Saturday, September 03, 2011

We stayed at a Ramada in Langley after the ferry and headed out at 6:30am PT/7:30am MT. We made 5 stops along the way and still made it home by about 4:30pm PT/5:30pm MT. It was between 9 - 10 hours with the five breaks - not bad.

We had very little traffic on the way, which helped and everyone was happy to be heading home. We're all pretty happy to have our own beds for tonight :)

We unpacked the truck, walked the dog, ordered Chinese and are now relaxing watching some reruns on TV :)

Friday, September 02, 2011

Well, I forgot to post about yesterday....but it was a lazy day and that's going to be my excuse :)

We started out by thinking we were going to go kayaking, but it was cold and we were all tired.

We decided instead to take a day and chill, visit with everyone and go to be earlier.

Today, we had planned on heading over to grama & grampa's around 10:30 for the boys to go golfing together...I inadvertently had us checking out of the hotel though today and so we changed our plans and are leaving the island a day early and heading towards home on the ferry tonight.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What a great day to go kayaking. It was about 15 when we got to the kayak rental spot and the guy from the shop (who looked 12) helped us (Leora, Lola, Hunter, me) out. They gave us each a kayak with rudders - so we could navigate through the current more easily.

We left the marina and decided to head up river. We made it past the first bridge and spotted our first hawk, then right after that we saw our first set of seals....at first we thought they were otters, but as we got closer we noticed they were too big to be otters and when they came up to the boat, we saw they were seals.

No big mother seals, all small young ones and a few baby seals. We played with them for a bit and then headed up river again and saw another group of seals and then again a little later another group.

In total we saw at least a dozen seals and they were all very playful. They played tag with the boat wake and liked to dive under the kayaks and up and around to play peekaboo on the other side - we all had a great time.

We got to the big bend in the river (about 1.5 km up) and decided to float back down as the current had been pretty strong all the way up. We floated down, played some more with the seals - paddling back a bit at times to continue playing with them.

By the time we got to the marina, we were both pretty tired and decided to call it a day. We'd been out an hour and a half and it was well worth the rental price to see that many seals all in one place.

We took the dogs back to the hotel and told the front desk we were heading out for lunch and to call if they made too much noise and headed to the Thai Village half way between the rental place and the hotel.

Lunch was great - we got about 4 lunches for $45 (we ordered snacks and lunch for tomorrow) and the waitress noted that Leora liked purple (purple shirt, purple jacket), which we think was meant as a compliment :)

Leora very nicely paid for lunch and we headed back to the hotel to get the dogs and for me to grab laundry to be washed. We stopped at Costco for me to get some Hemp Seeds (wasn't sure if Costco carried them back home) and to see if Costco carried Greek Yogurt (they do!) for James and then we headed over to grama & grampa's place.

Grama was still out for lunch when we got there, so I did laundry and folded the towels incorrectly :) and grama called for a ride home. Leora went to pick her up, I watched the pups and chilled and when grama came back, Leora took a nap while I finished reading all my emails that I've been ignoring for the past few days.

At 4:30, we all decided we were either going to snack on something or go ahead and eat an early supper - early supper won and we headed off to the Blackfin Pub in Comox. Grama had Fish & Chips, Leora had a grilled sandwich and I had a veggie burger. We shared a cheesecake for dessert and then grama & I fought over the bill and I got to pay.

If they allowed youngsters in the restaurant, Spence would love it - full of the stuff he likes to eat.

We saw that the boys caught their limit of salmon before their allotted finish time and had called it a day and so I went home after we got back to the condo.

I managed to drop off the goodwill stuff and clean out the truck a bit from trash and then hauled the laundry back in and put it away.

Overall, you can't complain when you have a day like that.

Kayaking the Courtenay River

Seals everywhere!


We were on the direct path of the planes taking off and landing - pretty cool, but a bit loud at times
Leora & Lola chilling as we float back down the river

Leora working hard at paddling up the river


Just to show everyone, even I got a few seals to play with my boat
The only hawk we saw all morning
playing tag with the seals


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Great day today again. We got up and after breakfast, we walked the dog and got ready to head over to grama & grampa's place for lunch and a visit with auntie, Lola, grama & grampa.

We left after we finished eating and chatting for the climbing wall in Campbell River (On the Rocks). The V0 routes on the bouldering wall were harder there than in Seattle - but they also had V0 easy and V0+ which allowed us to climb a few routes. I managed one V1 - but didn't make it all the way up without cheating a bit. Spence was also struggling with the V1 and James was doing fine on the V0.

We left after 45 minutes or so - the boys were done a bit before me and I gave up when I kept falling off the wall. We got gas and tried a new gatorade drink after the climb - it has protein in it. We headed back to the hotel and James and I got into the hot tub for a bit and Spence got some game time in.

We walked the dog and then all got ready for supper, which was at Kingfisher Inn tonight. I had heard some good things about it from the food channel and it was yummy. They had gnocchi (my favorite) and they had some great desserts. Spence had a lamb dish with polenta that he really enjoyed and James had tuna (he seems to like his tuna) with quinoa. Helen had a steamed dish, which had lots of veggies, dumplings and seafood, while Marty & Leora each had the halibut dish. We all had a good meal and enjoyed ourselves while overlooking the ocean.

