Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Mighty Good Time

I have a real difficulty announcing ahead of time that I will be leaving home and going on a trip.... as that means my house will be empty. In this day and age of internet and GPS, I shudder to think.   So, sorry to leave you waiting so long but we are now home and getting our life back to normal.  The laundry is almost complete, and I even managed to squeak in some weaving yesterday between loads.  Sort of like doing warm up's for the main event.

Our adventures started two weeks ago with Bruce's model train show in Victoria. I'm the one who handled all the sales receipts and money, so it left things to the guys to simply talk  and make the sales. They did this in fine style and Bruce had better results from the last spring's train show!  They had over 2200 people come through the doors and it was great to see many children with their parents and grandparents.  The little in-house cafe and coffee bar sold out of all food and drinks in record time!

Here's the gang just ahead of the doors opening: (from left to right) Bruce, Colin and Heath. Set up was still under way. Its a lot of work bring everything in and setting up.... standing mostly all day and then packing up and hitting the road for home. They love it though.  They are just as passionate about their modelling as we are our looms and yarn.

We had four days to sort stuff to where it goes between sales and rest up. Then start packing up again for our trip away. We were off to visit our grandson and his parents and later, head onto see Bruce's mother in the Okanagan Valley.  To help reducing the work load and stress factor, we opted to stay in a hotel. Its tough working full time and managing a home and active toddler and then throw in house guests to the mix! It also meant we had some quiet time to ourselves.

Soon our island was in the rear view and we checked into our hotel. Navigating the greater Vancouver area's traffic is always interesting as they have many road improvements under way. They have two new bridges, rapid transit trains (and I heard just yesterday another bridge has been announced for 2017). Just the sheer numbers of cars and people always has us flustered!

Once at the hotel on the 18th floor, I took some pictures from our room facing the mountains.

These are the new support cables for the one year old Port Mann bridge. The hazy north shore mountains in behind.

Then there's the Golden Ears Bridge way off in the Mission area. The mountains are in behind and they are called the Golden Ears. They can be stunning with fresh snow and sun light on them!

Then I looked down and then across the vista and noticed that the city has a lot of green space. Though I'm not crazy with what they did way over on the hillside near the mountains. I think that's called the Westwood Plateau.

Ethan is 17 months now and literally running everywhere!  He's so fast it makes your head spin. He loves technical toys and is looking for buttons to press to make them go. (He will be ready for all the high tech stuff in short order) We took him some old fashioned reading books, a sock monkey from Hilary and this toy transformer:  (sorry Hilary... I planned to take his picture with the monkey but he didn't hold it long enough to snap off a picture!) September 25th Edit: Ethan's maternal grandpa took this picture a few days after we left:

Ethan with his Prime Mate Monkey   Thanks Hilary!  He's perfect. 

He had no time for hugs and kisses, but I could hold the toy steady so he could better press the buttons and set off the lights and voice recording. That was my job for two days: hold the toy for him.    Geesh!

His favourite toy of all (right now) are these plastic rings. He has become a pro at spinning them with a flick of the wrist. He spins them on everything and can even do two at a time with both hands. Rather then spin them with a twist to the right (practice in your mind how you would do it) Ethan turns them to the left or inwards!

One last picture as it is my blog and my grandson :)  Then we were on our way.  It rained from Vancouver to Hope. (Hope is where was the first Rambo movie was filmed for the movie buffs out there)

This is somewhere out in the Fraser Valley.... no sign of hills and mountains due to low heavy cloud. But things sure changed when we came down off the Connector route to the Okanagan!

The sun came out and we had sunshine all the way in to Kelowna.  Traveling through Westbank I got a nice shot of Mission Hill winery: (click on any picture to enlarge)

Kelowna had the world's longest floating bridge but they rebuilt it after we left and I'm not sure of the stats of this one. (It was featured as an episode of  Mega Structures on the television)

Then, as part of your Kelowna tour, here's the classic lakeshore view of the city:

The Grand Hotel and Casino along with the yacht club

The downtown city park complete with sand beach.

We spent three very pleasant and relatively quiet days with Bruce's mother  and caught up on family news and simply spent time together.

Lorraine lives in a lovely town home and is doing very well on her own for having just turned 90! The time flew by and we were heading home again.

The clouds appeared to accompany us home. Here's a last look at the new bridge, with Black Mountain on the left,  as we left town.

We came down the hill off the Connector route at Merritt and turned for the Information and Tourist log house for a break and stretch our legs. A car suddenly pulled in beside us and out popped Lynnette and her husband Michael!  They were on their way to the Okanagan and somehow it all timed beautifully for us to have this chance meeting at Merritt!  A chat and a few hugs later and we were back on the road again. We had to push straight through and aim for the 5 pm ferry. Except we weren't sure of the exact time as we didn't have any internet to double check.  Going to 'wing it'.

This one is for Wendy.  This Mount Cheam between Hope and Chilliwak. Wendy recently did the high altitude Mt Cheam hike and from her pictures on Facebook, she went almost to the top, or to a high shoulder at least!

We made it to the ferry with forty five minutes to spare as it left at 5:45 pm. Its a two hour crossing and so after unloading the car we finally had our very tired feet up at 10 pm. We just got home on this past Thursday night and been settling in ever since.   Calli came back from the kennel and had a double bath and is glued to our sides when she isn't sleeping.

The ride home was fantastic!  The water was flat calm and there was a beautiful sunset....with a warm breeze.

going home!

Great end to the week!

So we are getting things caught up and we should have things back to normal soon.  I also found when we got home that we had forgot to lock the back door.  Oops...  its all okay, my looms are still here and the yarn is fine.

Happy Fall Equinox!  


Anonymous said...

Ethan is growing up so fast, loved to see his great smile. Susan, your picture at the end of the post is just wonderful- you look refreshed and relaxed and glad to be on the way home!

Cindie said...

What a great trip! I don't blame you for not announcing you'd be gone, I don't either. Ethan is a cutie.

Dawn said...

I'm glad to hear that the looms and wool were still there! Clearly you checked on the most important things first.

Sounds like a great getaway. Isn't it amazing when chance things like meeting friends unexpectedly come together so nicely!