Blog

Jun11

Use these tips to host the best BBQ party this summer. 

Summer is here and the outdoors are calling. Hopefully, most of you have got your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are anticipating your second (if applicable). In the coming months, we might even have the go-ahead to mingle with family and friends. 

As gatherings safely restart, you might be thinking of a few outdoor events with which to test the waters. And a BBQ party in your backyard or at a public park is a great place to start. 

Here are a few ideas to plan and host the best BBQ event of the season. 

Pick Guests Wisely

We’re just getting used to hanging out in crowds again. Let’s keep it simple for the first few attempts! Invite your family and a few close friends and keep it at that. A private Facebook group can be a good way to keep tabs on who has RSVP’d. 

Provide Dietary Options

Have meat- and plant-based options and ask your guests ahead of time if anyone needs a special menu (gluten intolerance, vegan, dairy allergy). The same applies to desserts. There’s nothing worse than being the only one who can’t partake in the cupcakes or brownies! 

Decide: BYOB?

Make sure your guests are crystal clear about whether the BBQ is a dry event, BYOB affair, or an open bar situation. Be sure to provide the basics, like a source for water and maybe some soda in a cooler. 

Weather Check

Obviously, you’ll want to aim for a sunny day. But sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t perform as promised. Email or text your guest list a day or two before with a weather update, letting them know what to expect and what to bring—be it sunscreen or umbrellas! 

Game Plan

Bring a few things for people to do, if they are so inclined. A deck of cards, a few sets of dice, or pen and paper for charades can go a long way. Keep it simple, as people may get caught up in socializing and not tap into them at all. Still, it’s nice to have for any lulls! 

Side Dishes

A build-your-own salad is always an easy side. Just chop some veggies and provide a few dressing options. Or, consider having people bring their own dish, salad, or snack while you provide the main course. 

Venue Rules

You’ll want to check any venue rules before you solidify your plans. Does the location have limitations on gathering sizes? Are fire bans in effect in your area? Is the site dog-friendly or not? Be aware of these for yourself—but don’t forget to inform your guests, too! 

DIY DJ

Have a game plan for playing some tunes while your guests mingle. A Bluetooth stereo will do the trick but be sure it has enough juice to get you through the evening. A battery pack, extension cord, or camping generator will do the trick in most circumstances. 

What are your best BBQ tips? Let us know in the comments.

If you’re staying with us at La Casa Cottage Resort, ask us which of our luxury vacation cottages have BBQ access! Our friendly travel advisors are always happy to help. 

Homemade Road Trip Snacks
Jun11

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as settling in for a summer road trip surrounded by your favourite treats. It’s easy to stock up on chips, candy, and pop but why not try a healthier route this year? These homemade road trip snacks are a better alternative to prepackaged junk. 

What are we looking for in homemade road trip snack ideas? 

 

Sure, anything can technically be a road trip snack so long as it doesn’t take up too much room. But we are specifically looking for road trip snacks that:

  • are easily portable 
  • don’t create much waste
  • non-messy and doesn’t leak  
  • don’t spoil quickly
  • no utensils needed 
  • Healthy (ish)! 

With saying that, let’s dive in! 

DIY Trail Mix 

This is one of the easiest and most filling options for a DIY road trip snack. Go to the bulk section at your grocery store and pick from their selection of nuts, pretzels, crackers, dried fruit, cereal, chocolate, candy, or anything else you want to add. You can make this snack as healthy as you want by adding more nuts and fruit and fewer sweets. You can also make each road trip guest’s baggy a bit different. If Jen loves M&Ms, add some extras to hers. If Bill hates pretzels, leave them out for him. Be sure to use reusable Tupperware or lunch baggies to keep this treat eco-friendly. 

Dehydrated Fruit Pieces 

You can buy these pre-made or make them yourself. We’re a fan of homemade dehydrated fruit because you can use fresh, local produce and make more for your buck. Apples, strawberries, bananas, apricots, and cherries are all popular fruits for dehydrating. You can dehydrate your fruit with a variety of tools: specialty dehydrator appliances, an air fryer, or even your oven. You can even go all out and make dehydrated fruit leather snacks

Baked Kale or Potato Skin Chips

Potato chips and other salty fried snacks are a popular road trip treat. However, they are often over-salted and packed with bad fats. Making your own chips using kale or potato skins is a healthy alternative. Whichever you decide to use, kale or potato skins, making chips is as easy as coating them lightly in oil, adding a pinch of seasoning (salt or your choice), and popping them in the oven for a bit. Remember: these snacks might be brittle once prepared so packing them in a bag is ill-advised. Try a sturdy Tupperware container instead! A piece of paper towel at the bottom will soak up excess oil until you’re ready to eat them. 

Fun Flavoured Popcorn

Popcorn is a super easy pack-and-go snack but you can make it even better by experimenting with different flavours. Try Salty Spicy PopcornCinnamon Honey Popcorn, or Cheddar Cheese Popcorn. Google search “popcorn + [your favourite flavour profile]” and something will probably pop up. If not, invent it yourself! If you aren’t feeling particularly crafty you can also buy flavour shakers for your popcorn. This works particularly well if your road trip crew can’t decide on one flavour—get a few of each! 

