Christmas in Canada

Slowly but surely, I’m getting caught up here and I would be remiss if I didn’t post about our Canadian Christmas. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times but I’ll focus on the best.

1) Being there in the first place.  Special thanks to my friend Lisa who spotted the $300 direct flights to Calgary and to my dad who, instead of buying Christmas presents, chipped in for part of the fare. A Christmas miracle! Not so miraculous: our 24-hour ordeal getting back to SLC after our flight was canceled.

2) Being with my mom for her last Christmas at home. She is currently in the hospital and on the waiting list for a care facility. It has been a long time coming and we’re grateful my selfless dad has been able to care for her at home this long. She spends most of her day sleeping now but miraculously was awake for all Christmas Eve. She went out for Chinese food  with us one day and most moments spend with her were holding her hand, looking through her beloved Woman’s Day magazine recipes and bucolic scenes from her favorite calendar. Our final night before flying home, she was more lucid than she was the entire time we were in Canada and we saw a glimpse of that spitfire we know and love.

3) Christmas. A smorgasbord of food, left-right game, bells, besting Pat in Jenga, home theatre movies (“Crazy, Rich Asians” is a new favorite), naps and matching PJS. The gift exchange game was our most epic ever with three people who bought Pimple Pete (we have zit-loving issues), Jade’s camo marshmallow blowgun and Pat’s Presidents Putin and Trump socks. Borowski Family Christmas: alternately promoting chaos and world peace. 4) Ice, ice, baby. The weather was so warm leading up to our visit I had resigned myself I wouldn’t be able to  do any of my favorite winter activities. Quite unbelievably, our lakes and rivers did freeze over so we were able to play hockey with cousin Conner, my dad, Jade and a few pee wee kids at Lake Bonavista. Bode found his calling as goalie, as did I after a near concussion making a slapshot (I scored!) Bowness Park is a Canadian party on skates! We joined the throngs of people to circle the lake but the real fun began after we crossed the barriers to skate the river for a few miles. Canadian fun at its best! And another family favorite: Fish Creek Provincial Park. In the summer, it’s the mud pits and swimming. In the winter: Cautious Bode and Dallas (the dog) only had minor heart attacks about walking on the cracking ice. Also, what a difference a few years makes! 5) Troll Falls Insider tip #1: Skip Banff and recreate next door in Kananaskis Country—same gorgeous Rocky Mountains without the crowds and cost. Insider tip #2: When hiking steep, icy sections, link arms in a “love chain.” When someone starts to wipe out (like your brother) ditch him, even if it prompts his rebuke, “WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LOVE CHAIN?” Insider tip #3: When you say, “I feel like I’m the only sane one in the family,” make sure your mom is not editing the group picture at that exact moment where you look certifiably insane with your mouth wide open.

Insider tip #4: Despite teens often being really boring and glued to their technology, those reduced brain cells make for exciting moments when they attempt to scale a waterfall without spikes. Insider tip #5: Remember that being a pleasant teenager is hard work, as demonstrated by your daughter after your epic adventure, “I started to get a headache from my delightfulness.”

4. New Year’s Eve was replete with family, my bestie, Stacey, chocolate, cheese and meat fondue (which is to be repeated for Valentine’s Day), not be forgotten was marathon Pictionary when the team with the worst artists (Bode and me) somehow won. Christmas is, after all, a time for miracles.

December fun!

I worked from home yesterday after a controlled avalanche closed Provo Canyon (my commute) and deposited 30 feet of snow across four lanes of traffic. But you won’t hear any complaints from me after last year’s dismal snow. Bring it on!!!

I’m woefully behind on updates from Thanksgiving (Colorado and The Broadmoor) and Christmas (Canada).  I set the goal to blog more because this is really my journal but between working (and my daily 1.5-hour commute), Mile High Mamas, freelance projects and family, there isn’t a lot of spare time.

So, a few quick updates that I will hopefully expand upon another time.


