Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a floater. Only a big deal if you know how worried I was that this child would never a) put her face in the water, or b) let me wash her hair without a huge fuss. But somehow between several days spent at the lake this summer and a swim instructor who was just a little bit forceful (thanks, I think), J was actually floating on her back the other day and bobbing up and down in the pool, swallowing more water than is likely healthy. I don’t know that I would go so far as to call her a ‘water kid’ – but at least she’s a ‘I’m-kindof-okay-with-getting-water-in-my-eyes’ kid. In my mind that is something to celebrate. So ding ding!
This falls under the ‘better late than never’ category. For the second year in a row we snagged a cool spot to snap some photos of the Vancouver pride parade. Colourful doesn’t quite cover it – it is a full on visual overload, and, hands down, one of the more entertaining parades I’ve ever attended. Here’s a couple highlights…
We spent most of the parade as spectators a few stories above, out of the crowds and the sun. Only after the parade did we wander with the masses in the street. But it’s important to note: when I asked J where she’d like to sit next year, she told me in no uncertain terms that she wants to be part of the party. Sitting on the sidewalk, potentially getting soaked by water guns, rubbing shoulders with the scantily clad, and, more importantly, close enough to catch any prizes that might come her way. Fair enough. And as a side note, J is getting so good with our little point and shoot camera that she may very well be in charge of documenting next year’s parade…
p.s. Pictures from last’s year’s Pride Parade
Last week we spent some time at Veranda Beach, hanging out with old friends (some older than others, wink wink), dipping our feet in the lake, sipping on cold beverages, getting our BBQ on, and watching some fifty odd little feet run around like crazy. Here’s a few snippets.
We were so proud of J for finally putting her face in the water – she has never really been a “water baby” and even bath time can be challenging some days. But seeing a bunch of other kids splash and play confidently in the water was better than any swimming lesson she has ever taken. So thanks, kids! Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago we met Great Auntie D and Cousin L for a strawberry picking session at Emma Lea farms. I hadn’t been strawberry picking in years and it was a fun way to spend a summer afternoon. J seemed to be enjoying herself, jumping over the rows of strawberries and (surprise, surprise) eating more than she collected. When we were done we had 16 pounds (!) of delicious, super sweet strawberries. We rewarded ourselves with strawberry milkshakes that went down way too fast. I don’t know why we don’t make milkshakes with fresh berries at home all the time. We capped the afternoon with a jump in Great Auntie D’s pool, which also served to rinse off the strawberry juice stuck in between little toes. Next up: blueberries!
P.S. I had no great plan for the strawberries we brought home. We ended up making lots of strawberry slurpees, a strawberry rhubarb crumble using this tasty recipe, strawberry scones, strawberry syrup to go on our pancakes one morning, and a strawberry spinach salad. The remaining strawberries are in my freezer but I don’t need to think about them for a while if you know what I mean.
TIP * Field strawberries are like little sponges and absorb water quickly – keep them fresher for longer by avoiding washing them until right before your eat them :-)
A few weeks ago we spent the afternoon strolling Denman street for Car Free Day. And while we navigate the majority of our days car-free because a) parking is too crazy-expensive in the city b) by the time you find parking it’s actually quicker to walk and c) it’s how we tire J out – something about walking up the middle of the street (when you spend your days constantly telling your child to stay off the road) makes you realize how great it would be to have more car-free spaces.
J was running into her little friends left, right and centre, which seems to be the case lately. I always thought it would be tough to carve out a community in a big city, but kids have a way of doing that for us, especially once they hit school-age.
The weather was a bit overcast, but warm, and we only had to take shelter once and wait for a rainy patch to pass. It’s that time of year where I pretty much refuse to bring my umbrella out, almost as if I’m willing the rain to stay away. Futile but optimistic at least.
We’ve gone to a few car-free days over the years, but this one made me really appreciate the value in creating more permanent car-free spaces. The relaxed vibe, the ability to linger and to chat with your neighbours is something that we sometimes miss out on when we hop into our cars and drive away. Maybe if we all just slap a pair of colourful tires on our bike it will encourage us to leave the car keys at home more often? At least until the rain comes back…
A few weeks ago, J, my sister and I took a day trip to our old stomping grounds, White Rock Beach. So much had changed in our hometown and it made me a bit sad to see all the development; the enormous houses jammed onto tiny lots, stop lights where once there were none, and quaint old structures dwarfed by new condos – some places were unrecognizable and I even took a few wrong turns in a place that I used to know so well. * Sigh. But despite the inevitable growth of the city and dwindling charm, there was something that remained so perfect; and for the most part, intact. The East beach is still home to my favourite fish and chips joint Moby Dick’s – and that particular strip of beach is still pretty old school. There’s not many places (other than certain chain restaurants) that I can say I’ve frequented for nearly my entire life. But Moby Dick’s has been around since the late seventies. And so have I :-). I went to school with a boy whose parents (at the time) ran the place, and I remember them sending us fish and chips after my mom had a baby (which one, I don’t know). And even though ownership has changed hands and the colour has been swapped from white to bright blue, it’s that greasy-good taste and tartar sauce served in a beer box that brought back flashes of childhood. The smell of hot beach rocks, salty air and seagulls surfing the breeze that culminated to create a sweet moment of nostalgia and contentedness. Toss in a giggling four-year-old chasing down seagulls and some time spent with my sister and call it a great day. Those moments. They are the ones.