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an Okanagan wedding

In Doings on June 26, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Part 1 …

If there’s one thing I miss about my Okanagan hometown, it’s the summers. The dry heat that builds from 6:30 am and plateaus at 30°C by mid-morning, causing the working folks to hide in their air-conditioned offices and giving the unemployed youth an excuse to bake, half-naked, on wooden piers between dunks in the cool lake. Home owners attempt to keep their buildings cool with ceiling fans in every room and bamboo blinds over open windows. Bare legs stick to the car seat and hands cool down on slurpee cups before grabbing the steering wheel. Such relentless heat doesn’t even break at night.

But oh, what a treat it is to enjoy it for just a weekend. This past weekend, in fact. In Kelowna. For a wedding!

Heeeeey Tina!

We got to our hostel about two hours before the ceremony. (Yes, hostel — we planned to just crash into our beds after a solid evening of partying and didn’t fancy paying more than $25 each for bunkbeds). The converted house had a walk-up deck, lined with weathered sofas, colourful graffiti and flags of every possible nation. Upon the sofas lazed a smorgasbord of sun-baking youth. We could hear some pots and pans being knocked about inside while traffic streamed down the main road.

“Good luck with that,” wished my pa, sarcastically.

But Tina and I thought it great and took our bags through the kitchen to find the reception. We were greeted by two French hippies with nonchalant tans and a penchant for taking their time. While they set about changing the sheets in our private bunkbed room, I hit the shower.

Wash your laundry with mermaids at the Kelowna International Hostel.

The hostel felt like a big family home and I was pretty comfortable walking around with wet hair and barefeet, exploring the cheerful graffiti walls and mismatched living room. While I put on my black and white frock and threw on make up, I quietly dreamed about moving back to the Okanagan to become a hippie hostel manager.

Following directions.

Soon we were arriving at the golf club. And what a golf club it was! I don’t have much experience with golf, nor do I wish to, but if I did want to play a round and had money to blow, I’d come here. Situated on a working apple orchard, the grounds look out over Okanagan Lake. As we came up the drive, we saw a group of white chairs laid out on the lawn and two white pillars holding bunches of magenta and white Gerbera daisies. At last Courtenay’s year of detailed plans had come to life!

Tina had never been to a wedding and this was only my second, so we stepped giddily out of my dad’s car and went exploring. The hall, where we’d be do the reception thing later, was full of wood and sunlight, navy blue ribbons and shiny cutlery. We tiptoed throughout, snooping and prodding, smiling at the busy staff and wondering where the heck we were going to sit later. And more importantly, who were were going to sit with.

guest "cards" -- a scrapbooker's alternative

A basket of toiletries, including gum and a Tide to Go pen! Courtenay thinks of everything.

Dancing shoes?! The bride is a genius!

Cake alternative: chocolate puffed wheat squares (wrapped and waiting)

More to come on an Okanagan wedding…