Beaver Lake Mountain Resort: A honest review

Oh summer! How I miss you already! Summer seems like such a long time ago, now that we have officially entered fall.

But it’s not too late to plan a trip out to a cabin and get one with nature.

At the end of July 2018, we visited Beaver Lake mountain resort in the Okanagan for a little R and R and some family bonding time with my sister in law, her hubby and my niece and nephew. This was our first time and definitely won’t be the last.

I was hesitant to stay at a cabin in a remote area with Zara with no WiFi or Tv! But I was pleasantly surprised how much fun we had. The resort had everything we needed to relax and be entertained!

For Kids

The kids had two playgrounds. One was for ages up to 10 and the other one was for younger babies. They also have a petting zoo which was a hit! We would grab our coffee in our to go mugs and walk over in the mornings to say hello to the animals. They had, bunnies, pigs, goats, and guinea pigs. The guinea pigs had just given birth and the babies were the most adorable things I have ever seen. The animals were well taken care off and happy to see people.

The lake had a small beach area with a designated swimming zone. The water was too cold for us adults but the kids loved it.

For Adults

I can honestly say that waking up every morning to the view of the lake instantly calmed me. You have to get a cabin on the lake! It is totally worth it! The cabin had all the cooking utensils you needed. It was a little cozy for two families but we spent a lot of time on the large deck. There is also bbq on the deck that we used as well.

We also rented a motorboat, that my husband used to go fishing in the lake. He didn’t catch anything large but I think it was more about the hunt. The kids fished off the dock and caught a small fish one day that we released back but the excitement on their faces was priceless!

The main office has an espresso machine with a cafe, so if you need a little pick me up, we were able to pop on over for a break. They also have a little store in case you forgot something.

The necessities: Groceries were down the hill about a 25-minute drive. There are some restaurants and a liquor store as well. We stocked up on everything on our way up so we wouldn’t have to make multiple trips.

WiFi is available on day rate per device. We did cave in and got it as my brother in law had some work to do.

The grounds: The grounds were in great shape. There is also a campground on the resort and it can get a bit noisy. So it’s best to get the cabins on the water further up the hill.

We stayed for 4 nights and loved every minute of it. It is a bit on the pricier side(we paid about $1100, for four nights, including the boat rental)

The cabins: The cabins are rustic log cabins. It is not glamorous but has everything you need. You bring your own sheets, pillows, and blankets or you can rent them. We stayed in Number 9 the wolf cabin. It has one bedroom, with a queen bed and bunk beds. There is also a loft with a queen mattress. The kitchen has a full-size fridge and oven. The living room has a sofa bed and large dining table. It was well laid out and comfortable. The cabins are also pet friendly!

Will we do it again? Yes absolutely! They do have some larger cabins that would work better for 2 families, that we would like to try. We are already planning our next trip back!

Please note this is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Family Friendly Activities in Lake Country, BC and Vernon, BC

We are officially entering autumn but I am still dreaming of this last summer!

This summer we had some amazing weather (except for the last couple of weeks of smoke!), and we decided to take advantage and go for a weeklong road trip to Lake Country and Vernon.

Today I wanted to share with you some of the activities we ended up doing. These are all family friendly and some even pet friendly as we had both our toddler and dog with us. I hope you get to check out these fun activities! And hey don’t let the cooler temperatures stop you.

1. Wine tasting: No road trip is complete without wine tasting. There are some great local BC wineries in Lake Country, BC. We visited two wineries on this road trip as we were short on time. Ex Nihilo was on our list of wineries to visit for a long time and it definitely did not disappoint. The grounds are of course gorgeous and they have a restaurant on-site that was packed. The wines we tasted were unique and we definitely ended buying a couple of bottles. They were also very kind to my thirsty dog as it was a super hot day.

Arrowleaf Cellars was another one that was on our list. The winery has a spectacular picnic area overlooking the valley and vineyard. We took advantage and sat out on the grounds, and enjoyed crisp and refreshing glasses of Pinot Gris and a mouthwatering cheese plate! My 3-year-old, loved the cheese and running around in the grass. We took our dog with us and he was able to lounge under the picnic table, catching crumbs that my daughter dropped! All in all, I found arrowhead cellars to be very family friendly as well as affordable.

2. The Kangaroo Creek Farm :We loved visiting this place! I don’t know why we have never been before. The farm houses, kangaroos, Wallabies, and capybaras as well as parrots, chickens and pigs. The admission is $10 cash for adults and children under 5 are free. The money goes to taking care of the farm and the animals. This was a very educational trip for my little one. It was great to see the animals roaming about and well taken care of. I was able to snap a picture of my daughter interacting with a Wallaby! Her favorite were the chickens and getting her face painted!