My contact at The Broadmoor just retired so I HAD to get one more story assignment for the magazine. Thankfully, she bit and assigned me to cover their over-the-top Thanksgiving buffet and White Lights Ceremony. We had the time of our lives (as always) and the good news is I get at least one more return trip as “payment” for the article, so we’ll return in May for Hadley’s birthday. I probably spent 30 hours interviewing, researching and writing it but what I get in return (two glorious stays) is so worth it. I love that The Broadmoor will always be my family’s happy place because it is truly special.


December was busy with Bode’s sax concert and Hadley’s art show. We invited some friends over for a cookie exchange prior to going to Midway’s Creche exhibit and Jamie and I had a fun time getting dressed up for the Heber Chamber’s formal Christmas dinner. We went caroling with friends and were invited by the publisher of Heber Valley Life Magazine; it was so fun to network and meet new people. I skipped out on my big baking extravaganza since we were leaving for the holidays but made approximately one gazillion gingerbread cookies.

Our annual ward Christmas party is always fun. This year, they had a photo booth where Hadley volunteered by taking photographs. The best photos of the night were undoubtedly our photos with Bonnie Jean, Paige, Lynn, Jana and Jen.

We had a couple of great snowfalls and my first snowshoe adventure with friends Jana and Sarah was pretty epic. So so so beautiful! Have I mentioned I love snow? :-)

Ski Days

Bode and I are cross-country skiing twice a week at Soldier Hollow after school. We were in the intermediate-level group until he got bumped up to the experts and I’m very happy to be left behind. He’s become a great skier, both downhill and Nordic.

It seems like since we moved here two years ago, weekends and evenings have been so full of drudgery and yardwork. But guess what: when your yard is buried under a foot of snow, Jamie can’t make you haul 61 tons of rocks so we’ve been hitting the slopes every chance we get.

Hadley is really struggling with PTSD after that snowboarder slammed into her last year. I totally get it. I was hit from behind two years ago by a skier and I’m still on edge whenever I hear anyone coming up behind me which is a nice way of saying I yell at a lot of reckless people.

On our first day of the season, I posted:

Great early-season conditions for our first day on the slopes! While the rest of the old-timers were rusty, after one run Bode boasted. “That was awesome. I feel like I’ve been skiing all season.”

Jamie: Only brought one ski boot for reasons that aren’t entirely my fault but I will take the blame because it’s his birthday weekend and he had to drive home to get it. I was stuck in the season ticket office about the same amount of time so we’ll call it a draw.

Me: Told everyone we should stick to intermediate runs so I could ease my knee back into it. By the third run, they made me go down a black diamond with bumps. As Jamie was trying to coach Hadley down a tricky section he told her, “Just do what your mom does.” “What? Complain about my knee?”

Hadley: Did great despite post-accident PTSD. Had the best quote of the day when an avalanche gun was shot and she declared: “A tribute has died.”


I had resigned we wouldn’t be able to go home but was thrilled when a friend informed me she had found $300 tickets to Calgary, which is unheard of.  Our trip was full of the good, bad, ugly, hard, glorious and dramatic all wrapped into one and I’m so glad we were able to go to spend time with my mom. The weather has been pretty mild in Canada so I was unsure if we’d be able to skate and do some of my favorite winter activities but thankfully, the lakes and rivers opened for skating right before our arrival so we had a great time on Lake Bonavista and Bowness Park, as well as spending a day in Banff.

Top 9

2018 was one of our toughest yet as we navigated some very tough teenage issues.  But looking back, it wasn’t all bad. The highlights according to my most liked pictures on Instagram:

1) My daily commute to BYU

2) Hadley winning the middle school art show.

3) Jamie terrifying Hadley in Goblin Valley

4) Color wars at the middle school with friends Ali and Katelyn

5) Snow Canyon State Park with the Hardymans

6) Celebrated our 15th anniversary

7) Hike to Troll Falls

8) Moraine Lake

9) Waterton Lakes  (my favorite place on earth) with my kids and Dad.

Here’s to 2019!

Oh Canada: Alberta Edition

OK, so the Calgary version of our summer travels is a few months overdue but better late than never, right? Go here in case you missed Oh Canada: The Lakehouse Part I. 

