Exploring Kelowna, and Flying Back to Whitehorse

I’m a few days behind again – we had little free time while we were in Kelowna, and I’m just getting things back to normal now after getting home Sunday night.

Friday began wet and dreary – this was the view (or lack of) from Dad’s deck in West Kelowna at 10:18am.
A rainy morning in Kelowna, BC
We visited with family for most of the day, then in the late afternoon went down to the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort to check in for a 2-night stay that I won in a Delta Hotels contest a few months ago. Our room on the 8th floor of the newly-renovated North Tower was beautiful!
Room 826 at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort
A little taste of the expansive view over Okanagan Lake.
Room 826 at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort
The desk was extremely well thought out, with lots of plugs and every connection you could possibly need, even one to use the TV as your monitor. This was such a nice change from most hotels, where the desk is a very basic afterthought.
Room 826 at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort
When the lights of the city started to come on, the view from the room became even more lovely – this was shot at 4:24pm.
Room 826 at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort
That night, 14 family members showed up at the Chop Steakhouse to celebrate my Dad’s 90th birthday, then we all went over to my sister’s home to continue the party. A special casino-and-bowling-themed cake was a big hit – those are the 2 main things that keep my father active 🙂
My father's 90th birthday
My daughter shows her grandfather some of the cool things a smartphone does.
My daughter shows her grandfather some of the cool things a smartphone does
Back at our hotel, Cathy and I decided to go for a walk before going to bed. This new outdoor skating rink is no doubt very expensive to operate in these above-freezing temperatures, but is a wonderful addition to the waterfront (the marina is immediately to the left).
Outdoor skating rink in Kelowna, BC
The next morning, we spent almost an hour and a half enjoying the hotel’s indoor-outdoor pool, hot tubs and sauna. What a great way to start the day off.
Pool and hot tub at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort
The buffet at the Grand Bay Café in the hotel was excellent, particularly the custom-made omelettes.
Grand Bay Cafe in the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort
While Cathy just enjoyed our hotel room, I went for a long walk – this was shot just after 9:00am, looking back to the hotel. To the right is Knox Mountain, which has excellent hiking trails that I explored on my last visit in September.
Marina at Kelowna, BC
City Park – the more time I spend in this part of Kelowna, the more I think that this just might be the place I could enjoy retiring in.
at Kelowna, BC
There were lots of widgeons and mallards enjoying the park.
at Kelowna, BC
Just before noon, we met my daughter and her partner to do some more winery touring (we went to the Volcanic Hills Winery a couple of days earlier and began our take-home collection there). We began at the Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery, and brought home a bottle of their 2010 Summit Reserve Chardonnay: “Barrel fermented with nine months sur lie in premium French oak barrels. Aromas of peaches and vanilla followed by a creamy, lush palate with lingering tropical fruit on the finish. Pair with grilled poultry, seafood and creamy pastas.”
Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery - West Kelowna, BC
Some grapes at Mt. Boucherie, ready for a late harvest.
Some grapes at Mt. Boucherie, ready for a late harvest.
The stunningly-beautiful Quails’ Gate Winery a few blocks away was our next stop. This is the view from the tasting room, where we added a 2011 Chenin Blanc and a 2011 Gewurztraminer to the collection.

Quails' Gate Winery
Quails’ Gate is situated on the historic Allison family homestead, and their home from the 1870s remains on the property.
The historic Allison family homestead in Westbank, BC
Little Straw Vineyards was our final stop. There, we chose a 2011 Old Vines Auxerrois to take home. This is a wine that neither of us was familiar with: “This medium-bodied white varietal shows citrus and mineral on the nose with hints of pine. These aromas are echoed on the palate together with a vibrant acidity that is tamed by the creamy mouthfeel that results from judicious sur lie barrel-ageing. Enjoy this wine with seafood, poultry, and mild cheeses.”
Little Straw Vineyards
That night we had another family dinner for 13 people, this time back at my sister’s home. Due to a flight change by Air Canada, our easy-hour departure on Sunday became an early one with a long layover in Vancouver, so we didn’t even get to enjoy another good breakfast at the hotel. The departure lounge at YLW (Kelowna) was very quiet at 07:35.
departure lounge at YLW (Kelowna)
We were in the clouds for almost the entire 55-minute flight back to Vancouver in a Dash 8, but as we passed by Burnaby, I spotted this fog bank. In the mid-1970s, I lived on the 27th floor of one of the apartment buildings hidden in the fog right there – what a different life that was…
Downtown Vancouver could be seen in the distance as we dropped down on final approach.
My love of both photography and airplanes helps even a 5-hour layover pass fairly quickly. I noticed that this Hawkair Dash 8 sports a new tail-art design.
Hawkair Dash 8
Rush hour at YVR.
Air North’s Boeing 737 C-FANB heads back home after a brief rain shower.
At 2:47pm we finally lined up to take off.
We got a brief look at the Fraser River before climbing into low clouds, and I slept for most of the 2 hours to Whitehorse.

We brought back a good variety of wines from the wineries we visited, 9 bottles in total. We only took 1 suitcase down, so the box of wine was our no-charge second bag, and we bought a special wine shipping case at the Mt. Boucherie Winery to make sure they survived the trip. This is such a great way to bring back good memories of the trip 🙂
Okanagan wines as a souvenir
Much of yesterday (Monday) was taken up with clearing snow and some other cold-related projects, but there’s lots more to do today. The wind yesterday made working outside quite miserable, with wind chills into the mid-minus-30s.
The weather forecast has improved a bit overnight – this still shows more cloud than what I used to consider a “normal” winter, but the temperatures are excellent. So far it’s been a very cloudy winter with more snow than normal, so I’m hoping that the sun will appear much more often from here on. The Weather Network is still calling for daily high temps in the single digits next week, but I’m not going to hold my breath 🙂

Weather forecast for Whitehorse, Yukon
Cathy is taking courses downtown yesterday and today, and rather than deal with parking meters and keeping her car warm, I drive her in and pick her up. This was the view on the Alaska Highway on the way home this morning at 8:47, with the temperature at -27°C
Winter on the Alaska Highway at Whitehorse, Yukon
Arriving back home. Okay, that’s enough blogging – it’s time to get that driveway plowed!
Winter at home in Whitehorse, Yukon


Exploring Kelowna, and Flying Back to Whitehorse — 1 Comment

  1. Very interesting. I love the shot of the marina looking back at the hotel. It looks like HDR because it has such vibrant colors.