So when I left off, we were headed back down island to catch a morning ferry over to Vancouver to start our mainland portion of the trip. The ferry was uneventful, mostly because we made a reservation so didn't need to wait. We planned to feed the boys their breakfast in line while we waited to board, but of course the terminal was miles from the car so by the time Jordan walked to get hot water we were almost ready to load. We decided to start feeding them anyway but of course it didn't go exactly to plan. We ended up boarding the ferry with Rio in the front passenger seat, Nolan in Rio's booster, and me, sitting on the floor of the car facing Nolan. At least Asher was safely sleeping in the proper seat!
After we arrived in Horseshoe Bay we made our way to our hotel. It turned out to be as great as we had hoped - an apartment style hotel with all the amenities we needed, right in the heart of the west end. We decided to have a quiet afternoon as all the kids were overtired so we just settled in and relaxed. After nap we took a walk around the neighborhood and fed the kids, then Auntie Chels and Uncle Dave came for a visit. It was nice to have a catch up, but what was even nicer that they offered to watch the kids so Jordan and I could go out for a quick dinner. Whaaaaaaaaaaat a treat that was! We got the kids tucked away and took off for a walk and some people watching along Denman Street. We ended up just grabbing some take out and wine and heading back to continue our visit, but the freedom of walking the streets without kids for the first time ever was heavenly!
The next morning we got ourselves organized, checked out of our hotel and head to Stanley Park and the Aquarium, our reason for spending the night downtown. It was a great outing and our absolute favourite was the dolphin show. I thought Rio's eyes were going to pop right out of her head and she was shrieking with joy and excitement. She was however, disappointed by the beluga show and told us she wanted to email them and tell them she wasn't happy! We were lucky to have a gorgeous day so not only enjoyed the aquarium but also the drive of the perimeter of the park and the views of the beautiful city that we don't get to visit enough these days.
From the aquarium we headed out to stay with our friends Becky, Chris, Gabe and Olivia for a couple of days. We had a couple of errands to run while we were with them - picking up a matching crib for the boys on Craigslist, and getting a new timing belt for our car (don't worry - no breakdown, it was pre-planned!); but other than the bit of running around, our only plan was to enjoy each others' company.
Our first night there was a quiet one and Rio and Gabe did a bit of this:
The next morning Chris went to work and we were left with five kids and a torrential downpour. It was decided that Jordan would take the two big kids to a play centre 20 minutes away. Armed with directions from Becky, Jordan confidently took off. I'll spare the details, but let's just say that they arrived home after 2.5 hours, never having found the play centre. Woops! Thankfully the kids were troopers and Jordan didn't get too frustrated! Later that night, our stellar husbands manned the children so Becky and I could go out for a girls' dinner. We made it home in time to share more wine and laughs.
Wednesday morning marked the end of our trip. We set off for the ferry with no reservations and fingers crossed, but once Jordan took a wrong turn AGAIN (just bugging you Jord but it really was ridiculous!) we made it across the strait uneventfully. We even saw an orca that seemed to be performing just for us, as no one around seemed to notice. Here's the chubbers chilling out on our ride home:
So we made it safe and sound! I have to say that this trip far exceeded our expectations. I had honestly prepared myself for it to be a bit of a nightmare but it was an absolute dream. Our kids slept in 4 places in 6 nights, stayed up late, missed naps, but behaved like angels in all situations. We packed everything we needed (and then some) and even managed to have a ton of fun. We're sorry to those family members and friends we didn't get a chance to see but we'll catch you next time. And based on how this adventure went, there's definitely going to be a next time!