RV Trip Update Week 15: Okanagan

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When we left Vancouver Island at the end of week 14 we were no longer going West, but instead headed East. It hit me early this week that means that geographically we are now making our travels back to our home in Indiana–and I will admit it left me unsettled for a few days.

At first I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling kind of out of sorts, but then as I was running one morning this week I finally put my finger on it. Now that we are on the route home the adventure we spent almost a year dreaming and planning about is coming to an end and since I am a goal setter that leaves me feeling a bit lost.

I do miss our home in Indiana. And I have loved almost every minute of this amazing trip that we have been blessed to take. I just love having a BIG dream/goal to strive for–and now with just five weeks left of our trip as I write this my soul is in a state of unrest as it desires to know “what next”.

It reminds me of how I felt the moment I crossed the finish line during all three of the 26.2 mile, full marathons I have ran. I would be so excited to finish and yet fighting feelings of unrest, of losing focus, of nakedness.

If you are not a goal setter that probably sounds weird to you and I admit when I just took a second to reread what I wrote I thought it weird too, yet it describes exactly how I feel.

To avoid living my life in circles, I need a new dream goal to strive for before this one comes to an end. So I am talking with my husband and dreaming and praying and hopefully before we step foot on the concrete stairs leading up to our 100+ year old home in Indiana we will have a new crazy wonderful, seemingly impossible, but oh-so-delightful goal to strive for. Because that is how God wired me and my husband.

The cycle usually goes something like this: Hubby comes up with crazy idea. I like it, but don’t see it to be practical. Hubby won’t stop talking about dream and I start to fall in love with it. My realist nature freaks out and grabs my running shoes. I run for miles. God comes beside me while I run reminding me that when you push through fear, sometimes fun memory filled adventures await on the other side. HE shows me that we three could make the crazy idea work and by the time I hit home a plan is hatched. I go home, tell my husband yes, but to make it happen we need to do A, B and then C, and we both go into focus mode, working together to make it happen. It is how my husband and I tango–he gets me dreaming and I get him planning.

But enough contemplation on my strange personality and what makes my marriage work, lets get to the pictures of what we been up to this week.

Week 15 of a 22 week RV road trip. This week we passed through the mountains to the Okanagan.

 

Easter Sunday we made our way from Vancouver to Vernon via the Coquihalla Highway. The highway takes you through mountain passes, many of which are snowcapped all year long. The trip is a pretty one no matter what time of year you travel it.

 

 Week 15 of 22 week RV road trip: Thompson Rivers University (once known as Cariboo College).

We made one brief stop on our travels Sunday to what is now called Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. Back in 1992 my husband and I met each other there. At that time it was called Cariboo College.

In the picture above my husband and I are standing in front of the dorm rooms we lived in the first year we dated. Mine was the one with the hanger in the window, and my husband’s the one with the 3 items in the top window.

We actually met on the top floor of this building in front of a mutual friend’s dorm room, but where we are standing is where our first in-depth conversations were shared, which led to our first date, which led to marriage, which led to three kids and a life that I won’t trade for the world. Oh, I would love to swap a few events out, but who knows how those events shaped me for the better–so perhaps not.

Week 15 of 22 week RV road trip: Kalamalka Lake, Vernon, B.C.

Now, although I am a HUGE ocean gal, I will admit that the lakes in the Okanagan where my husband spent most of his childhood are beautiful too (but the ocean will always have my heart).

I have enjoyed three lakeside runs this week and hope to enjoy a few more this week since we are in the Vernon area for a total of two weeks.

Kalamalka lake was my favorite when we lived here during the beginning of our marriage. I love how the colors of its water change with the seasons.

Week 15 of a 22 week RV road trip. Visit to Davison Orchards only to discover the season had not started yet.