Generally, the kids and I spend a few weeks in Canada but now that I’m working, we had to cram it all into two weeks, including four days of drive time. The good news is that even though I did the entire drive myself, our newish Honda Pilot didn’t break down even once!

The drive to Calgary from British Columbia goes through Banff National Park and one of these days, I’d love to spend an extended amount of time exploring. Moraine Lake has been on our bucket list since the car overheated at the turn-off last year…and the road was closed because all the lots were full (welcome to Banff in the summertime). This year was our second attempt and once again, the turn-off was closed so we did a loop around the Chateau Lake Louise and as we were driving back down, the road miraculously opened!

What a difference a few years makes.

We only had a few days in Calgary so spent lots of downtime with Mom and Dad that included Mom’s happy place: PEDICURES.

Biking with Dad in Fish Creek Provincial Park. Even at 77 years old, my dad still keeps up with me on our long rides but hills are getting harder so he bought a pedal-assist bike…and has clocked 1,000 miles in just three months. Today during our 16-miler, he raced past a teenager, shouting out, “You’re pretty fast but we’re faster” and later posted that it took him longer than usual because I was holding him back. 

And a visit to Calgary wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the mud pits. The good: The glorious 70-degree temps warmed up just enough to enjoy an afternoon hike to our secret mud pits/swimming hole. The bad: Right after Bode [intentionally] face-planted in the mud, he announced he accidentally spit out his gum.

We didn’t make it to Peter’s for their famous milkeshakes but REGRUB is a new favorite. Cheesecake. S’mores. Cotton candy. Birthday cake. Doughnut toppings. We fasted all day for their milkshakes and they did not disappoint.

Our time in Calgary was waaaaay too short but I was thrilled to spend a night at my favorite place on earth: Waterton Lakes National Park. Dad joined us a for a fun day in the park and we stayed the night at my mom’s cousin Judy’s farmhouse 20 minutes away.

It has been several years since we returned and I had envisioned how it would play out. Hike Bear’s Hump for epic views. Play in Red Rock Canyon’s natural obstacle course. Maybe even canoe at Cameron Lake.

Unbeknownst to me, last year’s huge fire closed a large portion of the park, including my favorite hiking areas. Fortunately, Plan B in Waterton is just as glorious. We lunched at the Prince of Wales Hotel with some of the best views in the world (and I ran into my student writer Grace who just happened to be there for a family reunion).

Riding surrey bikes has been on my Waterton bucket list for ages but what I didn’t remember is just how hard it was…and how much we laughed at how hard it was. At one point, I jumped out to push the bike up the hill because it was such a killer workout. And we returned them 30 minutes early. Note to self: Sometimes reality isn’t as swell as what you envision.

But the stops along the way were memorable and I can’t wait for another visit to my favorite place on earth with my favorite people.

Oh Canada: The Lakehouse 2018

The kids and I spent a glorious two weeks in Canada. The whole thing was a whirlwind: Hadley was on a 3-day Pioneer Trek just prior and had to return two weeks later for BYU volleyball camp. So, we packed up and headed to British Columbia, breaking up the 18-hour drive with an overnight stay at my sister-in-law Jane’s wonderful parents in Eastern Washington.

My brother and his wife have been renting the Mana Manor in Vernon for 15 consecutive years and the rest of us have been coming for five years. It’s not a fancy cabin and is in dire need of some overhauls but it’s convenient and is divided into four different two-bedroom units. I had asked if we could only do a 5-night rental instead of 7 and assumed it was a done deal when my brother reached out to the owner but through some miscommunication, we never heard back.

I found out the week prior that the kids and I didn’t have a place to stay. Fortunately, I ended up finding a great rate at a nearby Best Western. So, while the kids bunked with their cousins at the cabin, I made the 15-minute drive to my air-conditioned and clean hotel room to decompress each night. I’m a convert!

It was the smallest group yet. Poor Jamie was too overwhelmed with work and yardwork so couldn’t come; Ashton only came for a few days because she just had a beautiful baby boy, Raiden, and my niece Emily and her boyfriend just returned from Ireland so couldn’t take off work. My mom and dad have been unable to attend the last couple of years due to her health.

