Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Whirlwind Weekend

Wow…it feels like FOREVER since I have been able to sit down and write.  My fingers have been itching to type…my brain has been filled with post ideas…but there has simply not been a minute to actually do so.

Until now…here goes…

My oldest started Grade 1 yesterday – a serious milestone that requires its own post...stay tuned – and one that we spent the weekend preparing for.  On Friday we shared a very special mummy/daughter day of back to school prep following an itinerary that we had started last year just before she started kindergarten. 

It consists of shopping, lunching, pedicures and treats – not necessarily in that order.  For this year’s edition of Mummy Daughter Day we drove out to the outlet stores to load up on goodies.   I truly cherish anytime that I get to spend solo with one of my girls.  I love being able to give them my complete attention and listen to all their very important stories.

We had the most fabulous day…my lovely daughter was a joy all day long.  Our day in pictures:

Little sister was a little sad to be left out of the back to school fun…but I promised her a special day of her own very soon. Can’t wait for that.

Saturday and Sunday was pure family time…with hubby finally finished his renovation adventure we had a lot of long overdue projects that needed tackling at home.  And we tackled them with gusto – trading off playing with the girls – and just getting shit done. Laundry, house cleaning, paper filing, furniture arranging, plant watering, you name it we did it…and by the end of Sunday our house was finally feeling like home again.

I am slightly OCD about things being in their place…there is nothing I hate more than a mess.  So this felt very good…

And in between all the house duties we found time to go swimming, attend a birthday party in the park...


...and I escaped for a very nice dinner with some girlfriends to celebrate my good friend Aubrey’s birthday. (check out her blog here).

On Sunday night…with the kids finally in bed…we talked about what to do the next day.  We wanted to send off summer with a big hurrah…and decided that taking the kids on a surprise adventure day was the way to do it.  We would be tourists in our own town.

Monday morning came and we told the kids that we had a big adventure planned…but every step of the day would be a surprise.  Oldest did not like that…she is like me…a planner.  She needs to know what is going on every step of the way…not knowing where we were going was KILLING her…so much so I almost caved.  Almost.

First stop…was a ride on the Skytrain.  Living in the suburbs we never take transit so this is a real treat for the kids.  We were lucky enough to snag ‘front-row’ seats and settled in for the 28 minute ride to the water front.

We wondered around the water front – checking out the cruise ships that were in port…

…discovering this giant sculpture that is supposed to be a Drop of water…oh and “art”….

and finally wandering over to see the (unlit) Olympic Flame.  Which I still say looks like 4 giant doobies.

Then it was back on the Skytrain for a short trip back to Yaletown where we walked down the pier and hopped on a ferry for a ride across False Creek.  I love these little ferries and it had been far too long since I had been on one.

After an all too short ferry ride we arrived at Granville Island.  Being a holiday Monday the place was a madhouse. So we all took a deep breath and dove right in to the Market.  The girls marveled at all the food stalls…the fresh fruit and veggies…the donuts…the flowers…and of course…the bakery. 

We got right into tourist mode and ate lunch on the pier…fighting the seagulls off for every bite.  Then it was time for a treat…the girls were unanimous in their choice – back to the bakery!  They each chose a ridiculously indulgent brownie pop with a giant frosted flower on it.  Sugar overload!

After we had finished our treats we went outside again to take in some of the amazing busker music.  Some of these people are seriously talented…and it’s so nice to see them doing what they love. The girls loved it too.

Next stop – the Granville Island Water Park – which the girls had no idea even existed. 

We feigned ignorance too saying – “oh dear…I wish we had brought your swimsuits…” then – after seeing their sad faces – broke out with “wait a minute…we DID bring your swimsuits!” Cue super excited kids…and 90 minutes of playtime in the water park.

After all that time in the hot sun hubby and I were in desperate need of a cold beverage – preferably of the alcoholic variety.  That’s when I had a brilliant idea and we headed in the direction of the Granville Island Hotel and the amazing patio at the Dockside Restaurant.   The view was okay I guess…

When hubby and I were good and relaxed it was time for the long walk back to the Skytrain.  Luckily for us it was a lovely walk – along the sea wall with this as our view:

It’s also a walk that brings back a ton of great memories.  When I was in high school I used to house sit my dad’s apartment when he would go out of town and my BFF and I (and other friends) used to walk to Granville Island to pick up stuff to make dinner.  You know…like we were grownups or something.  Those are some truly awesome memories for me.

Just as the kids were hitting the really whiny I-don’t-wanna-walk-anymore stage we arrived at the Skytrain station.  Where our darling oldest informed us she had to pee RIGHT Now.

There were no bathrooms in the station so it was back outside to find some bushes. 

NOTE: when your child is hopping from foot to foot and desperate to pee she is not going to be able to hold it once the cold air hits.  So make sure she is in a safe squatting position before that happens – meaning not right over top of her underwear, pants, shoes and socks. We learned that one the hard way.

23 minutes later we were back in our car and headed home – with a quick pit stop at Safeway.  The kids were exhausted after a long day and feel asleep immediately at bedtime. Which was great…considering we were just as tired and still had lunches to make, laundry to fold and back to school stuff to prep.

The first day of grade 1 deserves a post all of its own…stay tuned.

All in all it was a fantabulous weekend of family fun.  And it was great to take Vancouver out for a test drive and remember why we love living here.  It should take the edge of the itch to move away just a little bit. 

Until next weekend…

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