Friday, October 31, 2014

Day out with my bestie

It's very rare that I get to enjoy a day out with Natasha, even rarer that we enjoy the day out in my end of the valley. So I was very excited when she suggested that her family come out for a visit in September.

But let me rewind. My brother and his wife are expecting their second child any day now. So Ada slept overnight with us to practice having sleepovers. She'll be at our house overnight when the new baby arrives.

We waited for Natasha and her crew to arrive, and then we headed to Steveston for the day. As you can see, we got gorgeous weather. And of course, Ada headed straight for the water.

 Steveston is one of our favorite places, in part because there is SO much to do there, and it's so varied. We parked by the ocean and walked around the park/beach for a few minutes. Then we headed to the cannery and goofed off.

 Then, because it was pretty close to lunch time, we headed to Pajos for their world famous fish 'n chips. Oh yum!

 Plus we engaged in some unabashed selfie taking. Then it was off for a walk to work off all the fried food. The wharfs are beautiful from the water.

 David wanted to reenact a picture I took of him years ago in this same place. It was a little harder this time around, given his long mop!

 Past all the shops and restaurants, you can walk along a boardwalk. There are all kinds of wharves and bridges. Then you come to the old shipyards.

 There are lots of old buildings out there, set up like it was a hundred years ago.

 Ada was so good. I think she enjoyed the trip and the running around, but she also enjoys just chilling in the stroller.

 Then, the boys insisted they'd earned some ice cream. So we headed back to the village.

 And promptly found ourselves some delicious island farms ice cream :)

 Once we'd tired of Steveston, we headed towards Crescent Beach and the Historic Stewart Farmhouse.

 And finally, to the beach to enjoy an ocean sunset.

It was a really, really beautiful day!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bits and bobs

Here are a whole bunch of pictures that do not equal their own posting.

Ours was the never-ending summer - a school strike which started summer two weeks early also meant that school didn't start until the 3rd week of September. I must be at work from the second week of August on, and so we had to get creative with our child care options. And once those ran out, the kids came to work with me.

They didn't seem to mind.

We didn't make it to the beach as often as we would have liked this summer - too busy doing other things. But here are some snaps from one beautiful September day at Crescent Beach. My daughter is beautiful <3 br="">

She insisted we have a castle building competition. We would divide into two teams: Mom and Lizzie versus Dad and Davey. But apparently I wasn't good enough, and so I was told to go read while she worked on our castle. 

Also, Elisabeth has been asking for dance lessons for years. I finally broke down and let her register this year. She's doing triple threat, which is a year of recreational dance and the students do three different types of dance. Elisabeth has started with ballet, which she loves.

 She looks adorable in her dance clothes, don't you think?

And finally, on September 23rd, it was the first day of school. Here's that requisite first day of school picture:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Breakfast with the Bears

Our friend Kandace loves bears. I mean LOOOOOOOOVES bears. It's a little bit weird how she loses all rational thought when the topic of bears come up. So when her birthday came around in August, it was easy to figure out how she would want to celebrate her birthday.

Grouse Mountain has been running a promotion all summer. Take a quick ride up the mountain, and the ranger gives you a good talk on the bears. Who were still snoring away in the forest. So we got to wake them up and feed them breakfast.

 Look at how smiley this bear is! I can't remember (Kandace will...) if it was Grinder or Coola who is the one with the mischievous personality. But he sure did like to beg for his breakfast.

After the bears had finished wowing us, we headed inside the yurt for our own buffet breakfast. IT WAS AMAZING!

Each of the kids got bear ears, and we grown ups got honey. Until we stole all the ears.

After breakfast we checked in on the bears again quick.

I can see why Kandace loves them so much.

David is just a little bear cub. We already knew that, didn't we?

My sweet little Lizzie-bear.

 And Poppa Bear - he's as big as a black bear!

 After a quick stroll, we checked out the lumberjack show. I've wanted to go to that show for years. It was pretty hilarious.

 And not at all what I expected. There's a script and a LOT of jokes, plus some daredevil stunts. David desperately wants to be a lumberjack when he grows up.

Lizzie wanted her picture taken with the lumberjacks, so we made the dads go with her to pose.

I've never done the Grouse Grind. It sounds very crowded and probably way out of my league (though Jade has done it and she's ten, so maybe there's hope for me!?) I think this is where you come out when you finish.

 We sat on the balcony of the lodge and people watched while we ate a picnic lunch. Sitting in the sun on that balcony, eating salami sandwiches, I always feel like I'm in Lenk. Or at least, I can pretend that's where I am.

 We wandered around the lodge and admired the view.

Well, some of us did.

And then it was time for a walk. We started off by following some of the trails we've done when the mountain is covered in snow.

I think I have a picture very like this from last winter.

And then we hiked up to the top of the mountain. Denis and I, along with David and Nate, had done this walk in the spring when there was still snow on the hill. We thought if we could do it then, it would be no big deal in the summer, right?

The views are spectacular.

You can see the entire valley - in fact, beyond the valley.

Look, there's Washington way off in the distance. 

And then we walked back down the hill.

Which is when I realised this sign was intended for people like us.


 So we distracted ourselves by watching the bears again.

 Don't you wish you had a pet bear?