They were all missed but the smaller group didn’t deter us from having a grand ‘ol time; Pat and his wife were generous hosts as always.

We celebrated Bode’s 12th birthday with Timbits, a successful surf, smoked pork sandwiches and a strawberry cheesecake Blizzard ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. Presents included his first new bike, some golf clubs and books. How we love this sweet boy!

We had our traditional visit to Davison Orchards for killer peach, cherry and apple pies, fresh cider slushies, cut throat checkers and farm animals.

We all vastly improved in wakesurfing, Hadley in particular really clicked out there, dropped the rope and was surfing! I did my best ever, which still isn’t super great but the good news is I’m not regressing. Bode is slowly moving forward as well!

We marveled at my brother’s new toy, a wakefoil that had him surfing two feet above the water.

We had our annual dive-off. I had great hopes that family friend Todd would dethrone Pat from the title but he came up way short. I blame Pat for stuffing Todd with food just prior (an evil strategy).

The unicorn. Jade jumped on it in the lake. It popped. All that remained was its head.

Teenagers can be fun but not always. One of their redeeming qualities is they have zits the entire family loves popping.

Pat brought his stand-up paddleboard and we all had a blast paddling around the perimeter of the lake…except for when Hadley took it out, got caught in a scary wind storm and had to be rescued by a cute guy in a boat wearing a Superman shirt.

We brought our volleyball net so downtime was spent playing volleyball, some crazy-competitive badminton tournament and boulle.

Friends Tom and Kim have been through a lot this past year, including losing their beloved lakeside rental home to a terrible storm. But they’re always really generous and a part of our family when we come to visit. Todd brought his lakeside movie night to us and it’a favorite tradition!

And the perfect way to end a fantastic week at the lakehouse.

Oh Canada: The Lakehouse

Though we love our annual trip to Lake Okanagan, a week-long stay is a bit too long for me (disclaimer: I start to get the most antsy when it is 100+ degrees, which isn’t super fun when the house is sweltering). However this year we only had four nights and five days that I discovered was way too short. So, here’s for hoping we find our happy medium.

It’s taken me quite a few years to acclimate to the water. It’s amazing my brother Pat and I are even related given how obsessed he is with boating because we never grew up around it. He just bought a fancy fifth wheeler that is parked at Keho Lake for optimal kiteboarding opportunities and travels the world seeking the next big adventure.

This year was a milestone for our family: we were all able to wakesurf on our own and we loved it! Bode tried last year but needed help getting out of the water from Jane. They purchased a new kid-sized surfboard and that made all the difference. So dang fun! 

The kid even learned to walk on water.

Jamie and I hate to admit it but Hadley surpassed us out there. By the end of the week, she was able to drop the rope and was figuring out how to ride the wake. I wish she had more chances to go because she could be really good.

Jamie did pretty darn awesome as well. We were at the same level all week and on the very last run, something clicked and surfed better than he ever has. Note: This happens to us every ski season as well…your skiing is at its very best on the last day and then we have to wait for the following year.

Of course, there is always this. Tubing: It’s not for grownups. 

The only traditions we weren’t able to fit in were Screamers (part slushy, part ice cream) and backyard movie night on Todd’s beach because massive flooding completely took out his yard. And we added some new ones: Ashton and I did an “Olympic swim training” and by the last day, several of the kids had joined in.

Of course, there was the annual dive-off. Yes, Pat won AGAIN.

My niece Emily brought her beau to the lake: Jer the Irishman. He almost died during the dive-off but no judgment here; I won’t get my face wet.

Of course, we had to go to tourist trap Davison Orchards for their out-of-this world fresh apple slushies, peach pies and fuuuuuudge.

And lots of quality cousin time.

Jax’s charming glasses

After such a memorable week at play, maybe just maybe Pat will make water people out of us all. Here’s to next summer at the lake!

Oh Canada: The Wedding

Our trip to Calgary was not one of leisure. When my car broke down, we were a day behind schedule so we delved into a busy schedule of wedding prep, Bode’s birthday and our favorite traditions.

