Topic “Vernon”

Why a Vernon Christmas Rocks

Cappuccino by MaureenTraveling any distance in the winter, especially during the holidays, is seldom worry or hassle free. In spite of this, I become part of the thronging masses that join their family for Christmas. In no particular order, here are some of my reasons.

My sister makes a great cappuccino

There's a love of espresso in 2 of the 3 sibs, as well as my sister's husband (who also makes a good cappuccino). Getting a cappuccino in the morning might seem like a small thing, but it provides great pleasure.

Doing the bookstore crawl

I've talked about this before in my Easter 2008 post. Vernon has a couple of used book stores I enjoy visiting. My Dad usually joins me, or maybe I'm joining him. This year the power was out at the Book Nook because of some building power issue. The owner apologized and said he had a flashlight if we still wanted to look around. Indeed we did! My Dad scored a Louis L'Amour novel he hadn't read, a rare occurrence, and I found some interesting sci-fi.

Taking the dog for walk

I would love to have a dog. Since my apartment doesn't allow it and I'm not sure I could properly look after one on my own, I live vicariously through other dog owners. This is Nikita, my sister's dog. It took a long time for Nikita to warm up to me, she is generally skittish around men, but now we're walking buddies. It's too much fun watching her enthusiastically sniff out game. Too bad that bastard holding the lease won't let go.

Dale and Nikita Nikita spots a bird

Continue reading Why a Vernon Christmas Rocks

Best Snow Fort Ev'ah

Seen on a street in Vernon, my nomination for the best snow fort ev'ah!

Snow Fort front

Snow Fort back

Vernon Winter Pictures 2008

I'm back from the family Christmas in Vernon and yes Virginia, I've been a lazy blogger. While it's still 2008 and arguably still the holiday season I'm going to sneak some posts under the wire.

The weather was all over the place, from socked-in, overcast, snowy grey days, to the kind of brilliant sunny days that makes winter pretty (though still a pain in the butt):

Vista 1
Coldstream and North end of Kalamalka Lake 1

Vista 2
Coldstream and North end of Kalamalka Lake 2

Coldstream sunset
Sunset over Kalamalka Lake from the balcony

Going Greyhound at Christmas

Greyhound Bus
Photo by tyfn
In all this snow my car stubbed its toe, which is to say I slid into a curb going down a side street hill. Sometimes going slow with winter tires isn't enough. Though I wish it hadn't happened I'm never-the-less happy it wasn't worse. I could have slid into another car or, God forbid, a person (though the latter was unlikely on a back street during a snow storm at 11:30pm). Getting this aftermath cleared up turned into a minor saga and resulted in my "going Greyhound" for the annual Vernon Christmas trek.

The Good

  • Can sleep or doze
  • If bad road conditions, someone else is worrying about them
  • Can read, sort of (see The Bad)
  • Bathroom
  • Bigger vehicle, better traction, better accident survivability
  • Great view out of a window seat, nice and high

The Bad

  • Sardine seats, so squished you can't work on a laptop, or barely hold a book in front of you to read
  • Takes longer to get to destination
  • Sardine seats
  • On just the cost of gas, is not cheaper than driving, even with a single person
  • Sardine seats
  • Sometimes crying kids
  • Sardine seats
  • Asshats with loud personal audio gear
  • Sardine seats
  • Have added time, cost and hassle of getting to/from the bus terminal

Have you picked out my biggest complaint? I may not have a big readership, but you're a clever bunch!

Continue reading Going Greyhound at Christmas

Easter 2008

As with many people, my parents and sibs are spread across the province and Easter is an excuse to connect. We typically rendezvous at my sister's place in Vernon (well technically it's Coldstream, but even the locals don't make much distinction) and this year was status quo. Unfortunately my brother and his wife had some issues they needed to deal with and couldn't make it.

As luck would have it I hit Kelowna in time to see niece's dance team perform. Her studio was in a competition and took first place. This was apparently a bitter sweet moment for the team. It's their last competition of their final year. As with many activities, after they graduate high school there's no way to continue in quite the same way. I must say I was a little lost. Their skill was apparent but the dance moves didn't mean much to me. And I was relieved when at least one of the dance teams didn't use a song featuring a female soprano belting out something heartfelt. Is that a teen-girl thing or dance thing?

Vernon happens to sport a couple of good used book stores, The Book Nook and BJ's Used Books. My Dad and I did our usual expedition to see what we could find. It's a good thing we share, because sometimes we're after the same books!

The Book Nook BJ's Used Books

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My Thanksgiving "Adventure"

Did you note the word adventure in quotes? Good.

I wasn't looking for an adventure, but one found me. On my way to a family Thanksgiving in Vernon my car developed a little problem ... I couldn't shift. Well, that's not exactly true. I could kind of, sort of shift if I didn't mind lots of grinding sounds and horrible thumps. And I did mind.

Ominous Cloud
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When it first happened just outside of Merritt I wasn't even sure there was a problem. There was a thump when I shifted, but I thought I'd hit a bump. As I turned off the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) onto the Kelowna Connector (Highway 97c), I knew the thump wasn't a bump.

Continue reading My Thanksgiving "Adventure"

Vernon Takes Gold!

Eric with gold medalMore minor hockey news from Mission: the Vernon Coyotes took gold!

There was a game at 7:45am this morning I took a pass on. I love my nephew, but there are limits. They won the game, which put them in the final playoff for gold against Burnaby. Said final game was at a much more civilized 3:30pm. The game was all the more anticipated because they had lost to Burnaby in their first game of the series.

It was a great game. Scoring was very close for the first half of the game. There was a definite tension in the crowd as Burnaby drew first blood and Vernon started attracting penalties. Then in the latter half of the game Burnaby's goalie got rattled and let a couple in. He was subsequently replaced, but not only couldn't Burnaby recover, Vernon scored a couple more goals. The final score was 7-to-2.

The Vernon fans were amazing. Despite Burnaby being only an hour away, there were very few Burnaby fans there. By contrast, the Vernon bleachers were filled with an extremely lively bunch. And they made one hell of a lot of noise. I've been to a few Canucks games and I have to say the crowds at these amateur games are a lot more fun (even without my brother-in-law's so on-the-mark social commentary, that's just icing on the cake).

I meant to ask Eric if playing as a pickup member of the team made the victory any the less sweet but forgot. Judging by the smile, it felt pretty good none-the-less.

And if you're not tired of the photos yet, a few more for your consideration.

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Hockey Tournament Visitors

Thank God for visitors, it's the only time I get motivated beyond the basic cleaning regime! That's not the only reason. I pretty much only get visitors I like.

My nephew, pictured right, and brother-in-law are down for a hockey tournament in Mission. They came down a day early and spent the night at my place, did some business Friday, then headed for the tournament Friday night. After this blog entry, I'm surprised my sister isn't here as well, though based on last paragraph here, one wonders what the "boys" will be going home to.

Eric brought his X-Box and we got to spend some quality gaming time playing a head-to-head racing game. Goes without saying he mostly whipped my ass, but I managed to beat him in a few races with my trusty Aston Martin Vanquish. Now everyone is gone and I'm left with much tidier apartment ... Eric remembered to take his X-Box ... again. I keep hoping he'll forget it, but so far no joy.

I popped out to Mission today and watched the Vernon (Eric's team) vs. Ridge Meadows game. Vernon cleaned up with a 7-to-1 win. They were down two men when the single goal was scored against them. That makes them one and one so far. I played around with the video feature of my camera and actually caught one of the goals. Watch the white player just to the left of the net, I think player is number 10. Eric also appears in the clip. He's number 5 and shows up in the lower right corner.

A Vernon Goal

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