Vernon, British Columbia
12.05.2012 - 20.05.2012 30 °C
After some much needed retail therapy, mass amounts of Costco samples, and a good jam session in Gerry....we made it to Vernon.
Before we left on our vacation, we printed directions to each WWOOF location, but when we arrived in Vernon, our host wanted to meet us in town so we could follow him to their property, overlooking Swan Lake. We pulled over, called Klaus and Sonja [our hosts] to let them know we were in town, and two minutes later a green Mercedes Benz convertible pulled up beside us with a wave to follow up the hill....we looked at each other, laughed in awe, gave each other 'props' and followed behind.
Swan Lake from the Shangri-La Ranch
Klaus and Sonja have a 95[ish] acre property known as the 'Shangri-La Ranch' - a hill/mountainside overlooking Swan Lake in Vernon, BC, where they host B&B and WWOOF guests. They live in a log home...errr...paradise, surrounded by gardens, multi-layer pools, wildlife, and walnut trees. They treated us with our own 'suite' with a massive bathroom and direct access to the hot tub outside...KEY!
Home for the week
Our chores at the Shangri-La Ranch didn't stray much from yard-work and gardening, which we seemed to find quite peaceful and enjoyable in the hot sun [other than the time that Emma Mac had a casual 'run-in' with a grizzly bear during a wheel barrow dump in the forest....although we have received plenty of suggestions to play dead, freeze, look big, and make noise, she proceeded to turn around and sprint the other direction.....typical.]
During the planning of our trip, we agreed to working out frequently with each other, and attempt to get in prime shape.....that plan went to hell after the first two days of the vacation. So here at the Shangri-La Ranch, we occasionally woke up in the mornings before work to contemplate going for a run. On the days we felt motivated, we walked to the end of the driveway together, said "enjoy your run!" and headed in different directions....I guess you could consider this teamwork...? Aside from our occasional workouts, we filled our free time with the following:
- hitting the Kalamalka beach AKA Kal Beach
- movie night at the Galaxy Theatre accompanied with waaaaay too much Bulk Barn candy....we gassed each other out pretty good the next day, lesson learned
- breaking and entering Silver Star Ski Resort for a good hike [down a green circle, and up a black diamond...KILLER!]
- biking into Vernon to explore town [where we ended up buying coffee and cook books....the only thing we can justify spending money on these days]
- hot tubbin' like its our day job
- and our favourite part........eating
Trying to get a lift up at Silver Star
Toooo much schokolade!
A little bit of joy from Vernon
We knew we were in for some good eats when there was a delicious vegetable stir fry waiting for us upon arrival at the Shangri-La Ranch. Every meal with Sonja and Klaus was to die for....so many hearty dishes with melt-in-your-mouth meats, savoury sauces, crisp vegetables, fine cheeses, and unfamiliar [but totally scrumptious] German sides. We were always welcome to participate in the kitchen with meal preparation, and we even got to learn how to make the tradiational German 'spaetzle': a spaghetti-like pasta made from eggs, flour, and salt, and then pressed through a device that resembled a Play-Dough contraption....or supersized garlic press...? To show our appreciation, we decided to try a recipe from our new cookbook 'Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Squares'....let's just say they were delicious but totally deformed. To make up for our disastrous, failed attempt at dessert, we decided to bake a Black Forest Cake- Klaus' favourite. He loved it so much that he invited friends over the following two days to enjoy it with us....guten appetit!
Cheesy fungi risotto with asparagus
Shredding red cabbage
Klaus in the kitchen
Our black forest cake
Thank you so much to Klaus and Sonja for always being so welcoming, gracious, and genuinely kind. Our stay in Vernon brightened our vacation immensely, and we feel so lucky to have met you! We wish you all the best, vielen dank und das leben genießen.....prost!
The Traveling Emmas with Sonja and Klaus