3. The BX Press Cidery and Orchard: This was our first time at a working cider and orchard. The cider is a family affair and the service was impeccable. The ladies entertained our dog and baby while we tasted some ciders. I have to say that the difference in taste was very apparent. This time around we did not get a chance to tour the facility but we will be back!

Autumn is cooler and the smoke is gone, which means now is the perfect time to head down to Lake Country and Vernon.

Please note this is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are based on my experience.

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Kamloops Wine Trail : The next BC wine destination

Kamloops has a special place in my heart for multiple reasons. Last month, when I discovered award-winning wineries in Kamloops, 20 minutes from downtown, I was ecstatic! Another reason to love this beautiful town, about 3.5 to 4 hours away from Vancouver!

There are 4 wineries in Kamloops, and I was able to visit 3 that were in close proximity to each other. It was actually our 7 year wedding anniversary and what better way to celebrate than sipping on local wine.

Sagewood Winery This was the first winery we visited and it quickly became one of my favorites. This is a family owned estate winery and when we got there the tasting room was packed! Once we got inside, we knew why! We had one of the best Rieslings we have ever had here. My hubby who usually stays away from the sweeter wines was immediately taken aback by the Riesling. Needless to say, it was definitely added to our Must Buy list. They currently do not sell in Vancouver, so you will have to visit them in Kamloops.

Harper’s Trail Winery was the first winery to open up in Kamloops. The setting is a picturesque vineyard, beautiful rolling hills, and open patio, to enjoy a glass or two of vino. They also produce Canada’s double gold award-winning Cabernet Franc! Their Rose’ was also amazing. We definitely grabbed some wine here. We also took advantage of the picnic tables on the property and took some beautiful insta worthy pictures!

Monte Creek Ranch I saved the best for last! Monte Creek Ranch is a working ranch overlooking the mighty Thompson River! The area is rich with history and the views from the patio were spectacular! They also have a restaurant in the patio where we were able to enjoy a delicious meal and the view. There 2017 Sparkling Reserve was one of a kind. It tasted like an expensive champagne, the right amount of bubbles and punch. I would love to grab just a box of that!

So there you have it! If you are looking for a wine tasting experience without driving too far from Vancouver, add Kamloops to your list of wine destinations!

I cannot wait to be back in Kamloops soon!

Please note this is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are based on my experience.

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Family Friendly Things to do in Kamloops, British Columbia

My husband and I have been visiting Kamloops, BC for around 5 years. Over the years a lot of friends and family have always asked me why Kamloops and why not Kelowna or Osoyoos.

Kamloops has always had a special place in my heart. When hubby and I got together, we wanted to do some mini road trips and Kamloops was one of the first places we visited. Surprisingly, we were amazed at how short of a drive it is from Vancouver (3.5 to 4 hours) and how we always had a great time. We also announced our pregnancy to the world while in Kamloops!

Over the year’s, we have found some great activities to do, especially for a family with a toddler. Here is a list of our fav activities to do while in Kamloops:

Hiking: Rj and I are not big hikers but we found a trail with beautiful views that we could take the stroller up to on our last visit. We went to Kenna Cartwright Park with Zara on our last trip and she loved it. It was not a super long hike, but the view was amazing.

Pre-baby we have also been to Peterson park which is a bit more rugged.

Both of these are dog friendly.

Here is a list of all the places to hike.

Kamloops Wine trail: Yes finally Kamloops has wineries! There are 4 wineries in total and the earliest one opened up in 2012. I will be writing a separate post on my experience at the wineries, so watch out for it!

BC Wildlife Park– This was our favorite part of the trip. The BC Wildlife Park is a not for profit park and all the animals are usually rescued or injured and unable to survive in the wild. The animals have large enclosures and looked very well cared for. We saw Black Bears, Grizzly Bears, Moose, Camels, and even goats. There is a playground and even a water park. There is also a volunteer-run mini train inside the park that takes you around. You can easily spend a full day here. The cost is around $15 and kids under 3 are free. If you have the Entertainment Coupon book, you can get in for, 2 for 1. This was definitely a highlight of our trip.

Have you been to Kamloops? What is your favorite activity to do in Kamloops?

Please note this is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are based on my experience.

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Why Vacations are good for your soul

When was the last time you laid in a hammock for two hours, sipping a mimosa reflecting on what you are doing with your life?

Are you happy? Do you feel fulfilled or are you going through the motions?

Vacations for me has always been the perfect time to contemplate and reflect on my life. You need to get rid of the distractions of daily life to truly do this.

When you aren’t thinking of dishes, laundry, and planning meals, your mind frees itself to think about what really matters: YOU

Listening to the waves crashing, the seagulls cackling, and the salty wind blowing through your hair, really opens up your heart and your soul. Close your eyes, think of things that make you happy, are you doing any of that in your ’real’ life?