Now it's time to chill until tomorrow. The boys go fishing, while Leora and I go kayaking in the morning and then have lunch out afterwards.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Today was good - but long!

We started by walking the dog around the block and stopping at Starbuck's for breakfast stuff. We packed up our overnight stuff and headed out of Seattle to the Olive Garden / Outlet Mall for one final shopping trip.

James got a few things at the Under Armour store, I got a pair of sweats from there and we headed towards Anacortes. We had reserved our space for the 2:45 sailing and arrived right on time in Sydney at 5pm. The border crossing was when we landed at Sydney and took us all of a half hour even though we were the last in line (I think we were actually the 2nd car from being the last).

We headed up island and stopped at Duncan for a quick meal at Burger King. We continued on and just about hit a deer. A baby deer ran across the road as we were driving on the highway (it didn't read the no crossing sign) and James had quick reflexes and managed to avoid the deer and stop the truck without rolling us. We all got out and checked the car to make sure there were no signs of deer and tried to fix the insides of the truck - which had all moved forward...the poor dog must have had a heart attack with the kennel slamming into the back of James' seat.

We made it to the hotel before 9pm and are settling in for the night.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Last day of PAX and last day in Seattle proper.

The boys were off at 8:30 again and I got the place packed and ready to go. I had thought about tanning a bit, but it was only 14 or 15 in Renton and so I opted to skip that. I finished packing the truck, double checked the room and finally got Hunter in the truck and we headed to the gas station, a stop at the mall for a walk and then off to the highway to be at the next hotel by 12pm for early checkin.

Made it to the hotel and was checked in by 12:30 - dog and I had another walk to make sure he was good to go for a bit and then I headed off to lunch and a walk about downtown.

I found the veggie dog place that James had told me about and it's a completely veggie restaurant (called Cyber-Dogs) and they are mainly take-out but have a few seats inside. They serve chili, veggie dogs, soups and sweets. I got there around 1pm and was told it would be about 20 - 30 minutes to get my order (the line up was huge!). I said no problem - and ordered a veggie dog with onions and mustard for $3.50 and it was up in 10 minutes. I headed out with the food and walked along the street down towards my favorite clothing store in Seattle.

PAX has really hit the big time now - huge street signs saying watch out for counterfeit tickets. Lots of folks rolling around, so I ducked out to Mario's (the clothing store I like) and checked out their jean collection. The past two years, I loved their selection, but didn't have any luck with sizing or shortening them. This year I lucked out - not only did they have my size (the same sales girl has served me each time I've come and she had my profile on hand - very cool) - but the jeans were 50% off! How awesome is that! Now my old baggy jeans can be used for climbing and painting and cleaning - like sweats.

I got 3 pairs and walked out a very happy camper. I continued down Pine towards Fluevogs to check out their Size 5 & 6 offerings. I found a pair of shoes, that I wasn't sure I'd like - but I put them on and fell in love. They are red - two tones of red and are so cute! So that was a splurge purchase, that I will have to work a few extra hours to pay off the $$$ spent.

I wore the shoes for a bit and discovered they are just wide enough that my feet slip a bit inside them and so stopped at the first pharmacy and got insoles - which fixed the problem, but not before a few small blisters popped up. Oh well - now problem is fixed, so I can wear the shoes to my hearts content :)

I continued down to Pike Place Market for a walk around the stalls and stores in the alleys and found some cute stuff, but nothing that caught my eye...although I did find a bakery that made some great pastries and so I got myself a sweet to hold me over until supper.

I got thirsty and got myself a drink for my walk and resisted the gelato as it called out my name during my walk. It was near 4pm when I headed back to the hotel and got Hunter out for another walk and then went to chill in the hotel room until the boys were ready for me.

I got to the convention centre around 5pm and Spence showed me around, while James took a break. They really got a lot of loot today - lots of crap :) We had planned to go to the Pan Asian (820Pike Street Pan Asian Cuisine) which the boys said was great - but they were closed on Sundays. I plan to hit that restaurant up next time.

Instead, we decided to head back to the hotel and eat there. We ended up at Shucker's (the casual restaurant in the hotel) and man was the food good. James started with a seafood chowder, went on to Ahi Tuna and Quinoa - which he really liked. Spence had the homemade ravioli - he loved the ravioli but the sauce wasn't his favorite. I had an appie sized pasta with tomato basil sauce - which was great and Spence finished off for me as even the appie size was pretty big. Spence and I had seen someone order the chocolate cake and it looked great - so we had decided to have that for our dessert. James and I ended our supper with coffee and we all shared the cake and went upstairs really full.

Spence decided he was done and skipped the hot tub, while James and I headed down for a soak. When we came back up, I continued with a hot bath and now am chillin with the boys watching some TV before bed time.

Tomorrow we head back to Canada - we're trying out the ferry from Anacortes to Sydney.

PAX 2011 Fun Photos

It helps when your 13 - the girls just don't turn you down for fun photo ops :)

Minecraft - the favorite building game for the boys

One of the vehicles they love to drive in their video games

Cool costumes!

On stage, hamming it up for the audience - Jonathan & Spencer

No, really - it's safe to look down the barrel of the gun! :)

The dads hamming it up :)

Cool full size displays at the convention centre

Again - another display - talk about a lot of money being spent. Looks great.

I'm going to do my tour today just before supper time - can't wait to look at all the big displays.