Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The Village Historique Acadien was an excellent introduction. We wandered through houses, barns, a hotel, a blacksmith’s shop and much more that dated back to the 17th century. A volunteer in period costume demonstrated how she spun and wove wool. I was envious of her nimble fingers and ability to switch effortlessly between French and English.
With the sun low in the western sky, we stopped at Maison Tait in Shediac. What a gorgeous, historic inn! And dinner was, of course, another treasured Acadian ritual.
Racing to the airport, we only had time to stop for a small four-course lunch and wine before I waddled onto the plane and, very sadly, departed.
http://www.okanaganhistoricalsociety.org/pandosy_mission.html), we strolled among old log buildings, recalling the early days of the valley, when life was much simpler.
Later along the concrete of downtown, I mounted a paddleboard, handcrafted by local artisan Derek Frechette (http://www.peregrinelongboards.com/), who also gave riding pointers to this aging duffer. I rolled along slowly and tentatively as youngsters raced past, but with a huge grin.
http://www.manteo.com/), right on the banks of the lake, were comfortable, and the food at its Wild Apple Restaurant ( http://www.wildapplerestaurant.com) was great. The second evening I feasted at the popular Cabana Grille.
In the morning we hiked high on Knox Mountain. The air had an intoxicating freshness, arrowleaf balsamroot flowers bloomed bright yellow among the dry grasses and Kelowna and Lake Okanagan were laid out below us like feast. Turning a corner, we unexpectedly encountered a rock cairn and then another and another. An anonymous sculptor had erected about 50 rock cairns, like Inuit Inukshuks, here on a ridge. Some loomed over two metres in height and took unusual shapes, often like dream-land creatures. They were mysterious and spiritual.
No question, Kelowna rocks!
For more information: www.tourismkelowna.com
Friday, May 4, 2012
To the screech of bagpipes the horde of TMACers entered the not-so-modest domicile of the Lieutenant Governor. Sipping a cranberry sparkling wine I wandered through three floors of history encountering an attractive belle playing a harp, painters painting and a duo playing fiddle music. Everyone was smiling and laughing; Government House overflowed with good cheer.
But the best part was the food! Gourmet culinary stations were sprinkled throughout this formidable manse. Freshly harvested oysters, shucked right before me, slid down my throat. I tried to concentrate — unsuccessfully — on the chat of a striking lady representing Manitoba, or was it Edmonton, or perhaps Montreal, while the tastes of poached lobster topped with caviar cream lingered on my palate. Around each corner awaited scrumptuous gourmet snacks: fresh smoked salmon, succulent crabcakes, bacon-wrapped turkey – all produced locally. Finally, I reached the desert table. Nirvana! Ecstasy! Calories be damned, I dove into the truffles, devouring about ten. Oh yes, the cheesecakes and chocolate tort weren’t bad either.
Stumbling back to the hotel with the moon reflecting from the still waters of the St. John River, I emitted a small belch. A memorable evening indeed.