Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category


July 19, 2012

We now know how to say Nk’Mip.  Ink-AH-Meep.  It means “where the river meets the lake” or “the lowlands”.

We know this because we went to the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre and Cellars where we learnt all about the Okanagan First Nations people (and sampled some of the award winning reds from the winery).

The tipi with the chief telling us a story around the camp fire was one of my favourite parts. I learnt about how the salmon stopped swimming up stream when the dam was built almost killing off the entire population but the coyote spirit and the local people managed to rivive the salmon in the Okanagan river again.

Outside we could see how they dry the salmon for winter supplies. We learnt about other desert food and habitat such as grasses, shrubs, berries, birds and insects.

On the nature trail we had to watch out for rattlesnakes! We didn’t see any on our walk but we could see some at the centre which is home to a rattlesnack research and tagging program.

Rafa and I found a snake in the gift shop that we adopted whilst Mum and Papi found some bottles of wine in the cellar that they decided to take home.

The Nk’Mip Cellars is the first North American aborginal owned and operated winery.  It opened in 2002 and their wines have already won over 50 international awards and was ranked 4th in the top Canadian wineries by Wine Access magazine last year.

The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre and Cellars is part of the Nk’Mip Resort (you can stay there, eat, play golf, visit the spa and enjoy the outstanding view of the vineyards and Lake Osoyoos).

By Ana.

R&R in Osoyoos

July 18, 2012

Mum and Papi have decided the Dora book Emilia gave me last night is their favourite book too since it kept me in bed until 8:30 in the morning. Somewhat of a record.

Well rested we had a leisurely breakfast in our unit.

Followed by a stroll down by the lake.

Then out onto the water (in our current backyard). The place where we are staying has lots of toys we can use.

And I met a nice boy who gave me a ride on his jet ski.

Everyone was very friendly because they know each other from coming here every summer. Three of the Dad’s have been coming every summer for over 40 years and now bring their families.

There was no one Rafa’s age for him to play with – but he was quite happy. He dozed off in the swing. Mum and Papi are thinking of installing one in his bedroom.

By Ana.







Oliver and friends

July 17, 2012

Mum’s friends Jane and Stephen live an hour or so North of where we’re staying and Mum was so excited to be seeing them again. She hadn’t seen them in almost 10 years! (Photo taken by 10 year old Nina).

We met up in Oliver (about 20 minutes North of Osoyoos) and cooked up a storm on Stephen’s camp stove. Now THIS is what I call a picnic!

Their girls Emilia and Nina were great play mates.

and really good swimmers.  They could even do handstands under the water!  (and yes, this is a shameless “get a load of this view” shot).

They brought some books for me that were their favourites when they were my age. Nina read me some stories from a big Dora the Explorer book which was Emilia’s favourite book. I think it’s my new favourite book now.

We set the timer up for a group shot. It turned out pretty well… but all you can see of Rafa is his thighs! I hope Nina and Emilia can come visit me in Portland sometime.

By Ana

A night in Princeton

July 16, 2012

A night in Princeton was on the itinerary to break up the almost 6 hour (if driving it in one go) trip from Vancouver to Osoyoos.  We thought in the middle of summer the log cabin resort were staying at would be packed but it was eerily quiet.

We had this entire lodge to ourselves.  Mum couldn’t believe it when all four of us ended up in the same bed for the night.

Mum and I did “yoghurt” outside on the patio (you know, warrior pose and down dog and stuff) to the sound of the rushing creek, douglas firs wriggling in the wind and chatty birds.

After breakfast we took a stroll around the grounds and I fufilled today’s playground quota.

On the road again…

Great roads for “I spy”.

By Ana.

Granville Island

July 14, 2012

I’d been suggesting a boat ride ever since we arrived and FINALLY we got out on the water and took a ferry over to Granville Island.

Mum and Papi weren’t so accommodating about my suggestions of what to purchase at the kids’ market though.

We had some sharing issues over our crepe.

I’m not the only one who thought splitting one crepe amongst four was silly.

The waterpark beside the kids market was the perfect place to cool off.

Rafa got to wear his new boardies and rashie. Mum thought the 12 month size would be just right…

We bought provisions from the public market to take back to the apartment for dinner. I chose fresh, hand made pasta.

Papi purchased a top sirlion steak and Granville Island Brewing company beer. Mum bought some salady things and more berries than we can possibly eat whilst we’re here. We were all happy with our choices but the prices emptied our wallets.

Back home by aqua bus. Ahhhh, this is the life.

For more about Granville Island.

By Ana.

Stanley Park and the Klahowya village

July 13, 2012

We took the seawall path down to Stanley Park.  The park is home to the aquarium, forest and wildlife, gardens, art installations, the rowing and yacht club, tennis courts (where we briefly watched extremely high level junior tennis), playgrounds (which of course we visited) and has all sorts of things going on.

I wish I had brought some of my breakfast down to share with the geese and ducks in the lagoon although Mum said that it is not encouraged as they are all wild and should be left that way.

We were heading towards the aquarium when we chanced upon the Klahowya village which is here until September.

Klahowya means “Welcome” in Chinook and the village is a collaboration between the Musqueam Nation, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation tribes.

The dance show was performed mostly by the kids. The girls danced in a circle holding their hands out to show respect, the boys danced low to the ground holding their arms straight out reaching to the four corners of the world.

Their costumes had wooden sticks all over them so when they jumped they sounded like giant maracas. Of course I wanted to join in so they showed me some moves.  I cried when the show was over because I wanted to dance some more.

Some of their songs and dances are so sacred that they don’t perform them in public.  They did teach us their special family song though.  They sing this song when they are canoeing down the river so that other tribes know it is them coming and not a warring party.

On the minature train ride we learnt about the story of the Sasquatch. At each turn we saw more of the story.

A ticket for the minature train buys as many times around as you feel like in a day.  Needless to say, we went around more than once.

Just because Rafa liked it so much, of course.

By Ana.

Crossing the border

July 12, 2012

Almost there!

Of course we picked the slowest queue. The sign said the average wait time was 20 minutes (which looked about right) but we got the inquisitive customs guy and it took 40 minutes to get through.  It didn’t bother me.  Rafa and I slept through the whole thing anyway.

We were all happy with Mum’s choice of apartments. This is the view from my bedroom… although Mum and Papi reckon they are going to be sleeping in here.

The sea wall walk is on our doorstep. There is so much happening along in the parks and beaches along the walk it’s hard to stay focussed on walking straight.

I pushed Rafa off the path only a couple of times.

I put my suggestions in to Mum and Papi about what I wanted to do whilst we’re in Vancouver.

The weather forecast is for more of this. Yipee!

By Ana.