Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Surprise Weekend

Growing up, every summer my family went camping in Osoyoos. We stayed at Shady Lagoon, a terrace-style campsite located on Osoyoos lake. The grassy levels were cut into the hillside to ensure that every campsite had a view of the lake. Campsites started up high in the orchard and ran all the way down to the beach. Every year we all took off work and brought up our significant others to spend time together and not only relive but also make new memories.

All that came to an end about three years ago when the owners suddenly decided to reduce the amount of campsites open to the public and even us long-standing visitors had to go. Since then we haven't gone camping together as a family and we all miss those fun summer times.

Last week my parents came to Kelowna to visit. A friend who grew up in Kelowna recommended Bear Creek Park as a nice campsite for them to stay at. Unfortunately all the 122 spots were fully booked. A few days before they were due to arrive some of the campsites had cancelled and they were happy to have a place to stay.

My parents drove up on Tuesday and surprise Number One happened when I opened the back door of their truck - my brother jumped out of the backseat! He had told me he wouldn't be able to come so it was a nice shock to see him there.

We drove across the Floating Bridge to Westbank and arrived at their campsite. It was surprisingly spacious and located right on the lake. There was a large grassy area in front that led to the water and the view was stunning. My brother and I were so excited to be camping again.

Surprise Number Two happened on Friday afternoon I was walking along the downtown strip. I saw a girl with her hat pulled down low who looked like my brother's girlfriend. I called her name as she walked by but she didn't answer. I kept looking back and could have sworn that it was her.

When the girl walked past us again I saw that her bag looked a lot like the one I had given my brother's girlfriend as a gift. I called her name again, loudly, but she still did not acknowledge me. I didn't want to go up and grab a stranger by her arm so I was forced to accept it wasn't her. She disappeared into an office building in front of us and as we walked by I turned to look in the doorway and out she jumped - it WAS her! My Mom had organized for both of us to have our nails done at the spa so we had a great time there.

Later in the afternoon I went to visit my family at their campsite and as I was talking to them two more brothers suddenly leaped out from behind a bush and surprised me again. They had both come up just for the weekend so we could all be together on my birthday! Later that night my best friend arrived from Vancouver and it was officially a party. We had a fabulous weekend and on Saturday night went out for an amazing dinner at Quails' Gate, the most beautiful winery I have ever been to.

Every night after spending the day in the sun and the city we went back to their campsite and had wine, ate smores and acted silly. Although they had to move around a couple more times over the weekend, every spot was spacious and private. Many of them had stunning views and lake access and there were no loud campers so it was very relaxing.

I recommend Bear Creek to anyone wanting to camp in the Kelowna area and I think we are going to make this our new spot to keep up our family tradition of summertime together.

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