I hope many of you enjoyed a fantastic long weekend. While most of you were enduring the heat wave that hit the East Coast I was adding sweatshirts and layers during a cold spell on the West Coast.
I left early Thursday morning for Penticton, British Columbia. Prior to leaving for this whirlwind trip across the country to attend my step-brothers wedding, I had the intense job of not only packing myself for this four day wedding blitz in a “carry-on” but also had to pack for both Andie and Jamie for sleep away camp. This is not your typical packing job – it requires two massive duffle bags filled with everything they desire to make their “camping” experience more like “luxury living”. Needless to say, I was slightly stressed out. I won’t bore you with the details since I am party embarrassed by the ridiculousness of it all! The only thing I didn’t pack were their cell phones. And for this simple fact, I feel like I’ve won!
I made the early morning flight, with Tony staying at home for the girls last day of school and camp send-off responsibilities. My brother Russell did the same and left his family back in Toronto to attend. Here’s the “Coles Notes” version of my family. My mom Agnes, married Jack 13 years ago. I was already married and had just given birth to Andie. Andie was 4 months old at their wedding. So, at the age of 29 I inherited “step siblings”. Jack has two daughters, Tracey and Ruth, from his first marriage and a son Devon, from his second. Yes, a very young Andie freaked out at the dinner table one night when she realized her “Zaddy” had a “scandalous” past. As they say, third times the charm 😊. The entire crew made the trip out to Penticton for Devon’s wedding to Courtney. Courtney is a hoot and these two Canadian kids met and fell in love in Australia while studying law. They have established an adventurous life in Vancouver so this was a rare occasion to have everyone together.
This part of the country is spectacular. I have travelled to Vancouver a few times in my life and have had the opportunity to ski at Whistler, Lake Louis and Banff. I have always been drawn to this type of a landscape. Lakes, mountains, cute towns and serenity. Adding wine country to the list, was a new adventure, as we stayed in Penticton. The area is breathtaking.
As many of you know, workouts are essential, even when I’m traveling, and in my packing frenzy I forgot to pack my bands. So instead I laced up the runners, blasted my music and went for a run each morning. It’s a great way to feel the energy of a city, the people and get my bearings. It was amazing each day to find a new route and I was thrilled by day three to make my way down to Shaka Lake. Sandy beaches and a lake surrounded by mountains. It was worth the extra few minutes tacked on to the run and the uphill required to get back.
The wedding was fantastic. A true country feel overlooking Okanogan lake surrounded by vineyards and cherry orchards. I hope you like the pictures I have posted. I wanted to share as many small details that made the evening unique. From the flowers to the table settings, family tree, chupah, guest book and scenery.
I was also reminded that I can’t come out to wine country and not take in a wine tour. I was incredibly appreciative of one of my favorite CTV Morning Live guests Matt Steeves, of Quercus Vino, who made some great recommendations for wine tastings. Prior to the wedding we checked out Poplar Grove and La Frenz. It’s amazing that within a few hundred meters of each other, Canadians are creating and producing wines that help put Canada on the map. I enjoyed their Pinot Gris and wound up purchasing a bottle in town for Canada Day celebrations.I was also reminded that I can’t come out to wine country and not take in a wine tour. I was incredibly appreciative of one of my favorite CTV Morning Live guests Matt Steeves, of Quercus Vino, who made some great recommendations for wine tastings. Prior to the wedding we checked out Poplar Grove and La Frenz. It’s amazing that within a few hundred meters of each other, Canadians are creating and producing wines that help put Canada on the map. I enjoyed their Pinot Gris and wound up purchasing a bottle in town for Canada Day celebrations.
Being across the country from my home base of Ottawa on Canada Day was different. I am accustomed to feeling like I am within arm’s reach of the biggest party of the year. And yet, this year I enjoyed finding myself in a very relaxed setting. Despite the incredibly uncharacteristic cold weather we wrapped ourselves up for the fireworks at the waterfront and edge of Okanogan Lake. While my Instagram feed was inundated with Canada Day fireworks from Parliament Hill, I was equally impressed by the display shown in Penticton. I reflected on the character of our country, as families young and old huddled together to appreciate the life we are able to lead.
And while I was missing my own family, it was nice to hang out with my extended family and just chill – something we didn’t have the opportunity to do as kids but rather can appreciate as adults. Plus, a glass of wine or a bottle of beer is way better than fighting over shotgun 😊
This was a wonderful way to kick start my summer and energize myself for the busy month ahead, with plans to renovate Jamie’s room, catching up on videos and blogs and building my business. It’s still a process and I am eager to offer everyone content that is worthwhile.
Speaking of content, last week’s podcast with Dr. Paul is available now through your favourite podcast app! This week finds me speaking with Veronique Levesque from Molly Maid. How often should you be changing that kitchen cloth and wooden cutting board? Have you ever thrown your pillows in the washing machine? Veronique and I discuss how we care for our homes extends into our overall health. Plus of course we have some tricks of the trade which include a variety of ways dryer sheets can come in handy!