Monday, May 13, 2013

Some running and some fun

Before Finny and Eric could take off for Phoenix, Finny had some running to do. She signed up for the BMO Kid's Mile, taking place the day before the official marathon on Sunday. 

Finny is a manager at heart. She loves to control as many variables in her environment as possible. I, apparently, am a giant variable. Therefore, a lot of control is fired my way. We are, by nature, not the most punctual of families. Here is a breakdown on our conversation very early on Saturday morning:

Finny: "Let's go. Let's go, let's go. Can we go?"
{as an aside, this conversation is taking place IN THE CAR. I am checking my emails to find out exactly where the marshalling area is...]
Me: "We will leave in a second. Don't worry. I will get you there.
Finny: "I know you'll get me there, but at what time?" Bada-boom.

Hey, fair enough. Having said that, we got there an hour and a half early. So, Finny is having her positive influence. My mom was with us, so she got a good laugh.

Finny and Delia got a great pole position at start of the race.

It was a fun run, so it wasn't timed and there were no places given. Both the girls had a great run and they were pleased. They got beautiful participation medals as they went through the finish.

They also got to meet the Canadian Olympic marathoner, Dylan Wykes. He signed Finny's number bib.

The girls also got to meet last year's BMO marathon winner, Gezahgn Eshatu. Both he and Dylan were so warm and encouraging of the kids.

We headed home after a great event. Our neighbour was taking care of some ducks overnight, so she brought them out for a bit of a play with the kids. They were pretty cute. Molly did a good job setting her feeling aside, since these were meat ducks. She only cried once. I suspect she seriously considered smuggling one or all three ducks home for a longer, less brutal life. If she thought she could hide ducks, she would have.

So, in the meantime, she stroked their little fuzzy chests and gave them snuggles. Give them whatever joy she can. Also, in a related note...ducks poop a lot. A lot.

With the ducks back in our neighbour's bathtub for the night, we headed down to Point Roberts. Finny and Eric were getting up early the next morning for their flight to Las Vegas and we had a full Sunday of sunshine and beach time to log.

I sent Eric the picture below to let him know that it was pretty darn nice here, too.

We had a picnic on the beach for lunch and BBQ on the porch for dinner. It was a little slice of summer previewed.

We missed Eric and Finny tons while they were gone, but the sunshine eased our sadness.

Molly and Lukey got lots of time to play, just the two of them. It was nice to see them slip into their own rhythm of play.

The picture below is my dad and Lukey listening to the pre-game radio show before one of the few Canucks playoff games this year. Lukey has turned into a massive fan. In fact, even with the Canucks out, we are still watching hockey. The new teams he is cheering for are: Senators, Penguins and Maple Leafs. And the Ducks in a pinch.

We also squeezed in a quick trip to the Aquarium. Penguins were kissed.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

E- Phx day 4

Finny and Ed headed out for early morning golf session in the Corvair. 

There was some high speed driving of the golf cart...and I'm not sure who was the voice of reason in this duo. 

Finny practiced her swing and got to hit a few balls.  You can see it needs a little work.

In the afternoon we headed to the Harkin 18 to watch the Croods.  Movies are big down here in the summers as everyone tries to avoid the mid-day heat. This theatre is offering 10 weeks of kids movies for $7 over the summer holidays...which is some pretty cheap babysitting at 70 cents per session. 

After the movie, we checked up on our rental homes. I was happy to see them all looking pretty much like I remembered. No obvious meth labs or grow ops here...but I guess you never know. 

At work I've managed to be tagged with the label "slumlord". Can you really be a slumlord though when the homes you rent out are nicer than you'll ever own yourself? This one in Durango HOA is a block away from a nice outdoor pool/hot tub and park. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

E- Phx day 3

In-n-out Burger. Yumm...and the best service I've ever had a fast food restaurant. Someone volunteered to bring out our meals when they were ready so that we didn't have to wait inside listening to the numbers being called.  She then proceeded to make separate trips to bring us lemon water, ketchup and then our meals.

After lunch we hit the YMCA for a freshing swim.  I know the Phoenicians don't think 33 is warm...but we do. Finny was a great companion to play catch with...and I was not so great a sliding companion. It's always amazing how cold it can feel having water evaporate off your skin in the wind, even if the air is warm. 

We played a little basketball after swimming and Finny worked on her dribbling and power lay-ups.

She generates a surprising amount of power on those lay-ups, and had no problem dealing with a 10 foot hoop.  The cover on the rim posed a little more of a challenge. 

Back at Ed's place we got to listen to the Canucks being eliminated from the playoffs (kind of glad I missed that one) and watch some playoff basketball.

E- Day 2

After 17 hours on the road (900 km behind the wheel and many more in the plane) driving to Bellingham, flying to Vegas, driving to the Grand Canyon and then on to Phoenix for day 1, we decided to take it a bit easier on day 2.  It wasn't an easy travel day, but Fin was an absolute trooper. It was her decision to visit the Grand Canyon...but it's still not easy for an 8 year old to be patient for as long as she was.

 After a short sleep in, we hit Eds backyard for a hot tub and to feed his chickens.

Ed is in the midst of building a new home on an acre he bought nearby and needs some books and permits, so we headed to downtown Phoenix.

The main library is beautiful, and it even has a nice outdoor courtyard where Finny and I read while waiting for Ed.

 After a few more errands including a stop at our property manager's office, we headed back to Ed's for dinner and a quiet evening.

