The perfect summer day

The perfect summer day

Hodge Podge by Charlie Hodge

I (we) did it. After numerous attempts over the past few years I (we) finally experienced it.

Yes, I’m sure there are things that could have been added to it, or missed, or not thought about, however suffice to say that in the big picture I (we) did it – enjoyed the perfect staycation summer day.  Tuesday started wonderfully with Scaredy Cat laying on my chest gently padding my eyes with her paws to make sure I noticed her first thing in my day.

A few cups of java to pop the eyeballs open and kickstart the muddled mind later Tez and I made our way downtown for the opening of Meet Me On Bernard. There were three driving influences for the adventure: I am the city councillor liaison to the Downtown Kelowna Association, Tez loves shopping at such open-air events, and as part of her one week holiday we promised to try and make it a fun filled staycation week.

The experience was great from the start, traversing past Kasugai Gardens on the way from parking the car to Bernard reminded us of what a gem that peaceful park is. Due to leg issues and tired lungs Tuesday, Tez kindly wheeled me around most of the day. The wheelchair provides the perfect place to sit while taking in music and other activities at such an event as Meet Me On Bernard.

Our destination was the 400 block of Bernard for the opening ceremonies; however, long before reaching there we were thrilled to hear the familiar sounds of some recognizable characters – the Zamboni Brothers band.

There is no better event or party band around for such a scenario. With a huge song list of popular tunes, great musical skills, quick wit, edgy humour and experience working a crowd the Zamboni boys had the crowd (small as it may have been) happy, dancing and clapping. The boys are among our favourite musicians but that may have something to do with their playing at our wedding.

While at the event we chatted with a number of fun folks including the always charming Mark Burley head of the DKA. One of my all-time favourite former workmates, MP Tracy Gray was also there – as were current cohorts Councillors Ryan Donn, Luke Stack and Mayor Colin Basran.

Tez and I hung around after the political pontification’s were done listening to the Zambonis finish their show and then visited with them. With the sun shining and a festival atmosphere all around the day was unfolding nicely.

Tez and I then did exactly what Meet Me On Bernard was designed for – wandered around the downtown shops. First place was Mosaic Books in front of where we had been sitting. I still get a rush out of seeing my book Lost Souls of Lakewood – The History and Mystery of Blaylock’s Mansion on the shelves there (only place you can also still get a hard cover copy). Mosaic is one of the few independent book stares in the province and have a fabulous caring and knowledgeable staff.

After wandering about for a fair bit Tez and I finally chose The Craft as a place to grab lunch. Thankfully they have an elevator, so Tez and I spent more than hour on their upstairs outdoor balcony devouring a marvelous lunch and enjoying a cold beverage. Great view, great food, (best burger in a long time) and Hanna was a superb waitress. I love Earls but I have a new balcony view go-to in The Craft. It would be nice if Earls put in an elevator so that seniors or those with mobility issues can enjoy their wonderful food.

Following our lunch we continued with a small tour of downtown before finally ambling past Stuart Park. (I love the bear statue.)

Once home Tez and I quickly donned our garden clothes, went out to the backyard and did … nothing.

It was wonderful. In fact – it was perfect.

P.S. The reason I prefaced my column with I (we) a few times at the beginning of this column was when I was done this and before sending to the editor, I wanted Tez’s opinion. However, when I went to show it to her, she was tuckered out and asleep – with a smile on her face.

I assumed that was a confirmation on a perfect day.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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