Okanagan Lake – Day 3

Eden and her sweet daughter, Sloane, joined us for the last couple days of the long weekend.  And we enjoyed the first one at our own private beach.

Sloane brought along her favorite blanket, which, as it happens, I made for her….  🙂

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The beautiful lake from our beach:

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Can you see the dove?

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Beach baby:

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A perfect day, even though we failed to catch a glimpse of Ogopogo.

Rebecca Knabe

Okanagan Lake – Day 2

My second day in Canada consisted of some serious wine tasting.  Dannica’s husband, Mike, sacrificed a whole day to driving us from one winery to another, as we enjoyed some of the Okanagan’s finest.

The breathtaking view from Liquidity Winery:

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Next stop, Blue Mountain Vineyard:

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Our favorite tasting “experience” of the day was at Meyer Family Vineyard.  We sat out on the patio, while the pourers came to us.  We were able to ask as many questions as we wanted, and the staff were super knowledgable and a lot of fun.  Here’s a view of part of the vineyard:

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The most unusual selection of wine was at Silver Sage Winery, where, among other flavors, we found The Flame – a late harvest Gewürztraminer with a spicy hot pepper in the bottle.

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Many of the vineyards we visited had vines heavy with plump, beautiful grapes.  These are a sample from Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery:

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The final winery we visited was Kraze Legz Vineyard and Winery.  It was a 20’s Speakeasy-themed tasting room, and they provided fun props for photo-ops.  My poker face is vastly superior to Dannica’s….

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We also visited Le Vieux Pin and Blasted Church Vineyards during our tour, but I failed to get pictures.  We loved all but one of the wineries (no, I’m not saying which one), and I can’t wait until Dannica and I get to go again.  At the end of the day, we had a very impressive haul:

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Thanks again, Mike, for your fantastic driving skills, and for putting up with us dummies all day.  🙂

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Rebecca Knabe

Okanagan Lake – Day 1

A few weeks ago I headed back to Canada for an extra long weekend, to relax and catch up with old friends.  I visited Dannica – my longest friend (she doesn’t like it when I call her my oldest friend….), and Eden – my almost-longest friend.

Day one consisted of a lazy morning, a tour of Peachland, BC – Dannica’s new home – and a visit to beautiful Mission Hill Family Estate Winery.

The beautiful view from Dannica’s temporary residence, while her townhouse is in development:

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Rocky is also a big fan of the breathtaking scenery:

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10-year-old Bella stealing the spotlight:

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Just one of the more-than-one-hundred stunning Okanagan valley wineries:

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Rebecca Knabe

The Great Reno Balloon Race

Every September Reno’s most colorful and exciting festival sweeps me off my feet, and I fall in love with it all over again.

The Great Reno Balloon Race is the “world’s largest free hot air ballooning event.”  For 3 days, thousands of locals drag themselves out of bed at an ungodly hour to sit bundled-up in a large open field and enjoy the festivities.  The days start at 5:00 am with the Glow Show, followed by Dawn Patrol, and finish with the Mass Ascension.

There is nothing that beats the sights, sounds, and excitement of watching a hundred hot air balloons inflate, launch, and float away into the clear blue desert sky.  It’s indescribable, really, so I’ll let some pictures that I took this morning describe it for me….

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Pretty exciting stuff!  Seeing it in person is even better.  In person it’s this kind of exciting:

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Rebecca Knabe

Rim Fire From Above

The Yosemite Rim Fire still blazes on – 2 1/2 weeks from when it started.  It has burned nearly 370 square miles, is the 4th largest wildfire in California history, and is now about 80% contained.  Its smoke continues to find its way into the Truckee Meadows, resulting terrible air quality for the Reno/Tahoe vicinity.

On my way to Canada last Thursday, we flew over the fire and got an incredible view….

Here you can see plumes of dirty smoke rising from the mountains below.

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This picture explains why our skies are so hazy, and our views are so obstructed.

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Being out-of-town for 5 days, I had nearly forgotten about how bad it was.  Now that I’m back, I’m quickly reminded.  And while it is pretty uncomfortable for us in Northern Nevada, it’s much worse for the people who have lost their homes, the animals who have been driven out of their habitat or have died, and the giant, old sequoias that have been lost.

Hopefully this thing is fully contained soon.

Rebecca Knabe