british columbia

Travel BC
Aug21

Why travel B.C., you ask? As native British Columbia residents, we at La Casa Cottages have a few answers for you. Has traveling B.C. been on your mind? Thinking about visiting the beaches, parks, and cities? We don’t blame you! Here are just a few of the things that we love about beautiful British Columbia.

  1. B.C. Hiking Trails

From the Okanagan to the Island, B.C. has hiking trails for all ages and skill levels. Take a family-friendly meander through a wooden grove or challenge yourself with a steep uphill climb! If you’re lucky, you might spot some wildlife (from a safe distance, of course).

  1. National Parks

B.C. is home to some of the most gorgeous national parks in all of Canada. You can birdwatch, picnic, or site-see to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to call or email ahead to ensure that they are open to the public during your day/hour of choice. Make a day trip to the nearest one—you won’t regret it!

  1. Budget Travel

B.C. has a perfect blend of flashy cities and small, community-centric towns. That means that no matter what your budget is, you can find somewhere to stay. Also: B.C. has a moderate climate year-round, meaning that you can fill your days with cost-free outdoor activities.

  1. The Beaches

B.C. borders the Pacific Ocean and has many lakes and ponds that are safe for a dip. No matter where you stay, you’ll be able to find a waterside spot to soak up some sun. Okanagan Lake is a must-see if you are vacationing in the Kelowna and Vernon area.

  1. Tourist-Friendly

Not only is B.C. very multicultural but they have a thriving tourism industry. That means everywhere you go you will feel welcomed and taken care of. Our doors are always open to newcomers.

  1. Wine County

B.C. wineries have a long history in the province, where the warm weather allows orchards of all sorts to flourish in the summer and autumn months. Book a wine tour to learn more or ask around for the best local picks.

  1. Farmers’ Markets

Wine grapes aren’t the only produce that grows across B.C. You’ll find plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available at any local farmers’ market and even many varieties in common grocery stores, too.

Have we convinced you to travel B.C.? Contact us for details on the best B.C. vacation rentals in the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island. We welcome the opportunity to set you up in a modern, personable cottage or abode of your choosing.

As always: travel safe!

Easy Cocktails
Aug14

What takes any summer vacation up a notch? Some amazing summer cocktails (or mocktails, if you want)! If you are staying somewhere away from home, like one of our premium vacation rentals, you will probably want something easy that you can throw together with minimal supplies and prep. So here are 5 of our favourite easy summer cocktail recipes. Mix, stir, blend, and shake away!

  1. Jam Cocktails

By Dessert for Two

First, pick your favourite jam—and if you are vacationing in B.C., you can probably find something homemade at one of the farmer’s markets. Then, place a few tablespoons of jam in a jar and add 1-2 shots of vodka and some lemon juice. Shake well before straining and serving over ice. Garnish with fruits and mint according to what type of jam you picked.

  1. Easy Pimm’s Cocktails

By Taste.com

Add sliced oranges, lemon pieces, and cucumber to a significant portion of Pimm’s and then leave the whole thing in the fridge to chill for a few hours. Serve the mixture with tonic water, sparkling water, ginger ale, or lemonade, depending on your preference. Add some more fruit for garnish and voila—super easy fruity cocktail. Pimm’s can also be replaced by gin, vermouth, and an orange-based liqueur.

  1. Malibu Sunset Cocktail

By The Cookin Chicks

This is a super easy three-ingredient recipe, requiring only Malibu Rum, pineapple juice, and a bit of grenadine. You can add cherries or pineapples as a garnish, but this is wholly optional. Fill a glass with ice and add in the rum and the pineapple juice. For a “sunset” look, pour the grenadine in slowly and watch the colours set.

  1. Summer Solstice Wine Cocktail

By Boulderlocavore

What better to drink in Wine Country than a wine-based cocktail? First, combine cherries, peaches, and a Pinot Noir and muddle all the ingredients together. Then, add a few ice cubes and shake. Strain this mixture into glasses filled with fresh ice and top with Italian Soda (recommended: Blood Orange flavor). Try selecting a wine from a local vineyard for a location-specific twist.

  1. Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktail

By Garnish with Lemon

This is the most ingredient-intensive cocktail on this list so save it for a night you are feeling adventurous. You’ll need strawberries, basil leaves, lemon juice, simple syrup, vodka, elderflower liqueur, and prosecco. Muddle the strawberries, basil, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Then, add ice, vodka, and elderflower liqueur and shake it. Strain everything into an ice-filled glass and add in the prosecco.

These summer cocktails are sure to add a little spice to your vacation plans. Don’t have any plans yet? Contact us about our vacation cottages and rentals across B.C. and we’ll help you find the perfect fit.

Beach Safety Tips
Aug07

One of the best parts of visiting B.C. during the summer is the warm weather and the sandy beaches. Fun must go hand-in-hand with beach safety, though, so here are some waterside tips for families to follow.  

1. Check for Flags & Signs 

Some beaches use flags and signs to denote location-specific warnings, like hazardous areas or dangerous marine life in the area. Any on-duty lifeguard will be able to explain these signs to you in they are unclear. If there is no lifeguard on duty, a quick Google search or a call/visit to a Visitors Information Centre should do the trick.

2. Apply and Reapply Sunscreen 

Obviously, UV rays can damage our very sensitive skin and even lead to melanoma and other permanent damage. Water, sweat, and physical activity can rub or wash away applied sunscreen throughout the day so you can’t just set it and forget it. Reapply any time you come out of the water and/or every 2 hours. You should also put sunscreen on 30 minutes before sun exposure to ensure it’s properly absorbed by the skin beforehand. Also: know the temperature/weather concerns before you set out—the Weather Network app can help.