Monday, May 6, 2013

E- A quick spring trip

After taking Molly to Phoenix with me when she was 7, there was no way I would get away without doing a similar trip with Finny...she has the memory of an elephant. Having said that, she's been very good (perhaps strategic) about not asking when our trip together was going to happen. 

When I did let her know that the trip was booked, Finny was over the moon while the others were pretty bummed.  Molly and Lucas actually had a pretty good week lined up too with Vancouver forecasted to be sunny and in the twenties the whole time we are gone. 

We got an early morning flight and were in Vegas before 9:30am. Finny didn't waste any time posing for pictures.

Finny decided that the Grand Canyon was not to be missed, even if it meant an extra 4 hours of driving.  Although it made for a long day, her enthusiasm was so genuine and contagious that I'm glad she insisted.  "Isn't this just the best Daddy?  Isn't it so beautiful?  I'm so glad we came."

Seeing the number of tourists there who had travelled such big distances to get to the Canyon made me feel better about my customary leg cramp from driving that accompanied me for most of the day. 

With Phoenix another 3 1/2 hours south of us, I was tempted to get the drive started...but Finny wanted to hang out with our not so wild wildlife in Canyon National Park. They let her get within less than 10 feet before they strolled away.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

E- Traditions

The spring and summer have always been my favourite time of year.  Despite a serious inability to tan, I love getting out in the sunshine and warmth. While I was at university, the best time was after the basketball season had ended, exams were done and we had Arts County Fair to look forward to and some free time. 

While playing in Europe, I always liked playoff time (April - June) the best. Coaches usually backed off the intensity of practice, meaning I wasn't sore every day.  When we weren't in the gym, we could get out and enjoy the good weather with some frisbee in a park, swim in a lake or take a trip to some new place for a beer on a patio or gelato in the Zentrum. 

Times have changed now and I don't have the same predictable schedule (at least when it comes time to holidays and time off), but there are still spring time traditions I always look forward to.

Easter marks the start of the spring season but is tough to predict what that will be like.  It can be 5 degrees and raining or 20 and sunny.  Thankfully this year it was the latter which allowed us to kick off spring with a bonfire and easter egg hunt...without any frostbite incidents.

The Spud Cup, Delta Fire's annual 3 on 3 hockey tournament is the next major event on my calendar. Despite playing on a smaller rink, it's a ton of skating when you play 4 games back to back to back to back.

It's the best workout I can get these days.  I came away with a very bloody blister, a cut from someone's skate on my ribs, a disappointing loss in overtime of the finals...and thrilled to have gotten to play.  Beats the treadmill any day!

This year's team Black.

We headed for lunch and beers next door to the rink at Big Ridge and had a pretty good turnout. I think everybody is relieved to finally feel some heat.

Thankfully, watching playoff hockey has been a pretty strong tradition around Vancouver for the last decade, and this year's no exception. You know it's a big part of the city when you have to line up to get a table at the bar 2 hours before the game starts. 

I went to the Tap and Barrel with Mike and his brother, Steve and Jay for some sunshine (awesome patio) and the game. While it doesn't look like it's going to be a very long post season run this year, if the weather stays this nice I'd rather not be inside too much anyways. 

With a short vacation coming up next week, time is going to fly by to my the next spring highlight...Sports Day at the school followed by Steve's birthday at Sakinaw. It's been a tradition since Steve first invited his grade 6 friends up to the cabin after Kerrisdale School's Sports Day in 1986...and this year I'll be heading up with my grade 5 daughter (and the rest of the clan).  

Holy #@$%!  Where did it all go? 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Speedy Weekend

Finny had her first track and field meet last weekend. She has been running with the Thunderbird club since September. The fall season was long distances for cross country. The spring season is track and field. 

Finny is a natural long distance runner, mostly because she has incredible mental discipline and is able to push herself through the pain of running. 

Track and field is a new learning curve. 

Her first event was a 60m hurdle race. She had never, ever done a hurdle race before.

Finny is way down there in one of the middle lanes

It is really hard to see it in the picture, but that's Finny's name on small black screen. Her name in lights!

She did a great job. Her first hurdle was a little shaky and I thought she was going down on the second one...she was wobbly. But she pulled it back and had a really strong finish.

She and her buddy Delia were really happy to compete together. Plus, it was they were happy to cuddle together and stay warm under a blanket.

Finny enjoyed hanging out with her relay team friends. Noelle, Jessica and Delia are her teammates for the 4 X 100m race. Since Noelle is in Grade 4, they had to compete up an age group. They still managed to come in fourth!

Finny and Delia also ran the 1000m. Delia came in first and Finny got fifth. I love watching my beautiful girl run her heart out. Her long legs push her determined little body so hard. I get choked up on the sidelines. I feel so proud.

It rained off and on over the weekend. The girls stayed warm together, cheered each other on, ate snacks and played games. 

It was neat to see their little relay posse.

Finny's final event was high jump. She had never high jumped with a bar before and had no idea how it worked in competition. She was unsure, but determined. Despite the pouring rain, soaking wet mat and goosebumps on her bare legs and back, she soldiered on. She showed great form. Not that many kids were doing a real Fosbury flop, but she was great at it. Her new goal is a medal in high jump before the season is over. She got fifth this time, so it was a great start.

With a full Friday and Saturday of running behind her, you might think this girl would take it easy on Sunday. Day of rest, right?


We heard about the new Tuff Kid event running at Q.E. Park at 10 a.m. and she was not to be dissuaded. Another 1km run with obstacles. 

The sign doesn't lie. She's one Tuff Kid.