Another family favorite from the five or so years we lived here over 15 years ago is Davison Orchards. I have many a memory of meeting other young moms with their preschoolers, toddlers and babies here. We would spend several hours chatting while the children enjoyed the petting zoo and the playground area. And of course we would always go home with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Unfortunately Davison Orchards isn’t open until the day after we leave Vernon. Somehow we blew by three signs telling us that it was closed and ended up interrupting workers trying to get the place ready for this seasons opening day. Oops! That was slightly embarrassing.

Week 15 of 22 week RV road trip: Kin beach in Vernon B.C.

Since we already had the whole family in the truck that day we decided to save our travels out to that end of town by showing the kids the beach that we took them to several times each summer.

Kin Beach has a long beach area as well as a great playground for young kids. The view of the mountains beyond the lake is pretty nice to stare at too. It was getting chilly by the time we got there so we didn’t stay long. We hope to go back to this particular lake (Okanagan Lake) later this upcoming week with the kids to share a favorite hiking area of ours.

Great read! Love Does by Bob Goff.

My husband’s sister was very generous to us. She took her RV over to her parents and let us empty out ours and take over her home for two weeks.

The kids are enjoying having rooms of their own and so are we. As much as I love having a bedroom with a real door again what I am loving even more is a space to enjoy the quiet of the morning without feeling like I am waking everyone else up.

One morning I sat curled up on the couch reading several chapters of Love Does. This book is a must read for everyone. If you want to make this world a more compassionate place you need to read Love Does.

 

Week 15 of 22 week RV road trip. Kalamalka Lake, Vernon, B.C.

As I stated earlier, I am enjoying Kalamalka Lake views on my morning runs. The area recently added a new trail that gets bikers, runners and walkers closer to the opposite side of the lake than they could before.

It is called the Rail Trail because it is a trail built where the railway tracks use to be. I am thinking if there is time and good temperatures this coming week I might take my bike to it just so I can explore more of it in less time than it takes me to run. The views of the lake as far as I have explored so far are very pretty.

Week 15 of 22 week RV road trip. Pagoda Inn Lumby B.C.

Friday we headed out to Lumby, a town my husband spent several years living just outside of as a child.  He also drove through it many a day when he worked as a forester in the area.

One of his favorite places to stop and pick up dinner for us on his way home from work when we used to live here was the Pagoda Inn. So it was on our must stop and eat at while we are in the area list. It is still just as good as we remembered.

Week 15 of 22 week RV road trip: IDAS Bakery.

IDAS bakery was another “got to stop” spot for our foodie family. My husband spent a good percentage of his personal money at this bakery when he worked as a forester. Oh, my! What you are looking at is a blueberry filled turnover and it was amazing.

We went home with a pie, several butter tarts, sausage rolls, bread, rolls, and a few other yummy treats. We are practicing some self discipline though as it is now Sunday and we will still have several items left. However, I have eaten cherry pie for breakfast the last two mornings–but that has to be better for you than an overly processed pop tart…right?

Week 15 of 22 week RV road trip: Shuswap Falls, Lumby B.C.

After filling up on sugary pastries we headed out to see the Shuswap Falls. I had never been and neither had our daughter. Our boys went with their dad when they were really small, but they didn’t remember it.

Week 15 of 22 week RV road trip: Mabel Lake, Lumby, B.C.

Once we were through exploring the falls we headed to Mabel Lake. The lake was so calm when we got there that it made the perfect mirror reflecting the clouds in the sky and the forest covered hills that make up its shoreline.

If you ever pass through the Okanagan I highly suggest heading out to Mabel Lake, the other lakes in the area will really seem plain Jane once you see the beauty of Mabel Lake.

This week we plan to visit with more friends and family as well as share a bit more of the area with our children.

Come back next Monday to see what we got up to this week.

Join me on Instagram for daily updates. I am doing my best to post one photo update a day on Facebook too.

First time hearing about our trip? You can catch up on our all our trip updates on the RV trip page.

