One of the things I like most about vacations is coming home. There’s something about seeing our little house with its white picket fence after some time away that makes me feel content. Inside the boys have their own beds, and I have mine and nevermind all that, there’s a stable fucking internet connection. But I loved our short time in Burnaby/Vancouver and Parksville/Victoria (speaking of Victoria, HOMGLOVE). Andy and I had been to Vancouver 7 years earlier as a newly married child-less couple and of course this time around it was all about low key fun – animals and water and sometimes both at the same time. I met a man at a gas station who wrote 4 places on the back of my receipt that the family and I simply must visit while in Vancouver. One of the first things that he said was: “You look like the girls from my country.”
I replied “Are you from Eritrea?”
He shook his head. “No.”
He smiled. “Yes!”
I smiled back. “I get that all the time.”
The four places that he wrote were: Capilano, Cypress, Shannon Falls, Whistler.
“Do these in order,” he said. “And if you go to these places, you know you’ve really seen Vancouver.”
I walked back out to the car and told Andy: “Apparently we haven’t seen the real Vancouver. Let’s do this.”
I Googled them back in our hotel room in Burnaby.
Every mother’s dream: to walk with her three young kids across a rickety bridge where you can probably touch the tops of VERY TALL TREES.
True story: if you Google Capilano Suspension Bridge death and baby dropped automatically comes up. If you’re wondering, and you probably are, the baby survived the 230 FOOT DROP BUT NO THANKS BC I GOT THIS.
Cypress and Whistler appeared to be ski resorts (also Nope) and Shannon Falls sounded okay, but we see plenty of waterfalls in PDX so it wasn’t a Shannon Falls OR BUST situation.
We went to the aquarium.
We went to a farm.
There were animals there, trust me.
I never have learned how to pack appropriately for a trip. We spent a week in BC and I probably packed enough for a month. Mostly I didn’t want to trust the promise of sunny weather, so I made sure to pack sweaters and even a pair of tights! To save some room though I packed all flats, which made sense since we’d be doing a lot of walking. Whoops. Apparently my flats are a helluva lot more uncomfortable than my heels? What kind of sorcery is this?! Completely baffled as to why I’m hobbling around in Born flats that are lined with a puffy, cloud like substance and yet feel more like they’re stuffed with rocks. True story: if you Google Born shoes, comfort automatically comes up. LIES! DECEIT!
On the ferry ride to Vancouver Island, I decided to take a break from being River’s bed and stretch my legs.
“If you go out on the balcony, watch out.” Andy said. “It’s really windy.”
“Sure.” I said, non-nonplussed. I’d encountered wind before, who did he think he was talking to? So, I open the door to the outside world and
Well, that was awkward. Picture me dusting my hands off and walking away, head swiveling wildly. Some guy was standing just inside the door. I made eye contact and grinned maniacally. He brushed past me.
7 years ago in Vancouver, we ate at a cute 50s diner.
Mmmm, poutine. Gravy, cheese curds, smoked ham and fries. Naturally.
Four days ago in Naiamo, we ate at a cute 50s diner.
Eggs, sausage and toast. The sausage wasn’t as firm as I’d have liked. C’est la vie.
I decided to go outside and feed Rio while Andy paid the tab. I had my hooter hider with me and I sat on a bench in the warm sunshine and got to it. Fifteen minutes go by. A woman walks up to me and says, “Your child is beautiful.”
I looked down in alarm. Was I exposing myself yet again? But no. I guess she found his chubby leg striking. “Oh, you can see him under there?” I asked unnecessarily.
“Well, I can tell you’re a good mom.” she told me.
I didn’t know what to say to that so I said,”Sure,” smiling. Because, let’s face it. I AM a good mom.
“Three gold medals! I just thank the Lord.”
“Bolt. That man. Jamaica. So fast! I just thank the Lord.”
“He had nothing. And he just fought for his people. Bolt.”
Do you think I’m Jamaican? I thought. I’m so not.
So I just said as little as possible and nodded my head, relieved when she got up to leave because I really had nothing to contribute. She complimented Rio again, and as I looked down to double check that my hooters were indeed hidden, Rio pushed the fabric aside to say hello. “Such beautiful hair…” she murmured as she left.
We went to the beach.
Mad is shivering, but I swear the water was nice and toasty.
And so was the sand. Nice and toe-sty.
And finally, Victoria.
True story: if you say “Leh Hotel” under your breath some guy will rush over and say, “The H is silent. Lo-tel. Hear the difference?”
We ate bagels and ice cream.
We took the boys to a bug museum where I grabbed Andy’s arm repeatedly because gross:
We all climbed into a telephone booth:
We sailed back to the states:
So long BC!