This blog post will be about where I live. It is also an invitation from me to tell me about where you live, your city. Most of my readers have never been to my little spot on earth, and I have never been to been to yours either. Let’s share.
I will be including some links so you can check out some of my references. Feel free to open the links.
Starting at the beginning, I live in Canada and I live in the most western side of Canada in the province of British Columbia. The best known city in BC (British Columbia) is Vancouver and I lived there until 1992 and visit it semi frequently because my parents and my daughter and son-in-law live there. I basically grew up there in East Vancouver, and Burnaby going to primary school, high school and university there and began the first third of my career there.
I then moved east, to a much smaller place, and it is where I live and I love this small town of Penticton. To drive here from Vancouver takes roughly five hours as you must drive through mountain ranges to the valley where Penticton is. Penticton could be described as half-way to Alberta, the second most west western province.
Penticton had many memories for me even before I moved here as an adult. As a youngster my parents brought me here to this valley in the summer time for summer vacation, and we camped in a tent most times. Those are wonderful memories of buying fruit from road stalls (discovering cherries!) and climbing out of a tent and walking down to the beach of Okanagan Lake. I was very lucky to have parents who took me on those trips.
Ironically I moved to the location of my summer vacations and I am a local, not a tourist. I have lived here more than twenty years and I enjoy all four seasons here, but especially summer.
Penticton is town nestled between two lakes, Okanagan Lake at the north, and Skaha Lake at the south. I spend more time at Skaha lake as I live close to it, about a kilometre or ten minutes walk. Most summer nights include a swim in the evening as it cools me off and it is literally a few minutes away whether I walk, ride or drive. Skaha lake has beaches all along its north side and the sand gets really hot during the day but the shoreline is shallow so you wade until it gets to your waist and then you brace yourself for the plunge. It is a mountain lake after all and it gets warmer in the summer but it is always cool.
When I bike ride in the summer I tend to ride from lake to lake and ride along along the connecting channel between the two lakes to Okanagan lake at the north end of the city. I don’t dawdle but it is still 20-25 minutes to bike ride from end to end. That is a quick 8 minute drive for a car for the 7 kilometre drive, or if you measure it by street lights, there are four lights on that highway connector.
Penticton is a city of festivals. When I was young it was all about the fruit grown here but it has evolved so that fruit is secondary now to grapes and the wineries. There are all kinds of festivals, wine festivals, meadowlark festival, marathon festivals, Beach cruise (all about antique cars) and this is a favorite of mine as we had over 600 cars here in 2016, the Elvis Festival, a week long Peach festival in August, jazz festival. It seems like something is always happening here and a huge farmers market takes prominence in the summer on Saturday mornings downtown.
One of the funny things about our climate here is that when it rains, it usually happens at night. Perfect right? Penticton is one of a few cities in this valley all interspersed along the lakes in this valley, and the valley gets really hot towards the south end which is I think the only desert in Canada. If you are interested in more about the valley, check here.
It doesn’t feel like desert this morning. Sometimes we have snow in town by now but none this year, yet! My shovels are ready to shovel the driveway and snow tires are on the car. It was -1 yesterday (Celsius) and I had to scrape the windshield in the morning and there is frost to be careful of on the the roads and sidewalks. On the valley slopes you can see snow at the altitudes and before Christmas the city will undoubtedly have a blanket of soft snow. It is beautiful on the trees and it reflects the Christmas lights and magnifies the hush and silence when you walk at night.
This is the place where I live. It is a town of 33,000 where people recognize one another on the street and say hello. When I buy my coffee at Starbucks, they know my order and even the people at the grocery store nod their heads because they recognize me.
This is where my kids grew up and went to school, I finished my career here and it is my home. Feel free to click on the pictures to check them out.
I invite you to share where you live. I am curious to know more about your town, so please share your town with me.