3. Maintain a Safe Distance From Others

Not only does this stop the spread of infectious diseases but it also prevents accidents and is proper beach etiquette. If you can, maintain a safe 6-foot distance from others. Try visiting the beach during “off hours”, like while locals are at work, or hunting for more spacey spots to sit, even if they are farther from the water.

4. Know Some Swimming Basics

Make sure everyone in your group knows basic swimming and water safety. At the very least, they should be able to dog paddle or hold their breath and float on their back. Swim in pairs (or more) for maximum safety. Younger children should wear floating devices or lifejackets if they are at risk. If you are a weak swimmer, keep an open water float nearby.

5. Keep Near to a Source of Shade 

Whether it’s a tree or a beach umbrella you brought along, a source of shade is important to protect against burns as well as sun sickness/stroke. Be sure you are drinking plenty of water, too, which will also help against the latter. Heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and sun poisoning are always a risk when it’s bright and hot outside.

Keep these beach safety and swimming tips in mind and ask a lifeguard in the area if you need more assistance. No lifeguard? Defer to the strongest swimmer in the family, watch out for one another, and travel (swim) in groups. Swim safe and have fun!

No beach plans yet? Maybe it’s because you haven’t found the right vacation spot yet. Contact us to book one of our cottages or rental properties for your family vacation.

Black bear
Jul15

What to do if you see a Bear

 

If you go hiking, you may one day encounter a bear. Therefore it is really important to know about how you should behave when this happens. BC is home to both black bears and grizzly bears. They tend to behave differently in a given situation, so first you need may want to know the differences between these bears. The protocol for bear encounters is different depending on the type you see.

Differences between Black Bears and Grizzly Bears

Grizzly bears are also called Brown bears. Don’t be deceived by their name! Both of these bears can be anything from blonde to dark black in color. You can’t identify a bear based on its color alone. The easiest way to tell if a bear is a black bear or a grizzly bear is to look for the shoulder hump.  Grizzly bears have a very distinct hump on their shoulder area which black bears do not. Black bears are the most common type of bear near BC’s largest cities. Grizzly bears generally live in rural and remote areas of BC and thrive in undisturbed habitats.

What to do if you see a bear

  • Do not run/climb a tree

These Behaving in this way might cause the black bear to chase after you. Bears are good climbers.

  • Talk in a low, calm voice

Let the bear know you’re there so it can see you’re no danger to it. However if the bear is 300 feet away and hasn’t noticed your presence, making a quiet exit is probably your best course of action.

  • Back away slowly

Back away without making any sudden movements and hopefully you and the bear will go your separate ways.

What to do if a Black bear charges at you

  • Stand your ground

If the bear is still with you even after you have followed the above, slowly put your arms up around you or move to higher ground to make yourself look bigger. Black bears are generally timid animals. 

  • Always leave the bear an escape route

  • Fighting back

As a last resort, you may want to fight back with all your strength, aiming direct blows at the bear’s face while using any weapon or object available to you. If you have bear spray with you, this would be the time to use it.

What to do if a Grizzly bear charges at you

Grizzly bears have an aggressive nature, and if you behave the same way as you would when seeing a black bear, you could make the situation worse.

  • Use Bear pepper spray

  • Play dead

Lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over. It is likely that the bear will try to flip you over or play with your body. If this happens, instead of resisting, you should allow the bear to flip you, but roll all the way over so you end up face-down again.

grizzly bear

Make your Kelowna vacation wonderful by staying at one of our beautiful cottages! Call our reservations line on 1 888 226 5566 or email rentals@lacasacottageresort.com. 

 

Written by Natsumi Matsumoto

peaches Penticton
Jul08

Penticton Peach Festival in South Okanagan

August 7th – 11th, 2019

penticton peach festival

Penticton Peach Festival (Aug. 7-11, 2019) is an annual South Okanagan Valley tradition, which began in 1947, to celebrate the peach harvest in Penticton, British Columbia. Penticton sits between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake in the beautiful southern Okanagan Valley. The festival is volunteer run and one of the largest free family festivals in Canada. 

The Penticton Peach Festival has 5 days of action packed entertainment for all ages. Whether you’re into music, sports, cooking, dancing or parades, you will find something to make you smile.

Variety of Activities

  • Reel Peachfest (short video contents that creatively entertain and tell a story about the Okanagan that evokes community pride)
  • Peter Brothers Grand Parade (largest parade in the B.C. Interior, floats from across B.C. and Washington State, marching bands, dancers, gymnasts, musicians, clubs, associations and clowns)
  • Kiddies’ Parade (kids decorate their bikes, wagons or scooters)
  • Peach Bin Races (using a peach bin, retrofit it with whatever mechanical or aesthetic stylings you choose)
  • The Seattle All City Marching Band
  • Sandcastle competition
  • Skaha Lake Ultra Swim (an 11.8 km point-to-point open water swim in the warm, fresh waters of Skaha Lake)
  • Sheila Bishop Slo-Pitch Tournament
  • Skateboard & BMX competition
  • Dance show
  • Music live stage
  • High-flying freestyle motocross
  • Dog show
  • Amusements

Want to join the festival? Click here for more details! 

 

Ready to book your Okanagan Vacation? Check out our selection of La Casa Cottages in Kelowna, located around 1 hour away from Penticton!   Call  our reservations line on 1-888-226-5566 or email rentals@lacasacottageresort.com to find your perfect cottage.

 

Written by Natsumi Matsumoto