Saturday, May 12, 2007

Vic & Van - Sea Socks Part 2!

In our last episode, we were on the boat, chasing after Owen and anxiously awaiting our shore day in Victoria since we totally missed San Francisco. Actually, we'd spent the two days before we arrived in Victoria trying to decide if we should abandon ship and have my in-laws pick us up in Port Angeles. We weren't sure Mom was going to get better in time to enjoy our last two stops, and I was exhausted from being up all night worrying about her. Fortunately, when morning dawned on that fifth day, we both woke up feeling great and decided to make a go of it. Boy, are we glad we did! Our days in Canada were by far the best part of the cruise, eh? (Sorry, I'll stop that now.)

After waiting FOREVER to get off the ship (standing in line for over an hour with a 2-year-old is NOT fun, although Owen did amazingly well - my back, on the other hand, not so much), we got on a bus and headed to Butchart Gardens.

After a quick buffet lunch (we were running a couple hours behind at this point, thanks to the delay in getting off the ship), we headed out for some exploring. We managed to see most of the gardens on a super-speedy circuit tour, led by Mr. Speedy himself:

This is the Sunken Garden, which was Mrs. Butchart's brilliant idea for the revamping of an old limestone quarry:

If only every business was so thoughtful with their impact. The tulips were in full bloom (they're a couple weeks behind Portland, it seems, garden-wise) and so very pretty.

What more can I say about a place that's so gorgeous?

They even have their own inlet (well, they've got a dock, anyway)! The Butcharts really lived it up, back in the day...

After the gardens, we headed to Beehive Wool back in downtown Victoria. Owen fell asleep on the bus, so we stayed on the bus and let him nap for another half hour or so, then walked back to the ship through downtown. Yes, I skipped the yarn shop. I have a few pangs of regret, but if there's one thing I need like a hole in the head (or a third child), it's more yarn.

This was the night that Owen decided to go completely postal in the buffet.

I didn't have a problem with him and Sydney sitting/walking/crawling on this little ledge next to the windows until they decided to head around the corner, full-speed, and we had to drag them out from behind other people's tables. Fortunately, the farewell cocktail party (and open bar) was close at hand.

I got to hang out with a lounge-full of amazing knitters, but I only managed to get pics with a few. Here I am sucking up to Eunny (it must've worked, because I got a design accepted for the Winter Knits, her first issue - although that was decided well before the cruise):

Here's Erin, holding me up after I had one too many Cosmopolitans (okay, I had only one, but I'm not a big drinker these days):

And here I am with the totally awesome Sweet Sheep proprietress, Michelle:

She stocks Gardiner Yarn Works patterns in her shop, so if you want one of my designs with a much wider selection of yarn that I have in my store, go check her out.

The next morning, Mom and I got up early to check out the scenery as we were sailing into Vancouver. It was totally breathtaking!

Next year, Sea Socks will be leaving from Vancouver and sailing up the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, Alaska. These pics give you a little taste of what the scenery will be for the start of the trip, and it should only get better farther north! I've never been to Alaska, and I can't wait! Remember, sign-ups open tomorrow for everyone...

The morning of our arrival in Vancouver, we got kicked out of our room at 8 am but couldn't get off the boat until about 9:30. Fortunately, Mom was a total champ and herded the kids most of that time so I could relax and knit, although when I saw her pictures later, I wondered what exactly they were doing that whole time...

At least he doesn't have a cigar in one hand! We managed to clear customs, depsite a nervous moment when the customs agent asked me if I had written permission from "the father" to take the kids out of the country (I didn't, but she let us through anyway, after a bit of questioning and several disapproving looks) and after an hour wait in the taxi line (now THAT was a good time), we finally made it to our hotel. We ordered room service lunch and took a little time to regroup, and then headed out to Stanley Park, which is a gigantic park on the tip of a peninsula just north of downtown. We got to play on sculpture by the marina:

And saw the famous totem poles:

We also went to the aquarium, which was fabulous but I didn't manage to get any pictures due to the fact that I was dealing with an extremely touchy, crabby, screaming Sydney. After the aquarium, we put the kids in the stroller we'd rented, closed the rain flap and let them scream it out so that this would happen:

Ah, sweetness!

The next morning, we checked out of our hotel and headed to the beach to wait for Bill to arrive from Portland:

Owen, of course, had to try to get as sandy as possible (after I took this picture, he started putting handfuls of sand on top of his head - boys!):

Sydney was more interested in finding shells, so she and Mom had a great time beachcombing.

The kids were so busy playing in the sand, I even managed to get a couple rounds done on my sock!

The drive back to Portland was uneventful - the worst part was getting out of Vancouver, where we got stuck in a huge traffic jam caused by a pro-pot parade marching through downtown. We also had a 45-minute wait at the border, even though it took us about a minute to get through once we finally got up to the booth (this time, "the father" was with the kids so we didn't have to answer questions about that).

Ever since we got back from the cruise, I haven't been able to get my bearings. I spent all week thinking that it was the previous week and ended up totally forgetting several things I was supposed to do (including signing up for a parent-teacher conference at Sydney's school). I was heading upstairs yesterday morning to get the kids up so we could drop Sydney off at school when I glanced at the hot lunch menu and discovered there was no school! How fun it would've been if I'd gotten the kids up and made the 20-minute drive only to discover there wasn't anybody there. I just can't get my head on straight lately! Oh, and Bill quit his job on Thursday, so there has been much stress surrounding that whole situation lately. It is a great opportunity for him, but it's always hard to take a leap of faith and do something that's outside your comfort zone.

Today we finish the chicken coop (those little buggers are huge now and totally ready to get out of their tiny little brooder) and I try to sneak off to Abundant Yarn's Mother's Day sale with Chris (go check out her blog to see what our Oregon legislators have been up to recently - yay!). And now I think I've used up all of my blogging time (and then some), so it's time to go spend some time with the family. Happy Mother's Day to all you mommies and grand-mommies out there!


Blogger Tammy said...

What a fun trip!! I have been to Stanley Park, but I don't remember it. I was younger than Owen at the time, but we do have a picture of me in the park.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I may actually get my DH on two cruises in one year. That cruise to Alaska sounds interesting too. Hmmm then I could actually meet my SP in person since I am sure she has already put her name in for next I right Chrissy??

Your SP Knitting Fairy

2:37 PM  
Blogger lexa said...

Thanks for posting more pics of your trip! Happy Mother's Day!

2:03 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Sound and looks like you had an awesome time! Thanks for sharing the pics. The kids look so cute asleep in the stroller.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Breien in Lansingerland said...

Amazing! I must visit North America one day. I loved the photos you took in the park; with the tulips blooming.

2:06 AM  
Blogger Nancy G. said...

My DH and I went on a Celebrity cruise to Alaska last May. It went to Vancouver & Victoria (we also went to Butchart Gardens), and as far north as Hubbard Glacier. We also stopped at Ketchikan, Juno, and Icy Strait. I loved the yarn shop in Ketchikan. It's right next to the dock, and I bought some quiviot as my Alaska souviner. Cruising with kids certainly sounds challenging. You are right though, Owen is in a phase. Even though it feels like he'll never get out of it, he will. You'll even miss him when he's all grown up (like mine).

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I can't beleive you were in Vancouver and I didn't even know! it would have been interesting if I had seen you and you had no clue who I was because I don't really comment on your blog often. I'm glad you had a good time though! come back to Vancouver again!!

10:29 PM  

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