Heading Off On Another Adventure

We’ve had a wonderful, albeit smoky, summer in Kelowna and had lots of time for R&R for the last two months.  We spent time puttering in the garden, sipped our coffee on the deck every morning, ate dinner outdoors every night, read, hiked a lot up in Crawford, went to our meditative yoga class twice a week, cooked, worked on my genealogy, did a bit of belated spring cleaning, and of course, spent time with family and friends in Kelowna and Osoyoos. We also had fun taking care of three different cats – Big Kitsa, Little Kitsa, and Scout – and enjoyed visiting with one puppy, which was good practice for our pet-sitting plans this fall.

However, we also had to deal with smoky skies for at least half of the summer, and what turned out the be the longest drought in recent history (44 days with no precipitation as of today, Friday, Aug 11).  In fact, Kelowna hasn’t had any appreciable rain since June 1 (the only other rain was less than 1mm on June 28).  The fire season started early and there have been thousands of people evacuated for weeks in central BC, many homes  and cabins burned, thousands of cattle lost, and heavily smoky skies since the mid-July.  With temps in the mid 30’s for most of the summer, I was glad we have an  air conditioned house and car, and I’ll admit I’m looking forward to cool, clean skies of the UK soon. I’m beginning to wonder if a smoke-filled sky is going to be the new normal for summer in the Okanagan #ClimateChange?

And so now, in less than a week, we will be on a plane to London for our Housesitting Adventure.  First off, we will spend a week driving around Cornwall to check out some beautiful seaside villages, sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, and the gorgeous wild scenery that Erik and I have enjoyed so much when watching Poldark and Doc Martin.  With any luck, we will be able to visit a few of the film locations along the way.

After we tour around Cornwall, we begin the first of three house/pet sits that will span about 6 weeks in total.  The first sit is a week in the Cotswolds in a picture perfect village, next to a traditional pub, where we will have fun taking care of a black lab and two rabbits.

After the sit, we will stay in the Cotswolds for two more nights before our second housesit begins in North Dorset, about an hour north of Bournemouth. There, we will look after two rescue pointers for a week while their “parents” run a marathon in Patagonia, South America!

Again, we have two days off between house sits, and so after Dorset, we will drive up to Liverpool and visit some of the locations where my GG-Grandmother, Elizabeth Sinclair, lived before she left on a bride ship to Victoria BC in 1870.

Our last housesit is in a rural part of Lincolnshire, in east-central England.  There, we will be staying in an old converted barn, and will have four dogs to care for – two Spring Spaniels and two English Setters – as well as 10 egg-laying chickens. That will be our longest house sit at about 16 days and should be an adventure unto itself!

Finally, we will take a couple of days to drive back to London and then fly to Greece where we will spend our last week at a resort on the lovely island of Crete. And so, if we end up with cool showery weather for 7 weeks in the UK, we might at least end with a little warmer beach weather at the end.

I had thought we’d be home in time for Thanksgiving, but unfortunately we don’t return until October 12, about 3 days late.  I guess we will have to have a delayed Thanksgiving dinner with the family when we get home. Once again, my wonderful sister and her cat will be house sitting for us so we don’t have to worry about anything while we’re away.

I will definitely write a few posts about our house sitting adventures while we are away, but naturally I will have to be very vague about locations and personal details/photos of our accommodations, in order to respect the owners’ privacy. We are really excited about our trip and looking forward to “living like the locals” in England this fall.  If this goes well, we hope to do a few more housesits next year – possibly in New Zealand in the spring when we go to visit Erik’s daughter and our grandsons, and then maybe France or Italy next fall.

Here are a few pictures from our summer in the Okanagan.

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We checked in on Daisy during the day when her owners were at work.
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Okanagan Lake before the smoke arrived
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Baking Sourdough
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Campfire Singalong in Osoyoos
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Forest Fire Smoke Settles in
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You wouldn’t know there was a lake down there
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Scout is about 10 weeks old
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Scout loved exploring the garden
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We looked after Kitsa after she was spayed
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She much prefers life without the cone
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Hiking in Crawford
Big Kitsa loved sitting on the deck this summer
She is quite the mouser, bringing in at least one a day.  Today was a two-fer.

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