Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Viking Girl


It is so strange. I remember heading to UVic and moving into residence like it was yesterday. But it wasn't. It was 28 years ago. Oh. My. God. 

Molly started at UVic today. But she's here at home. She and Eric went for a morning bike ride down to Granville Island. 

Training wheels. We put them on a bike when we just don't know if we can balance. Watch a kid ride with training wheels and sometimes the kid is basically riding sideways, leaning all their weight on the training wheels. But usually they are riding a bike for real, but the training wheels give them confidence. It's less scary, even if you aren't using them. 

Molly came home and got online for her first class: Social Sciences, Perspectives on Cities. Here's her classroom this morning:


And for the afternoon, she decided to learn al fresco for Sociology and Entrepreneurship: 

I got to eat lunch with her and help her get on her Zoom class. I even got to hear some of the lectures. In fact, she just brought me a cup of tea.

It is a little less scary this way. Molly being at home, it is a bit like training wheels. I know she could do it, going away to school. And I am pretty sure I could do it, too. But there are silver linings all over this crazy global pandemic. And this silver lining is like training wheels for both of us. Just a bit of confidence before she sets off on her own.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Last Weekend of the Longest Spring Break in the History of the WORLD


Haha...! The kids got out of school the second week of March and they go back this week (Thursday for Lukey and Friday for Finny...Molly starts online UVic tomorrow). That is a nice nearly six month break. The longest spring break ever.

But it doesn't matter how much time you get on your "break", you want more. The kids are all looking forward to school, but it still lamenting "going back". I don't know how long it would have to before they were really psyched. I hope we don't find out...haha (450+ Covid cases this last weekend mean numbers are going up, so I really hope we don't go back). 

So, in the interest of getting the last squeeze out of summer, we headed to Vancouver Island. I booked an AirBnB at a condo on Yellow Point (just a bit outside of Ladysmith). I spent a bunch of time trolling last minute sites and short term rental sites trying to find something good. When I spotted this one, I jumped on it. 

What didn't I think about? Ferries. In the Summer of BC, ferries reservations are like Gold and the Rush is ON. I looked and all the reservations from Duke Point were looooooong gone. I scrounged around and found a Monday reservation (I even went on Craigslist) from Departure Bay. Nothing for Friday. 

Nothing for Friday of the last long weekend of the summer (with a stellar weather forecast)? Hmmmm. Two choices: take three meals, a couple of books, some chairs and your toothbrush because you will be at the ferry terminal ALL day OR wake up at the crack of dawn. Nope, BEFORE the crack of dawn and cross your fingers.

So that's what we did. Here's us waiting in line and watching the sun rise:

 We watched a whole movie before we got on the ferry. That's how early we were.

Molly was pretty excited to be getting away (there were some bad outtakes from this picture). Eric and Finny stayed in town (Eric: meeting Finny: private lessons). They walked on a ferry later in the day.

We were at Rathtrevor Beach by 9:30. There are a lot of hours in the day when you get up that early. 

Molly and I did some beach exploring while Lukey got in his beauty sleep:

We held a bit of a contest. Molly and I each had four minutes to complete something out of beach items. Lukey was the judge. I played strategically and banked on judge flattery. I came in under time with this masterpiece:

Molly went all artistic and ambitious. I think this image speaks for itself:

Wait, it doesn't? You mean you can't tell what it is? It's mermaids. Huh? You still don't see it? Neither did we. But she was proud enough that she wanted a picture with it...

We hit up Parksville (cute stores, actually), including an excellent used bookstore (two books for Molly, one for me). 

Then we went to visit the goats on the roof in Coombs. 

Meanwhile, Finny and Eric were on their way: 

THE fashion item of Summer 2020: masks

We dropped Lukey off at the condo to watch the Canucks game (September hockey playoffs...thank you Covid) and we went to pick up the others.

We had a lazy morning on Saturday, reading and working a bit. We explored the condo property, the kids went for a swim and poked around the tide pools.

We drove to Yellow Point Lodge (gorgeous...must go back!), Ladysmith, Chemanius. Got dinner and headed back to watch some Breaking Bad and relax.

