The Vawters are heading back to the water at long last. I know some of you thought (and maybe some even prayed) that we were going to become land lubbers again, but it’s back to the boat life for us!
I dropped off writing posts near the end of June last year. We weren’t adventuring on the water anymore and frankly, all my creative blog writing energy was totally sapped while we worked. It just dried up. So, I apologize if you have missed the updates. I’ll do the fast and furious recap and then explain our plans.
Fast and Furious Recap
Cameron and I were extremely blessed to be a part of the founding of Phantom Creek Estates in the Southern Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. This is a wine region that is worth checking out if you’re not familiar with it. It’s like a cross between the Napa Valley and Yosemite! Canada was very good to us and we hope that Canada feels we were good to her. We basically worked our tails off with a small but talented team for 10 months and built a company. We wrote the standard operating procedures, researched and created the vineyard replant plans, assisted in the creation of full financials, hired all the employees (except for vineyard staff which were already there thank the Lord) and generally dealt with all the bits and pieces that come of being the first “on the ground” people while starting a brand new business.
We sold our excess fruit, we assisted with the branding, marketing and sales plans, we assisted in property acquisitions, we built a 6,000 square foot “barn” winery, equipped that winery with the best equipment available while also working on plans for 2 additional facilities. One of those is a 60,000 square foot winery, hospitality facility and restaurant in the Okanagan which is currently at 75% construction drawing phase and going through the building permit process and the other is a smaller sparkling facility near Vancouver. Also, we made about 7,000 cases of wine in the process! We even made Icewine… brrr.
The wine has been very well received thus far and we are so proud of our babies in the barrel.
So, that is what we have been up to and you can see why I wasn’t sitting around dreaming up blog post ideas.
Meanwhile, the girls jumped into the public school system in Canada. They loved their time there and we loved their teachers and the staff at the school. If you are thinking of heading to Canada because of certain political developments in the US, I highly recommend the Canadian school system for lots of reasons.
We also managed to have some fun. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.
Our 10 month contract is up and we are very excited to move on to the next step. February has been full with a few weeks spent with family in Hawaii, then a week of work in France looking at equipment. I went off on a complete wild hare adventure to Ireland with a friend of mine for a week to fox hunt – a lifelong dream. Check out our Instagram if you want to see a few of those shots.
Cameron was in Indiana with the girls during that time and purchased our next boat…a land yacht – aka an RV! I know…what? I’ll explain in a sec.
After Ireland, I popped up to Canada for a week of work and then a few days in Napa (We are still consulting for Phantom Creek Estates this year and I still have a few clients in Napa). Then, I flew down to Cameron in Phoenix. He and his Dad (bless his heart) drove the RV from Indy together with the girls. From there, we swung up to the Grand Canyon for a few days (while we waited for the permanent license plates to arrive) and then drove on down to Mexico where Banyan, our beloved boat, is hanging out in dry dock in Guaymas, Mexico.
Now, we are doing the work of putting her back together, we will splash her into the northern Sea of Cortez in a few days and then cruise around until it gets so hot we can’t stand it. At that point, we will pop her back up on the hard, jump in the RV and land cruise the Western United States and Canada. After harvest and then Thanksgiving and maybe even Christmas with family, we will sell the RV and jump back aboard for the next leg of our journey.
Yup…that is the plan. But we all know what happens to plans:)