Bode is a low-maintenance kid and thankfully so because I didn’t have energy to pull together a big soiree. He was perfectly happen with Timbits (famous doughnut holes) for breakfast, lots of video game time, and Peter’s Drive-in for dinner. My friend Stacey’s dad belongs to this gorgeous private lake community, Lake Sundance, so we were thrilled  to spend the afternoon there. Thanks, Burton!

What would a trip to Calgary be without our hidden mud pits in Fish Creek Provincial Park.

And cleaning up in our favorite swimming hole.

The kids always love going for a ride in Grandpa’s fancy convertible. Kind of.

I usually do a 40-mile loop on Calgary’s extensive network of bike paths but there was no time on this trip. (Insert sad face). Fortunately I was able to sneak away a couple of mornings to ride through Fish Creek and it was enough.

There was a lot of pre-wedding chaos as we helped with the flowers. While the boys were at their bachelor party, Mom treated the girls to a night out as well.

The night before Jade’s wedding, my brother Pat and his wife Jane threw a big pizza party so both sides of the family could meet. My friend Stacey was a lifesaver and picked up Jamie from the airport so I could help with the festivities that involved a lot of fun and food (two of Jane’s specialties).

Apparently I didn’t take any pictures of Jade and his bride Jen or her side of the family. They were allegedly in attendance. :-)

And then came the big day! My brother Jade is one of the best people I know–a kind, practical jokester with infinite integrity and endless forgiveness. He has been through A LOT the past several years and I’m so glad he found a good woman to take to the LDS Calgary Temple. Mom’s health has been rapidly declining. I’ve been barely able to talk to her this year because her hearing is so bad, she’s often incoherent and sleeps 95% of the time. The morning of the wedding, my niece Ashton came over to do her hair and make-up and she looked beautiful.

I feel like she’s been hanging on to see my brother get remarried but she was often confused as we were getting ready and driving to the temple. “Why is everyone all dressed up? Are we going to church? Where are you taking me?” 

But as soon as we entered the sacred sealing room in the temple, she was 100% lucid and connected as she watched her youngest son get married for time and eternity. Following pictures in front of the temple, she insisted on treating everyone to Smashburger and then somehow was able to stay awake for the dinner at the reception and several of the speeches. Only after my dad spoke did he finally take her home.  What a tender mercy she was able to be there!

The reception at the Alma Hotel was light-hearted and fun with beautiful speeches, a horrible prank (yes Jade, I’m talking about that blackmail photo you included of me during your courtship slideshow), Emily catching the bouquet and lots of dancing (best moment: dragging reluctant cousin Richard to awkwardly dance Gangnam Style with us. It was a night, a couple to be celebrated and I couldn’t be happier for my brother and his beautiful new bride!

P.S. Hey Jeek, just remember payback will be sweet.

Oh Canada: The Drive

Our annual trip to Canada was cut short because Hadley had Young Women Girl’s Camp mid-July and then BYU volleyball camp the first week of August. My brother Jade got married so our time in Calgary was frenzied helping with the flowers and wedding prep, and we only had five nights at Lake Okanagan in Vernon before driving back to Utah with my nephews, who hung out with us for a week while my brother was on his honeymoon. It was a craaaaazy two weeks!

The drive from Denver to Calgary is 19 hours so the kids and I would always break it down into two days. Now that we’re in Utah. the drive is a 13-hour shot straight up I-15 so I figured would could do it in one long day. Jamie would fly up to meet us later in the week.

My Honda Pilot is a 2003 and our plan was to get a new vehicle last year…and then we moved and are stilling dealing with the never-ending expenses. Fortunately, my car has worked great all these years and we hoped it would hang on a little while longer.

Prior to the road trip, I took the Honda Pilot in to get the oil changed. The kids and I were eight hours into the drive, just 30 minutes past Great Falls, and all was going well.

Until we started going up a hill when the transmission light turned on, and there was a strange smell. I pulled over and called Jamie, who called various auto repair shops in Great Falls. It was 4:30 p.m. on a Sunday night and most of them were closed so he instructed us to spend the night in Great Falls and take the car into the dealership in the morning. 

