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Kamloops Trip: Denny’s – Breakfast

While in Kamloops, we had breakfast at Denny’s. It was the only restaurant we could find nearby which is opened that early. Anyway, Arkensen loves any breakfasts which has hash browns. When we were there, the restaurant were practically empty.

Did you know that Denny’s is largest full service family restaurant in North America? In Canada British Columbia, you can find Denny’s in almost every city and town.

Denny's Restaurant

We sat down and ordered 2 coffees ($3.98 each) and 2 frothy hot chocolates ($2.80 each). There are free refills for the coffee.

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Since 1977, when the Grand Slam Breakfast is introduced, it has been a very popular breakfast at Denny’s. I ordered the ultimate Grand Slam — the Extreme Grand Slam Breakfast. This consist of bacon, hash browns, sausages and a choice of eggs. The price, $8.59

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The Grand Slam also comes with pancakes, soft and fluffy. Made to perfection. Yummy.

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Well, as long as there is hash browns, Arkensen will order that. So, he got the Sausage Slam Breakfast with sunny-side up eggs, sausages, and of course hash browns. Looks like a lot of food for a 12 year old, don’t you think? Anyway, Suanne who did not have an order for her own taxed everyone else’s plates. The Sausage Slam Breakfast costs $8.59.

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Nanzaro ordered Jr French Toastix which costs $3.69. Wow, a piece of toast and a sausage for $3.69? Way over priced if you ask me.

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The total bill came up to $34, including tips. We enjoyed the breakfast, no doubt about it. The restaurant was cozy and the service was great. Well, $34 is not something we would normally want to spend on breakfasts.

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Kamloops Trip: Adams River Salmon Run

This year is what is known as a dominant-year of the salmon spawning run in the Adams River. During the dominant-year, there are substantial returns of Salmon to their spawning grounds which runs into millions. The dominant-year happens every four years (2002, 2006, 2010 …) occurring in October. Every year, the Salute to the Salmon Festival runs for about 3 weeks.

We stayed in Kamloops overnight. Kamloops is the largest town near Adams River. The first stop when we got there was the Visitor Centre, where we picked up the brochures and information about Adams River and Kamloops. Outside the Visitor Centre was a sculpture of the Sockeye Salmon.

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The Adams River salmon consists primarily of the Sockeye species. When we got there, we see a lot of birds feasting on the dead salmon. You see, Salmon are born in fresh water, migrates to the sea and after four years, they return to the very same stream to spawn and die.

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The Adams River Salmon Run is best viewed from the Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park. This park is created to preserve this world famous salmon run. There were a lot of trails running along the streams, ideal for viewing the salmon from a near distance.

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We went early to the park and already the crowd was beginning to build. Almost everyone is armed with a camera.

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Although this is a dominant run year, the number of salmon returning was quite disappointing. The numbers were great but they were no near the anticipated numbers. Researchers cited the reasons being the river water temperature this year were higher and water level lower resulting in fewer salmon surviving the journey. We are concerned about the changing climate around us … this could be a sign that over years, the salmon will never return to the abundant levels it used to have.

We have seen photos of dominant run years where people are virtually walking on a sea of salmon.

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By the time the salmon returns to the spawning grounds, their body have changed to a red body with a green hooked head. They are at the last moments of their life. They will pair up female and male. The female will lay up to 4000 eggs and the male will shower the eggs with milt and then cover up the eggs with gravel.

The salmon at this stage cannot be eaten.

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They then will just die. Needless to say, the whole place smells of rotting fish. No one seems to mind.

The lifecycle starts all over again. In spring the following year, the salmon will hatch and begin their migration to the sea.

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There Salmon Festival was well organized. There were a lot of information and demonstration. Below is the roe from the female salmon.

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It is a pretty amazing event to witness and great to bring kids to.

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Kamloops Trip: Kam Do Restaurant and Bakery – Breakfast

We made an overnight trip to Kamloops last month to see the Salmon Run. We wanted to start as early as possible so that we can be in Kamloops in early afternoon.

There were limited places available for breakfast at that early hour. I think it was about seven in the morning. The morning was uncharacteristically foggy in Richmond. Kind of eerie driving down No 3 Rd, I must say.

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OK, of late we have been crazy over HK style cafes because of the delicious and plentiful food for under $10. Nanzaro and Arkensen, for some reason, dislikes HK style cafes, in particular Kam Do which Suanne and I loves. Anyway, it was my choice this week — we went to Kam Do for breakfast since we had never tried their breakfast menu.

