A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending National Best Friends Day with my foodie friend – Dee from Gastrofork. We met in 2011 at this event called Bake for the Quake and I bought banana bread from her for a good cause. All these years later, we’ve been great friends going on trips, eating great food, and geeking out together. Ford Canada sent us on a trip together and we chose Kelowna and Lake Country to be our destination of choice. Here are a few of the places we went in about 24 hours.
We left Vancouver early in the morning and spent about 5 hours each way on the road in our Ford Focus Titanium, with the awesome Apple CarPlay feature, we were able to make sure we got to our destination on the most effective route, but also jam out to Backstreet Boys.
Our first stop was Salted Brick in Downtown Kelowna for a quick stop for lunch. They are a premium charcuterie shop and restaurant. They source their products locally and you can feel the passion they have for their food. Sharing is caring so we had some oysters, a charcuterie board and their 16-hour Roasted Brisket Sandwich. I enjoyed this spot for such simple yet flavour packed food.
We wanted to try some spirits in the Okanagan as it’s a bit more unique in the area among all the wineries. We tried a flight and I left with the black currant liqueur. Very delicious and mixes well with drinks and even sparkling wine.
Our most exciting and squee-worthy destination was Kangaroo Creek Farm just North of Kelowna. They have so many unique animals that you can interact with – Kangaroo, Wallaroo, Wallaby, sugar glider, pot-bellied pig, emu, parrots, peacock, goats, fancy chicken, capybara, and a lot more.
Our favourite part was holding the precious little baby joeys. They had a few cute ones ready to be cuddled. The albino one was so cute that I had to hold him in my hands.
Sugar Gliders were another one of my favourite animals to hold and interact with. He loves climbing around peoples arms and even finding pockets to burrow into.
Meet Squeakers, this pretty bird was talkative and we both thought he was so precious.
We were sad to leave Kangaroo Creek Farm, but if we were here any longer, I would have been tempted to take one of their animals.
Next stop was Arrowleaf Cellars. We made it a mission to go to wineries that we have never been before to continue understanding the diversity of wineries in the Okanagan. Arrowleaf is a family-owned and operated winery with a strong commitment to local since 2001.
They have a picnic area, tasting room and a fantastic patio. I grabbed a glass of white wine to enjoy with the beautiful view. Since we needed to drink responsibly, I made Dee be my designated driver.
Around since 2010, they have been crafting wine as a family. We went into their tasting room and tried 5 of their different wines for $5, but since we bought a bottle, that fee was waived.
It’s a lovely place and there were people celebrating huge milestones at the bistro for a birthday. Their wines were really good enjoyed our short time here.
Gray Monk Estate Winery is a stunning place with also a great view. We stopped for dinner at Grapevine Restaurant for more delicious meals that are crafted by Chef Siever.
I’ve always wanted to come here to enjoy their amazing wine and try their dishes. We shared a few appetizers to start and then dug into the main courses.
I indulged in Bombay Blackened Duck Duo and Dee had a tenderloin. The views and service were great and we took in all the beautiful views of the area.
As the sun set over the valleys of the Okanagan, we found a few view points before heading off to the resort for some rest and relaxation. The funny thing about this photo was that Dee was in the car making strange gestures at me and I didn’t understand what she was doing. She opened the door and told me there was a wild deer behind me. He’s got my back literally.
Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa
We got to Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa with plenty of time to spare. The night was still young to do lots of exploring and relaxing. Built in 2010, Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa is a great wellness resort spa destination in North America. I’ve wanted to come here for a long time as I’ve always hear such amazing things about this place.
When you walk around the resort, you will find 3.5 million Swarovski crystal elements. It’s absolutely stunning.
An awesome part about the resort is the exclusive access to the seven unique aromatherapy saunas and steam rooms, experience showers, igloo, indoor pool complete with underwater music and starry Swarovski crystal sky, hot pool, outdoor infinity pool, Kneipp water therapy, Tea & Serenity Relaxation Rooms, and the Keiser-equipped fitness studio.
We spent some time at the spa and then headed back to our room for the night.
In the morning, there was a complimentary breakfast at their restaurant, so we enjoyed out meal while looking out into the views of the lake.
Our getaway for National Best Friends Day was awesome and we were happy that Ford Canada was able to make it happen. In around 24 hours, we were able to enjoy the best of the Okanagan and I was able to show Dee one of my favourite places in BC – Kangaroo Creek Farm. What is awesome about our friendship is that we are so chill about everything, have similar tastes in food and just love to be silly. It’s definitely hard to find great friends, so make sure you keep them close.
If you want to check out a video recap of our trip, check out Dee’s video below on her Youtube channel.