Saturday, October 04, 2014

A weekend with Dad

Me and the kids had a weekend free, and we needed to get out from Andrew's hair so he could work. So we decided to go check out dad's new digs. When we got to Bridal Falls we encountered torrential rain (scary!) but once we got through Manning Park the clouds made for the most amazing scenery. I decided to stop lots along the way for pictures. The above is Bromley Rock, a campground along the river I've always wanted to stop at.

This is just past Hedley. You can see how the scenery changes from one area to the next. It's such an interesting drive. We drive from the coast, into farmland, through the mountains into rugged mountain terrain, into this and then into desert land. In the space of four hours. I love it.

One of our first stops is ALWAYS the book shop in Penticton. This time I really scored. I had chosen four mysteries (fast, easy and my guilty pleasure), but while I was waiting for the kids to make up their minds, I found 3 books by 3 of my favorite authors. If you've never been to the bookshop, you really need to. It's quite the experience.

Once we had books, we headed for a drive into Naramata. Dad took us to a beach I'd never seen before.

There were lots of summer houses (I assume they were summer houses, but you know, the OK is kind of an amazing place to be all year round.)

And the kids spit off the dock.

 I forget the timing of things, but one of the days dad took us to a new village (Kaledon) I'd never heard of, in between Penticton and OK falls. It clings to the hill side but the beach was gorgeous. And they have the cutest little cafe and gardens which are where we had lunch.

And met Jiminy Cricket.
 It wasn't quite Minter Gardens, but it was definitely better than Sendall Gardens.

 There were lots of opportunities to sit and pose amongst the flowers and plants.

We wandered past two areas where they were setting up for weddings. Lizzie, who has been adamantly anti wedding/marriage saw the fancy tents and decorations and decided that maybe getting married wouldn't be so awful after all.

Being me, I encouraged her to consider just throwing huge parties rather than getting married for the sake of a fancy party.

We continued wandering and came upon this beautiful gazebo...where everyone wanted to have a nap.

 After that we wandered down to the beach, which as I said was really beautiful. If you're ever in the area, and looking for a family friendly beach, this one is quiet and has a playground, grass, nice-ish bathrooms and it's not far from Penticton. Sorry I don't have any pictures!

Another day we went for a bike ride along the Kettle Valley Trail between Penticton and OK Falls, and then along the trails through Penticton. It was gorgeous. And another thing I didn't know existed!

Penticton's dandelions are even bigger than the ones in Manning Park.

We also biked through the Reserve where they had these bilingual stop signs. Anyone know how to pronounce this?

 And of course, no trip to Penticton is complete without a stop at Tickleberrys!

 It's not a trip to Tickleberry's if you don't take crazy selfies.

 Mnnn, I do like a sugar high.

We were going to go back to that beach in Kaledon, but first we needed to pick up some water guns.

 Then we headed to Okanagan Falls. Their beach is LOVELY.

 OK Falls beach is another super family friendly beach with a huge grassy part for picnics and sun tanning, a HUGE playground and water park, and sandy beach. There was hardly anyone there, so we got our pick of spots and then we headed out into the water.

It was crystal clear and super warm, mostly because you can walk out forever and never get deeper than your butt. See?

This is me standing in front of the kids and taking a picture back towards shore. See how far we'd walked out and how shallow the water still was? LOVELY.

After a while, we headed back to shore and played at the water park. Even dad got involved at this point :)

 Soaking EVERYONE in the park (not just us!)

 I can't  believe we've been coming to OK falls for 13 years and we'd never found this little beach. It was perfect.

When we were through playing, we headed to Mrs. Tickleberrys. Where the line up looked about an hour long. So dad took us to an icecream stand he's heard is the best in Penticton.It was pretty good!

Then some of us decided we'd better walk home after all that delicious goodness. Dad drove laps around us, singing and dancing and generally being "dad".

One awesome thing about this trip to Penticton: They've redone the whole beach from the boatlaunch to the airport. It's got a board walk and parks and several new playgrounds. It's super pedestrian friendly and really beautiful. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures so you'll have to be satisfied with these snaps dad took of the playgrounds.

 We also drove around some of the new developments that are going in on the east side of Penticton between P and OK Falls.

 Lots of opportunity for climbing rocks there.

A few last pictures of the playground.

And all too soon it was time to leave. It's too bad you have to drive through the mountains to visit dad, because I think that means we'll only be making the trip when there's no danger of snow. Here's a picture of us saying goodbye. We took the Coquihalla home, and stopped in Peachland for a last look at the lake:

 The drive home was beautiful, but there were far too few places to pull off and take pictures. Or, I'd see them and second guess myself and wish after that I had pulled over. Still, I managed to capture a couple of good shots on the way home too. Can't wait to head back...