When I first moved to Canada five and a half years ago, I didn’t know what to expect, other than cold weather and a lot of “eh’s” tacked onto the end of sentences. As you may recall, I originally moved to a teeny tiny northern town in the middle of January, so what I got was, drumroll, please–cold weather and a lot of “eh’s” tacked onto the end of sentences. And trees. Lots and lots of pine trees.
Things I did not get but secretly hoped for: unlimited bear sightings (it was almost five years before I saw my first bear), Mounties dressed in brilliant red sitting atop beautiful horses (turns out, they only wear red for special occasions), and the effortless acquisition of snow sport skills (read this post if you want to know more about how that went down).
But the universe has a funny way of making these things up to you. Summer arrived, the snow melted, and Grant and I began traveling around the very green province of British Columbia. The weather was perfect, the sun shining brightly, when we first rolled into a region called The Okanagan. “Wine country,” I gasped. “Full on, gorgeous, vine-filled, wine country.” And so it was.
Maybe I’m just particularly naive (geography has never been my strong suit), but I had no idea that such a beautiful, desert-like, wine-producing region existed in Canada, let alone BC. It was like stumbling upon a hidden Napa Valley.
Since that initial discovery, Grant and I have made the Okanagan a regular part of our summer plans: every labor day, we pack ourselves into a caravan of cars and make our way east to taste wine, bask in the hot dry sun, boat, gather baskets of roadside fruit, and eat delicious food. This year, we’re lucky enough to make the trip twice. In case you’re in need of a mid-day summer boost, here’s a little peek at our recent long weekend in Naramata, Summerland and Kelowna.

I hope you’re enjoying every bit of sun-soaked summer you can get your hands on. The sunshine restores me like nothing else can–I’m hoping to crash-land into the beautiful autumn tan and salty, at ease.
What restores you? Do you have a favorite spot that you return to every year–spring, summer, winter or fall?