We had blogged about Kam Do twice (here and here) before.

The table setting is downright simple and efficient. The cutlery came in a basket and left for us to set it up.

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I ordered from the Big Bowl Breakfast menu ($6.85). On hindsight I should not have ordered this as this is too much food for me. It came with a bowl of spaghetti and BBQ pork in clear soup.

Nanzaro ordered from the Good Morning Breakfast Special menu ($5.25). He selected the … More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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Kelowna Trip Report: Breakfast at DeDutch Pannekoek House

We saw some travel brochures saying that DeDutch has the “Best Breakfast in Kelowna” and decided to try that for breakfast instead of the ho-hum fare that the hotel dishes out for free. There were a few DeDutch’s in Vancouver but we have never eaten in them before.

Despite that name DeDutch is a BC company with franchises around BC only. Their specialty is a dutch pancake called Pannekoek.

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Knowing how large the servings are we ordered three different types to share. We simply had to try their Pannekoek and opted for their Farmers (Boer’s) Pannekoek. This huge plate costs $14.49.

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Pannekoek is similar to the traditional pancake and is slightly thicker then crepe. The dish consists of Hash Browns, Ham, Bacon, Bratwurst, and Hollandaise Sauce.

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It also included two eggs done which way you prefer and of course the pannekoek itself.

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Their Dutch Toast looked so inviting from a neighboring table that we also ordered this. This is a traditional French Toast sprinkled with Cinnamon and Sugar. It is also served with steaming hot “Cinnamony” Apples. Absolutely yummy especialy when it’s drowned in maple syrup. Cost? $8.79.

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The third dish is “DeDutch DeBakon and Egg”. We always love bacon and eggs — can’t go wrong, right? The dish consists of two eggs, toast, “DeBakon”, Hash Browns and salad. Major yum! $8.69.

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What’s breakfast without coffee, right?

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The total tab came up to $46 including tips. Hmmm … pretty expensive don’t you think? Still it was really good and we enjoyed it very much. I agree this is the “Best Breakfast in Kelowna”.

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Kelowna Trip Report: Picking Cherries

The highlight of our trip to Kelowna is picking cherries. On the first day we were there we went to a cherry farm on Westbank. We had been to this farm before but were pleasantly surprised at the abundance newly ripe cherries on the trees.

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Picking cherries is simple. You need to pick it with the stems on. This will keep the cherries fresh longer. The man in charge of the farm showed us how best to pick cherries — basically, you push the stem up and snap off the stem.

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The cherries in the Westbank farm is free of pesticides but is a bit small compared to larger ones we see in the stores. They a bit soft and not crunchy.

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You really need to climb ladders to get to the better fruit. The lower ones were gone very fast. We need to make sure that the ladder is stable. In all, we picked about 11 lbs of cherries from the Westbank farm. Each lb costs $1.25.

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On the second day, we drive south of Kelowna to the end of Lakeshore Rd. There are a few popular farms there. These u-pick farms are more organized and the cherries were a class better than the ones in Westbank — they are bigger and crunchier. However, this farm uses pesticides.

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The cherries in this farm is a bit more expensive at $1.50 per pound. We picked more this time — 15 pounds. Ha ha ha … it was so easy to pick but not we have to figure out how to eat all 26 pounds of cherries! :-)

There was this family we saw who picked 82 lbs! So, 26 lbs is not so bad after all, right?

Suanne is looking a recipes to make use of the cherries. She’ll blog about it the next few days. At the meantime, do you have any idea what we can do with so much cherries?

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Here is a few shots around Kelowna we took. We had a good time just walking along the park and seawall.

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“The Sails” is the centre point of Kelowna.

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The seawall walk is very well maintained and very beautiful. Green on one side and blue water on the other.

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We also saw some upscale apartments along the lake. Instead of a cars parked in front of the apartments, they have boats instead.

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We also went up Knox Mountain which overlooked the entire Kelowna valley. It was a beautiful sight as we just sat and waited till the sun goes down.

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Kelowna Trip Report: KFC in the Park

By the time we got near Kelowna, it was already noon. We took a few stops along the way to enjoy the scenery. Below is our first glimpse of the Okanagan Lake. The Okanagan is a longish and deep lake stretching north south for 120 kms. The area is famous for their fruit production and tourism.

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The drive into Kelowna will pass through the West Bank on the western side of the lake.

