Posts Tagged With: vacation

Mmmm Timbits!

Catching up on some blog reading and came across a mention of Timbits by one of my favorite bloggers, stayathometatte. Which reminded me – I never got around to posting this picture from vacation of Soapfi having her very first Timbit! (Which she declared as yummy of course – the expression on her face has more to do with the confusion of why mommy is making such a big deal out of the donut hole, than with the donut hole itself!) When I imagine the future, I imagine a future where there are Tim Horton’s in Washington State (if Buffalo NY can have them, why can’t we?????), because I want my Sunday morning 40 pack please!

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Stroller Queen

One of the great things about vacationing with another family that has a kidlet near the same age as Soapfi was all the new and wonderful toys. Sure we brought along some of Soapfi’s favorites, but they weren’t nearly as fun as the *OMG* portable ball pit, and *SQUEEE* doll stroller.

Soapfi was instantly enamored with the doll stroller, she was having great fun pushing the dolls up and down the hallway, and then she made a discovery. She (barely!) fit in the stroller too. And even better, she could convince both Daddy and Penzilla to push her around.

We did eventually manage to force her to reciprocate and push Penzilla around, ONCE. Turns out Penzilla didn’t care much for riding, she wanted to be the driver.

If only Soapfi had stayed as enthusiastic about being pushed around in a stroller when we were at the Zoo for Mother’s Day Weekend…. but that is a story for next week!

Categories: Fun Things About Soapfi, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sketti Face

Back when I was a kid, we took a lot of family trips. They were primarily camping, boating and skiing trips involving multiple families and friends, and if we weren’t staying at a campground or on the boat, we were usually staying in some type of rental house/time share condominium type unit vs a hotel, so we had kitchen access.

With this kitchen access on vacation, a family tradition was born, at least once during the trip we would have spaghetti night.  We would cook a big pot of spaghetti and multiple loaves of garlic bread – yes even on a Coleman camp stove we could make spaghetti and heat bread! (Soapfi’s Gramma is the undisputed queen of camp stove cooking – why have cereal for breakfast when you can have scrambled egg and Canadian Bacon croissants?)  

Since spaghetti night is one of my favorite memories from all those trips, there was no question that we would have a spaghetti night on this trip. It was just as much fun as I remembered from my youth!

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Behold the Power of Cheese

By the end of the week we were running out of places to go, but the wonderful ladies at the Spa recommended we take the kidlets to Morningstar Farm, home of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks.

Best. Idea. Ever. It is basically a working farm where they let you tromp around on your own. They even have a cute little scavenger hunt set up for the kids.  You walk around the farm attempting to find all the stamping stations to earn a prize from the general store .

We were amazed how much unsupervised access they gave you. They posted rules and trusted you to follow them – like please close the door behind you so you don’t let the bunnies out of the hutch when you come in to visit them. Penzilla was brave enough to give bunny petting a try.

Obviously they didn’t allow access to the machinery in the milking barn, or let you climb into the pig pen itself (i.e. they were mindful of the truly dangerous stuff).  But the amount of freedom to meet the animals was a nice change from a typical petting zoo setup. If we hadn’t been stymied by a quagmire of mud, we could have walked out into the field with the goats and sheep. The girls were enchanted with getting to pet the baby cows, and wave at the horses. And to Soapfi’s delight there were chickens and ducks everywhere.

Like any good place geared for kids, there was all kinds of stuff for them to climb on, they loved playing with the knobs and dials on the old tractor, and took turns with who got to steer. And although we had a momentary set back trying to find the stamp for the milking barn (it was hiding behind an open door) we did manage to find all ten stations and claim our rewards (Cherry Blow Pops).

We also tasted a lot of mighty fine cheese. I thought Soapfi was going to eat them out of all their samples as it was a litany of “More cheese please” after the very first bite. She loved them all, from their Monterey Jill (they say it’s like Jack only softer – I say it’s freaking YUMMY!) to their longer aged Rathtrevor Cheese, Soapfi was a cheese tasting machine (she liked the Cheddar the best).

I controlled myself and only bough four 6oz blocks of cheese  (Monterey Jill, Tispsy Jill, Cheddar & Rathtrevor) and a bag of cheese curds so Daddy could make some Poutine that night, but I wanted to buy so much more! Do not underestimate the power of cheese!

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Butterflies, Turtles & Orchids, Oh My

Early in the vacation we were skimming through the complementary Parksville area travel brochure/guide map trying to find something we could all do together. After some coercing, we decided to give Butterfly World a try. (KK is not a big fan of moths, and as she adamantly kept reminding us, a butterfly is basically just a more decorative looking moth.)

