January 5, 2016
It all started in the summer of 1995; it was supposed to be a memorable trip. After years of working hard--without taking a break for ourselves--my husband and I had the chance to take three days off together. We decided to take our car and drive to Penticton (about 400 kilometers away from home, and roughly a 4 hour drive). Nothing could have stopped us or changed our minds about our plans.
Even though it was only for a short time, we were quite excited by our mini holiday. As the day approached, we agreed to leave early, beat the traffic, and try to make the most out of our few days.
Just as we were leaving, I felt a pleasant breeze blow on my face, and saw the clouds were slowly building up in the sky. As soon as we hit the road, the sky quickly darkened into heavy dark clouds, rain began to fall, and the smell of fresh rain filled the air. It didn’t take long until it started pouring. The rain drops were pounding on top of our car; it seemed that the rain was going to find its way through.
Soon enough, the heavy rain made driving almost impossible, and we couldn’t take our eyes off the road for a second. It was that moment when my husband thought we had a flat tire.My husband gradually pulled over, hoping that we were wrong. Unfortunately, one of the front tires was flat and needed to be replaced right away. Since it was raining hard, we wouldn’t be able to replace the tire on the road. Luckily, we were a few kilometers away from Manning Park, so we slowly drove the car there and waited a couple hours until the rain stopped.
While we were waiting for the rain to end, we had a chance to explore the park for the first time. We were quite fascinated by the wild life found in the area, mainly by the chipmunks. We felt that they had invited us into their worlds merely for the cost of food. It didn’t seem those little guys were scared of having us humans around. They were playfully coming near us, standing on their tiny little paws, and feasting on the pita bread we were offering them.
While they were nibbling on their food, the rain slowly began to stop, and it was time for us to fix the tire, say goodbye to the chipmunks, and hit the road.We were sad leaving our tiny friends behind; at the same time, we were also excited that we were finally going to reach our final destination and hoping that nothing more would block our way. As we were getting closer to Penticton, my heart was dancing with joy and happiness, and I felt like the city of Penticton was waiting for us with open arms by the entrance.
Even though we came across many obstacles throughout the day, I was thrilled that we made it through a day safely. After many years passed, it still amazes me how our day of frustration and agony changed to one of the most memorable and unforgettable times of our lives. Since that year, Manning Park has become one of our favorite places to go for family vacations.