The Happiness Project: Adventure

I tend to play it safe and lead a kind of boring life so I thought a month of adventures would be fantastic and my friends were more than happy to comply. 

We started the month by going away for the long weekend on a wine trip to the Okanagan. I can’t even express how excited I was for this. I grew up in the Okanagan but since I moved away from the interior when I was nineteen, I never got to experience all the wonderful wineries and tasting rooms. This was the year we were finally going to change that. Myself and three friends did a 4 day trip over labour day long weekend and went to 29 different wineries and 4 different distilleries. Friday was Summerland and the Naramata bench and then we went back to the hotel for a dip in the pool before we went for dinner. Saturday we covered Penticton and Okanagan Falls as well as doing the market. That evening we ended up in a lovely little pub where karaoke was happening. Sunday was Oliver, and I got drunk off red wine (oops?) before we headed to a friend’s place in Naramata for dinner. Monday was Osoyoos and then we headed home. I learned a couple of things over the weekend as well. Before this, I had no idea that winery dogs were a thing and I was so happy to discover this. I can’t remember how many of them there was or what all their breeds and names were but I got to pet A LOT of dogs so I was very happy. I also discovered my love of a couple of wines I didn’t know I loved. Apparently I really like Syrahs and Viogniers. It was so lovely to get to see parts of my province that I hadn’t really seen before and it was even lovelier to get away for a few days. Between good wine, great friends, good food, beautiful views, and amazing winery dogs, it was an all-around great weekend. 

The beauty of adventure is it doesn’t necessarily need to be a big trip like the wine trip was. Sometimes adventures can just be little things in the everyday. Not long after the wine trip, my girlfriend was coming over for a wine and pizza night that led to an accidental adventure. She told me she was going to pay for the pizza but she only had too big of a bill for delivery. So instead we decided to go pick it up since Panago isn’t that far from my apartment. So we get halfway there and realize that Angela left the money back at my place. At that point, we didn’t want to turn back so she said we could pay for it with her credit card and we kept going. When we got there we discovered that they had messed one of our pizzas up so they offered to give us one for free and make us a new one. While we were waiting, the bright sunny sky turned into pouring rain and naturally we didn’t have any umbrellas with us. So Angela decided to call a cab on her phone and when she couldn’t get an answer, she decided to call another one on my phone as well. After waiting on the phone with two cab companies for over half an hour, the rain started to let up enough that we decided to give up and book it back to my place. I mean, I would’ve walked from the get-go, but I can’t deny that this made for a better story.  I also argue that the pizza was extra worth it by the time we got to my place, warmed it up in the oven, and finally got to eat it. 

Work in itself was a little bit of an adventure this month. We were an office of three people and my coworker just moved to Edmonton and my boss went off to get married and go on her honeymoon. Luckily we did hire someone before they both left but I was still going to be holding down the fort more or less by myself. That didn’t worry me too much since I’ve handled it before and I know what I’m doing at work. However, there was going to be an event while my boss was gone and I was going to have to handle a table by myself. We have a funding partners program at work where we fund projects that focus on women going into STEM careers and one of those projects was a film screening of four short films about women in science. I’m a pretty anxious person so the idea that I was going to have to sit at a table and tell people who we are and what we do all by myself terrified me. I survived though. I had a really good time watching the films and I even networked with people at the table. The scariest part was during the q and a session when someone asked how we can encourage women and girls to go into STEM careers and I was handed a microphone because that is exactly the mission statement of the non-profit I work for. I think I answered it pretty well and I didn’t pass out in front of a room full of people, so hey, big win for Alicen!

I don’t know if anyone else would consider this an adventure or not but I got to go to a lot of things this month which I consider adventures. I went to Bard on the Beach twice for both Shakespeare in Love and Taming of the Shrew and both were lovely. I’m a big Shakespeare fan and a fan of live theatre so I’m always eager to go to Bard. I also ended up going to the White Caps charity soccer game for the second year in a row. For those of you who know me, you know that sports aren’t my thing at all, but a friend invited me and we had a good time anyway. This month was also the beginning of the Broadway Across Canada season and the first show was Rent. I personally really enjoyed it because I’m familiar with the show, but I know others that were less than thrilled because there was a lot of sound issues and sometimes you couldn’t hear what the actors were singing or saying over the music. 

Another thing that happened this month was a surprise birthday party for a friend. He and his wife live in Powell River (which is two ferries away from where I live so that was a whole adventure in itself) so a group of us went over to surprise Peter for his 40th birthday. It was so nice having him show us around the town and give us his version of a tour. I love all the random little facts he’d throw in whenever we went anywhere. It was also just so nice to see the two of them because I really miss them. Plus, I got to hang out with their cats. Another mini-adventure that happened during the weekend was I went mini-golfing for the first time and I even got a hole in one! Now, I’m not saying I’m good, I’m definitely terrible at it, but I had a lot of fun which is what matters. We also went to a market and a few thrift stores and I definitely came home with even more yarn and some new clothes. 

I’m not going to get too into this right now because I’m going to elaborate next month, but I’ll tease you a little bit first. Next month I’m launching a passion project (how appropriate for passion month of my happiness project) but this month I got to do all the research for it which was quite the adventure and also made me very happy. I won’t say anything else except that there might be makeup involved. 

I made a big decision this year. I decided to get rats. I’ve been wanting to get pets for ages, and rats were my best option. My roommate isn’t allergic to them like he is cats. They’re smaller and less work than dogs–not to mention they’d actually fit in my apartment, unlike a dog. They’re small, cute, affectionate… And it’s something for me to take care of. So that is going to be an adventure in itself that carries on longer than just adventure month. 

Join me again next month where my theme will be “passion”. You can find the full list of all the wineries and distilleries we went to, here: 

Summerland:
Alchemist Distiller
8th Generation Vineyard

Naramata Bench:
Legend Distilling
Van Westen Vineyards
Lake Breeze Vineyards
Moraine Estate Winery
Lock&Worth Winery
Ruby Blues Winery
La Frenz Winery
Poplar Grove Winery
Monster Vineyards

Penticton/OK Falls:
Pentage
Crescent Hill
Blasted Church Vineyards
Liquidity Wines
Blue Mountain
See Ya Later Ranch
Nighthawk Vineyards
The Dubh Glas Distillery

Oliver:
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Desert Hills Estate Winery
Platinum Bench Estate Winery
Maverick Estate Winery
Kismet Estate Winery
Rust Wine Co
Road 13 Vineyards
Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery
Intersection Estate Winery
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Oliver Twist Estate Winery

Osoyoos:
Nk’mip Cellars
Moon Curser Vineyards
Tumbleweed Spirits

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