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We decided to get something to eat in a park by the lake. It was a great day to be out in the sun. We went and got a bucket of KFC fried chicken in Westbank.

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The 15 pcs buckets costs $24 which also includes family sized fries and gravy.

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The fries were crunchy on the outside. It was not bad but frankly we prefer McD’s fries better.

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The little park by the lake was great. The scenery was beautiful with the bluish lake in the background. We took our time and was in no hurry to get to the hotel.

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After the lunch, we drove over the floating bridge across the Okanagan Lake from Westbank to Kelowna. The bridge is pretty congested and is due to be replaced by 2008.

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Kelowna Trip Report: Snacks on the Road

It takes about 4 hours in all to get from Vancouver to Kelowna. I think it’s about 400 km in all. We took Highway 5, which is better known as the Coquihalla Highway. This is the more scenic route as it climbs up very rugged and spectacular scenery.

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Along the route, there are a lot of creeks and rivers. We stopped by one of them for a few minutes.

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There are hundred of miles of greenery along the route. I am always amazed with the sheer size of the forests in British Columbia. BC is beautiful because of the abundance of nature.

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For the past few years, the mountain pine beetle has infested much of the forests. It is a major concern in BC because there is no effective way to contain the infestation. The only effective way to contain the beetles is to have a prolonged freeze of -40C to kill them off. Winter never gets that cold in this part of BC.

You can see that the infestation has taken root with the forest turning flaming red. This is the beginning of the end of the tree and within a couple of years, they will completely die and turn the scenery grayish.

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The Coquihalla Highway is the only road that is tolled in British Columbia. The rate for a passenger car is $10. Many cars stops at the toll plaza for a kidney break and to stretch their legs.

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We just gotta blog about food. Here is the little bucket of snacks that we brought along.

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We want to share with everyone a popular Malaysian snack called Ground Peanut Cookies. We bought this from the Big Crazy grocery store in Richmond. Each pack of 12 “cookies” costs about $2.

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Although the English word translates to Ground Peanut Cookies, I think it’s more apt to describe this as a candy. This is a sweet snack with the outside crunchy with a crumbly insides.

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Kelowna Trip Report: Breakfast in #9 Restaurant

Every summer we always had plans for vacation away from Vancouver. However, this year, it’s difficult to get a week or two off on a stretch. So we decided instead to take a day off here and there and make a long weekend for s short trip nearby.

Last weekend we decided to make a short trip to Kelowna. It’s cherries season at this time of the year. This is the start of the series of our blog on our Kelowna Trip. Hope you enjoy it.

We started off from home early — at 6:30am — because the road trip itself will take about 4 hours non-stop. So, we decided to go out for breakfast. About the only restaurant opened at such time is the #9 Restaurant (a.k.a. Kau Kee in Cantonese) in the Lansdowne Mall in Richmond.

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The #9 Restaurant is opened 24 hours and they have a steady stream of customers, even at 2am in the morning. However, when we were there at 6:30am, there were only about 3 tables of customers. The #9 Restaurant is a Cantonese restaurant but they not only make traditional Chinese food but they do also serve western-style food like spaghetti, fries, sandwiches, etc.

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Arkensen ordered the breakfast meal consisting of scrambled eggs, toasts, bacon strips and hash browns. The dish costs $5.20.

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Cantonese / Hongkong restaurants are famous for their milk tea (lai-char). It’s a creamy and rich black tea served with evaporated milk. Most people like it sweet and add granulated sugar. Not ordering this with chinese breakfast is like not ordering Coke with a Big Mac.

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We also had a mid-sized plate of soy sauce fried noodles. Just plain noodles with no meat or garnishing at all. They are thin, stringy not mushy at all — just the way we like it. Surprisingly, it was really tasty even without other ingredients.

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We also ordered congee — mixed meat porridge. I had thought that mixed meat means “g jarp”, but it turns out the mixed meat is shredded meat. The bowl was big.

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The porridge had a lot of century eggs. Century eggs is one of those chinese food that a lot of non-chinese don’t understand. Century eggs are preserved in clay, ash, rice straw, salt and lime for several months until they turn darkish. When I was young my mum told me that century eggs are made by soaking eggs in horse urine for a long time — that is not true.

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The rice rolls are simple rice rolls served only with soya sauce and sesame seeds. It was piping hot when it was served.

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The total tab came up to $19 including tips and taxes. We were really stuffed and were ready for the 4 hours drive to Kelowna. We’ll blog about out trip next.

No. 9 on Urbanspoon

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