Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

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Clsmum
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Re: Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

Post by Clsmum » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:32 pm

You know, this is a very good point and I should also have said something about it earlier.

When you are in Merritt, to reach Kelowna you will have to drive over what is called "The Connector".
Now this is a beautiful road for scenery, when the weather is nice. And we are having very warm and lovely weather now.

However, because it is a HIGH MOUNTAIN PASS; WARNING: WEATHER CHANGES; CARRY CHAINS (the signs are like this!), weather can be vastly different from the weather in Kelowna (much colder). Last year on the May long weekend (around the 24th of May) I hit a blizzard (snow storm) driving the Connector, though it was late in the evening. It definitely is something to think about.

I have only driven from Merritt to Kamloops one time, but this is also a mountain road. Both are good highways, though, with multi-lanes.

If you stay in Vernon, you will NOT be in the mountains when you drive to either Kelowna or Kamloops. This is also a scenic drive in both directions.

I believe you would be better off staying in Vernon than Merritt. The bonus would be that you would also be seeing Vernon, Oyama, Winfield, Armstrong, Enderby and any other small communities in between.

I'm not trying to be critical of your choice of Merritt, just trying to be helpful, because there are some things you can't tell when you are looking at a map!

Best of luck with your trip.



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4d32ftw
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Re: Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

Post by 4d32ftw » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:43 am

I kinda agree, there is very little between Merrit and Kamloops or the other way to Kelowna.
but thats part of the fun. and you can always do a loop, of merritt to kelowna then back up the other way through veron to kamloops to merritt

but if your not in a rush take highway5a to kamloops from merritt as its more a winding road that passes lakes and is prettier than highway 1.

the roads can be fun, but with the weather we have now i cant really see many if any issues on the roads.



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Clsmum
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Re: Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

Post by Clsmum » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:02 am

<the roads can be fun, but with the weather we have now i cant really see many if any issues on the roads.>>

Hmmmm....I have to respectfully disagree.
The Coquihalla highway can have weather issues at ANY time of the year. The Connector as well, although usually July and August should be safe.

One of my worst experiences driving the Coquihalla was at the end of June one year. That area that is known to be bad, around where the toll booths used to be. Couldn't see a thing through the fog and rain, and this was in full "daylight".

It is just a "heads up" to people who may not have might driving experience in winter conditions, especially on mountain roads. I've dealt with snow all my life (except for my years living in the UK) and it still freaks me here, what with mountains.

But as you say, it is more likely that the weather will be good as well as driving conditions.



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Nigel123
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Re: Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

Post by Nigel123 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:36 pm

Did the round trip Kelowna to Vancouver and back on Wednesday. Dropping someone off at airport.
Anyway i agree that the connector and the Coquihalla need to be respected. Yes they can be perfect but weather can and does change rapidly up there.
As we were driving to Vancouver, middle of day the weather suddenly changed from sunny and 13 degrees to thick fog/low cloud and 1 degree on the Coquihalla.
Returning in the evening it dropped to 1 degree on the connector for quite some way but by the time we reached Westbank it was 14 degrees. (This was late evening)
Had an accident on the connector 2 years ago on black ice even though the roads looked fine so i am always weary now and my Dodge now has an outside temp gadget which is very useful.



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5 fields
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Re: Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

Post by 5 fields » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:19 am

Thankyou very much for that info - yes you can't see that problem on a map. Think we may change our accomodation to Vernon. Thanks again we leave the u.k on Sunday so better get on with it!!



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Clsmum
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Re: Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

Post by Clsmum » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:52 am

Hi 5Fields,

Hope your packing up for your trip goes well. I remember this type of thing, fortunately my 3 are a bit older now, so it is somewhat easier!

At this time of year, you should have no problem with deciding on your accommodation "on the spot". You won't need to have reservations in advance. If you have thought of a couple of places in advance, just drive up and have a look at them. When we do this, I just think of the major chains that I can trust, like Holiday Inn, Best Western, The Sandman, etc. BTW, you know that kids are always free in hotels here, right? If your 3 will sleep in one bed (as ours did) we always used to just say 2 kids, as it made it easier checking in for some places. Holiday Inn Express always includes a free breakfast.

So if you stay one night in Merritt, you can then drive to Kamloops and decide how many nights you want to spend there and then leave for Vernon or Kelowna.

We've had great weather and I keep forgetting that it is still April. However, things can change at this time of year, and today and yesterday have much cooler temperatures and actually a bit of rain (yea!!!) and a bit of wind. (Kelowna rarely has wind, except beside the lake). My hubby said it was just like a summer day in Northern Ireland and he was freezing, but my daughter still wore shorts and a tank top to school.

