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When in Rome

When in Rome: The Ottawa Edition

Looking back, I can’t determine when Danielle (or @hippieindisguise) and I crossed paths. I’m pretty sure I was creeping on Carina’s insta-feed after reading her thoughtful comments again and again. Then I got a mad case of the envies after Martha Stewart (yes, that Martha Stewart) started re-gramming her work… Now that we have gotten to know this amazing Ottawan, I love her even more. Once a dancer, then a communications theory, art history, and philosophy nerd, and now forever more a mother, Danielle focuses on the little things that make life beautiful and inspiring. Simple fun, spending time outdoors, making and seeking out artful things. Danielle enjoys sharing her children’s delight in these activities on her Instagram gallery and on her website.

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When In Rome: Kelowna Edition

When I first came across Norah (or lamamanpoule on Instagram), it was through creeping on Carina’s Instagram feed. I was instantly mesmerized by her son’s dazzling smile, and drawn to her laid-back, real-life vibe. I’ve watched her life grow to include another little guy (equally as mesmerizing) and a move from Vancouver to the Okanagan. I never doubted that Norah would find a community wherever she went, and it’s been a great experience following along as her family gets to know the interior of BC… Oh, and I don’t mind when her hunky hubby makes a shirtless appearance on her feed — just sayin’.

This week follow along as Norah guides us through Kelowna…

Whether you would like to be pampered in a European inspired spa, be acquainted with one of many local vineyards, stock up on delicious local produce and handmade goodies or adventure by bike through historic and breathtaking sites, Kelowna, situated in the central Okanagan, is a fantastic destination to head to whether it be with your friends or your family.

The region’s recreation is never ending, with an abundance of beaches and water activities to biking and hiking throughout the rolling mountains a day can easily be stacked from sunup to sundown.

Meet Norah

Norah-Family Hi I’m Norah, currently playing the role of stay at home mama to my two boys Luca, 5 and a half years, and Nico, 6 months and happily in love with their papa, Kimani. Last summer we packed all our belongings into a 17 foot U-Hull truck and started a new adventure here in the central Okanagan, having moved from the West Coast (luckily it’s only three and a half hours away!). Since our arrival we have kept busy with plenty of adventures, which have helped us to get acquainted with our new surroundings.

Kangaroo Creek Farm

Peaks & HarboursLocated about 30 minutes by driving from Kelowna’s downtown core, Kangaroo Creek Farm is a great family friendly way to spend a few hours of your day. With a suggested donation of $5 or more for guests who are 5 years and older you get the opportunity to interact with kangaroos and other fun animals. If you happen to be visiting at the right time of year you will also get the opportunity to hold and thus, immediately fall in love with the cutest baby kanga’s- oh ya and your kids will have a good time too 😉

I would recommend that you bring a tube of hand sanitizer and water to drink, as there are no vendors on site.

Sparkling Hill Spa

Peaks & HarboursIf you are looking to get a little time away sans children then Sparkling Hill Spa is a must! This European style inspired spa is pretty much what every person should treat themselves to at least once in their lives. Situated only 50 minutes away from downtown Kelowna, Sparkling Hill boast amazing everything- unobstructed Okanagan lake views, your pick from 7 steam rooms and saunas at no extra service cost, amazing farm to table menu options, and the list goes on.

Having gone there last summer on a impromptu baby-moon and not knowing too much about it before arriving I was a little skeptical upon check-in. Everywhere you look there are Swarovski Crystals (in fact 3.5 million of them!), and a rather mature energy- being that the spa area is a kid free zone, but I must say 24 hours later upon check-out I was converted… I was like give me all the crystals!!!

I would recommend that you bring your own beverages and snacking food to indulge on while in the comfort of your hotel room or by the infinity pool, to cut down on costs.

Myra Canyon Trestles

Peaks & HarboursWhether walking or cycling for one kilometer or choosing to follow the trail all the way to the neighboring town, Myra Canyon Trestles, part of the historic Kettle Valley Railway, is a perfect way to spend the day. Only a 30 minute drive from downtown Kelowna, this activity is great for everyone. Depending on how far you venture you could ride over all 18 trestles, which are amazing both architecturally and for the great views.

If choosing to bike, you can either bring your own bikes to make it a free activity or there is a bike rental stand at the entrance of the trail for approximately $35/hour.

We’d done this adventure twice last summer, both with our then four year old, and a fairly pregnant me. Once walking for about four kilometers (return), and the second by bike for about 12 kilometers (return)- both very successful as there is plenty to explore for both kids and adults!

