to check out Predator Ridge Golf Course & Sparkling Hills Resort. Amazing.

Our first stop was one of our favorite wineries Grey Monk Estates. This was our 3rd time there and they just built a new building - stunning. We stocked up on our fav Latitude 50 white and also picked up a Gewurztraminer 2008 as well as a Pinot Auxerrois 2009. Yum.

New Grey Monk Building

 Second stop was Arrow Leaf Cellars. This was our first visit here and it was beautiful. A smaller, family run winery. I loved the labels on all the bottles but decided it was ridiculous to buy them all just for the labels. Boo. We settled on 2 delicious blends, White Feathers 2008 & First Crush 2008.

Arrow Leaf Cellars

Third stop we stopped at on a whim and are SO glad we did. It is probably our favorite winery out there now. It just opened in May of this year and is called Ex Nihilo. It was simple looking but very classic, modern and comfortable.When doing our tasting they insisted we take our wine and walk around the vinyard, tour the building or snack on their cheese-cracker and grape platters. Justin and I were setting up our camera for a timer shot when in walked a man and offered to take it for us. Turns out it was one of the owners and he sat with us and told us about the winery for 20 minutes. Loved it and can't wait to go back. We left there with a 2006 Merlot (they had the coolest labels by far!).

The fourth stop was Mission Hill Estate Winery. This was also our third time here and we weren't all that impressed with the wine this time. The buildings and grounds are beautiful so we had a nice picnic lunch here but didn't leave with any wine.

Mission Hill door

Our fifth stop was St. Hubertus Estate Winery. This was our first time here and we really liked this one, it is small and cute but had some delicious wine. We decided on a Chasselas 2008 and we had to get Fire Man's Red 2003 because the bottle had a fireman on it!

The truck was used back in the day in the vineyard, had a faded St,Hubertus logo on the door.

Our sixth stop was to Cedar Creek. We had been here once before and love it. It has stunning grounds and the wine is always tasty! We came out with a Merlot 2006 because Justin just loved it and also a Ehrenfelser 2008 for that evening at the B & B.

Our last stop (whoa!) was at Summerhill Pyramid Winery. We had been here once before as well but since then they have switched over to all organic (whether this is the reason or not) but we struggled to drink any of it! Some of them were just awful! Thank goodness for the dump buckets! Since we had  paid for the tasting and the $ could go towards a bottle we ended up getting a Ehrenfelser from their old batch (pre-organic) that we had had before!

By this time we were ready to call it a day for wineries. We hit up a Starbucks and then found our B & B. It was great. Our room was beautiful, they had a great pool, the host couple was super sweet and personable. We relaxed for a bit, Justin napped and then we went out for dinner to Milestones. I had a delicious Cajun Shrimp Diane and Justin had Kobe Beef Meatloaf.

After dinner we did this:

July 4
Had a delicious breakfast at the B & B and then hit the road for Vancouver.
 Lesson: You cannot always trust the pictures you see on the websites for hotels. Our hotel in Vancouver did not look like the website, nor was it even a hotel, modern looking or all that nice smelling. Anyways we weren't planning on spending all that much time there anyways so we sucked it up. Took a trip downtown Vancouver looking for a bike shop for Justin. Found it, he got the pretty new red handle bar he was looking for (that his beautiful wife bought him for their anniversary) and the guys at the shop graciously drew him maps for his ride the next day.
Then we headed back to the hotel motel to get ready for our dinner date.
After a horrendous cab ride to the restaurant (aren't cab driver supposed to know the city they work in? Well this one clearly didn't and wasn't happy when we didn't know where the restaurant was. Hello! That is why we called a cab!) Anyways we had a super fun dinner with the 2 great couples we met in Cuba (in January of 2008).
Side note: While in Cuba we had such awful weather that it prevented us from being on the beach so we met these 2 couples at the bar the day after Justin proposed. Long story short, M and M were there to get married (the next day) by themselves so we quickly became their wedding party. We had a joint stag/stagette that night and everything! It was too fun. It would have been a very long week without them!
Anyways we had so much fun at dinner, tons of laughs, story telling, reminiscing and it took us over an hour to order our meal because we were too busy talking. It was like we hang out with these couples every weekend. It's funny how some people you meet you just connect with and I know the 6 of us will be forever friends.

Wedding Party shots - January 2008
Wedding Party!
July 2010 - Same spots as above!

