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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

We ‘whine’ and we ‘wine’!

Last night was not a good night! I am not sure I slept much thinking about our desperate situation with Jerry. I was up very, very early this morning trying to solve this problem and also looking at the comments that were coming in on our blog post from yesterday on Facebook. Instead of ‘whining’ about our situation though, we’re into ‘solution’ mode now.

I could hear Richard’s phone blowing up with texts and phone calls so I got him up, as ‘misery loves company!’ He said that St. Stephen had called, so we decided to call St. Stephen to see what he thought about our predicament with Jerry. Sometimes an independent voice can help provide clarity to a situation.

St. Stephen is of the opinion that we should go and get Jerry fixed. Canadian Tire would mark up the cost of the used engine they would get from a wrecker and then there would Canadian Tire’s labour costs, on top of the engine cost. If we were to go and pick up Jerry from Canadian Tire and continue to tow him along until we could find a satisfactory replacement engine, which we could have installed by an independent repair person, we could probably do the repair a lot cheaper that what we were quoted yesterday. Picking up Jerry also negates the need to find a place to dispose of the car here in the Okanagan and would also allow us the benefit of time to figure this problem out. We still haven’t settled on fixing or scrapping Jerry, but at least we will have options if he is still being towed behind Newman. Okay, that was a good call to have first thing in the morning! St. Stephen to the rescue again!

Next up was a call with Richard’s brother Normand.

Normand on FaceTime with us.

Normand said that we should start to call British Columbia ‘B2C’ instead of B.C. What does ’B2C’ stand for? ‘BRING 2 CARS’. Last year Norm and his wife Jo drove out from Ottawa to Victoria to spend the winter in Victoria, only to have their Lincoln MKT breakdown outside of Cranbrook, B.C. with a blown head gasket. Luckily, Richard’s son Jonathan lives in Cranbrook and was able to come to their rescue and help them out by bringing them into town, to their hotel for the night. Norm and Jo had to buy a new car though at the Ford dealership to continue their trip to the Island, as they were staying for 6 months and needed transportation. When Richard told his son Jonathan last evening that we had a hole in the engine block he said “At least you made it further in B.C. than Normand did!” So I guess the comment Normand made about ‘B2C’ definitely applies to the Hotte family!!

Overlooking Wood Lake, Lake Country. Richard had to pull over to take a phone call when he was driving this morning and this was our wonderful view. It really is a stunning place to live, even though the sun was not shining today and it was a very windy, cool 12C.

With our borrowed car from Joe and Berneice, our very generous and helpful friends who live at Predator Ridge, we drove into Kelowna this morning and our first stop was of course, Canadian Tire. Richard wanted to get a better understanding of the problem with Jerry by speaking to the mechanic who worked on Jerry. Apparently the mechanic thinks we blew a connecting rod in the engine. The car does have 178,000 km on it, so I guess anything is possible. Richard’s old Sante Fe had 435,000 km on the engine when he sold it to a neighbour in Fort Erie, and the car is still running 4 years later. I guess you never can tell when something as major as an engine will blow. Metal gets fatigued and ‘BAM’ our engine is gone!

Canadian Tire will have Jerry all ready for our pick up tomorrow morning in Kelowna. And the great news is they waived all of the costs of diagnosing the engine failure! That was certainly some good news finally!

We also had another important errand to run in Kelowna. Our heated mattress pad was not working! Richard is tired of listening to me ‘whine’ about getting into a cold bed every night! I had bought the heated mattress pad in September before we left home (online) at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I put the heated mattress pad on the mattress in Newman and it worked when we were plugged in at home in our driveway, but it hasn’t worked since. We have definitely had some very cold nights, when we wished the mattress pad was working, so we had arranged with Bed, Bath and Beyond in Kelowna to set aside a better heated mattress pad (our version was no longer in stock) and we went today to pick it up. The good news is we also got a $30 off coupon at the cash register, so the new heated mattress pad only cost us $26 more than the original one. Finally it seems like some things are going our way for a change!

We had never been to downtown Kelowna so while we were doing our running around in Kelowna today we decided to park and walk around ‘City Park’, Kelowna. Kelowna is home to over 200 parks, beaches and green spaces. It truly is a beautiful city!

Spirit of Sail made of fibreglass was created by Robert Dow Reid and has become a symbol for the City of Kelowna. Known locally as simply ‘The Sails’ the work is 12 m high and weights 1,820 kg. Robert Dow Reid was born in Scotland and draws inspiration from the sea and aquatic life. His grandfather was a sea captain and Robert travelled the seas on whaling vessels in the 1940’s and 1950’s, moving to Kelowna in 1964.

Another view of ‘Sails’ from City Park, looking back to downtown Kelowna.

Sculptures in City Park, downtown Kelowna.

The Cenotaph in City Park honours Kelowna’s war and peacekeeping personnel lost in WW1, WW2 and other military operations. The stunning red maple tree with its red leaves definitely looked beautiful today with such vibrant colours, against the yellow and green trees in City Park.

Somebody definitely did NOT dress for the weather today and was freezing on our walk around City Park. In future I think I need to supervise the dress code to make sure he doesn’t freeze! We are getting closer to November where the need to wear the down jacket comes into play!

Downtown Kelowna garbage cans have historical images of Kelowna on them. I think its a very neat concept actually!

Even the electrical boxes have historical images of old downtown Kelowna. And yes Kelowna does have street people looking for handouts and pushing buggies with their belongings in them. Its quite sad. And winter is coming here soon.

Guess what we found for lunch?

YES! Sushi!!! We were very excited to get back to having B.C. Sushi!

Look at how many veggies they pack into a veggie sushi roll for $5.95! Richard ate his before I could take a picture. This was the best sushi we have had since leaving the Island in April this year. WOW! So good!

When we Facetimed Normand this morning he mentioned that he and Jo had a delightful wine tasting at a winery we should check out in Lake Country. After having our sushi lunch, we headed back to Lake Country to try and find the winery he mentioned.

What a stunning location! Right on the shores of Lake Okanagan!

The red leaves on the vines were the ‘Zweigelt’ grape variety. The green leaves were the ‘Pinot Noir’ variety and the yellow leaves on the vines were Merlot.

Patio at Arrowleaf winery.

Why not have an afternoon wine tasting on a Monday afternoon? There was no one else in the winery today, other than the sommelier and us! We were able to try about 6 different wines because there was no one else there. Our favourite was also Normand’s favourite…..ZWEIGELT! Zweigelt is a Blaufrankisch/St. Laurent cross with a medium-bodied, spicy, exuberant, unique, and dry wine. Notes of red cherry, dark chocolate, black pepper, and violets, aged 12 months in Eastern European oak. The wine is more of a Swiss/Austrian type of wine. We ended up buying some ZWEIGELT to bring with us on our trip, since we know there are not many wineries in B.C. that make wine from this unique grape.

Richard dropped me back at Newman so I could prep for a Zoom call I was having later in the day, and he went to drop the car back with Joe and Berniece. Of course Joe and Berniece then had to drop Richard back here to Newman. We were so thankful to have the use of the car today to not ‘whine’ about our problems today, but instead visit an amazing Lake Country, Okanagan winery, to enjoy some wonderful wine!

Arrowleaf Winery…choices, choices, choices!!!

The beautiful colours of fall in wine country B.C.!

We are now trying to determine what route we are taking over to Tsawwasen tomorrow after we rescue poor Jerry from his dungeon at Canadian Tire in Kelowna. The weather is not looking very promising for the route we had planned to take. Stay tuned! I’m sure there will be more adventures in our future as we have to get over the remaining mountains in B.C. to head to the coast!

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