 

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10 Simple Ways To Earn Gift Cards With Swagbucks

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Want to earn gift cards each month without spending hours on the computer doing it? Swagbucks can help you do just that. Swagbucks offers many simple ways to earn SB points that you can cash in for gift cards. Some of the ways to earn are for things you probably do online now without earning a cent–like online shopping and web searches.

10 simple ways to earn gift cards with Swagbucks. Earn gift cards each month doing things you already do online.

10 Simple Ways To Earn Gift Cards With Swagbucks

I have written several Swagbucks plans in the past, such as How To Get $25 Each Month To Spend On Cool Summer Treats Using Swagbucks, and although they are helpful to my readers they do get outdated pretty fast since Swagbucks is continually changing how many SB points they offer for each way to earn points as well as adding new ways to earn and getting rid of others.

So today I want to concentrate on the different ways to earn Swagbucks and let you decide which ones work for you and which ones you simply want to pass on. Depending on just how many ways to earn you implement you could earn anywhere from $10 to $25 or more with Swagbucks (I have some readers that tell me they earn $100 each month with Swagbucks)

What I suggest you do is first sign up for a Swagbucks account, and then set aside a good 30 minutes to explore each and every area of the Swagbucks homepage (on your laptop or desktop computer) including those areas explained below, and then decided which ones you think you could easily fit into your daily online habits.

1. Perform Web Searches

Swagbucks offers random SB points for web searches done through either their SwagButton or home page. You can currently download their web button to the web browser of your choice by scrolling down your Swagbucks homepage to the bottom where you will see the “Swagbucks” heading, under it is written “extension” there you will find all the information you need about the SwagButton.

These random winnings can add up significantly depending on how often you search, even though they are generally only 5 SB to 25 SB each time.

2. Shop Online

Swagbucks offers cash back in the form of SB points for online purchases at a wide variety of stores. All you need to do to earn it is to have the SwagButton installed on your web browser.

The SwagButton will automatically notify you if the website you are visiting offers cash back for shopping. If it does, then you can activate the Swagbucks Shop & Earn opportunities with the click of a button, right from the store’s website.

If you prefer not to download the SwagButton you can still earn cash back through Swagbucks by going to their homepage and entering the store you want to shop at into the search area. If the store of your choice does offer cash back through Swagbucks, you will see a box pop up that says “shop now” with the percentage of the cash back you will earn listed below.

Join Swagbucks!
3. Do The Daily Poll

Scroll down your Swagbucks homepage and you will find a “to do list”. Under it you will find “Daily Poll”. Click on it and then answer the poll question and earn one SB. Super quick and simple!

4. Enter Swag Codes

Swag Codes can be entered into the Swag code box found at the top of your Swagbucks home page. They are usually just a few SB points each but every little bit adds up and this point earning action is so quick and simple.

If you have the SwagButton you will receive special Swag Code notices through it. Simply copy and paste the Swag Code into the Swag Code box to get your SB points. You can get more Swag Codes through liking and following the Swagbucks page on Facebook or following them on Twitter.

Join Swagbucks!
  5. Play Games

Hit the “play” tab found on the side of your Swagbucks home page and scroll down to the bottom of it. There you will find the free to play Swagbuck games that do not have in app purchases, yet offer SB points when you play them.

6. Answer Surveys

Answering surveys can be very time consuming, but they are usually full of  “few brain cells required” questions so you can easily multitask them. You could do them while watching TV, or sipping your morning coffee.

What I like about the survey section of Swagbucks is that it they provide a time estimate of how long the survey should take to complete. This really helps you pick the surveys that match the time you have available.

Join Swagbucks!
7. Scroll Through Featured Offers

Featured offers are found under the “discover” tab on your Swagbucks homepage. These change fairly frequently, meaning you can usually find one or two simple offers each week or so that don’t require too much time and effort to complete.

8. Use The Apps

You can find the complete listing of apps that offer SB points when you scroll down to the bottom of your Swagbucks homepage under the heading “Swagbucks”.