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What Are Your Best Roadtrip Tips? 

Let us know using #LaCasaCottages on IG or Facebook and tag us in your post. Need help planning your BC road trip? Contact us

June 2021 Kelowna Events
May28

Looking for something to do in the Kelowna area this spring? As more people get the CIVID vaccine and the weather heats up to accommodate more outdoor events, Kelowna is in full swing when it comes to concerts, theater, and food. Keep reading to find a few cool things to do in Kelowna this June.

June 2021 Events in Kelowna

Golf & Tacos – Early Summer Group Lessons
Tue., Jun. 1, 4:00 – 7:30 p.m. (recurring)

Kelowna Driving Range powered by Toptracer
3810 Casorso Rd, Kelowna, BC

Golf & Tacos is about reducing the barriers that prevent women from taking up the sport early in their careers, and creating experiences that keep them in the game for the long run. Golf & Tacos is rolling into the Okanagan and ready to kick things off with our first season in 2021. Whether you’ve played for years, or picking up a club for the first time, there’s a place here for you. This event requires preregistration.

1. Saturday Night Trivia at Creekside Pub and Grill
Sat., Jun. 5, 8:00 – 10:30 p.m. (recurring)

Creekside Pub & Grill-LRS
3929 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna, BC

Tremendous Trivia and Creekside Pub and Grill are returning with their weekly trivia show, every Saturday night at 8:00 PM.
It is free to play with purchase, immensely entertaining, and designed to appeal to players of all ages and abilities. In addition to random draw prizes, there will be weekly winner gift certificates and a trophy for the winning team!

2. Earth to Table Vegan Market
Sun., Jun. 6, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

House of Rose Winery
2270 Garner Rd, Kelowna, BC

Join us for a vegan farmer’s market! Vegan vendors, vegan food trucks, and vegan wine! Live music will occur from 11 until 2 pm by Mary L, a fabulous singer/songwriter. Family-friendly and dogs (on leash) are welcome.

3. Metabridge Live Convention
Wed., Jun. 9, 6:00 p.m. – Fri., Jun. 11, 12:00 p.m.

Manteo Waterfront Hotel & Villas
3762 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna, BC

Metabridge Live is Canada’s leading technology retreat for Scale-up Founders & CEOs. This flagship event brings together a curated group of executives from across Canada to the Okanagan for 2.5 days of roundtables, experiences, and C-level events. Joining the group are seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors to help these scaling companies navigate growth beyond regional boundaries.

4. Fathers Day ‘Big Reds’ Dinner
Sun., Jun. 20, 6:00 p.m.

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
1730 Mission Hill Rd, West Kelowna, BC

Celebrate Father’s Day with a big and bold dinner at Mission Hill Winery. Our culinary team will prepare a four-course dinner featuring a main course of mouth-watering meats straight from the BBQ. Each course will be paired with one of our big reds, to complement the bold flavours in the dish.

5. Life Worth Living Concert – Ben Klick
Fri., Jun. 25, 5:00 p.m.

Camelot Vineyards
3489 E Kelowna Rd, Kelowna, BC
Ben Klick is a fun-loving entertainer and storyteller with a huge heart for my family and community. Over the years, Ben has achieved multiple British Columbia Country Music Awards, International Country Music Awards, named a Distinguished Alumni at Okanagan College, and a Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for my work within the music industry.
From out of town but don’t want to miss out? Book in to one of La Casa Cottages‘ luxury vacation rentals so that you can take part in the festivities this spring and summer!
Kelowna Attractions
May21

There’s a lot to love about Kelowna. Here are some of our favourite Kelowna attractions, sites, and hot spots.   

The Beaches  

Kelowna boasts plenty of luscious sandy beaches along Okanagan Lake. You can visit Rotary Beach, Boyce-Gyro Beach, Hot Sands Beach, Strathcona Beach Park, and more. There’s even a dog-friendly beach down along Lakeshore Road by Cedar Creek Park.   

The Wineries   

The Okanagan Valley is known for its delicious wine—as well as the wineries that make them. Most wineries welcome guests to stop by for a tasting and learning session. Local wine tours will even coordinate transportation for your group between 4 or 5 wineries throughout one afternoon.   

The Parks  

Kelowna offers beachfront parks, off-leash dog parks, forested parks, playground parks—everything you could want when enjoying the outdoors for a day. Knox Mountain Park is great for hiking trails while Kelowna City Park has a waterpark and open-air summer market.   

UBC-O Campus   

UBC-O is surrounded by beautiful hilly landscape and lightly forested slopes. Students can study here, the public can attend events here, and visitors are free to wander the grounds and enjoy the sights and sounds.   

Kasugai Gardens   

Kasugai Gardens is a Japanese garden established in 1987 as a token of solidarity with Kelowna’s sister city Japan (Kasugai). The garden has lanterns, pathways, plants, trees, and a pond; unique elements include a bamboo fountain, picturesque bridges, and colourful Koi fish. The garden is definitely something unique amongst all the different Kelowna attractions. 

