We have just spent Friday-Monday in Fernie, home of 2 rivers, surrounded by mountains including the famous “three sisters” mountain, and lots of outdoors activities. We have noticed that many towns like Fernie, Penticton, ___ have a high per-capita cyclist rate, and if I lived in these places I’d be one too! These towns are all relatively flat and have an infrequent transit service. BAM, bikes everywhere.

three sisters markel

The Three Sisters by Patrick Markle

Saturday in Fernie I walked around the “Historic Downtown” area leisurely (to make the 7 blocks stretch), taking my time to visit each art gallery, clothing shop, and contemplate eating at each cafe.

There is a wonderful art co-op here in Fernie where I have picked up the names of a few new favorite artists. Patrick Markle is featured above, and Nicole Yanota and Glenys Takala below.

nicole yanota

Nicole Yanota

Genys Takala

Genys Takala

Sunday we worked the Fernie “Mountain Market” event, a small farmers market located on the next block beside where we were staying! Spoke with some friendly people and almost signed up for a river rafting tour! Susan was hesitant to surrender the entire day (9-4) to a rafting trip, so when we got back we researched the half day trip we had heard about, only to find that there were no tours going out on that Monday due to low enrollment. 😦 Oh well, It left the day open to do everything I did today instead:

Today (Monday) we had the day off because we had worked the event on Sunday.  I woke up early for course enrollment (more boring details below), then slowly prepared to head outside into Fernie for an afternoon of walking around the town and painting more angles of the downtown street.

IMG_2480 IMG_2460

Course enrollment details:

I was awake at 9am PDT, (10am MDT) in order to do my course enrollment for my fall term. I am very happy with the results. I was having some trouble choosing courses a few days ago because I had three goals in mind (besides receiving a great education of course):

  1. Take 4 classes
  2. Leave Friday afternoons open in order to visit Victoria on weekends.
  3. Don’t take very early morning Tuesday classes so that I can go to a 60s themed “ice cream social” dancing event which happens Monday nights.

Finally I settled on a schedule of three 200-level Communication classes, and one introductory Publishing class. These classes occur over tree days, with one Monday, two Tuesday, and one Wednesday. All except the Wednesday class are at the downtown campus. I have just achieved 45 units, meaning that I could take a few certain 300- level classes, but the more I looked the more I didn’t want to end class downtown at 9:30pm every Monday night, and the more I realized my interest in some of the 200-level classes I haven’t gotten to take yet – like International Communication!

This whole process has put me in a good mood. I’m hopeful that my classes will compliment each other well, and am really looking forward to going back to school! I’m looking forward to going back to the small things, like participating in clubs and going back to my weekly fitness schedule! When I’m not doing all of that, I’ll have a few opportunities to spend 4 day weekends in Victoria!

Out East: Fernie and Surrounding Area

This week we visited: Sicamous, Revelstoke, Golden, Radium, Invermere, Kimberly, Cranbrook. They all went by in such a blur that I can hardly differentiate each in my mind!

One thing has really thrown us for a loop this week though, time zones. When we reached Golden we slowly realized that everything was ahead one hour! We had gone from 11:50am to 12:50am without even realizing! This encouraged us to learn more about time zones. Susan recommended this video by CGP Grey:


This led me to hours of watching and discovering CGP Grey. Susan had thought that the Alberta/BC border was the border between time zones, but it turns out that this is false! In fact, the border between the time zones is very strange and squiggly.

bistroWe are now in Fernie and we (think?) we are still in MDT. We just had the most wonderful meal at a restaurant next door to our hotel, called The Bridge Bistro.

We both ordered a bowl of their cream of mushroom soup, and these pork lettuce “tacos”. The mushroom soup was very tasty and healthy-looking, served with some fresh zucchini bread. The lettuce wrap “tacos” really made my day though. I’m having a love affair with these tacos! I didn’t bring the camera, so let me draw you a picture.

As you can see from this work of art, there were dishes of a cucumber-avacado-watermelon salsa, marinated diced pork, and goat cheese. The combination was OUTSTANDING! And, best of all, the waitress let me have the recipe! (For the avacado-cucumber-watermelon part anyways) I am very excited to be able to make this myself. mmm mmm mmm. This recipie could revolutionize my single-cooking life! Imagine,  instead of having to do my “salad challenges” in order to finish a head of lettuce, I could just eat fabulous lettuce wraps all the time!

lettuce tacosIMG_2448



Vernon Food

We arrived in Vernon on the 10th, met with an engineer who works closely with waste management from the Regional District of the North Okanagan, and came back to our hotel room. We are staying at the Sandman, which is currently under some renovations. However, what it lacks in a fitness room it makes up for in an in-suite kitchen! We get to stay here for 4 days, so we decided to go out, buy some groceries and take advantage of this cooking opportunity.


