Fun, Family and a Heavenly Day!
26.07.2011 - 01.08.2011
We spent an entirely relaxing and wonderfully fun week with our family in Vancouver. The five cousins had a ball in each other’s company and the delightful week sped by in a blur of skate parks, playgrounds, delicious food from my sister-in-law’s garden, long chats, guitar music, singing, Harry Potter 7- Part 2, restorative sleep and beautiful weather. The only wrinkle in the week was my nephew’s fall in the skate park which resulted in a broken arm. He took it all in his usual stride, however, and it was business as usual once he got his cast applied on the Wednesday morning.
Because we arrived at the beginning of the work week, we did not see much of my brother or sister-in-law except for a few late dinners. On Friday night, with the long weekend laid out invitingly before us, we all had a delicious steak dinner out on their deck and enjoyed the food, the company and the cool evening air. We awakened Saturday morning to a cloudless sky, warm temperatures and absolutely no plans. Before the house came to life, Michael and I slipped out quietly to take a long and very steep walk to Starbucks. We had wonderful chats as we walked and thoroughly basked in each other’s company and the welcome change of two people rather than five. When we returned to the (now accustomed) house full of nine people, there was a sleepy and relaxed air of a long weekend with no plans.
After kicking around for the better part of the morning, we all decided to head to UBC to see the massive skeleton of a 150 ton blue whale that is on display there. It was truly a sight to behold- the two lower jaw bones each weigh one thousand pounds and the rib cage can house a heart the size of a small car! After UBC we piled back into our cars and headed for the Spanish Banks. We were not prepared for an afternoon at the beach but that did not seem to matter to the kids- they swam in their clothes and frolicked in the surf thoroughly enjoying the hot and sunny afternoon. It’s always a delight to see Max and my teenage nephews playing like young kids every now and again!
By the time we were finished at the beach it was nearing 4:00pm and we were all very hungry. We decided that a late lunch on the Milestone’s patio in Kitsilano was the next activity on the agenda and headed there to find the perfect table to accommodate us all. Fortunately the chairs upon which we were seated were plastic as the kids were all in very wet shorts from their swim. We enjoyed a sumptuous lunch and as I looked around the table I was awash with a feeling of both joy and utter contentment. I had the feeling that I was living a day that would always stand out in my memory...a truly heavenly day!
By the time we got home we were all tired and sun-baked. After tossing the little guys in the shower to wash all the salt away we settled into a movie and then fell into bed. It had been a wonderful day and I fell asleep with a smile on my face and abundant gratitude in my heart.
The following day was a combination of laundry and yet another skate park visit for the boys. Simon and my brother took all five boys so my sister-in-law and I could enjoy a quiet house for a few hours- needless to say, it was restorative and lovely. As a female introvert I was certainly feeling in need of some female alone time after weeks of constant extroverted male companionship! I had time to make a double batch of granola, work on our trip budget and do some writing.
Shortly after the guys got home (with exciting accounts of their respective skate park feats) we had a yummy wild salmon dinner and got down to the business of packing to hit the road again the following morning. Simon has a nephew living on Salt Spring Island that we all wanted to see so we had decided to slightly alter our plans to head straight for our rental house on Quadra Island and spend a night camping on Salt Spring at Ruckle Provincial Park (which was rumoured to be really beautiful). One of the luxuries of this summer is to have the ability to alter plans as the Spirit moves us...oh to live that way all year round!!!
We awakened at 6:00am on the holiday Monday to catch the earliest ferry we could manage from Tsawwassen to Victoria. Packing up, as always, took longer than usual so we made it to the Tsawwassen terminal in time to catch the 10:00am. The kids had a blast playing in the morning sunshine at the ferry terminal while I thoroughly enjoyed my Starbucks (that I lined up for 20 minutes to acquire!) It felt wonderful to be on the road again and we were all excited for another new adventure, more family and a night of camping by the ocean and under the stars.