Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Power's out...again!

I've never experienced as many power outages in my entire life as I have since moving to Tofino! And last monday took the prize for the longest power cut I've ever experienced. We had not a spark of power from 8am to 7pm. To top things off it was a dark, rainy and windy day. Breakers wasn't open but Neil had some things to do for most of the morning so the kids and I sat and read about a million Thomas the Tank engine books (my favorite. not!) and ate everything we could find that didn't require cooking. Bare in mind that everything in our house is powered by electricity so we had no stove, no kettle, no heat. By midday I was really starting to crave something to warm me up when I remembered that the trailer has a propane stove! Bingo! We grabbed a bag of marshmallows and some instant hot chocolate and went and sat in the trailer on the driveway. The kids, who love the trailer beyond belief, had a whale of a time and kept remarking on how "delifush" the hot chocolate was.

When Neil got home he had picked up some burgers from a BBQ he'd come across outside the surf shop (score!) so we munched those then all had a nap. When we awoke Seb flicked the light switch on and off frantically......still no power. By this time it'd stopped raining so we all went to the beach....

The sea was rough and very dramatic but the sun was trying to peek out of the clouds and it tunred out to be just what we all needed after being cooped up in a cold dark house all day.

We even found a massive sand dollar washed up by the rough waves! It's the first totally intact one I've found so I was pretty pleased.

When we got home we discovered the power was back on just in time for the kids to have a slightly luke warm bath. Once they were tucked up in bed Neil and I settled into our nightly instalment of Big Brother UK. All was good until.....a little flicker....then darkness. NOT AGAIN!!

Meet Ned.....

This is Ned. He is a spider that lives in our house. Well, technically he lives outside and thank goodness for that because if he lived inside I wouldn't like him so much. I've been admiring his web for the last couple of weeks as it just so happens to hang right over my favourite spot to sit and enjoy a cup of tea. Yesterday the light was just right and was making his web look extra spactacular so I took a few pics to share with you.

Sunset at North Chesterman...

One good thing about the sun setting earlier is that we can take the kids down to the beach at sunset again. Over the summer I've missed so many pretty sunsets because I've been midway through bath time mayhem. The last couple of nights we've had a lovely walk on the beach before the kids go to bed and every time, I'm blown away by the beauty of this place.

I've never looked closely at this sign before...the "Attention Dogs" section made me chuckle :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Whistle-stop Whistler wishing for wind.....

We headed out of Tofino this week once again and this time I left the Island (gasp!) and set foot upon the mainland for the first time in 7 whole months! We were Whistler bound with a stop off in Squamish for Neil to cram in a kite surfing lesson. As we headed out of Tofino on the affectionatly known "vomit highway" I was just beggining to feel the all too familiar queeziness when we saw our good friend Bear stuffing his face with Salal berries. We see him and sometimes his friends pretty much every time we drive this road but until now I've been unsuccessful persuading him to pose for photos. Today he was feeling pretty and obliged. He even did a little strut past the truck door just to show off. Thanks Bear! You have officially made my wildlife photography debut! Now, onwards towards the ferry or the tooth fairy as the kids call it (poor confused little munchkins!)

We missed it by minutes and sat frustratedly watching the last few cars smuggly drive aboard before we decided how to amuse ourselves for another two hours. Great! There's only so much you can do at the Nanaimo ferry termnal. After a long wait and a not so long ferry ride, we arrived at Horseshoe Bay to an almost setting sun and very much enjoyed the spectacular view on our drive up highway 99. We arrived late at our hotel in Whistler in pitch black and then proceeded to play the game "how many times can you get out of bed before Mummy smacks your bum" a favorite bedtime passtime of our's when we go away on trips.
Next morning we were greeted by glorious sunshine and back off to Squamish we went in search of wind.

We hung around on Squamish spit while Neil set up his kite and waited for the wind to pick up. At about the same time as Seb and Bel began to twist themselves up in someone elses kite lines I decided it was probably time for the kids and I to find somewhere else to play. So off we headed into the wilds of downtown Squamish.

To the COOLEST PLACE EVER!!!! Tumblewoods!!!

Between leaving Neil and finding this place I did attempt to wander around a couple of nice little boutiques, this failed miserably and ended in tears.....yes, mine. Thank god for Tumblewoods is all I can say!! This place saved my day and has got to be the best indoor playground I've ever seen. Ever! The whole thing is like a giant tree house made from reclaimed cedar wood. It's got slides and rope ladders and little play shops and houses all on a big spongy bed of fall friendly rubber flooring. And best of all.....a lovely little cafe and an endless stack of magazines....frazzled Mummy heaven I tell you!!

"and relaaaaaaax" :)

The kids LOVED this place and I have nothing but praise for the people whose bright idea it was to create it all. Anyone who has ever sat, hand sanitizer in hand, at the usual kind of indoor play places around knows just how yucky they can be. I wish we could bulldoze them all and replace them with more Tumblewoods!

Eventually we picked up Neil who by the sound of it had sat on the spit for most of the day waiting for the wind and headed back to Whistler. Neil did manage to get in a bit of kitesurfing and has definately overcome his previous fears of breaking his legs and back.
We spent the next day in Whistler and although it wasn't beautiful weather like the previous day we had fun on our bikes riding around town. We met up with our Whistler friends Mark and Margi for a quick coffee and they told us about another new play area, this time outdoors. We checked it out and again it was beautifully built from a real ancient tree trunk and the kids had a great time. We got some video on Neil's Go Pro so hopefully you'll see more of that later.

On our way out of town the next morning we stopped to check out a bakery I had heard good things about. Pure Bread is a little slice of baked goods heaven! Off the tourist track, they sell all their yummy yums out of their totally charming and tiny little bakery at Function Junction and at farmers market in Whistler, Squamish, Pemberton and Vancouver. We picked up a couple of coffees and some Nutella Brioche (hell yeah!) for our journey back to Horeshoe Bay to catch the ferry.

Once again, we missed it by minutes! yes that's the ferry we wanted to catch.....leaving without us.

On the positive side, Horseshoe Bay is a much nicer place to kill a couple of hours than Nanaimo. We played at yet another playground and had yet another coffee before we jumped aboard and headed back to the big Island and the vomit highway...all the way home.