In a very rare turn of events, I somehow managed to get a two week summer vacation from my day (night) job approved. It was both hectic and relaxing, as my partner and I squeezed in multiple locations in two provinces in the span of twelve days.
It began with a whirlwind two day, three night stay in Edmonton, Alberta beginning on Monday July 24th. We, along with my partner's two teenaged girls, flew to Edmonton where we stayed at Hilton's "Home 2" Hotel. This hotel was quirky and modern with a nice exercise room and a great breakfast buffet. The lobby had a sort of canteen style store and edgy decor. The room was small, but had an apartment style setup complete with full array of dishes and a dishwasher. The Edmonton experience for me was mostly limited to two days trudging around the West Edmonton Mall while women shopped, but we spent a few hours in the famous water park and amusement park, both of which were pretty cool. We had multiple bad dining experiences in this city and unusually enough, the best food I had the entire time I was there was from Fatburger in the Mall's food court.
Back on a flight home on Wednesday, and after disembarking we had roughly twelve hours to repack and sleep before hopping in the car and driving to the Okanagan in the interior of British Columbia where we had a camping excursion planned with some high school friends that I had not seen in quite some time. Dubbed "Park Punk Reunion", not nearly as many people attended as I had hoped, but was great to see those who did show up. Now, camping isn't really a thing I do often nor generally go out of my way to participate in, however I ended up really enjoying it. We were well prepared with good food and gear and frankly it was nice to be unplugged from the world, if only for a couple days.
After a couple of nights far out in the wilderness, we returned to civilization in my old stomping grounds of Summerland BC, where a night at the pub was planned for those who didn't want to or couldn't come camping. Again, only a few people showed up, but we ended up having a great evening nonetheless. A dear friend of mine invited us to stay in her lovely heritage stone home, and the soft mattress was a welcome improvement to the lumpy ground on which we had slept previous nights.
In the morning of Monday, we headed off to explore Kelowna, but I'll continue that yarn in the next post...