Sunday, October 24, 2010

An international debaucle

Well, it's official.  Matine IS an international woman.  And a party going, large and in charge, never say die one at that.  I apologize for my delay in posting.  It's been a week of trying to recover, get Matine back on a schedule and well, catching up on some sleep!  I have also been weaning Matine off of screaming "Isla" every morning or running through the house looking for her new favorite friend.

We went to see Christina, Jackie and her baby girl and Matine's friend, Isla.  They were here in August and we had so much fun we just had to see them again.  They recently moved to Vancouver, B.C, so what a great opportunity to see some cool stuff and visit our friends.  Pete couldn't go on the trip because of hunting and I thought it would be fun to make it a "Mother-Daughter" trip too, so my mom came as well.

We flew into Seattle and Christina drove down to pick us and up and make the "short drive" (her words, not mine) back to Vancouver.  If you know Christina, she is so sweet and SO accommodating. She really should have told us honestly, "it's a really long ass drive from Vancouver to Seattle, so buy your *%$#@# ticket into Vancouver!"  But being the sweetheart she is, she truly didn't mind driving down to pick us up.  We did get the fun experience of "border patrol" and some good visiting in on the drive.   Thanks Chris.

Matine was an angel on the plane an slept the entire flight... We did get her up at 4:30 am to get to the airport I guess. She's becoming a pro.  Thank goodness she loves to see new things.

Jackie and Matt Farrer .... awe, how cute!
We got a nice tour of downtown Vancouver from Christina as we made our way in.  Gorgeous buildings (and lots of them), interesting people from all over the world, gorgeous harbors, boats, ferries, trains, buses, and mountains.  It is really an amazing city.  Christina is an expert at navigating it already and even has some good ol' big city road rage!

Isla Rose... Oh such a sweet gal.
We got to the Farrer/Thompson house on the first day, ready to chill a bit and let the little gal play with her friend.  Sweet Isla, about 3 months older than Matine didn't have a clue what was about to "rock her world!"  Isla might be the SWEETEST gal on the planet.   Don't get me wrong, I think Matine is a very sweet and kind kid, but let's just say that Matine is MUCH more rowdy and rambunctious than Isla.  I felt like Matine was bouncing off the walls and talking non-stop compared to this sweet, calm little gal.   I am not real sure Isla was prepared to have a Howell/Cottongim on her own turf.  Watch out toys, snugs, dolls, and food - Matine WILL try to take it!

their view from the Sea Bus

They live in North Vancouver, which means that when we went into the main part of the City, we could either drive over the bridge by car, or take a "Sea Bus" to the train station and get around using public transport.  The Seabus and Trains were so fun ... and the gals thought so too!  They could climb, run around and see what was going on.  It came in handy with all our sight-seeing outings. 
Isla and Matt - a daddy's girl for sure!
We went to the Science Center one of the days and the kids loved the insanely chaotic and overcrowded kids exploration area.  Matine loved this peg board ... drug her away (almost had tears).   We also got to see the Body Show that was exhibiting there... You know the ones with the real human bodies, showing all their bones and tissue and muscles... It was very cool.  I don't think Matine has had any nightmares about it yet....

beautiful Vancouver skyline... we took the Water Taxis!

We did some walking (strolling for some).

I think kids love Matt.... It must be that British Accent.

All kids love Isla and Jackie too... how can you not with those faces? 

One of the bigger "Markets" in the city... Very fun... lots of people.  I think I paid about $10 for some raspberries.
Busy day... we must stop for some Gelato!
Are there any words, really?  Is this really my kid?
So, it was great to come back to Jackie's house each afternoon and let the kids be kids, nap (sometimes), and play as they usually would.  As I mentioned, Matine seemed to be on hyper-drive and played with some extra exuberance that even I have never seen.  As seen from this picture above, she learned to play with markers!  Thank goodness they were washable, as they were used mainly as "chapstick" on her lips and face!

I love my mom.  I was so glad we got to take a little vacation together.  It has been years, and I was really reminded how easy she is to travel with, how willing she is to explore and do ANYTHING, and how much I enjoy her company.  And, she was a BIG help with Matine (it took two people to rein in the beast this week).

The gals at Deep Cove... Beautiful little inlet in North Vancouver.
oh, we got wet!  and there were rocks.  and mud.  and did I mention water?

beautiful place!
Totem Poles in Stanley Park ... Very cool

Can you guess which twin this is???
So, everyday we packed as much in as we could with two toddlers and a carload of people.  One of my favorite days was when we went to the Vanheusen Botanical Gardens.  Smack right down in the middle of the city, there is a beautiful growing Oasis... It was nice to walk and look ... and chase Matine.

yes, my child decided to take a break in the middle of the sidewalks.  no tantrums or yelling.  just quiet refusal to move.
 Bridges, flowers, rocks, mazes, crazy looking trees, caves and so much more!  The botanical gardens are a great place to take a family!  Seriously... it rocked!  And, as anyone who knows my mother can attest... she was in HEAVEN!
hi mom... i'm absolutely crazy!

I think we needed to take a left to get to the waterfalls....
Ladies night out to the Canucks game! 
 The ladies went out and had a great time at the Canucks hockey game... I think it was the hats (and making fun of Canadians and hockey fans) that made it extra fun.

Take another one... there's something not right about this picture... maybe it's the hat?
 If you are still reading this post... thanks.  There's more... Hey, we were there for 7 entire days and we did a lot....

The aquarium was awesome... Even got to touch starfish.

Christina showed us the University of British Columbia, where she works, and drove through the sidewalks where no driving is allowed! Go Chris....
More aquarium... Big fish, whales, birds, snakes, frogs ... We saw it all!  
 Thank you Jackie, Isla, Christina and Matt for welcoming us into your beautiful home, family and life... I know we were a lot to handle, but we sure enjoyed our time and will never forget Vancouver!

To see ALL our pictures of our trip - you can see them on our Picasa Web Albums HERE. 

2010 October - Vancouver

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