Anthony on , , , , , 04 Aug 2008 08:34 pm

Hmmm, a dramatic title for a post with no substance!  Just to bring the Kayla story-arc to a close:

  • After hiking on Monday, a cliff collapsed on the Sea-To-Sky highway (on the Tuesday) closing it for 5 days.
  • It rained for a good part of the rest of the week.  Gwen and Kayla did lots of shopping (Gastown, Pacific Centre, etc).
  • Friday Kayla took us out to dinner, back to Shabusen.  It was going rather well until Aidan … um, soiled himself.  And the booth bench.  And his shoes.  Ugh.  I got him all cleaned up and then Aidan and I drove home (and I tossed him in the shower) while Kayla and Gwen finished up and then walked home.
  • Saturday we went to Lynn Canyon in the morning, and the Gwen and Kayla went to Playland that afternoon.

The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

The view north from the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

The view north from the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

Kayla and Aidan in the Lynn Creek Park

Kayla and Aidan in the Lynn Creek Park

Kayla beside Lynn Creek

Kayla beside Lynn Creek

Playland at PNE

Playland at PNE

  • To end out the day, Carla and Tomer (new engaged!) came over and we had a games night, mildly interrupted by the Festival of Light finale fireworks.
  • And on Sunday, we put Kayla on the plane to head back to Nova Scotia. According to her mother, she arrived safe and sound … but overtired and excited.
Anthony on , , 28 Jul 2008 10:19 pm

The weather’s supposed to be pretty crummy for the rest of the week, and the teenager wanted to get up into the mountains some time during her stay here, so I took the afternoon and we made a quick jaunt up to Squamish to climb The Chiefs.

It’s late, I’m tired and sore, and I still haven’t written up about our weekend on the Island, so I’ll leave you with some photos from our trip to the second peak of the Stawamus Chief.  The best thing about the hike is getting to the top…

The first peak

Mount Garibaldi


The third peak

Proof Kayla was there

While on top, we were beset upon by a crew of 3 chipmunks and a bully squirrel.  They amused Kayla almost as much as the hike.

I’ll try to write something about our trip to the Island tomorrow.

Anthony on , , , , , , , , 22 Jul 2008 09:14 pm

On Sunday, we woke the live-in teenager up early and headed south to Seattle.

Happily enough, we were out of the house on time, and the drive to the Peace Arch was uneventful.  The wait at the border was about a half hour, but getting through was one of the easiest crossings I’ve ever had.  I think I said that last time I crossed the border too.  There must be something about my demographic that is appealing to the border guards.  We had a letter of permission for Kayla, but it proved unnecessary and that was a good thing too, because the letter indicated that we were the aunt/uncle of Kayla but I told the border guard Kayla was Gwen’s cousin (which is correct).  It might have been awkward if he asked to see the letter.

We raced down to the Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip where Gwen and Kayla shopped while I entertained Aidan with the motorized ride-on toys (which he’s happy to play on without putting any money in) and pushed him around in a car-shaped ‘stroller’.  We were there for about 3 hours, and between the two of them they only bought $180 of clothing.

From there we drove down to Seattle proper.  The plan was to go to the Space Needle and then hit the Pacific Science Center and follow it up with a visit to the Pike Place Market.  Well, when we got to Seattle Center (eventually … the traffic on I-5 was heavy and slow; it took us an hour) wow was it crowded.  We had no idea it was such a popular summertime place.  We went to the Space Needle with the logic that we had to do it at least once.  It was a long wait, expensive, and somewhat underwhelming.  But, we’ve been up the Space Needle.  It was the only place we took pictures.

After the Space Needle, we were all rather tired and it was around 4pm, so we gave the Pacific Science Center a miss.  We headed down to the Pike Place Market and gave it a quick run-through.

Heading north again, we had supper in what has become our traditional suppertime venue in coming back from Seattle: The Flying Pig in Everett.

After a more eventful supper than I’d have liked (Aidan knocked over a full glass of root beer on the table) we headed up I-5 again.  About 30 miles south of the border, we tuned into News 1130 (traffic on the 1’s!) and heard that there was a 1:30 wait at the Peace Arch (that’s 90 minutes!) and a two hour wait at the Truck Crossing.  And no wait at the other border crossings.  We immediately took the next exit off the highway, pulled out the Eee and fired up the GPS and Streets and Trips.  It didn’t take too long for us to get a route to the Aldergrove border crossing (which is the next one east from the Truck Crossing) and then we were off on a back-road-of-Washington tour.

And the Aldergrove border crossing?  *AWESOME*  A total of *5* cars ahead of us.  And once again, no interference from Canada Customs.  Even having to drive back up the Valley meant that we got home at least an hour before we would have had we come up the Pacific Highway.

How tired were we on Monday, though?

Anthony on , , , , , , 19 Jul 2008 05:43 pm

As Gwen mentioned on her Being Savvy Vancouver blog, the Surrey Fusion Festival is happening this weekend.  This is the sort of thing that appeals to both Gwen and I so we decided to drag the kids down to it too.  We made quite an adventure out of it: we took the bus to the Broadway Skytrain station and then rode the Skytrain to the end of the line (King George station).  From there it was a short walk to Holland Park, the venue for the festival.

The Fusion Festival is a multicultural festival celebrating the local ethnic diversity.  It had many pavilions showcasing food and products from diverse ethnic origins.

In addition, there were four stages set up around the park featuring music and dancing from different cultures.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

As you can imagine, there was a lot of South and South-East Asian ethnic groups represented (ie, India, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia) and China had a big presence too.  Did you know that they’re hosting the Summer Olympics this year?  >snort<  However, there were other groups represented too.  The Jamaicans had a surprisingly large presence.  The Chieftans are playing there, as is Jully Black.

There were a surprising number of RCMP there too.  They were there in typical ‘street’ uniforms, the Red Serge, bike patrols, ATV patrols, and I’m sure they had some plainclothes ones too.  I think it was all in the spirit of community outreach, but I bet the number of RCMP was in the dozens.

Gwen and Kayla stopped by one of the pavillions (ok, they were tents) and got some mendhi put on them.  WOW, Aidan sure didn’t like that.  Every time (yes, *every* time) he saw Gwen’s hand, he broke into tears and told us he didn’t like mud on Mommy’s hand.  And she couldn’t touch him with that hand either.  Our boy gets some weird ideas sometimes.

By the middle of the afternoon, the boy was beat and cranky so we headed back to Vancouver.  Since we were at the start of the Skytrain line, we got some primo seats.  In fact, Aidan and I got to sit in the very front of the first Skytrain car, so for the whole ride from King George to Broadway, Aidan sat on my lap and chatted insessantly about the trip and all the things he could see.  Given the length of the trip (about 30 km, about 30 mins on the train) and the fact that he got antsy on the ride *to* Surrey, this was priceless.  Oh, and that ride to Surrey?  Once again Vancouver proves how inconsiderate it is.  I mean, hello?  A pregnant woman gets on the Skytrain with a toddler in tow and is forced to stand because no one offers her a seat?  I was steamed.  So freaking typical for this city and its typically self-centred inhabitants.

We also had a cool, chatty bus driver on the trip from Broadway station back to Willow Street.  Translink gets a big double-plus good today.

And so does Surrey, for that matter.  Surrey knows how to do these things right.  The Surrey Children’s Festival is much better than the one in Vancouver, and I can’t imagine the Fusion Festival happening anywhere in Vancouver with the quality, diversity, or price that Surrey had.  In Vancouver, it would have cost $30 at the gate and sucked. :)

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