Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saturday on Vancouver Island

Well, we did not make it to shul. I woke up at 8:00, and David said he had not fallen asleep until 4am. And the kids were still out cold. So we let them sleep. Sofia woke up around 8:30, Micah shortly after that, but Sam and David slept until 10. I guess they needed it.

So we dressed and headed to Starbucks (which, by 11am, was the BEST thing I ever saw!). Breakfast, and then into downtown.

Sofia and I dropped David and the boys off at the bicycle rental place. They spent the next three hours hard at work on the trail. Meanwhile, we had a Girls Day in Victoria. Lovely time.

Found cheap parking, and walked to Fisherman’s Wharf, which was much smaller than elsewhere. But Sofia had fun running on the planks. Then she played on the playground for a while, making friends with a young German boy (we ran into him again later).

Then she got in her chair and I gave her my pink umbrella to hold for shade. She was stylin’. We strolled along the Waterfront Walk, looking at boats, and buildings, and flowers, and people.

She had some ice cream from the Lemon Truck when we got to the center, and then we walked up to the Fairmont Hotel. Tried to check out Afternoon Tea, but it was $60 for adults, and $30 for a child if they wanted their own serving (rather than eating off the adult’s plate). Never mind.

Walked around the Fairmont. In the atrium leading to the Convention Center, there was a piano, and Sofia played a bit. Not bad, for someone who does not play piano.

 We walked up a few blocks and then started looking for lunch. I tried to get us an outdoor seating place, but the one I wanted, with the best food choices, was actually bar and was strictly no children anywhere. So we went for sushi.

Yummy Sushi Pizza - seaweed base, rice “cake” tempura, topped with spicy tuna and roe. MMMM. Sofia had a salmon & avocado roll, and had fun playing drums with her chopsticks. We started off sitting by the window, but they moved us to a booth when the sun got too hot.

We were nearly finished when David and the boys found us! Just in time, since the kitchen was about to close. They ordered, and Sofia and I left to go pick up the car (they were exhausted from biking). Then we drove back to pick them up.

Drove up, found a small market to get food for dinner, and then off to Butchart Gardens. Gorgeous! Way bigger than I had imagined. Really stunning gardens, and so many people, but it did not feel as crowded as in Victoria.

David and the boys were a little ... intense... David thought he was perfectly calm, but he was having a hard time with Sofia, who was not listening well. So we split up again. I can calm her down, but not if she is distracted by them. She had a great time bonding with a bronze pony - it was quite the love affair.

We meandered over to the Sunken Garden, and Sofia started taking photos... of people! She would go up to someone and say “Excuse Me. I take picture?” So adorable. Everyone was very happy to pose for her.

David and the boys came back to us so they could give me the wheelchair (which they had take), because I knew I’d need it soon. Sofia was busy taking lots and lots of close up photos of flowers, and photos of people. Eventually she got tired and sat.

David and the boys went off again so that we could go at Sofia’s pace (which is slow). But when the boys started fighting with each other, he called and we hooked back up. Found a place on the fireworks lawn and had a picnic.

I left them all there, and went to see the rest of the gardens by myself. Lovely. Then I went back to join them. There was a band playing at the concert shell, so we could hear the music (and while walking, Sofia and I had done some dancing). We had a few hours to wait for the fireworks.

I took Micah and Sofia to the Carousel. She loves Carousels, but absolutely refuses to ride ON the horses (or whatever animals are represented). She sits on a bench, and gets a little scared about the movement, but loves to ride. She and I went twice, Micah only once (his choice).

The fireworks were spectacular. Really unusual, with a lot of close-to-the-ground stuff. Totally worth the wait.

Poor Sofia of course had not needed the potty until about 2 minutes before the fireworks began, and I was not about to miss it. So all during the show she complained that her tushy hurt. But she made it. The moment the show was over, I raced her off, leaving David and the boys to clean up and bring everything.

It took forever to get several thousand people from the fireworks field to the parking lot. Longer if you were walking with a small girl who was really excited about all the Yellow and Green and Red she could see (the fireworks made an impression!). The guys were at the car for a long time before we got there.

Sam’s in a horrible mood, very angry at Micah and very moody in general. Ah, teenagers. UGH.

They are all fast asleep now (well, it’s 12:30 am). Tomorrow we have the 10:30 ferry back to Washington, and off to Great Wolf Lodge.

Funny story from yesterday: after dinner, we were walking back to the car. It was about 10pm. A car drove by, and one of the guys in it let out a really loud scream as they passed us. Just big kids being obnoxious. So I said a gentle “Thank You”. And the guys in the car sheepishly said “Sorry.” Only in Canada.

 Why do tourist stores leave toys at the door? Oh, yeah...
 Whew! Lunch.
 Look who found us. Zombies.

 Love that shadow!

 She was soooo happy.

 Waiting for fireworks