… Look Who’s Forty!

Dave, Sue and Tau at Naramata

See Dave’s 40th in our Yahoo! photo albums!

We had a great time celebrating Dave’s birthday in the Okanagan Valley. On July 20th, we flew up to Kelowna, British Columbia, then drove an hour or so south to Naramata, a small town at the end of the road on the quiet side of Okanagan Lake.

The Okanagan Valley has flourished so much in the twelve or so years we have been vacationing there. The region, which boasted 15 wineries a decade ago, now has over 150, many producing top-notch, yummy wines! Naramata (population 2000) consists mainly of small vineyards and orchards set up right on the lake. The town has one pizza joint, one pub, a small grocery store and a great coffee shop — what more could a birthday boy ask for? Naramata is super-secluded compared to close-by Penticton, which gets pretty ugly in the summer heat what with tourists, traffic, loud powerboats, etc.

Most of Dave’s family (around 20 people all together) made the drive to the interior from Victoria — we suspect this had to do with many of them not having met Tau yet, and joked that Dave and I could have slipped away for the weekend sans kid, and no one would have noticed we were missing! Dave’s Aunty Mary was visiting from England. It was a special treat to see her, and we thoroughly enjoyed the delish fruit cake she made for Dave’s birthday.

We ended up staying with Stu, Kristi and Kai at a small private flat (with shaded BBQ patio) just off the main drag, with the rest of the family at the local motel just a block away.

We started most days with coffee and a breakfast bagel at the cafe, then slowly wandered down to spend the morning and lunch time at the lake, then did a bit of wine tasting in the afternoons, and usually wound up barbecuing and sampling more of what we’d bought at the wineries in the evenings. BC was experiencing the same heat wave we’d left behind in California, with temps hitting 38 degrees C, making the lake temperatures perfect for swimming … and the AC in our flat an absolute necessity at night! Tau and cousin Kai spent their days and nights in diapers only, and had a great time in the water!

On the Saturday night, we had a very casual outdoor potluck. The family had collaborated to make a scrapbook for Dave’s birthday (thanks to Trish for organizing), and it was fun to look over the pages of Dave’s past and reminisce. On the Monday, Dave and I visited Glenda, a friend from Victoria, who is now growing grapes on her property for one of the local vineyards — it was interesting to get the inside scoop on the industry. And on Tuesday we said our goodbyes to the last of the family and made our way home.

Sigh — why do vacations have to come to an end? We had a wonderful time visiting with all the family, and look forward to many more holidays at Naramata. 

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