The last few days of our vacation were spent with Dad and Stephanie and family. Stephanie did a fantastic job of coming up with some things to do while we were there. The weather wasn’t cooperating (smoke, cooler) for sitting outside with BBQ. The kids’ camping sleepover was moved indoors, and they didn’t go biking together. In fact, after the ride with Ian, I didn’t ride at all. That tells you something about the conditions. And I’m hurting for it: my back seized up just as we were loading the bikes on the cars for the return trip and I’m laid up today. Not enough working out for a week.
On Thursday, we met at 4Cats Studio in Uptown and everyone selected a clay figurine modeling kit.
That was our activity for the afternoon, and everyone was very successful. Ian made sushi, Miranda and Stephanie both had the same whale set. Miranda then made a bunch of tiny items, Zachary made a dragon, Brianna made the otter family, and I made a garden gnome.
The figures made by Ian, Miranda, Brianna, Zachary and I
Tammy didn’t have a spot at the table, so she went after, making a cat offering a box of chocolates.
Working title: “Please clean my cat box”
The kids tried to make the best of it, but the air horribleness rating was 10+ for much of the week.
Friday we were up early and off to Swartz Bay to walk onto the Spirit of British Columbia for a trip to the Tsawwassen Mills mall. I didn’t really have much of an agenda for the trip: the CrossIron Mills mall in Calgary is almost identical. I was just happy to have an outing. Tristan wanted to go to the Bass Pro Shops store, and I am always happy to check out the big fish tank and amazing store dressing.
Ian was the biggest winner of the day: he got two more trips on the ferry, and we shot a couple more time lapses. He also got to experience virtual reality at Virtual-Land. He has been on about VR for a little while. I think his school friends think VR is cool, and Ian thought VR was cool because of that. We went into the store, and sat in the little egg-shaped pods and strapped on the goggles for a “roller-coaster” ride. It was a lot more wild than a normal roller coaster (as you might expect), including with the ride falling apart and you plunging into a canyon, as well as a dragon and a giant spider. About halfway through, I was starting to feel a bit of motion sickness, but I was okay. When I pulled the goggles off at the end and Ian did the same, he was grey. 🤢 Let’s just say that:
- We just walked around the mall for a while and he had some water to drink.
- He’s not that excited about VR any more.
The last day was a veg day: we slept late and had a appetizer and hot dog lunch at Stephanie and played video games. We got to see Walter the bearded chameleon.
As close as we got to a group photo
Then it was back to Dad’s for dinner and starting the packing process.
Everyone’s in the car and ready to go
The trip home was wet. We made good time: 15 hours door to door. We left just before 6:30 am and caught the 8 o’clock ferry (the Coastal Celebration). We enjoyed the Pacific Buffet for breakfast; Ian had been “suggesting” it for weeks. But even he commented that it was pretty expensive. Oh well, it fueled us up for the day of driving.
It started raining in Surrey and didn’t really let up at all. From Rogers Pass through Golden and Kicking Horse Pass, Yoho and Banff, our speed was lower because of the water standing on the road. We lost daylight in Banff and then it was dark and wet, with sometimes torrential rain. It was a white-knuckle drive for the last three hours or so.
Misty mountains in the Fraser Valley
At least it wasn’t smoky… We stopped at Petro Canada in Hope, Subway in Kamloops, Timmy’s in Salmon Arm, Petro Canada in Revelstoke, McDonald’s in Golden and a rest area on the BC-Alberta border. It was raining in Calgary as we unloaded the bikes and the luggage from the car, then crashed into bed.
Tammy has fetched Squeak from the kennel. She seems okay, if somewhat unsettled. My back is killing me today. I can barely make it up and down the stairs. Perfect for writing a blog post, though.