Friday, July 24, 2015
This past week is the first time that I felt seriously homesick since moving out to Kelowna. For the first few months, I was overwhelmed with the excitement of living in a new city. All I wanted to do was explore, eat delicious food, go to the beach and eat MORE delicious food! My head was clear, my heart felt happy and home? I was hardly thinking about it! Well over the last little while, did that homesick ever sneak up on me and hit me like a ton of bricks. I've spoken to a few people who have moved away from home and have gone through a similar experience that I had - where your emotions travel in stages. So basically, you move away, you're super excited about everything you're experiencing and then finally, you start feeling like, "oh my god, what am I doing? I'm so far away - I need to go home, I need to visit my family, I miss my friends, etc." But eventually, you start feeling comfortable, developing your routine and pretty soon, you're happy with your new home.
Recently, I'll admit that I felt like I would never feel comfortable again. I just wanted to be in Thunder Bay. But today, I woke up and I felt a whole lot better. I woke with acceptance of the fact that I'm now living on the other side of the country. I woke with acceptance that the next time I'd be home is at Christmas - and hey, that's okay. I woke up okay and I'm so thankful.
Kelowna is gorgeous - it's filled with beaches, the shopping is pretty great, the culinary options are substantial and it's close to so many other beautiful cities. So right now, I'm happy with Kelowna and I'm grateful for the experience of being lucky enough to live in another city. It means that I was able to take a huge step, leave all of my familiarity behind and start up a new life. And if you ask me, that's pretty flippin' cool.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
The above are some pictures from a place called Kalamalka Lake located near Vernon, BC. We went hiking here last weekend and I chose this location because of the gorgeous turquoise colour of the water.
I thought it would be an easy breezy hike maybe totalling an hour or an hour and a half, and while it very well could have been, for some reason we just kept walking & walking and pretty soon we realized we were on a 4 and a half hour hike with only 2 bottles of water. Pretty soon, our throats felt like sand paper and our skin was burning from the hot sun in 35 degree weather... it was quite the experience to say the least. But we made it out alive!
Let's just say the rest of that day was spent laying on the couch and not moving for the rest of the evening. Ouch!
Saturday, May 16, 2015
We finally made it to May Long Weekend! Hooray!
This week felt extremely long for some reason and I found myself anxious for the extra day that comes with this weekend. So far our Saturday has been great - we finally went to the Farmer's Market and it was amazing - so many food vendors! And I found myself loving the jewellery vendors as well, especially from a place called Tomo Jewellery - I bought myself this dainty little Buddha necklace that I'm in love with and they made it with materials from Japan. Here's her Etsy shop if anyone was interesting in checking out more of her stuff! It's very cute and you won't be disappointed.
After that, we walked around downtown and went to this book store I've been wanting to check out along with Kelowna's craft distillery. It was a really nice day and I find myself enjoying this city more and more each time we explore something new.
When we were done exploring downtown, we stopped for brunch and I had myself a delicious mimosa (yum) and then proceeded to go home where I have been basking in the sun ever since. I have a nice bronze going on - yay!
The pictures above are from a wine tour we did last weekend which was a great time - the scenery was beautiful and the wine was even better!
Well that's it for me! I'm going to enjoy the rest of my Saturday :) Have a good one!
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
I say I'm going to continue blogging but then I just... don't. I'm too busy living I guess? I don't know. I miss it though - and I was busy the past couple of days about how long I've kept this space for and how proud I am for keeping at it for so long. This is the longest blog I've ever had (after many failed attempts) and I love it here. I love being able to post when I want to post and sharing my photography. While I haven't taken out my DSLR camera very often, I'm glad that I re-branded Little Maple Leaf to be my story of sorts rather than strictly just photography. While I absolutely love taking out my camera and trying to capture beautiful images, I don't want to do it professional but I'm so glad that I do have that camera to take pictures when I want to but also have my cell phone for the quick shots. Like in the above photos :)
Anyway, we've done a LOT in the past few weeks. We've taken many different hikes, did a wine tour (amazing.. may have left with 5 bottles of wine... oops!) and have eaten at plenty of DELICIOUS restaurants. My GOD! The dining options in this city are heavenly! Last week was actually really bad - we ended up eating out like 6 times in a week and a half. This week has been good so far as we've been cooking at home every night so I'm proud of that. We'll reward ourselves with dinner out this weekend! Hehe.
