The staycation was a whirlwind affair, especially for the girls as it was a big surprise that we had been holding from them for a couple of weeks.

After our normal Saturday routine, we picked my wife (Jenn) up from work, zipped home, secretly packed a suitcase with a change of clothes, stuffies, and bathing suits and then hopped out the door to our destination.

The girls, (Hannah - 8 & Mylah - 6) were confused at first as to why we were rolling into a hotel parking lot. After a quick, no contact, and friendly check-in, I came back to the car, we handed the girls the suitcase and followed them into the lobby of the Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites. They took the walk down the hallway to our room, scanned the room card, and finally realized we were staying the night.

A beautiful welcome basket was waiting for us, stuffed with toys, snacks and a wonderful bottle of wine; the girls grabbed some bubble toys and a frisbee and ran out the back door into the common greenspace area; an awesome outdoor space in the middle of the hotel property with plenty of room to run around.

After some time in the room (trying not to jump on the beds) we decided to order in some dinner, from one of our favourite spots, Made in India. Twenty minutes later, we had dinner and we were watching cartoons enjoying some relaxing family time. Dinner was finished pretty quickly, so we were off to have some fun mini-golfing at Scandia Golf & Games! Most people that have spent enough time in Kelowna know the stairs down to Jungle Golf inside the building. We had a great time and, naturally, I won the round.

Within a few minutes of being back at the hotel, we were into our bathing suits and went to the pool for a swim before bedtime. After about 25 mins of jumping in the pool and having fun, it was time to head out into the outdoor hot tubs. It was a little rainy so the cool air and hot water were a great combination. After warming up, we were back in the pool practicing cannonballs and the occasional belly flop.

Back to the room and a few snacks later, the girls were ready to get to sleep after a fun-filled evening. The lights were out for about two minutes before two sets of snores started to fill the room.

We woke up the next morning to some sunshine poking out after a rainy night. The girls were quick to go outside for a quick lap around the grass and some fresh air, then we went down to the dining area to grab some delicious breakfast from the Continental Grab and Go area. We brought breakfast back to the room, got packed up, and checked out.

Our first stop of the day was for some coffee (as most days should start). I love the Americanos at Bean Scene and Jenn is a big fan of the hot chocolate from Blenz. So we grabbed the warm drinks and headed out for a walk on Mission Creek Greenway. As the Greenway spans nearly the entire city, we actually found an area of the walk that we hadn’t done before. The fresh air was a great way to start the day and the Greenway was bustling, as usual, but with everyone being respectful and maintaining a safe distance from other groups.

Since we were in the area, the next stop for us was one of our favourite weekend traditions, visiting the local market. Sundays are a great day to visit the East Kelowna Market and this week was one of the bigger market days I’ve seen. Tons of food vendors inside the hall safely spaced out with directional signage, with the crafters and makers outside in the large parking area. Also outside were the food trucks, and I am a food truck connoisseur so was excited to come across one that was new to me, PoKelowna. As you may assume by the name, it is a poke truck… and it was delicious. I will definitely be back! We make a point to try and support local whenever we can, and the markets are a great way to do that. It’s nice to be able to get some good stuff and we like to try to talk to the vendors to learn a little more about them.

After the market, we made a quick stop at the park to let the girls run around and then headed downtown for some brunch. One of our favourite stops is Sunny’s Modern Diner, which was recently showcased on the FoodNetwork. Chef Robyn is always great to us and the crew never turn out anything less than an awesome meal, even when ordering to go. The girls love the waffles but had to pass on a milkshake, as a stop for a cone was next.

Another spot we hit regularly is Parlour Ice Cream. While they offer the usual flavours, like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, we go there for the flavours you don’t find elsewhere. The girls LOVE the lavender ice cream, which has always been my favourite, until the stop this weekend, when I finally tried affogato! Vanilla ice cream plus espresso…. Yum. Jenn went with cookies and cream and we were all full by the time we finished the last drops.

To cap off our staycation we decided to go out with a bang and knock down some pins at McCurdy Bowling Centre. We booked a five-pin lane and the girls had a blast rolling the ball down the lane. I am a terrible bowler, both girls nearly beat me.

Matt Ferguson - McCurdy bowling

A fun-filled weekend makes for two sleepy kiddos. We are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to take in a bunch of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. It really puts into perspective why people from all over the world seek out Kelowna and the Okanagan as their travel destination!