Wednesday, September 24, 2014


We were fortunate to have both my parents and Dave's parents and younger sister come to visit within one week of each other! While we've been here in Canada, we've scouted out some places to take visitors. We were able to take them to few of those and also try a few new places while they were all here. Anyone else want to take a trip to see us? We love finding fun things to do around here!

When my parents came, we showed them Burnaby Lake Park, Lighthouse Park, Lynn Canyon Park and Second Beach in Stanley Park. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking here:

While walking through a butterfly garden in Burnaby Lake Park, the kids sat below a bird feeder for almost 10 minutes, as still as I have seen them for a long time! They were trying to let the birds come up very close, but were not so lucky.

       Grandpa was also very still while watching. He's known as the real bird-watcher of the family!

 A beautiful wood duck, from our walk out on a view point area.

After we strolled through Burnaby Lake Park, we waited for Dave to get home from work and raced up to West Vancouver to Lighthouse Park. We took a short 10-minute stroll through gorgeous 500-year-old cedar and fir trees to a view point of a historic lighthouse, built in 1875. It would have been great to hike through some of the oldest and tallest trees and old-growth forest in all of B.C., know as "The Valley of the Giants", but we made it to the lighthouse just in time to see a beautiful sunset view and snap some pictures. It was a dark walk back to the car, but worth it. What a gorgeous place!

The next day the kids and I took my parents to Lynn Canyon, a favorite place of ours, that I have posted about here before. Dave had to work, but my mom and dad got to experience the suspension bridge and the 30-foot pool. It was great to hear my dad tell us how to tell the difference between the species of  trees, and how to find huckleberries. The park was not as crowded as it was when we went on Canada day, so it was very lovely to sit and soak our feet in the cold, fresh river.

After Lynn Canyon, we took a short drive over Lion's Gate Bridge into downtown Vancouver and then into Stanley Park. We spent a couple hours at Second Beach and the playground. The kids received a personal science lesson from Grandpa Burt on the pull of tides, and the creatures living in tide pools. The kids started digging for clams, and actually filled to overflowing, a pint-sized Mason jar with clams! The jar was intended to bring home an Ocean water sample to extract the salt as another science lesson, but instead, Grandpa cooked the clams, the kids helped gut them (ewww!), and I made homemade clam chowder! It tasted awesome! Thanks Grandpa!

They found a crab that was still alive, but missing a leg...we left him there.

Saturday night, we also celebrated my Dad's birthday! He had a chocolate cake with fluffy, white frosting. It made the cake look like the ghost on Ghostbusters! 
Thanks for visiting, Grandma and Grandpa Burt!
This past weekend, Dave's parents came to see us. Isaac's birthday was Thursday, the day they arrived, so we spent that evening celebrating. We took them to see a premiere of a show that Nerd Corps produced. Again, it is not the show Dave worked on, but it was a very fun pre-school monster truck show called, "Blaze". It was a perfect activity for Isaac's birthday, and the best part is that it was free! They even gave us free drinks and popcorn (something we usually skip at the theater). Isaac was glued to the screen the entire time! Total hit for him!

Kylee made Isaac a cake earlier that day, while I cleaned before Grandma and Grandpa arrived, but after the movie, I decorated it like a puppy (Isaac's favorite thing lately), while Dave and his mom made our dinner. We sang to Isaac and had him blow out the candles, then ate cake and ice cream and put a very tired boy to bed! For nearly a week now, he's wanted me or Dave to sing the "Birdae" song to him when he's going to bed. He loves hearing his name in it!
The next day was a really fun day! It was raining in the morning, but cleared up for us in the afternoon, which worked perfectly for our plans. We took the Wilsons to the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. This museum is centered around the "First Nations" of Canada, or the original native people. There are totem poles and artifacts from the early settlers of this country and area, from way before it was Canada. There are artifacts from surrounding Asian countries, like Japan, Korea, China, and even a china collection, as in dishes, from European and Mediterranean countries. It is an AMAZING and extensive collection. We didn't even get to go upstairs, so there is more we don't know about. 

After the museum, and taking care of a diaper emergency, we ended the day with a beautiful park and beach, called Wycliffe Park. We took a long time to get up there, north of West Vancouver, and had to stop and figure out GPS and I pad maps, but eventually found it. The drive there was so beautiful with views of the coast and the city. 
The kids jumped right out of the car onto the playground and played for a good 1/2 an hour after the long car ride. Then we made our way down to a gorgeous, rocky beach and spent an hour or more, exploring in the evening light. 

We saw a scuba diver surface and bring three oxygen tanks ashore. It was kinda creepy, seeing something come out of the depths of the sea! We also watched a Harbor seal bring in a fish and eat it among the rocks. He then played in the shallow water, peeking his head out once in awhile to watch us. We didn't get a very great picture. I'll see if someone else did, or if Dave can help me put a video up here later.
We discovered a private little cove, with a log, perfect for a balance beam that jutted out over some water and led to some other rocks. The kids followed it and found a tide pool with a few crabs and fish living inside.

After a few family photos and another diaper emergency (never feed a 2-year-old mostly grapes for lunch and forget to repack your diaper bag before a day out), we headed out to a burger place for dinner and then home for some sleep. 
Saturday, Dave's parents took a trip to Seattle and came back that night with Emily, Dave's sister. Sunday we all went to church and then relaxed after church. I made dinner, and we took a walk out in our own Deer Lake Park, near our house. We came back and ate the dinner, and then headed out once more to Barnet Marine Beach, where we watched the sunset, walked along the beach and saw starfish and people casting out crabbing cages. Emily came back with a few sea shells for souvenirs. 
Yesterday morning, the Wilsons had to leave, but after our kids' first day of school (one whole hour) and some loose registration issues I needed to tie up, the kids and I and Mom and Dad Wilson and Emily headed over to a little restaurant to give them one last taste of Vancouver: Bubble Tea. Basically, it's an Asian warm or cold milky tea (can be herbal and not caffeinated) with mix-ins, like tapioca, or jelly pearls, gelatin, fruit, custards, and even red beans. Some are really yummy, and some....well, maybe I need to develop more of a taste for! They had to get theirs to go, along with some sandwiches, and hurry down to Seattle to catch a flight home.
All in all, we had a very fun last couple of weeks and enjoyed having family come for good visits. We miss being close to them, but are glad we live in a place that people are interested in visiting! Thanks for coming, grandparents and Emily! Who's next?!