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September 14, 2009

Tuscany in BC

I used to go to the Okanagan as a kid with the parental units. It was our annual summer vacation.

I'd sit in the back seat of the old boat of a blue pontiac station wagon as it made its way along the windy road that was Highway 3 that went past the Hope Slide and the old mine at Hedley.

Sometimes, not very often, I'd get car sick as kidlets are known to do. I'd get sick from the Gravol forced down me prior to leaving in an attempt to prevent such a thing.

We'd eventually reach Keremeos and then when we were getting really close, the Spotted Lake was on the right hand side in a valley. Sitting in that back seat was like watching a movie; face pressed against the window as the miles stacked up and just wonderful for the little dreamer that I was.

Strangely enough, I'd always be dreaming about living in a cabin, in the forest, homesteading before I even knew what such a thing was. That's just weird for a little girl don'tcha think?

In all those years, I don't ever recall visiting Naramata and so when I finally got there this weekend, I was so overwhelmed by its beauty. The Naramata Bench, on Skaha Lake, around the other side of the lake from Penticton boasts about 150 wineries according to the owner of Hillside winery - one of the oldest wineries on the bench (at 26 years).

So, on a road trip that was much different than my childhood ones, with two friends from Vancouver and two more converging from Edmonton on a place called the Sandy Beach Resort it was time for fun.

And, we did have fun except the young guy, Gabe, who was running the place wasn't amused when one of the friskier cougars in our group tried to throw him into the pool. Gee, I can't imagine why he seemed to take a dislike to us and was on us after that like he was our probation officer. Other than that, the rules, which are rules for a reason, (whether you've had one glass of wine or 15) are not meant to be broken especially when it's time to close the hot tub down. What is it about the married ones anyway? It's like they're the worst. It's as if marriage is such a drag, so confining that when they finally get a little FREEDOM it's like 16 year olds on PROM night. Okay, I exxaggerate slightly.

Ms. Eaton and I managed to get in the canoe each morning and go for a paddle exploring the real estate along the shore. It was paradise. Every single dock seems to have one of those hydraulic lifts for speedboats and as I was paddling and taking in the scenery I really began to wonder where I was on planet earth when they were handing out the endless buckets of money to so many other people. Did it just fall from the sky? Does it grow on trees up there like apples or pears, peaches and plums?

With the long lush rows of vineyards stretching down to the blue of Skaha lake and the most fantastic weather of this past weekend, we all felt like we'd left BC for a mini version of Tuscany.

So, I know, I know, I'm really losing control of the blog and don't really have time to write this so let me condense it.

If you ever get to Naramata, here's some things to check out and places where we went that were great:

Sandy Beach Lodge and Resort
Naramata Heritage Inn and Spa
The Coffee shop in Naramata village
La Frenz Winery
Therapy Winery
The Red Rooster
The Naramata Tailgate Party
Lobster Fest at Hillside Winery
Lake Breeze Winery

Just a word of advice. A weekend in September is about 3 days too short. Go for a week. It's heaven.

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