The Hiking Trails   

Kelowna has dozens and dozens of hiking trails available to the public, including those found on Knox Mountain and Crawford Falls. You can enjoy the trails year-round and also choose different hikes according to difficulty level to make sure your whole family can participate.   

The Golf Courses  

Despite being a bustling city, Kelowna makes space for plenty of expansive golf courses and golf clubs. Golf enthusiasts should check out Kelowna Springs Golf Club, Sunset Ranch Golf & Country Club, Black Mountain Golf Club. Okanagan Golf Club – Quail Course, and Two Eagles Golf Course & Academy.  

The Coffee Shops  

Kelowna has plenty of local coffee shops that serve and a community hub as well as provide delicious drinks and snacks. There are plenty to choose from but visitors can’t go wrong visiting one of Bean ScenePulp Fiction Coffee House, or Marmalade Cat Café (sorry, cats not included).   

The Summer Markets   

Kelowna has farmers’ markets and fresh fruit and vegetable stands galore. You can also visit City Park in the summertime to find an open-air market filled with jewelry, summer clothes, accessories, trinkets, and even entertainment acts like music or plays. 

La Casa Resort   

Big, sterile hotel chains are so blah. As a tourist hub, Kelowna offers visitors a broad choice of where they want to say. For example, a luxury lakeside vacation cottage with access to a pool, BBQs, outdoor seating, and firepits. Contact us at La Casa Cottages and ask about rental availability this summer.  

What do you love about Kelowna? Let us know when you visit using the hashtag #LaCasaCottages on Instagram and Facebook. 

 

Kelowna Cabin Rentals
May14

The Okanagan Valley is a perfect vacation location in Canada. People from across Canada and around the world travel to British Columbia to enjoy the hot weather, expansive beaches, and vibrant wineries. You might be looking for Kelowna cabin rentals as an affordable and personable alternative to corporate hotel brands. If so, there are a few things you should consider before booking your cabin rental.  

What is Your Budget for the Trip?

Vacation budgets vary wildly and also depend on how long you’ll be staying and what type of activities you’ll be participating in while there. Kelowna is a great destination because there are plenty of free activities to partake in, like exploring the local hiking trails.   

Sit down with a spreadsheet or checklist and brainstorm how much you are looking to spend on lodgings, food, activities, and travel expenses like gas or plane tickets. Remember: You’ll be spending a lot of time at your rental cottage and will want it to be comfortable, spacious, and safe. You can skimp on your food and drink budget but it’s best not to skimp on where you’ll be sleeping.   

Regardless, there are vacation cottages in Kelowna ranging from $100/night upward so you are sure to find something that fits within the range you set for yourself.  

How Many People Are Staying with You?

This will help you determine how many beds and rooms are needed within your vacation cottage of choice. More rooms tend to have a higher expense. Fewer rooms will allow you to save money. See if anyone in your group is willing to sleep on a couch or pullout bed—these tend to be located in the den area and don’t add much extra cost.   

1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom cottages are pretty reliably available, as they tend to be the more popular sizes. However, if you are planning an event or traveling in a large group, you can look into event rentals that hold a lot more—up to 6 bedrooms with 26 sleeping spots!   

You can also consider splitting your group up into smaller, more manageable parties and booking separate rentals for each clan. For something like that, you might want to seek out a rental cottage community so that you are still in close proximity to one another. 

Are Pets Allowed at Your Cabin?

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Not every vacation property allows pets so be sure to call ahead and get a clear yes or no answer before you pack Fido up in her kennel!  

Are There Budget Vacation Deals Available?

Watch for booking deals for longer stays, last-minute rental discounts, or off-season specials to save a bit of money on your per-night rate. The best way to do this is to follow local Kelowna tourism companies on social media, where they are most likely to post and advertise these sorts of things. For example, you can find La Casa Cottages on Facebook and Instagram!  

How Well-Cared for are the Kelowna Cabin Rentals?

Check online ratings, look at photos (and ask how recent they are), and email the cottage owner about cleaning regulations between guests. You don’t want to be stuck in a place that looks like it’s falling apart, nor do you want to be deceived by interior images that are way out of date. Don’t be afraid to push a bit here and get all the information you need to make the best decision.  

Does it Come with Any Perks (pool access, WIFI)?

Not all cottage rentals will come with extras, nor should they, but it’s always a nice thing to have! Ask about:  

  • Free WIFI access   
  • Private yard space (with furniture?)   
  • Pool access   
  • Firepit access  
  • BBQ access  
  • Boardgames   
  • DVDs or Netflix login  
  • Any other perks you can think of 
  • How Long are You Staying? Is It During Busy Season?

If you are planning a longer trip or booking for the busy season (summertime, holidays, and so on) then be sure to start looking far, far in advance to make sure you get what you need before it sells out.   

Do You Need Some Expert Help Picking between Kelowna Cabin Rentals?  

Give us a call or email at La Casa Cottages if you need help picking a cabin or cottage rental that works best for you. We have several luxury cottages available in West Kelowna with a lakefront view and easy access to beaches, parks, wineries, and more.