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wine pairing lineup
Oct16

Everyone knows that British Columbia is Canada’s wine region. Vineyards may not be open this late into the year but you can expect any local venues to be stocked up with wine from around Kelowna. Here are just a few ideas of what types of wine and food pairings to try.

Savory Squash + Pinot Gris

Squash is in season so you will probably be able to find it on many-a-menu these days. Any savory squash meal should pair well with Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris is rich and spicy and quite popular in B.C. so you’ll find it everywhere. It pairs well with the rich creaminess of squash-based meals (think: pasta, warm salad, or soups).

Meat and Potatoes + Rioja

Steak and potatoes. Sausage and potatoes. Red meat stew. These are perfect cold weather meals because they fill you up and make you feel warm and cozy as the nights get chilly. Try pairing these meals with a Rioja, which is a deep, leathery red with hints of cherry. Want it sweeter? Open a newer bottle. For more savory, pick a Rioja that has been aged.

Apple Cinnamon + Riesling

Cinnamon will be making a grand appearance in a big way in many desserts and even breakfast/bunches. You might find it with apple or pumpkin, which are in season. But what wine goes best with apple cinnamon tarts after a long day? Try Riesling, which is equal parts sweet and acidic—a perfect counterpart.

Turkey Leftovers + Grenache Rosé

If you’ve already celebrated (Canadian) Thanksgiving, you most likely have a fridge packed full of delicious turkey leftovers. You might be finding yourself adding it to everything: soups, salads, sandwiches. How about accenting the inevitable turkey overdose with some nice Grenache Rosé? The ruby rose colour and heightened acidity make it a great fall pairing.

Vegetable Stew + Pinot Noir

Vegetable stew is great to make in bulk and freeze or refrigerate for easy fall meals. Pack it full of lentils, mushrooms, carrots, potato, corn, and anything else you desire. Vegetarian stew lasts longer in the fridge than meat-based counterparts so you don’t have to worry about rushing through it. Pinot Noir is so food friendly it goes with nearly anything but it will keep this particular meal company with it’s rich fruity character.

Lamb + Zinfandel

Thinking about ordering rack of lamb for a luscious, fall meal? Try pairing lamb-based recipes with Zinfandel, which is a perfect fall wine that also goes great with sweet potatoes. Zinfandel has hints of dark fruit and a smoky zest but you can also find earthier varieties.

Looking for a fantastic Fall getaway? Contact us and ask about our vacation properties here in beautiful British Columbia.

pumpkin baking
Oct09

Going away for the weekend doesn’t have to mean living off crusty gas station cookies when you get the inevitable sweet tooth. We believe that home baking can travel with you anywhere, which is why we’ve compiled this list of 4 pumpkin-themed baking recipes that are uber easy to make. Bake and pack them beforehand…or, stay in one of our luxury vacation homes with a full kitchen suite.

  1. Pumpkin Granola

Oats, pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin puree are the star of this granola dish. Plus, coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, and brown sugar add all the sweetness you could possibly desire. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then another hour to bake, so consider making it the night before if you want a get-up-and-go treat first thing in the morning.

Full recipe on Tasty Kitchen.

  1. Baked Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Pumpkin can be used in the main course, too. If you have some picky eaters in the family, try this pumpkin mac and cheese dish. No one can say no to mac and cheese! Other than the usual mac and cheese ingredients that you would expect, you will also want to pick up some pumpkin puree and ground nutmeg. This easy lunchtime treat takes just under an hour to make.

Full recipe on The Bossy Kitchen.

  1. Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This recipe takes only 45 minutes to complete with minor prep time of about 10 minutes. A perfect afternoon craft! You also get about 18 muffins out of it, making it perfect to share with friends or family. All you need is pumpkin spice cake mix (or similar cake mix of your choosing), pumpkin puree, cinnamon chips, and chopped pecans. Makes a perfect dessert!

Full recipe on AllRecipes.

  1. Pumpkin Smoothie

If you’re a fan of pumpkin spice lattes, you might want to try this pumpkin smoothie. Pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, apple cider, milk, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice to taste. Pumpkin smoothies are great for a midday snack or even a quick breakfast. Don’t forget to pack your personal (1 serving) blender so that you can make smoothies on the go, no matter where you are. We highly recommend it.

Full recipe on Express Life.

Need somewhere to stay for a quick week/end getaway this Fall season? Contact us to learn about one of our many vacation rental properties, from cottages to larger group facilities.

Packing tips for travel
Oct02

Who doesn’t love a peaceful winter weekend vacation away from home? Or, you might have plans to travel for holidays coming up: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and so on. These packing tips will help you prepare for last-minute travel or long-standing plans alike.

Pack More Socks than you Think You Need.

It’s cold out…but not always. Fall tends to flip-flop between balmy sunny days and chilly winter storms. That means a lot of moisture and mush on the streets, sidewalks, and in the parks. That means you might have to swap out soggy socks mid-day for a fresh pair. Not to mention that on the chilliest of days, you might want to wear two pairs in your boots, particularly if you like autumn hiking.

Pack Waterproof Footwear.

To prevent the above scenario, you could also just make sure to pack shoes or boots that prevent slush and moisture from leaking in. They should be something you can see yourself wearing on a warm day as well as a cooler one, as fall tends to flip-flop. One of the best packing tips you’ll hear is: bring the right footwear for your destination.

Pack a Portable Battery Charger.

Autumn can be warm at times but don’t let that deceive you. Getting stuck somewhere when the sun goes down will be unpleasant, even on the warmest days. You should always have a charged phone in case you need to call a friend or a cab if you get stranded or need a ride. That’s why packing a portable charger is a good idea, especially if you are on your phone a lot or it has an older battery that is prone to dying.