Sunday morning we decided to get an early start and head to Long Beach for the day. A long drive, but it was a beautiful day.

Three hours later, we got to the west coast. To total fog and a fifteen degree temperature drop. The kids were mystified why we would have traveled all that way to sit in a cloud. The next bay over...different story. Sunshine and warm again.

We hung out at Pacific Sands, where the Urbans were staying. They were offshore fishing. We were onshore hammocking :)

Dinner was Tacofino (a full hour wait) and a quick drive around Tofino before heading back to the Urbans to take a sunset walk out to the closest rocky point.

We got home late but feeling like the drive was well worth it. 

Up in the morning to pack up and sad to see the summer go. 

We took a last walk around Piper Lagoon park (also really cool). 

And we thanked our lucky stars that we took that lone reservation. There were three and four ferry waits. But we drove right on to the ferry and got home in no time.

It was a great last weekend. Good weather. The best company. And a very nice way to wrap up the longest spring break in the history of the world. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

All BC All Summer

This pesky pandemic. Remember when we bought a summer cabin in Point Roberts, partly with the rationale that if it were close, we would use it a lot. Which has been true. I have said here before that I simply don't have the organizational fortitude to tackle two week trips to gulf island that require you to pack and take every single item you will possibly need for your whole holiday, including food (how do people do it?!). I am more of a, "shoot, I forgot half the things on my list for today's food...I'll be right back" kind of person. 

Point Roberts isn't quite as nice as a gulf island. But it isn't nearly as hard to manage. We spend a lot of time there and sometimes we even cross the border a few times a day: running home quickly, quick grocery trip, DQ trip...whatever!

So, we didn't see the pandemic coming. Or the border being closed for the whole summer. Crazy. No Point Roberts for us. Hello BC Summer!

We looked at the forecast and saw a pure heat coming up, so booked one night at Whistler at the Pan Pacific. We got up early and hit the road and also hit every lake we could find on our way up (and down).

The one issue with having an Inside BC summer is that so is everyone else. The parking lots for all the lakes were packed. 

But the beauty of most lakes is that you don't have to work too hard to find your own spot. Once you were on/in the water, it felt perfect. Even Lake Lucille, which has a 20 minute hike in, was jammed full. Crazy times. 

Lucky for our little family, this lady is always happy to stick with the car if that's what is needed. As always, a book is really all I need to be content. Therefore, there is no parking lot we can't conquer.

Plus, who could say no to these faces?

We got to Whistler and decided to go a little father and make the drive up to Pemberton. We hadn't been there in a long while and poked around the little town on a day that made it sparkle. I think Spuzzum would have looked delightful on that afternoon. 

We stopped for lunch at the little restaurant in the old train station and watch the paragliders float slowly through the sky. 

Even the water parks were fun in Pemberton. The only thing we noticed that we didn't really like was the number of mosquitos. In the middle of a super hot day? What the heck?

It was a great little break. Which is hilarious, because really, since the middle of March, we have hung out with each other NON STOP. Somehow, it is still working. If you can be super happy hanging out the same people months and months into uninterrupted family time, well, that's pretty incredible.  

The Pan Pacific was great. The location is perfect, the pool has an amazing view of the mountain (we sat on our computers and watched mountain bikers come down). The price was good, too.

We left the kids swimming (ahhh, the beauty of older kids who don't even require supervision when swimming!) and headed to the Dubh Lin downstairs for an evening drink. 

It was music night down there. Hilariously, the band was basically in a plastic bag. I don't know why they bothered putting them behind there, honestly. No one got anywhere near them (see the picture below) and it meant they looked like goldfish being taken home from a pet store. 

All the menus in Whistler were done by QR code. You took a picture and an online menu popped up. We went to El Furniture Warehouse one night...all food was $5.95. Crazy. 

More swimming in the morning. And a bit of walking around the village. 

The drive home was hot...see below for the 34 degrees at 3:00 mid-way down the highway. 

Normally, Point Roberts is our whole summer. As much as we miss it (and we really, really do), it is nice to get in a bit of time in other places.