So, that’s what we did. After a memorable evening in the Super 8 on the seedy part of town, I took the car in and they gave their diagnosis: The place where I got my oil changed had either overfilled the transmission fluid or put in the wrong stuff. It had spilled and burned up the entire underbelly of the car. They drained  and replaced the fluid but were unable to tell me if more serious damage had been done. They gave us about a 50-50 chance of making it. SWELL.

The kids and I started driving. We joked as passed the place we had pulled over the day prior when, not even 100 feet beyond that point, ANOTHER WARNING LIGHT LIT UP ON THE DASHBOARD, this time for the four-wheel drive. I pulled over. The kids asked what was going on and I explained there was a different problem. Bode, ever the optimist, observed,

“Well, at least we made it farther than last time.”

We would make it to Calgary but when en route to B.C. the week after that, the car started smoking in Banff. We eeked our way to Vernon where we became acquainted with yet another Honda dealership that charged us $1,700 in labor to replace a plug (they had to dismantle the entire engine to put it in). On a wing and lots of prayers, we made it home to Utah with my nephews in tow.

So, what’s the status of the car? We’re not sure.  It’s only worth about $5,000 so we really don’t want to dump another $2,000 into it when we’re planning on selling it but we can’t yet afford to buy another car. So we wait. And hope and pray it can hang on just a little while longer, just like the rest of us.

The Lakehouse

It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year: The Lakehouse in Vernon, B.C. For one glorious week, we unplug, boat, play games, watch movies on the beach, eat oodles of fruit pies from Davison Orchards and just relax. It wouldn’t be possible without my brother Pat and his wife Jane who tirelessly cart us around on their boat without complaint and do 99% of the planning leading up to the trip.

This year, the theme was wakesurfing. Hadley was moderately obsessed with beating her dear old mom in the water, which doesn’t take much. She rocked it!

It was also fun to see Bode take to wakesurfing as well (with Jane’s help positioning his board in the water).

I showed some signs of improvement and even jumped in for a run fully-clothed when I had an unexpected chance to go. Getting up has always been my biggest struggle and was able to do it the first try every day until the final one when the water was choppy. I should have quit while I was ahead!

The kids spent hours upon hours playing off the dock.

In fact, I barely saw Hadley the entire week. Bode and I bunked with my parents while she slept in another unit with Cousin Emily. When Hadley wasn’t on the boat, I’d see her swimming with cousins or by herself and relaxing in the hammocks. As much as she enjoys people, she truly loves just being by herself as well.

She introduced a game to us called “Never Have I Ever” where everyone takes a turn saying something they have never done. I.e. “Never have I ever worn a dress.” Anyone who has done that thing has to take a piece of candy but if you swallow it, you lose. The winner is the last person standing.

My mouth was literally bursting with gummy bear juice and I was one of the first to spit out my candy. Some call me a loser; I say that was for the win. No one was funnier than Ashton.

Just thinking about it makes my teeth ache!

I rarely took my phone on the boat because of my little incident a few months ago during my adventure race with Bode where I landed in the dunk and ruined it. The threat of Jamie kept it far, far away from the water.

We had our annual family dive-off. Usually we go over to the West Side but we’re getting too big (fat?) to all fit on the boat so we did it off the dock. As usual, Pat stayed under the longest. His 44-year-long winning streak is really getting old.

Pat’s friend Todd always invites us over for movie night on his beach and it’s one of our favorite traditions. This year, we watched the Addams Family and conditions could not have been more pristine. As Bode gazed at the sky, he marveled “Mom, will we be able to see the stars like this when we move to Midway?” You’d better believe it.

Ashton cut our hair while Emily gave Hadley a makeover. Good thing Jamie wasn’t there because he would have had nightmares about her future suitors.

Twelve going on 22.

In the evenings, we wound down by playing lots of card games.

And it was great just to chill out together.


The week wasn’t perfect by any means. Mom was scary-sick after the long drive. There were some good, old-fashioned meltdowns but overall, I couldn’t be more blessed than to call these people Family.