Many of these apps contain short video clips that you receive SB points for watching. I haven’t used these in a while, but when I did I noticed that you could simply get the videos running and then check on the phone every few minutes to make sure they were going. Providing the app doesn’t pause, you could earn the daily limit with very little effort.

Join Swagbucks!
9. Buy Gift Cards

Scroll down your Swagbucks homepage and under the heading “Ways To Earn” you will find a link to MyGiftCardsPlus. Click on it and you will be taken to the the MyGiftCardsPlus website where you can earn a SB point cash back on gift cards (electronic ones).

This is a way to stack the discounts as you can buy a gift card at MyGiftCardsPlus and earn SB points through your purchase and then when you go to use your gift card, you can earn more SB points if your store is offered in the Swagbucks Shop & Earn program.

10. Refer Friends

Once you get the hang of earning Swagbucks and are hooked on earning gift cards each and every month doing things you already do online as well as other simple no brainer ways to earn you are going to want to share Swagbucks with your friends.

When you do, make sure to use the handy referral link that Swagbucks gives you in the “refer and earn” section found at the top of your Swagbucks home page. When you do you will be rewarded. Currently Swagbucks gives you 10% of your friends’ earnings for life!

If you are already a Swagbucks member, what is your favorite way to earn SB points? Share it with me in the comments section.

Use my referral link to sign up for Swagbucks | Snail Pace Transformations

If you are not already a Swagbucks member click the button to sign up.

 

 

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RV Trip Update Week 14: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

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It was really hard to narrow down the pictures to just 10 that best represent what we saw this week. Mostly because during the first half of the week we saw as many as 10 different sites in one day.

Ordinarily we go out and explore just one place each day–two is usually tops. But being in my childhood region of the Comox Valley made me want to see so much more. I wanted to see if my childhood homes still looked the same, if my schools had changed, if my favorite beaches were still as beautiful as I remembered, and I wanted to share each and every spot with my family.

Luckily most of the parks and beaches were tiny and close together so it didn’t take long to see several of them each day. By the end of the three days I had seen all I wanted to see in the area and we still had several hours a day of down time in the RV.

Now lets dig into what we got up to this week.

RV Trip: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

Monday morning the sun broke through the clouds and I knew exactly what place I wanted to show my family first–Goose Spit. Not actual goose spit (just in case you were confused), but a beach called Goose Spit.

That is it there in the picture above. It is essentially a small strip of land with a beach on each side. The beach on the outside of the strip of land was my favorite beach to swim at as a child. The water there gets deep really fast.

I ended up going out to the Goose Spit several times during our three full days in the Comox Valley as it has a good running path down to it.

RV Trip: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

Another place I wanted to show the family was Condensory Bridge. You see I always talk about how I was a wee bit of a daredevil at times as a teenager and how I once jumped off a bridge–this would be the one. I promise the water is much deeper than it looks when you get out to the middle of the river and my friends and I got someone to check its depth before we jumped.

Now there are signs on either side of the bridge that say, “Do not jump from bridge,” so I am guessing my friends and I were not the only ones to jump off this bridge in the summer time.  I swear those signs were not there all those years ago or I never would have done it–I said I was a wee bit of a daredevil not a rebel. And I also want to let you know that my 43 year old self thinks that my 16 year old self lacked common sense. No way would I consider jumping off it now nor would I let my kids!

 

RV Trip: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

I also took my family to many a bakery in the area including the Cumberland Village Bakery pictured above. Freshly made baked goods is the number one food I miss in Indiana. Perhaps other Indiana towns have good bakeries but ours does not, although it does have a good  fresh doughnut shop.

It is probably better for my figure that they don’t though as I think I put on several pounds while on Vancouver Island due to  DAILY indulging in one item from a local bakery. Hopefully my goal of training for a fall half marathon will help me take those off once we return home.