May Long is coming up and I'm SO excited! We are going to try and find a beach somewhere and hopefully it's nice enough to go swimming, although the forecast calls for rain (fingers crossed the forecast is wrong). Also, we are going to go on a hike somewhere and I'm debating whether or not we should go with our group or just go the two of us. We'll decide this weekend. And I wouldn't mind driving down to Osoyoos to check out the desert of the Okanagan. So many plans!
I got homesick for the first time yesterday - my sister sent me a snap chat and I got all emotional. It came out of no where.
Okay well, that was a really random post just basically giving a weird update on my life with no structure whatsoever!
I uploaded a bunch of pics to Photobucket so that way it's easier for me to blog... there has to be an easier way to upload pictures without losing their quality onto Blogger without using a 3rd party? UGH! problems.
Have a great night!
Sunday, April 19, 2015
*This photo was taken with my iPhone (no filters)
Before we even moved to Kelowna, I spent plenty of time researching different types of activities we could become a part of. I knew right away that hiking was something I wanted to get into because of the amazing trails all over the Okanagan Valley. That's when I found Hiking Addiction.
Hiking Addiction is a group targeted towards people in their 20s and 30s and you basically just meet up each weekend and go for a hike on a different trail. Yesterday was our first meet up with Hiking Addiction at Pincushion Mountain and I only have great things to say about it. The coordinator was nothing but welcoming upon our arrival and there must have been about 30 people who showed up- some regulars, some brand new like us.
Anyway, onto the trail!
Pincushion Mountain (click the link if you want to read more about the trails) was classified as difficult on the Tourism Kelowna website and difficult it definitely was. The mountain was not small by any means, the gravel was very loose, we were walking along the edges of narrow "cliffs" and we had to climb over multiple rocks and logs. But oh my god, was it ever fun! The rush of climbing a mountain is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do. My lungs were burning but we were definitely in decent shape because of the regular hikes we take at Rose Valley Regional Park.
By the time we got to the top of the mountain, the views were outstanding and arguably one of the prettiest views I've ever seen. The above photo is a snapshot of what we were lucky enough to see but if I could figure out how to use the panoramic on my iphone, I could have gotten a much wider picture as the lake went on for miles.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we live in such a beautiful new city with lush greenery, the beautiful Okanagan Lake, never ending hiking trails and generally just amazing scenery surrounding us.
I feel so happy that we made the decision to move here and I'm starting to feel like Kelowna is a great place to call home. Yesterday after our hike, I sat outside to read a book and then came in and laid on the couch to take a nap and I can honestly say, I haven't felt that content in a very long, long time.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Weekdays in Kelowna prove to be a bit slower paced than the weekends.
Time is spent working Monday to Friday, which is just the way I like it. It gives me time to relax and do what I want in the evenings and on the weekends which is something I haven't had in a very long time. After work, we get stuck in horrendous traffic (the only downside that I've found so far about this beautiful city) and then either hike or run followed by cooking dinner. Lately, I've taken a liking to taking hot baths because our bathroom is actually nice and not moulding like before. Usually, we sleep by 9:30 as we're still getting used to the time change.
Living in this main floor apartment allows me to understand what I'll look for when we decide to buy: a kitchen with plenty of counter space, big bright windows, a walk in closet, a comfortable size bathroom with beige walls, and a quaint little window in our bedroom just beside our bed. These aspects are small, but they provide me with comfort; something I've been missing in our last 2 houses.
The downside with feeling so comfortable in our home is that cleaning tends to fall by the wayside. I'm not as high strung about messes so I feel like I should set aside a day each week to do a good cleaning throughout our tiny little unit. It'll help keep things comfortable.
This Saturday, we'll be hiking a mountain called "Pincushion" with a group called Hiking Addiction which I'm really excited about - we've developed a real interest in hiking and I'm excited to see something new.
Sort of an unstructured post today but just wanted to give an update!
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Rose Valley Regional Park is about a one minute drive from where we live in West Kelowna (we live in Rose Valley) and we feel really lucky to have that type of nature so close to us. Almost everyday after work last week, we hiked through different trails of the park and each time we found a new point of scenery or a viewpoint of the city we hadn't been to before. Today, I finally brought my camera with us and uploaded a few of my favorite photos to Little Maple Leaf. The scenery is absolutely stunning throughout and we can't wait to discover more points of this beautiful regional park.