Saturday, August 27, 2011

Great day today - James and Spence left an hour later as the conference changed how they let people in and so now they don't have to go as early.

Once they left, I started on the whole cleaning / packing thing before heading out for the day to climb and go to REI again.

I got things organized and headed out to the climbing wall (The Seattle Bouldering Project) - this gym is dedicated to bouldering and had huge boulders you could climb over and around - lots of easy stuff for even people like me. I did all the V0 routes (except for 2 of them) and I did a lot of V1 routes and I even tried a few V2 routes - I ran out of steam when I put my fingers on a rock and they felt like they were burning...I think the first layer of skin came off...not sure. My wrists, etc were fine, just couldn't stand touching anything and it wouldn't go away, so I figured I was done. I managed 1.5 hrs at the gym and plan on coming back next year.

I really enjoyed my last two days - kayak 5 miles, climb 1.5 hrs - all good. Tomorrow is my walking tour of downtown and I'm pretty exited about doing the entire circuit from the hotel to pike market and back.

I headed off to REI after climbing - they had a sale on and they said to come back and get price adjustments on the stuff we bought - I did that and I had orders from the boys for a few extra t-shirts & socks that they liked. I also got a few pairs of socks (can't beat 1/2 off our prices back home) and two more t-shirts on sale for climbing / layering during winter.

I then went to Trader Joe's for Leora's Lemonade and a few snacks for the upcoming trip. TomTom decided to take me through residential neighbourhoods for some reason and I swore we were lost...we finally made it though and I got what I needed.

I got home, did the last loads of laundry and went for a swim - yes, I actually got into the pool and even did a few laps. When I got done laundry, I got the dog out for his walk and then made some supper - trying to finish off the fries and tomatoes.

I finished packing and got the truck packed and then realized, I packed both of my bathing suits (arg) and so I had to unpack the truck and get my suit out (which was in the bottom suitcase, under everything) and then repacked the truck.

Now I think I can finally sit down and chill, the boys are out until near midnight with PAX - we should be ready to move tomorrow to the downtown hotel for the last day and then off to Comox on Monday.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I found my kayak spot and got organized and headed out at 11. It was a gorgeous day (low 80's) and lots of wild life and flowers all around. We lasted just over 3 hrs on the waterways and were done the entire loop at that point (5 miles round trip is what the fellow said + the trip from the beach to the park, which was a good 1/4 mile or so in each direction).

We had eaten blackberries and blueberries and had drinks, but we were done. I had thought I'd go climbing too, but I was wiped.

We went home instead and made an early supper and chilled instead. The boys are still out at PAX and having fun (I assume), so I think I'll just relax the rest of the night - maybe watch the hurricane move towards New York (seems to be the only thing on TV).
Lots of foot bridges throughout the park, there were walk ways along the water through part of the park and lots of people out on the sunny warm day today was (low 80s!)

After 3 hours of paddling, no more excitement - just get me out of the sun and heat attitude. He hunkered down in the cool hull for 2 of the 3 hour paddle and was pretty happy to get solid ground when we were done.

The geese didn't seem to disturbed by us kayakers either.

the only Grey Heron I saw today, didn't see any otters or eagles though :(
Turtles sunning themselves, ignoring the photographers

One of many lily pad forests you have to paddle through


Fish under the water, quiet on the water - an absolutely peaceful ride

Lunch on the go ... lots of blackberries and blueberries along the waterway - you just had to figure out how to get close enough to get them.

Initial excitement .... gotta see it all

Entry to the waterways - under the I-90 in Bellevue

Pretty wild flowers growing alongside the lily flowers (both yellow & white) very pretty and no motor boats allowed, so very quiet.

The boys headed off to PAX at 7:30 this morning - Spence was so excited, he had trouble getting to sleep last night.

I got up with the boys and after they left, got organized for the day. Got seats & dog booked for the flights to Florida in November and cleared out my inbox.

Now chillin in front of the TV until it's time to head out to the kayak place, just north of our hotel.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Climbing in Hope

Sorry for the blurry pictures - but this was the rock Spence and I climbed and there was really very little to hold onto. There was a tiny little ledge to sort of hold onto and the granite was very smooth & mossy - so we liked it a lot less than the rough rock we climbed the day before.

The out of the way road you had to go on....you didn't actually see this road sign when you were driving to the climbing site.

Spence arriving at the top - after a few falls - yay!

Today was great - a real resty day for everyone before the next big set of activities.

James was off for his run this morning, but after that we chilled by going to Trader Joe's to see about Leora's stuff. We found the pretzels but couldn't figure out which of the 50 varieties of lemonade she wanted...emailed her and got that cleared up. Will try and head back in the next day or so.