My recommendations for this adventure are that you pack a lunch with plenty of snacks and lots of water. There are no restaurants or stands along this trail, though plenty of picnic areas as well as some outhouses.

**Other worthwhile links for great eats, wineries, accommodations and activities to check out when in Kelowna**

http://www.cedarcreek.bc.ca

http://www.sperlingvineyards.com/Sperling_Vineyards/Sperling_Vineyards.html

http://www.nichewinecompany.com

http://www.carmelisgoatcheese.com

http://www.kelownafarmersandcraftersmarket.com

http://hectorscasa.ca

http://thecurious.ca

http://www.microkelowna.com

http://www.raudz.com/RAUDZ/home.html

http://www.hoteleldoradokelowna.com

http://parksalive.festivalskelowna.com

http://www.pilgrimandpearl.com

When In Rome – Bellingham Edition

A few months ago I was in Portland with the fam, and had no idea what to do with the kids. Scouring the internet didn’t help because I didn’t know where to start, and as the rabbit hole grew larger and larger, I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be nice if there was a resource that was from a local moms mouth that could give me some ‘must-not-be-missed’ places?!”
Introducing When in Rome, our newest series at Peaks & Harbours. Follow along as we connect with moms around the world — learning about their recommendations on what to do if you find yourself in their neck of the woods.

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Bri Tejeda // indi moon rose

P&H - Bri TejedaFor our first installment, we head to Bellingham, Washington, where Bri Tejeda, Indi Moon Rose founder, and kick-ass mom of 3 girlies currently calls home. I’ve had an Instagram girl crush over Bri for almost a year now, and have watched her spread her magic through various social media platforms, taking note along the way about how to remain grounded and real. Each week, Bri pours her heart out on her feed, makes us laugh, empowers another handful of women, deletes a post or two, drinks some wine with her pink locks flowing in the wind…*le sigh* you get the picture, she’s that girl. Heart eyes for days. I digress. If you find yourself in Bellingham, skip that silly mall and get real with these 3 recommendations from our girl, Bri:

Lake Padden Park

P&H - Bri TejedaMy first experience at Lake Padden was last year with my, then very pregnant, sister. We hiked up into the trails for several miles with the girls, and I couldn’t get over the greenery and beauty in the woods – feeling more and more disconnected from the city, but comfortable and safe in my environment as followed along the path. The girls were challenged by the hike, but not overwhelmed by it, and their imaginations went wild with the scenery. On our way back down we stopped at one of the rental stations where my sister met a friend who was about to teach a paddle board yoga class on the water – A fun way to experience the zen side of working out during the hotter summer days. From there we swam in the water and took the girls out to a playground located a little bit down from the main beach.P&H - Bri TejedaI think Lake Padden is a great place for a family traveling through, or even as a destination spot for a fun day in the sun. Its amenities are full, including barbecue grills, covered picnic areas, outdoor activity rentals, play structures, basket ball courts and even a pretty well received golf course (or so says my husband). I personally come here to enjoy a day on a budget by packing lunches and letting the park take us from there.  With so much in to do one place, it’s completely worth checking out.

The Bellingham Arts District

P&H -- Bri TejedaThe Bellingham Arts district is definitely worth checking out – located in the heart of downtown and home to all my favorite places. We have yearly memberships to the museums, which include the light catcher portion of the Whatcom Museum – and happens to house one of the best restaurants in the city, TwoFifty – Flora – and is walking distance from a student ran gallery and venue called Make Shift something that is without a doubt worth checking out and supporting. It is also walking distance to the best coffee in town, Black Drop, where you will find an eclectic group of people all appreciating the magic that is a good cup of Joe. The murals and art work surrounding this little hub of goodness are pretty wonderful too.

P&H -- Bri TejedaP&H - Bri Tejeda

Wander Brew Hall

P&H -- Bri TejedaAn historic Boat factory turned Brew Hall – its here you can find the best beer in town. Its open feel and simple styling leaves you feeling refreshed and comfortable enough to hang out for a couple hours to work, talk, eat and relax. My favorite is the sound of the rain on the tin roof and the gentle echo that happens as it bounces of the large open space. You can find some of the local food truck favorites parked outside next to their open air eating area – always giving you an opportunity to try something new, always guaranteeing deliciousness.  This last time we went the brisket was yelling my name something incredible.  The best part of it all, its family friendly – with enough space that you never feel like a nuisance showing up with your wild tribe.

P&H -- Bri Tejeda