Thursday, August 11, 2016

There and Back Again A Canadian Holiday (part 1)

The Bumper's favorite view

A fairy house
I think I have recovered from the jet enough to write about our vacation trip to Vancouver British Columbia Canada. We went for the wedding of Nana's friends daughter. I was nervous about this trip for a lot of reasons. Firstly the Bumper and I had to get our passports, which in itself was an adventure. It was very hard work getting the Bumper to stand still for the photo. Secondly this trip was also the first time the Bumper has ever been on an airplane.  Thirdly because this was a sort of homecoming for me. We left Vancouver just after the end of my fourth grade year, and I had not been back since. I have long said Vancouver was my favorite city in the world, partially because it is situated in that sweet spot between the mountains and the sea, and partially because Vancouver  become had enshrined in a golden haze of childhood memory; I wasn't particularly keen on destroying the illusion. As it turned out I worried for nothing.

We left early, 5:30 am , on Thursday morning we were all too excited to sleep, which was just as well since the Bumper had a little trouble popping her ears once the plane took off and I had t8 o give her chewing gum to help teach her how. Unfortunately the Bumper persisted in kicking the seat in front of her for the entire flight. I was so embarrassed! I made the Bumper apologize to the lady when we landed in Vancouver. Upon arrival the Bumper was less than enthusiastic. She'd somehow gotten it into her head Vancouver was going to be a giant theme park with a roller coaster right out of the gate. I had to explain it wasn't that sort of vacation. She wasn't immediately won over.

Water Fun
He used to be smaller and I used to be taller
On Friday we met up with Nana's friends R and G and their son S. S and I hadn't seen each other since we were little kids. I admit I was half expecting a curly headed little boy in overalls. Um no! He grew up and so did I, we did that weird double take thing when we realized who we were, we then proceed try and cram thirty years into two hours of catching up. The Bumper took to S right away and he was a very good sport about it. The highlight for her that day was when we went to a local playground with a water park. The Bumper promptly got soaking wet, which continued as a theme for the rest of the week.
Perfect Day for a Wedding

The next day was the wedding. I am a sucker for weddings anyway and this one did not disappoint. It was held at the University of British Columbia boathouse on the Fraser River. My biggest fear was the Bumper would want to jump into the river, but she managed to restrain herself. In fact when Nana's friend R offered a life jacket for the Bumper I promptly refused knowing the Bumper would take it as an open invitation to get right in! Even though the wedding is supposed to be about the bride and groom (I wish them a long and happy marriage), the Bumper and two other little boys her age hit the dance floor and completely stole the show!  I think five years old is the only time you can cut in and steal a person's date it be perfectly acceptable. The Bumper even took a turn with the groom!

After the excitement and drama (the Bumper got carsick on the way back to the hotel) of the wedding we took a couple days just hanging out  going to visit old haunts, such as Simon Frasier University, Burnaby Mountain Park, new to us since it had not  been built when we lived in Vancouver, Lake Alouette-- where the Bumper had her first experience swimming in a lake and I was able to take a couple of long walks by myself. We also took a brief tour of Trout Lake Community Center, our favorite picnic spot, and the apartment play ground where we used to live.
View from Burnaby Mountain

I think Tuesday was probably the Bumper's favorite day. We went hiking at Lynn Canyon, where she braved the suspension bridge and went for a swim in a pristine natural pool.  Tuesday was also the only the heat wave broke. The day the Bumper went swimming was 15C (59F), but she was willing to brave the cold with S and had a ball doing so. We finished off the day by going to a community pool where the Bumper's bravery was rewarded by a long soak in a hot tub.
Yummy Blackberries

The last day was spent going to iconic Stanley Park and seeing the Totem Pole exhibit, having one last dinner with R and G, followed by a walk on a local tree farm. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures, but the Bumper had fun running races with R and G.

All in all the trip was resounding successes. I loved seeing the Bumper's reaction to the enormous trees and slugs in the Pacific Northwest and she thoroughly enjoyed picking blackberries every chance she got.  My favorite part, however was not the scenery, but getting back in touch with friends and making new ones along the way. We will definitely be back.

More pictures are coming soon!

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