Bear Creek Waterfall

If you are curious as to why I am posting August photos during the peak of winter, I must confess that I had forgotten about them until now. Nonetheless, I find these to be rather comforting as I stare out of my window at the glow of the street lamps shining upon the snow. The changing of the seasons is a magical concept. It’s hard to believe that in only four months we will be out in shorts and t-shirts again. I must remind myself of this so that I may appreciate the wonderful aspects of winter before it is too late.

These photos were taken on our hike up Bear Creek to the Waterfall. This experience was without a doubt one of my favourite memories of the summer, even with the freezing water, scraped knees from climbing and stubbed toes from slipping… Still so worth it.

I think it will become a yearly tradition.

5th Annual Lillegard Festival

Over the past years, it seems like I was always either working or out of town during the Lillegard Festival…

Except this summer.

Attending the event for the first time had extra significance for me since it was also an opportunity to reunite with old friends after living in the big T.O. for a year.

Here are a few photos that I took during the weekend-long event. Many of my friends are talented musicians, so feel free to click on some of the photos to check out their sound.

Lillegard FestivalDSC_0015ppi300DSC_0031ppi300DSC_0064ppi300DSC_0040ppi300DSC_0101ppi300DSC_0093ppi300DSC_0149ppi300DSC_0073ppi300DSC_0239ppi300DSC_0235ppi300DSC_0206ppi300DSC_0205ppi300DSC_0252ppi300DSC_0315ppi300

Bird Sanctuary

KelownaKelownaDSC_0058KelownaKelownaKelownaDSC_0036DSC_0037DSC_0053

During the month of March I was blessed with the opportunity to spend a week in Kelowna for a couple of photography jobs. I was welcomed by these great friends and was taken to one of my favourite nature spots in the city: the bird sanctuary. Smelling the fresh air, admiring the lake, and being with these beautiful souls created a perfect moment. It felt so good to be home.

A Day Trip to Penticton In Good Company

DSC_0188

Stopping for iced lattes at Bliss Bakery in Peachland

Before moving away, I had the opportunity to take a short road trip along the Okanagan lake with my dear friend Megan. Since doggy Levi loves car rides and swimming, we decided to bring her along and make the beach in Penticton our destination. DSC_0282 DSC_0273 When passing through Peachland and Summerland, the highway was decorated in more fruit stands than I can count on my two hands. We made a stop at Little Acres which has everything you could ever want: ice cream, maple syrup, local fruits and vegetables, homemade apple juice and hot sauce, and a magnificent view of the lake. DSC_0313 DSC_0335 It was Megan’s nineteenth birthday two days ago. We met in grade seven and have since become great friends. Together, we have enjoyed the good times and suffered through the lesser ones in high school and during our first year of university. We have survived the power of change for six years, and there is no doubt we will stay friends through this big move. Honestly, are those not the nicest eyes you have ever seen? DSC_0431 DSC_0432 Here’s a little video!

Bean Scene Coffee Works

Bean Scene 274 Bernard Ave, Kelowna

Bean Scene
274 Bernard Ave, Kelowna

A hidden fissure along Bernard Avenue; one will easily walk past without giving the coffee house any attention. However, anyone who sets foot inside will most likely fall in love at first sight or at first sip.

Every coffee shop has its regulars –those clients that visit often enough to be recognized  by the baristas and perhaps even called by name– but only once have I seen regulars that drop by so routinely as to get to know one another in addition to the employees. It is no surprise that this is a common sight at Bean Scene, who gives customers every reason to come back.

Great decor, art, and overall vibe.

Great decor, art, and overall vibe.

In North America, coffee shops are a common meeting place and hang out destination. This means that furnishing and decor should be given important attention. As shown it the picture above, Bean Scene has taken this into consideration when creating a inviting and cozy setting to enjoy a coffee and good company. The beautifully decaying wood floors and brick walls are an homage to antiquity and a homely welcome to customers. The soft lighting creates warmth while the diversified artwork pleases the eyes and promotes creativity. Most importantly, the seating is comfortable. It is true that the couches above are not only fashionable but also conveniently pleasant to sit on, which is the most important.

Decor is certainly critical, but it can not keep customers coming back if the coffee is not of good repute.  It is called a coffee shop after all. The ultimate strategy to diagnosing a respectable coffee house from a mediocre one is simple: ask for a cappuccino. If you are asked to pick a size –usually between 12 oz, 16 oz and 20 oz– and are given the equivalent of an overly foamy latte, you are sitting in an amateur coffee shop. A traditional cappuccino should be served in a 7 to 10 oz cup, with approximately half of it being espresso and the rest steamed milk.

Benjamin drinking a traditional 10 oz cappuccino.

Benjamin drinking a traditional 10 oz cappuccino.

Now with every worthy topic comes various opinions by various people of various expertise. I would not go about calling myself a coffee specialist as I have much to learn, but I wish to share my background, so that you may determine how seriously  (or lightly) you wish to consider my opinion.

Thanks to my open-to-experiences coffee-loving mother, I drank my first Starbucks Vanilla Soy Latte when I was twelve. If you have ever drank anything from Starbucks, you know that they make their drinks ridiculously sweet unless specified otherwise. My tastebuds were enthralled with the first sip, which helped me form a positive opinion on coffee. My passion for it began to grow when I was fifteen and hired at a coffee shop. I quickly got sick of overly sweet, specialty drinks as the sugar distracts from the taste of the coffee. I began focusing on the basics. I loved learning about coffee, and I now find it easy to tell an evil shot from a heavenly one as I have drank so many bitter espresso shots (mostly my own when training at the coffee bar). I am now eighteen and I have worked in three different cafes in the last three years, I have over one hundred volunteer hours at my hospital’s coffee stand, and I still love to read and learn about coffee. I especially love to drink it.

You can always find latte art on Bean Scene's cappuccinos.

You can always find latte art on Bean Scene’s cappuccinos.

To me, a worthy cappuccino is just like the ones offered at Bean Scene. It is served in a 10 oz cup that is preheated with hot water before pouring the espresso shots, followed by the formation of latte art with velvety micro foam. Latte art is not a necessary step to a good drink, but a clear distinction between the steamed milk and crema on the surface of the drink is always a good indication that the cappuccino will taste honourably. I apologize if the terms I just mentioned were jargon to you and I hope that it will inspire you to learn more about coffee. It’s easy.

In any case, may I suggest that even if you disagree with my opinion on the ideal cappuccino(I respect critical thinkers!), you should still go down to Bean Scene and try one for yourself. Perhaps you will feel inclined to leave a reply to this post.

Who is in the photos?

Benjamin is my respectable uncle who is currently living in Paris, France. He shares my love of coffee and I was thrilled to take him to Bean Scene (274 Bernard Ave Kelowna) and hear his thoughts on the place. He approves.