Monday, 30 May 2011

Queen Spur Of The Moment, At Your Service

We just had one super busy, adventurous weekend, and it was all brought on by a bag left behind by my husband. He travels a lot for work, and on Friday he was in such a rush, at five in the morning, that he forgot his bag with his clothes and toiletries (can I call guy stuff toiletries, or is there some man version of that word that doesn't sound so girly or pretentious? Basically I mean his toothbrush, hair gel and razor, etc). When I realized he'd forgot it, I felt so bad for him. He's not the kind of guy to go out and buy all new stuff (we are not made of money), so I knew he'd end up suffering through his weekend work trip with no change of clothes or anything (okay he might have gone out and bought a new toothbrush, he's not a barbarian, and he's in sales so he's gotta have fresh breath when talking to clients).

After picking up my daughter from preschool that day, I walked in the door and saw his bag on the table and thought, poor guy, wouldn't it be nice if I could bring it to him? So that's what I did, I used his unfortunate mistake and turned it into a little vacation for the kids and I. Of course he was just on the Island, in Victoria, which is only a forty-five minute drive and an almost two hour ferry ride away. But it can be a lot to manage when you have to pack up everything in a matter of hours, make the quickest dinner ever, and rush the kids out the door to catch a ferry, last minute. Still, I did it. I kind of like the challenge. Certainly there are days that I wouldn't be up for it, but it's almost summer and I swear the sun gives me extra energy to accomplish amazing feats. I don't think I would've done it in the wintertime.

So after I started thinking about going, I quickly made all of the right calls to make sure it could be done, like ask my hubby if we could come and crash his hotel for the weekend, and make sure the hotel room was big enough to accommodate us (we ended up with a king size bed and squished the four of us in it, luckily our kids are still young enough to do this; you can bet in five years from now they would not accept this fate), and I phoned up an old friend that I hadn't talked to in a year (but who I love dearly) to see if she'd want to hang out with us while we were there. Luckily everything worked out in our favor, my hubby even had our extra car seat for our four year old in his company car, which he never does. I just had to carry my son's booster seat (and all of our other stuff) on to the ferry and hubby picked us up on the other side. It was a whirlwind takeoff and a whirlwind trip, but I did it. Queen Spur of the Moment made it happen, and it was well worth the effort.

While I contemplated going, I thought to myself for a minute, that it would be much easier and cheaper to stay at home. But really, how boring is that? We haven't been on any kind of vacation in years (aside from our yearly camping trips, of course). Then I thought, I have to take advantage of this opportunity, it may not come up again for a long time, and I will kick myself later for not going. So we went, and had a wonderfully fun, fly by the seat of our pants, unplanned mini vacation. I am so glad that I didn't listen to that negative nelly voice in my head and decide that it would be too hard or to expensive to go. Life is short and sometimes you have to make things happen in order to have a little adventure for yourself. No one else is going to do it for you.

Here are some pictures of our weekend getaway (sorry, lots of pictures), starting with the ferry ride to Victoria.

On Saturday we went to the harbour at Fisherman's Wharf Park, a block away from the hotel. There were four seals swimming around in the marina and the kids got to feed them. You can buy a plate of raw fish at one of the little restaurants, for five dollars, and feed it to seals. They swim right up to the dock and practically jump up eat it out of your hand. It was so cool.

 Then we went to a lovely beach and had a picnic lunch. It was such a gorgeous day.

Shockingly, my shy daughter snuggled up with my friend, who she hadn't seen since she was a baby. My little girl never ceases to amaze me. She's really coming out of her shell these days.

This is my friend's son who is the same age as my little guy. His mom and I met by taking our boys to the same baby group years ago. I am so glad we have stayed in touch.

The beach also had a great playground, with cool stuff to climb and lots of space to run around. The kids had a wonderful time. And I enjoyed watching them and chilling out with my good friend.

The next day we went to a different beach which was only a ten minute walk from my friend's house.

I saw these pretty flowers on the walk to the beach, and I had never seen them before. It's interesting how in Victoria, which is only a few hours away (and of course separated by water) from Vancouver, there are many similarities but also many differences in the two environments. I saw quite a few different types of trees and flowers that I don't see in Vancouver. It really made me feel like I was somewhere else, not still in our province. I know there are a lot places on Vancouver Island that are like that, like Tofino for instance, which has the most beautiful bog ever. It makes you feel like you are somewhere else in the world.

So all and all we had a wonderful trip. There were a few bumps along the road, like missing the 7:00PM ferry home and having to wait two hours to catch the 9:00PM one. The kids were crazy at that point, along with all the other kids on the ferry. But they sure had fun running around with them in the kids' play area, reveling in the insanity of a late night ferry adventure.