Here’s to the sun setting on another great year at the lake.

Busted: A visit with the cops

My brother Jade arrived with his boys late last night. We always look forward to their arrival with two exceptions: 1) We get booted from his dark, cool room in the basement for our stuffy. 2) Cousin Jaxson. Don’t get me wrong, we love cousin Jax but he’s a hilarious kid with a quirky, unfiltered personality and has about five things he’ll eat in this world.

My childhood bedroom is the loudest and stuffiest in the house so I heard them when they arrived around midnight.

Then, after a near sleepless night, I heard something that sounded suspiciously like the Wii next to my head. Sure enough, Cousin Jax (on East Coast Time) was up before the crack of dawn playing video games in the family room. So I did what any loving aunt would do: I gave him a hug and punched him in the face. :-)

The good news of my early wake-up? I went on a killer bike ride.

Fish Creek

Upon my return the whole clan was awake so the kids went on rides in my parent’s golf cart. An hour later, the cops pulled up to our house.

Oh, hell.

I was the only adult in the near vicinity so I had to deal with it. I saw them walk up the door and waited. And waited. A false alarm?

And then the knock came.



“We’ve had a complaint from a neighbor about a certain golf cart being driven by two boys through the gully.”

“The Gully” Venue of my childhood and now, the cops

They didn’t bother to ask if we had a golf cart; the evidence was parked right in front or our house. The delay at the door was probably due to them checking the engine to see if it was warm.

Truth be told, the cops were really cool about it and said they wouldn’t even be there had the neighbor not called to complain. Talk about a killjoy ruining the kids’ summer fun!

My brother’s observation when I posted our experience on Facebook?

We have been in Canada for 9 hours mostly sleeping and we already brought the cops here for driving the golf kart recklessly.

The coincidence? Just two days ago, I posted this picture on Instagram on Bode’s birthday talking about him narrowly missing running into our car while driving with Grandpa.

Turns out he’ll be needing that Get Out of Jail Free Pass sooner than later.

Oh Canada: The Kettle Valley Railway Trail Edition

Summer 2014 after we returned home from our Vernon, B.C. vacation, my friend posted about her family’s experience biking the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR). As they passed over soaring trestle bridges and tunnels that looked like something from a Grimm fairy tale, I mused “where is this place?”I couldn’t believe it was in Kelowna, merely 30 miles away from  our lakehouse. I became obsessed!

On one of our cooler days last summer, my dad, brother Jade and his two boys Jaxson and Connor joined my family for what was truly the most unique experiences I’ve ever had on two wheels. Originally built at the turn of the last century, the economic importance of the railway line decreased in later  years and by 1990 the last of the railway line was abandoned. Fortunately it was converted from rail to trail between 2003 and 2008, and re-salvaged after the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire claimed 12 of the trestle bridges. 

We biked one of the most famous and scenic sections–the 12 mile (24 km) round-trip portion of Myra Canyon to Ruth Station section that passed over 18 trestle bridges and through two tunnels. Thanks to the 2 percent rail grade to accommodate the steam train technology of the day, this section is an easy hike or an awesome bike ride for families with kids. But not too young because I was admittedly gripping my handlebars a bit tighter every time we crossed a steep trestle hanging preciously on the sides of Myra Canyon.

At every turn, my mouth stood agape at the views of Kelowna and Okanagan Lake as the forest cast a pale-green lambent light.

I’d spent more than a year building up this ride in my mind and it exceeded every expectation. However I felt a letdown when it was over, musing “now what?”Until I learned that this small portion of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail is part of  a 600 kilometer (360 mile) trail system that passes through vineyards, orchards, forests, lakes, deserts and mountains.

Guess what I’ll be doing next summer.


In case you missed our other Canadian adventures this summer:

Oh Canada: The Lethbridge Edition

Oh Canada: The Canada Day in Raymond and Waterton Edition

Oh Canada: The Calgary Edition

Oh Canada: The Banff/Canmore Edition

Oh Canada: The Lakehouse Edition

Oh Canada: The Kettle Valley Railway Trail Edition

 Oh Canada: The Edition Not in Canada