We found lots of great stuff and I got a new cool grocery bag from Trader Joe's :)

We got some cherry cola for Spence and then headed home to spend some quality time at the pool. James and Spence worked on his breast stroke and I worked on becoming a deeper shade of green.

I got the laundry done, but otherwise was very lazy. Tomorrow we're all going to be very busy with activities, so it was nice to chill for the day.
Tuesday and Wednesday went by in a flash!

Tuesday, James and I did our walk in and around downtown Vancouver and chilled at the hot tub while Spence chilled in the room.

Tuesday night we met up with Igor, Heidi & Ella (who is now just over 1 and very bubbly) at Cafe Lux (same place as last year). We all had really good home made pasta and dessert and after our visit, we walked back to the hotel with left overs and the kids went home :)

Wednesday morning we got up early, had left overs for breakfast and cleared out the rest of the fridge and then headed out the door towards Seattle....however.....we had to turn around a few blocks later when we realized James' iPad was out on the deck of our hotel room. Spence isn't letting James forget that he forgot his iPad. We got it no problem and then were finally on our way.

We hit single lane traffic in Richmond - no reason, the city just shut two lanes down before the viaduct and then opened up all 3 lanes at the viaduct...weird and really slow! We finally got past that and saw that our wait at the border had gone from 5 minutes to 50 minutes from one sign to the next (that took us almost an hour between signs). We prepared for the long wait and once through, figured we were good on US highways.

We had no problems at the border, but after the border we hit another single lane snag - this time it was construction - but it was on a roadstop and it was 10 miles away - so another hour at 5 - 10 km/hr :(

We were thrilled to get to the outlet mall by then. We stopped off with our goals in mind (I forgot to tell James about a store he'd wanted to see and so we're planning to stop there on the way back) and headed off in separate directions.

The boys ended up with a great new shirt for Spence and had the opportunity to snack/get drinks. I went to a number of stores and ended up with a top from Coldwater Creek and the new pot I wanted from Le Creuset and headed to the car. We headed to the super Walmart to grab groceries.

We then headed to REI to get our annual shopping at REI done. We all did really well at REI - James got a pair of recovery shoes like mine, but for half the cost and we got marino wool socks for half of what we pay in Calgary. Spence and I both got new winter boots and I finally found an awesome rain jacket. We all got a few more shirts, shorts, etc - so overall - that was a big shopping day for us all.

We went straight to the hotel after that and checked in - just as they had a 1st floor 2 bd room ready (yay) and we moved in. The bike got put in our bedroom and everything got unpacked and we decided to have dinner in.

We had all picked a soup to have for supper - so it was soup, crackers, snacks and ice tea for supper.

Today - James has already taken the dog out and he's out for a run now - Spence is still asleep and I'm catching up on emails and our blog :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Today was a pretty good day, despite the rain.

I had a client meeting today, so after getting up and having breakfast I headed out to my meeting. The boys chilled at home. James managed a swim in the pool and Spence played video games.

I got home just before lunch and after I changed, we headed over to our Japanese spot by Fluevog for lunch. We dropped off Spence after lunch and continued down to Denman and walked all the way to Beach before heading back to the hotel. We had a soak in the hot tub in the rain and then walked the dog (who had decided it was not a good time to walk and was resisting the idea all the way there and back).

I got ready to head out with Dave for supper, but he was late and I got grumpy and hungry. The boys ordered in tonight and had dessert / coffee at the cafe downstairs. Just as they were getting that, my bro came to pick me up. He decided he wanted to show me his place and so since I had snitched some bread & chocolate from James & Spence - I was ok for the show / tell.

Dave's place is a cute little house in the middle of all these monster houses in Surrey - really nice and homey. We visited with one of his roomies and he told me all about his new g/f - he's gushing, so it's nice to see that he's met a nice girl.

We went off to the restaurant and the food was great - we were the only two white people in the restaurant and we had a bit of a hard time understanding some of what the girl was saying - but the food all turned out great and so we were pretty happy.

Dave dropped me off at the hotel - long round trip for him and the boys were already settled for the night and I'm just getting ready to head off to bed myself.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Called the Fairmont this morning and they had a room ready for us at 10am...so I whined a lot and got a room on the floor I wanted, not the room I wanted, but the floor at least. Turns out it's a bigger room, so all good.

We checked out of the Granville Island Hotel and headed to the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel and chilled all day by the outdoor fireplace and the hot tub by the pool.

We popped off to Urban Fare, the market down the street and got a few things for the rest of the day and had a good lunch and then supper in our room. We grabbed some stuff from the deli in the lobby to top off supper and have really enjoyed our stay so far today.

Love this hotel (actually I think it's the room I love), could live here, if it wasn't so expensive :)