Adventures in the OK

Ah, summer. How I love thee.

This past weekend, Jen Hill and I saddled up my Volkswagon Golf and drove up to Penticton. We were in  Okanagan wine country for a mere 36 hours, but we packed it full of goodness.

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We were driving through Keremos, when it started to rain. No. Not rain, downpour. We were supposed to be tenting under Brad Cooper’s apricot trees in his back yard, so we decided to go for dinner when we got into Penticton to wait out the rain.

We ended up at Theo’s (eatsquid.com). I went to Theo’s for the first time a couple years back, just before my trip to Greece. It was the first time I ever tried Yigantes. Theo’s is a Penticton institution, and you must go there if you’re in that neck of the woods. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it goes on and on once you get in. It’s huge, and always crowded, because the food is yum and really reasonably priced.

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It was Friday night, and there was a line, but Jen and I were immediately handed a glass of wine, which took the pain out of our wait quite nicely. We ordered an appetizer plate, a Greek salad, and, of course, calamari. And finished about half of it. If you go, be sure to order the seafood salad: chunks of squid, salmon and vegetables dressed with dill. Oh, so good…

Brad and Audralee kindly let us sleep in their basement.

Saturday started with a trip to the Penticton Farmer’s Market. Now, I’ve been to a couple of farmer’s markets in my day, but honestly, I’ve never seen anything to rival this one. They shut down 5 blocks of the main drag, and it is populated with tents selling everything from produce to crafts to baked goods to sage smudge sticks. Breakfast was a Greek pastry and a waffle.

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Next up: Il Vecchio. We had been encouraged ordered to go there for lunch by a couple of folks in the know, and it seriously did not disappoint. Il Vecchio is one of those hole-in-the-wall hidden treasures: cash only, very mom-and-pop, cheap like borscht. They have two sandwich options: three cheese or two meat with one cheese on a kaiser. The options are immense, and they slice the meats for you as you watch. You then get to choose spicy or sweet mustard, whether or not you want mayo, and then they load it up with loads of crisp iceberg, tomato, sun-dried tomato, eggplant and artichoke hearts. All for under $5.

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We took our sammiches and hit the beach. Combined with cherries we’d bought from the farmer’s market (picked that morning!), it was just glorious.

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Pretty much the only thing that could tear us away from that was wine.

We started at Township 7, an easy walk down the hill, and then walked up the road to La Frenz. We also hit Kettle Valley, Elephant Island (because it’s so charming!) and Therapy.

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It was now late afternoon, and we returned to Black Cloud for the purpose of our trip: a BBQ/fundraiser for The South Okangan Similkimeen Brain Injury Society. That was BBQ pulled pork with all the fixin’s: home made beans, coleslaw (with cabbage from the garden), pasta salad and, oh yes, wine.

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The host/winemaker.

The host/winemaker.

Two very happy gals slept out in our tent under the apricot trees.

Ah, the view....

Ah, the view….

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