As we rolled up we had some misgivings as the place looked pretty ramshackle, but then we spied the sign that let us know that it would be more than just butterflies, there was an Orchid Garden and Turtle Town. How could we not visit Turtle Town?? The idea that there may be more than just moths with good paint jobs inside gave KK the strength to at least walk into the lobby.

Not really knowing what to expect, we walked through the doors….. into 100% humidity. My glasses fogged up, as well as my camera lenses, and it actually made me a bit nostalgic for that “Hell” scene in Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland. So no, it’s not me experimenting with crazy filters, the five seconds between cleaning my lenses and being able to get a picture framed was enough time for the lens to get foggy again!

Butterflies are apparently like many other animals, they can sense which human doesn’t really care for them, and begin to dive bomb them immediately, poor KK! But she was a trooper and managed not to maim anyone in her immediate flight towards the exit.

Although there were some very beautiful butterflies, the place was rather disappointing, especially “turtle town”.

Okay, the place had turtles, but I guess I’m just used to a little more polish in my tourist traps.  A box frame on the floor made of 2×6’s with a heat lamp and two turtles, does not a town make! I don’t know if I was expecting something more like a hamster maze for turtles or what, but this was certainly not it! Luckily the girls were plenty fascinated with all the creatures regardless of the setting.

The most professional and well put together part of the place was the orchid garden, best part in KK’s book as well, because it was butterfly free!

Overall it was a bit of a let down for us adults, but since the kidlets had a great time (they have much lower standards and expectations!) and once again we were able to tucker them out before nap time, it still goes down as a vacation win. We left with a T-shirt for Soapfi and vows from KK never to return!

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Goats *Not* On The Roof

Our vacation was very low key, besides actually making reservations for a place to stay we did *zero* planning (as evidenced by the whole ferry fiasco on the trip home). Our trip was really meant to be a chance to get out of town and let Soapfi spend time with her Godparents and their daughter (henceforth known by her nickname Penzilla (the reference to Godzilla is purposely ironic as she is so tiny & sweet)). We stayed in a two bedroom suite with a full kitchen so we could have family style meals and the shorties could be together constantly.

The grown up ladies had a few spa days (yeah!), the boys had a few rounds of golf, and the little ladies demanded we get the hell outta the suite at least once a day even though the adults were perfectly happy to sit around watching hockey or reading our Kindles!

So on one of the days the boys were golfing, Soapfi’s Godmother (henceforth known by her nickname KK) and I decided to go check out the Old Country Market in Coombs, whose touristy gimmick was having goats on their roof. We bundled Soapfi & Penzilla into the car and headed north in search of goats.

We found the market, but despite all the advertising along the roadway, in the travel brochures, and on their actual sign, no goats were on the roof. But the did have cookies and all kinds of fun wooden toys inside the market, so they were amused…. for about 15 minutes.

We wandered around the general area and found a strange little courtyard full of a mishmash of statuary and a rusted out shell of a car with plywood seats. So we spent about 45 minutes letting them climb all over everything. They even had one of those mini-carousels you can still find outside of KMart. For a mere Loonie they had two full minutes of joy going around in a circle riding garishly painted plastic horses that didn’t even move up and down.

We did eventually find the goats, they were out back in their winter home, turns out they only live on the roof in the summer, we were just a few months too early.

In the end though, all that mattered was that they had cookies and ran around enough that they conked out for naps as soon as we got back to the suite!

Categories: Fun Things About Soapfi, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sittin’ On A Rock In The Bay

The resort was on a nice inlet off the Straight of Georgia with a decent shoreline that had plenty of stomping ground even during high tide.

Soapfi was having a blast because her lovely rain boots were among the stuff we crammed into the car.

She found her first sand dollar, turned over rocks to find crabs, enjoyed throwing the turned over rocks into the bay, poked at some seaweed (the verdict: eeewwwwwww) and generally just enjoyed stomping around.

Soapfi had so many new things to explore she couldn’t make up her mind what to do next or which way to walk, which means I *finally* captured her “I don’t know” shrug on film!

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Our Les Schwab Story

So…. vacation was wonderful – pictures and stories to follow – but in the mean time we’re just trying to get caught up from a week away.

There is the practical stuff like laundry- which naturally lead to me attempting to track down a windbreaker that I am positive I packed in the duffel bag at the resort but can no longer find. The worst part is that it had my iPod Nano in it – I was initially afraid it had gotten mixed in with the laundry and I had washed yet another piece of electronics – but now it’s just flat out missing – ARRRGGGHHH!!! And there is the culling of the inbox – both work and personal – which leads to trying to read the backlog of all I missed this past week (It made me so sad to hear MCA passed away).