The point here is once you can remove yourself from your daily burdens, the hope is your mind can look for deeper answers to your life’s journey. Because isn’t that what we are all on this earth for? To look for answers. To look for a purpose. To look for happiness.

This part is easier said than done. The even tougher part is making a plan to change things when you get back to reality.

And at the end of the day that might not happen. Change is hard and it’s scary. When you are lying in a hammock everything seems feasible. And that’s ok. When things get tough its time to book another vacation and reflect on what matters most.

When is your next trip?

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Why we vacation as a family and you should too

Traveling with a toddler can be challenging and trying at times. Listening isn’t something my toddler does best. And you never know how she is going to react on a plane ride (I will be writing a post with some tips), or if she is going to refuse to eat any food while we are away.

But I still think traveling as a family is important. It doesn’t matter if it is road trip for the long weekend, or a week long holiday outside the country. Here is why:

  1. Relax as a family– Vacation momma and Dadda are fun and relaxed. It’s good for your child to see you at your best, and you are at your best when you are not worrying about alarms, daycare drop-offs, and what to make for dinner. Stay out late, play in the sand longer and have that ice cream! Let your child see you throw out those rules.
  2. Make memories– Life is busy and day to day all you focus on is getting through the day to bedtime. Is their time to make memories? Not really. You try to cram that into the weekend and even then it’s tough. But on vacation that’s all you focus on- making memories as a family. When you are old and most likely cranky, you aren’t going to want to remember the dinners you cooked every night, but what you will remember is the time your daughter played in the pool all day with you. This is what makes life worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the day to day crap, but I am not going to lie and tell you I enjoy it. Who does?
  3. Travel opens up the world for your child: They become aware that there is whole other world outside of their world. My hope is that this will take her out of her comfort zone, and challenge her to explore. I want my daughter to experience other cultures, languages, and food.
  4. Footage of embarrassing your child as an adult: Take tons of pictures so you can embarrass your child when they get older! Take that naked bum picture in the sand, to hopefully add to the wedding slideshow! Vacations are a great way to capture those embarrassing moments that your child doesn’t want you to take pictures of as an adult.

Do you travel as a family? I would love to hear your reasons for vacationing with kids and tips you have.

Happy Travels!

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

My favourite places to go for a Staycation in Vancouver with a baby

The long weekend is coming up pretty soon and the weather forecast calls for SUN! It is very tempting to go away on a road trip during the long weekend, but unfortunately it isn’t always easy or financially possible to go away, especially when you have a little one. And I am sure no one is excited about tackling the dreaded long weekend traffic. Staycations are the next best thing and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Another bonus is you get to sleep in your own bed! Today I am going to share my favourite places in Vancouver that are perfect for Staycations. 

  1. Trout Lake:  Vancouver is a beautiful city and we are blessed with parks and beaches without having to drive too far. Trout lake is an oasis in the middle of the city. They have an amazing farmers market every Saturday that has everything from organic veggies, organic eggs and meat, coffee, food trucks and sometimes wine tastings! If you are not a farmers market kind of person (who isn’t though!), they also have a sandy beach and multiple playgrounds. There is also a dog friendly beach area, where your pooch can take a dip in the lake. If you need to take refuge from the sun, there is a community center at the lake, with a new coffee shop called Carousel that has great coffee, baked goods, sandwiches and gelato that is open till 6pm. And parking is free!
  2. Steveston Village : Steveston Village is located in Richmond, BC and is a short drive from the city. It is one of my favourite places to spend the day. You can grab a bite at one of the multiple restaurants and cafes in Steveston. My favourite is Sockeye City and Pajos Fish and Chips. Recently we visited the The Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum. It was an amazing experience to witness a part of BC history. They have a great little kids play area that Zara loved. Also, as part of Canada’s 150th birthday, entry is free. How great is that!
  3. Queen Elizabeth Park: We got married at Queen Elizabeth park so I am biased, but I love this park. The grounds are breathtaking and perfect for family photo shoots. There are also  beautiful views of the entire city as it is located at the highest point in the city. Another gem is the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth park. It is home to 120 free flying exotic birds and 500 exotic plants. Admission for adults is $6.50 and kids under 3 are free. You can’t beat that price! In addition to the bird conservatory, there is also pitch and putt and a tennis court. If you get hungry, I love the Seasons in the Park restaurant. Get a seat on the patio and grab a drink and take in the views of the city.  You won’t regret it! 

We are very lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. So take advantage of it and plan a staycation in Vancouver this summer. 

Trout Lake
One of the playgrounds at Trout lake. It’s a large sandpit.
We love watching the ducks at Trout Lake

Play area at Cannery Museum
Play area at Cannery Museum
Sockeye City- Drinks on the patio
Steveston Village – walking along the Dyke.

Bloedel Conservatory
Bloedel Conservatory – just taking a walk and admiring the scenery
Watching the birds eat at the Conservatory
View from Seasons in the Park