Pack a Neutral Scarf.

Scarves take up a lot of room in a bag and can be uncomfortable to wear if you are too warm. You probably won’t want to haul around more than one so make sure you pick one in a neutral colour like black, brown, beige, or grey that goes with everything and anything you might be wearing.

Pack a Tablet or Smart Reader.

Fall weather can be unpredictable. You might get anything from rain or hail or sun or snow. If there are days that you can’t go outside, you’ll want enough entertainment to get you by. A smart reader is a great way to pack every book you’ve been meaning to read without taking up much space in an overnight bag.

Pack Sunscreen.

You may be bundled from head-to-toe on a chilly day but that doesn’t mean the sun can’t reach delicate areas like your face, neck, and hands. Even on overcast days the UV rays can get through and sometimes clouds even amplify their strength. This is important if you’re skiing or snowboarding, too, to avoid picking up a goggle tan.

Haven’t picked a fall trip for yourself yet? Consider staying at one of our beautiful vacation rental properties in B.C. Contact us for more details.

Vacation Home Pros
Sep25

Thanks to services like Airbnb, travellers everywhere are rethinking vacation accommodations in a big way. Traditional hotels are fine and are certainly reliable but they have many downsides, too. Vacation home rentals offer a more personal, community-based travel experience that can really add a lot to a vacation or trip.

Let’s take a look at why traditional hotels and motels aren’t keeping up with the times.

The Cons of Staying in a Hotel

So why are modern travellers turning away from common hotel brands? There are a few reasons.

  • Hotels are the Same Around the World. A branded hotel looks pretty much the same from city to city and sometimes even country to country. That means you might be missing out on unique aspects of that culture or community!
  • Hotels are Bad for the Environment. From over-washing sheets and towels to maintaining huge amounts of empty rooms during downtimes, hotels can have quite a negative impact on the environment. In fact, they produce up to 60 million tons of CO2 emissions annually. Yikes! They tend to use a lot of power and water, much more than is needed to sustain a private vacation rental home or cottage.
  • Hotels are Crowded. Vacationing usually means you are looking for some rest and relaxation. But with a packed hotel, you never know what kind of neighbours you are going to get. With other patrons above, below, and on either side of you, you might be exposed to all sorts of racket.

Why we Recommend Vacation Homes

Taking up in a rental home instead of a traditional hotel gets you closer to the community you are visiting, gives you more peace and privacy, and often comes with personable perks that hotel chains don’t offer.

  • Supporting local businesses. Many rental properties (like ours!) are owned and maintained by residents of the province or city itself. That means your money is going right into the hands of long-standing community members, rather than CEOs somewhere oversees.
  • A personal touch. Vacation homes tend to be less stuffy and corporate-feeling, so you can feel right at home asking for recommendations of what to do or reaching out directly to a property manager if you have any concerns.
  • Budget travel. Vacation properties come in all shapes and sizes so you are sure to find something that fits your requirements and budget. You can shop around until you find something that fits your budget perfectly before committing to anything.
  • Last minute travel deals. Vacation rentals often have special deals for any open spaces available on a last-minute notice. For example, you can join our newsletter to be notified about special deals as they arise.

What do you think? Have we convinced you to give up stuffy hotels and try out a unique vacation home bursting with personality? Contact us to see what we have to offer, whether you are booking a quaint overnight stay or a big seasonal bash.

Roadtrip tips
Sep18

Taking road trips with kids can be tough, particularly if you have younger children who aren’t used to long car trips. You are probably dreading the inevitable “Are we there yet?” chorus every time you take an exit or pass through a hamlet. Travel goodie bags can be a way to occupy kids with fun, portable activities that will keep them entertained until arrival.

Here are some ideas for travel-savvy goodie bags to make your road trips with kids more manageable.

  • Snacks for the Road

    There will most likely be stops along the way where you grab lunch or pick up picnic ingredients for quick sandwiches. But between that, you’ll want something for the kids to munch on. Buy snacks like candy, trail mix, and crackers in bulk to save money. Then, you can separate them into little baggies tied with a ribbon so each child gets their own goodies.

  • Bite-Sized Coloring Book

    You can find small, travel-sized coloring books and mini portable crayons or pencil crayons to match at any dollar store. You can also browse online on Amazon if you can wait a day or so for shipping. It’s almost impossible to fill a whole coloring book in one trip so you can guarantee they have something to do the whole way.

  • Road Trip Bingo Card

    Make a bingo card filled with common things to see on a road trip, be it wild animals, farmhouses, flowers, or whatever you can think of! Keep a few additional toys in the front seat with you to use as prizes when the kids complete the whole bingo sheet! For older children, you can make it more challenging by making less common block items, like specific types of birds or specific colors of signs/buildings. You can also make it easier by requiring that they only complete one row. Don’t forget the “Free!” center square so they feel like the game can start right away!

  • A new toy

    Whether they like Minecraft or dinosaurs, there are plenty of small toys you can buy for them to play with. These will last the whole trip and give them something to do in the vacation rental in the evenings or at a park or beach. Pick something durable so that it can join them in the pool or lake if they want. Wrap it individually so that they can have fun opening a “present” once they get their goodie bag.

  • A Puzzle or Brain Teaser

    There are plenty of small, time-consuming puzzles that you can add to the bag to occupy your child. Think about Rubix Cubes, metal brain teaser links, wooden block puzzles, or ball-to-goal obstacle courses. You will want to find something small enough to pack along but without any easy-to-lose pieces.

Need some help planning where to go for your family trip? Ask us about our vacation rentals in beautiful British Columbia and we’ll find something perfect for you.