 

RV Trip: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

Something I had completely forgotten about my hometown is that the Snowbirds practice there. Several times during the week we were treated to our own air show. I tried to get a picture of them in formation in the air but they move really quick so in every shot they are either blurry or look like tiny birds.

When I saw this one mounted in front of the local tourist information center I asked my husband to stop so I could take a picture to remember them by.

Later in the week we went to the Comox Air Force Museum and in there we were able to read up on all sorts of interesting facts about the history of the Snowbirds in Canada. The museum was by donation and is well worth the stop if you ever happen to visit the Comox Valley area.

RV Trip: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

On the last full day in the Comox Valley I decided I wanted to see some sites that I had never been to see during my 18 years of growing up on Vancouver Island. So we headed to Englishman Falls (that is the upper fall pictured above) as well as Little Qualicum Falls and wouldn’t you know it when I asked the children what was their favorite site from our three days in the area all three said the falls.

I LOVED them too! They were especially pretty because in April they are at their height as far as water flow goes. The roar of the rushing water was incredible!

RV Trip: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

Wednesday we pulled out of Comox Valley and headed back to Nanaimo to spend one more night with my sister and her family before leaving Vancouver Island for Vancouver.

She treated us to an early Easter dinner complete with a 3 layer Easter cake full of chocolate eggs—yum!

RV Trip: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

Around 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning we made our way down to Departure Bay in Nanaimo to catch the ferry to Horseshoe Bay. We were planning on catching the 10:30 ferry, but we got to drive right onto the 9:30 one since they had room still.

This gained us a bit more time in Vancouver. We decided to use it to treat the kids to dinner in Gastown at the Old Spaghetti Factory. One of our three kids loves Italian and we figured we had allowed the burger loving child to try out several burger chains so it was only fair to let the Italian loving child try out a new to them Italian restaurant in a historical area of Vancouver.

RV Trip: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

Before dinner we took in the steam powered clock that stands in the Gastown area. During our time in the area we got to hear the long song it makes on the hour and the much smaller song it makes on the half hour.

This clock, along with several other sites we saw this week, seemed much smaller than I remembered–but I am guessing that is because I am much bigger than when I last saw them.

RV Trip: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

Friday we decided to let the kids sleep in and then enjoy an early lunch in the RV before heading to the Stanley Park Aquarium. That was probably a mistake as it was Good Friday so it seemed like half of Vancouver had decided to do exactly what we did.

However, the Stanley Park Seawall walk was not as busy and allowed our family to enjoy the views of Vancouver from afar.

Pictured above is the Lions Gate Bridge. I remember as a child thinking this bridge was HUGE. Now that I have seen the Golden Gate Bridge it seems to have shrunk. But as I said above a lot of what I saw this week seems to have done the same thing so I am guessing seeing things through adult eyes shrinks things I have only seen with child eyes up until now.

RV Trip: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

And this morning (Saturday) we finished off our week of exploring with a trip to Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge and trail to Twin Falls.

This suspension bridge is still 100% free to visit unlike the Capilano Suspension Bridge in the Vancouver area, which charges over $30 per person for you to walk over it. It is true that the Lynn Valley bridge is smaller, but with five people it would have cost us over $170 just to walk the Capilano one and we all felt that a few more feet of bridge wouldn’t have changed the experience enough to make it worth that price.

(psst… I am loving the Canvas sling bag you see me wearing in the picture above; it fits my cannon rebel perfectly as well as my iPhone 5C, a bottle of water, my wallet and any other day hiking essentials I need)

Sunday we are driving to the Okanagan Valley in the interior of British Columbia where my husband’s family lives. So by the time you read this Monday morning we will be there.

Come back next Monday to see what we got up to this week.

Join me on Instagram for daily updates. I am doing my best to post one photo update a day on Facebook too.

First time hearing about our trip? You can catch up on our all our trip updates on the RV trip page.

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