And there is the choice of which story to tell first, so I’ll start with what was basically the last story of the trip…

We assumed that the ferry terminal that we arrived at would be the one we would depart from…. how silly of us!  Apparently there were repairs going on at the terminal we *should* have arrived at, so we arrived at the temporary backup terminal, and during our trip the regular terminal re-opened.  We arrive at the wrong terminal, were thankful the Canadians are polite by nature (their buses even say “Sorry” before they inform you they are out of service), and we slunk back out of the terminal and headed for the right one on the other side of town.

On our way down to the wrong terminal, on a road we never would have taken if we had known to go to the other terminal to begin with, we had the misfortune of running over some metal road debris that had fallen from a truck a few cars ahead of us and didn’t know was there until it was too late to avoid it. We thought we were okay, until half way through town our tire pressure sensors starting going off, we heard a thumping, and a loud hiss.  We managed to pull into a 7-eleven and get out to watch our rear drivers side tire complete deflate in about 10 seconds.  ARRGHHH!!

We were trying to catch a ferry at a terminal we’d never been to, and at that point didn’t even know if we were going the right way (the cashier at the other terminal was polite but could only vaguely wave her hands and say “go south from here” when asked where the other terminal was located!), and only had about an hour to get there before we’d have to then wait another 2.5 hours for the next boat.

Everything was taken out of the stuffed trunk, the spare was found, we figured out how to use the jack, remembered to loosen the lug nuts before the tire was completely off the ground, and put on the saddest looking spare tire you’ve ever seen, and were astounded we made it as far as we had with the 6 inch piece of metal that was sticking out of the tire tread.

Turns out we were going the right way, so we limped along with our hazard lights on, and made it to the ferry on time. We spent two hours apologizing to each other about how stoopid we each felt (me for sending us to the wrong terminal to being with, him for not being able to avoid the debris), and then limped along at 45mph from Tsawwassen to Ferndale, with a border crossing in the middle just to break things up.

We limped into the Les Schwab in Ferndale, looking extremely pathetic as we sat with a trunk full of luggage and baby junk along the side of the building waiting for the verdict on our tire. Soapfi was still having fun at least, she was getting stroller rides through the parking lot from daddy and munching on the free popcorn. Amazingly, we had apparently stopped before the inside of the tire was shredded so they were able to patch it up and get us out of there only 30 minutes after we had pulled in…. FOR FREE.

I know there are naysayers out there who rag on Les Schwab for their pricing or tire brands they carry or whatever, but this kind of thing is exactly why I always go back – they take care of me and mine when it’s important.

(Oh – and we went to Sonic and got cherry limeades to make it all better!)

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On Our Way To Nanoose Bay

Well, we’re on our way in theory, since I haven’t packed a single thing yet – I mean I still have 14 hours before we have to be on the road, and hey – I’ve made a list – that has to count for something! Like Daddy has been saying all week, as long as we have the paperwork and the people, we can buy everything else if we need to. Of course it would be a wee bit more economical if I at least brought the big ticket items, and probably more pleasant if I had diapers and snacks available from the get go!

If I am motivated at midnight while waiting for that last load of laundry to dry I may attempt to queue up some “blast from the past” posts about things that happened with Soapfi before I started this whole blog thing. (I can’t believe I’ve been verbose enough to make 50 posts already, and I get even more flabbergasted when I realized someone besides myself and Soapfi’s godmothers are actually reading all this stuff!) 

I learned my lesson with the St. Paddy’s Day Dash, so I forgo hoping for good pictures and stories to be generated by the upcoming week, and just hope we survive!

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Too Much Stuff

We are in the process of packing for a week long vacation. Since we are going to be driving we seem to feel compelled to bring way too much stuff junk. There is the pack’n’play, the booster seat/travel high chair, better bring a few toys, books & DVDs, and the diapers, and the wipes, clothes for multiple weather scenarios, bathing suit – which means swim diapers too, oh man the sunscreen, sunglasses/sunhat (if she’ll even wear them), snacks, sippy cups, kid size cutlery, the favorite blanky, the backup blanky, the favorite stuffy, the backup stuffy, god forbid I forget the six pack of binkys. The trunk is probably already stuffed and we haven’t even gotten to daddy’s golf clubs and a few tattered clothes for our own bodies!

Too damn much junk… maybe we should just stay the hell home!

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