The temperature always drops down at night here and there could easily have been snow on the Connector last night, as it was just above freezing in town. So drive carefully, I know you will because you have a family.



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5 fields
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Re: Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

Post by 5 fields » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:32 am

Thanks for that. Yes almost packed trying to travel light !! We have been trying to book a hotel or B&B in Vernon and not having much look. There are Hotels available in Kelowna at around $600 dollars for 5 nights is that a good rate ? Yes we don't need 5 beds we have a travel cot anyway for our 2 year old. Were used to travelling we went to Australia last year for 4 weeks and went on 8 Aeroplanes and lived out of suit cases for most of the trip. I'm just a bit worried because we only have 1 week and we want to see as much as possible as we have a huge decision to make when we get home !! Because were not 100% decided on living in the Okanagan Region - probably Kelowna or a place nearer to Vancouver city we really need to cram in as much as possible. How an earth do you decide ????? Decisions, decisions
Thanks Maria



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Clsmum
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Re: Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

Post by Clsmum » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:13 am

HI Maria,

Yes, I would say that $600 for 5 nights is a good price. Most hotels here would have two Queen size beds on offer for a family, and that is how we always travelled with our three. My youngest, would often be stubborn and sleep on the floor, that was her preference!!

There are big differences between living in the Okanagan and Vancouver. Many people from all over Canada (and elsewhere in the world) choose to move to the Okanagan, and Kelowna in particular. People who have enough money and can pick anywhere in Canada to live. So that tells you something.

My daughter's best friendthese past two years is just "parked" here--her step-Dad is Canadian and is working in the Middle East while her Mom and her (who have Angolan passports) are parked here long enough to get their Canadian citizenship. They could live anywhere they choose, but he picked here without any other connection to the area (no family, etc, no work).

For this reason, Kelowna has grown massively in the past 15 years and housing prices went up a lot, too. But there is also tons of things for kids to do, no worries about not enough clubs or activities for your family. I was in awe of what was offered here, for such a low population place, in terms of sports and stuff for kids and youth. Pick up the Rec Centre brochure and you will see what I mean. Almost any sport is available at really reasonable prices. There is also a thriving arts and cultural scene. My second son has been active in Music and won several awards. The University is thriving and growing in both numbers and prestige.

The lower Mainland area (closer to Vancouver) would be completely different in terms of weather (rain all the time) and traffic.

Anyhow, I've got to go and drive my son (not great bus service where we live). Hope this helps and I am happy to answer any questions.



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5 fields
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Re: Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

Post by 5 fields » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:46 pm

Hi all
Thanks for your info on the "connector" and weather changing. We took your advice and are booked in at the Holiday inn express, Kelowna. We leave our home in a few hours and head to Gatwick airport. Were very excited the kids are wild !!
Thanks again
Maria



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Clsmum
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Re: Kamloops ??? any good for young family ??

Post by Clsmum » Sat May 01, 2010 11:24 am

Hope your trip goes well!

Not sure if you will be checking internet while you are away. But I noticed that the pool was closed at the Holiday Inn during your visit. That happened to us on a trip once, and it really ruined it for our kids who were looking forward to it.

Ask for a discount due to this. Or ask for a pass to go to the nearby Best Western with its waterslide.

The Parkinson Recreation Centre has a nice pool and also has a separate kiddy pool which is perfect for a two year old with Mum or Dad within reach. We loved this place, it just has a nice "vibe" and is so family friendly. Also has family change rooms. Admission for a family for open swim is only $9. It is on Harvey Avenue, not far from the Holiday Inn, about a five minute drive.

You may also see playgrounds in schoolyards. You are perfectly welcome to use these at any time for the kids to use up some of their energy. Lunch is fairly early at schools here, 11:30 or so. Outside of that time the playgrounds won't be too busy.

Take a drive around South east Kelowna. Once you've seen that neighbourhood you will want to move here for sure! We don't live there, decided it was too long a drive for day in, day out, but it has such a rural charm.

It is a nice drive from Kelowna through Vernon to Kamloops. If you have time or the inclination, it is really pretty from Vernon to Sicamous and on to Revelstoke. Around Mara Lake......heavenly. Salmon Arm is also nice and you could do the longer route to Kamloops going through Salmon Arm and Sorrento, but I'm not sure how much farther that is, maybe too much when you have young kids.



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