July 5
This morning we were awakened by the 2 children in the room next to us kicking the soccer ball against our wall at 5:30am. Fabulous. Thank you to their parents for being oblivious to the rest of the guests. It was such a classy motel and all but still. Hupfh.
 After breaky, we headed up up up and up to Mount Seymour. I dropped Justin at the top and drove down to meet him at 2 different places. Then we took him back to the top again for him to ride the infamous 'Ned's' run. I spent my time doing swings and reading. He called 3 times to say he was lost but not much help I was. He made it down just over an hour later and had a great time. He was amazed with the rain forests there and the difficulty of the trails. He was in 1 pieces, I was happy.
On the way down though he broke a shifter cable (I only remember this wording because I wrote it down in my journal - that Justin laughed at me for keeping!!) so he couldn't ride Cypress Mountain as we had planned but we drove to the top anyways to see the view and kill time before our ferry sailing time. It was a beautiful view of the entire Vancouver.

We had an enjoyable ferry ride (of a much needed nap) and then drove to Gran's. I love turning the corner and seeing her house. It's just so beautiful, reminds me of Uncle Brian and I love my time there so much. It just gives you that butterfly feeling when you finally see it.

It was so good to see her. As soon as we arrived 'the bar was open' and we had our usual gin and tonic, then a martini and Justin sampled some of the island beers she had in stock. Then we had a delicious dinner Gran made with one of fav wines Copper Moon. We were stuffed so we went for a much needed walk, visited and then hit the sack.

July 6
This morning Justin and I went for a run on the forest trails near Gran's place, it was a lot of fun because it was totally different than we can do at home. Then we headed down into Nanaimo to walk along the harbor. It was a beautiful day with a nice breeze. Then we stopped and had a delicious lunch right on the water. Fish tacos and lime margarita's! Gran even convinced Justin to have one!
Then we had a gelato ice cream cone with mix-ins! Yummers.

That evening we met up with 4 of Gran's friends that we always make sure we see when we visit Gran. They are 2 great couples and we always have such a fun time and lots of laughs with them. We met them at the Crow & Gate Pub to start and then went to Brian and Anita's for an amazing dinner. After dinner Brian took us down to the beach to see the ocean. He insisted we get our feet wet! It was a beautiful night.

That's all you get for today! I will have the second half for tomorrow but lastly I want to leave you with some beautiful pictures of Gran's garden. She puts in so much time and effort into her garden and it shows. It is stunning. I love being there and was so happy to share it with Justin finally.

Yup she has a mini in the garden!

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woodlandsblonde said...

Wow, gorgeous pictures!!

Rachel and John said...

Sounds like a great vacation!!!!
I'm loving your dresses! Especially the winery ones and the dot one. Where did you get them?

Hannah @ The New Black said...

I LOVE your July 3 dress. Fill me do I get one??

Alison said...

such amazing photos, and such a lovely maxi dress!

Taylor @ The Undomestic Momma said...

love all the pics! yall are so cute!

J and A said...

Thanks for all your sweet comments ladies. I am loving summer dresses right now, I would wear them everyday if I could! The one I wore to the wineries was from Mexx. And the polka dot I have had forever so I don't even remember where it was from, it's like 3 years old! I got 2 new dresses in whistler so I am dying to wear them too! :)

Leigh said...

Looks like you guys had a great vacation! I love your sandals in the pictures...I have the same pair (I think!). Did you get them from Wal-Mart?

Jenn @ WestSacHoney said...

Ah you guys are so active I never exercise while on vacation. Your trip looked like so much fun especially all those beautiful wineries and especially a visit to gran's! She has a such a pretty house and beautiful garden! Great photos pretty girl!

J and A said...

Leigh - yuppers they are a Wal-mart special. I got them i white too.
Jenn - I didn't workout nearly enough! I felt like a slob coming home on Sunday night so I have been working my butt off this week. PS. I am trying your recipe tomorrow night! Yum.

Resisting Perfection said...

I'm your newest follower :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your vacation looks absolutely amazing, I wouldn't have wanted to come home if I were you!

Juggling Thoughts @ One Fine Wire said...

Oh my word, your vacation looks amazing! Just found your blog, and you and your husband are too cute!! Dude, how did you get the header to rotate pictures like that!? I love it!

Stop by One Fine Wire if you get a chance, I'd love to see you there!

So nice to meet you!

J and A said...

Juggling Thoughts - There are probably more, but I know of 2 ways to make your Header rotate through pictures.
1: (which I didn't do) You could do it with a Java Script to pull the images from a database. Sorry I don't know how to do it.
2: I tricked it by just making a moving photo. A ".gif". The files tend to be large so I had to cut the quality down so that the page would load quickly. There are lots of tutorials on google as to how to make a gif. HTH!

Michelle said...

Those Cuban mates are the best!!! What a great shot Alison! Can you send me a copy? So much fun we had. I wish we had more time.

Love ya heaps!

rafting cagayan de oro said...

Wow, you're such a great couple ^_^. wish i can also give my wife a great travels like you guys did ^_^. hehe..nice blog.more pwer to your endeavors. ^_^