Susan was pretty hungry at 4pm when we went shopping, so I had to be the rational one, telling her that while tasty, we probably couldn’t finish an entire carton of eggs while we are here. We ended up buying:

  • – Baguette
  • – Comox Brie
  • – Small 7-Layer Dip
  • – “Lazy Maple” Bacon (For greasing the pan before cooking. Susan kind of talked me into this one to be honest)
  • – A whole Pre-Roasted Chicken
  • – Asparagus
  • – 3 Red Potatoes
  • – Onion
  • – 1 Leek
  • – 2 Cans of Mushroom Soup
  • – Milk
  • – Orange Juice
  • – Puff Pastry Shells

Can you guess what meals (2) I made? What meals would you have made with this assortment of ingredients? Tell me in THE COMMENTS! 🙂

Ok, Ok, I’ll tell you what I made. We had Chicken with Asparagus, Onion and chunky Potato hash browns for dinner the first night, and the second night I made Chicken Alla King!



Look! Real Peas!

Look! Real Peas!

This morning (The 13th) I am eating a chicken drumstick, sliced brie, and cherries for breakfast. The fruit in the Okanagan has been just wonderful!

I haven’t had real, fresh peas in years since those summers we would visit Nanna and Grandad and shuck peas in their backyard. I miss it! Grandad, if you are reading this, remind me to ask you about how to grow peas myself the next time I see you. What time of the year are they grown and harvested, what type of pot/structure would I need to grow them?






Vernon (Activities)

On the morning of the 11th Susan and I drove a little south into Winfield to visit a Kangaroo hobby farm. We went at opening (9am) for the chance to feed some of the animals breakfast. It was a wonderful little interactive zoo with many exotic animals from New Zealand including Emus, Wallabies, Wallaroos, Ducks, Goats, Birds, Sugar Gliders, Pigs, Peacocks, and Capybaras!

IMG_2267We had lots of fun with the animals, feeding them crackers and holding little Kangaroo Joeys. It is by donation to get in, with a suggested donation of $5. One review we read prior to going said

“You know it’s a good deal when you can hold a baby kangaroo for less than it costs to buy a grande frappuccino at Starbucks.”

2014-07-11 09.22.45IMG_2225IMG_2250

Later that night, Susan and I walked to a local farmer’s market that happens every Friday evening here in Vernon. I bought some strawberries and cherries while I was there, and had lots of fun hanging out with the Regional District of North Okanagan Summer Students who were there talking about invasive species, water conservation, and the zebra mussel. The Zebra Mussel is an invasive and dangerous smaller freshwater mussel that has spread from the Europe to the Eastern United States, and is making its way North West. Freshwater boaters can help stop the spread of this mussel by remembering to “Clean, Drain, Dry” your boat before transporting. Zebra mussels are dangerous because they threaten local drinking water, ecology and fish. They also have a nasty habit of cloging water pipes. Gross. Visit www.dontmoveamussel.ca to learn more.

Anyways, the summer students both went to university in the Okanagan, and were very nice to talk to. They helped me eat an entire box of strawberries, so unfortunately Susan did not get any, but I did bring her back cherries.

IMG_2286There were some kids set up here in little stands selling Lemonade, Cookies, Bird Feeders, and Handmade art. I felt bad for the kids not selling lemonade though, because the $0.50 lemonade was definitely the most popular out of the 4 stands (on the far left).

So its the weekend, and Susan and I have been getting up really late (12pm both days). Yesterday we managed to get out of the house by 4pm, and go to a beach in Oyama, a town on a little strip of land between Wood and Kalamalka (“Kal”) Lake. We stayed at the lake until the sun started setting behind the mountains.


Today I am meeting my friend Sharon for dinner in Kelowna after she gets off work. Should be fun!


We went to two wineries in West Kelowna, Mission Hill and Quails Gate. At Quails Gate we arrived in time to have a tour of the winery and vineyard, and at both we did a little tasting. I’m still very new to wine drinking and the whites and (especially) reds were sometimes difficult to stomache. However, I learnt that I love Ice Wine! (Who would have guessed)


While in Kelowna we also got to visit the beach, go swimming, and eat some delicious food!


These are photos of the steak tacos at Fernando’s, and next door’s Bai Tong version of Susan and My’s favorite dish: crunchy noodles and beef-vegetable stir fry gravy. Yum yum yum! I love those little white crispy noodles!

We also went to the beach, but each day we were in Kelowna we were working so that is why this post mostly revolves around food. And I really like food.

I’m going back to Kelowna tonight to have dinner with an old friend. More Kelowna = more food.