It’s been exactly a week since Haden and I arrived home from our little Vancouver excursion, so I am buckling down and forcing myself to write up this post to remember all of the special moments on our trip.
Maybe it seems silly to consider a trip that really only took us 4 hours away from our hometown a big ordeal, but for me, I loved every second of the experience and idea behind a trip like this for Haden. I could go on and on about why I made “visiting another country” such a big deal to him and to myself, but that’s for another time and another post. Just know, for now, that I considered this our first tiny baby step we took together into exploring what our big world has to offer.
Haden and I made our way by both ferry, bus, and train to Vancouver from our hometown of Poulsbo. He found out pretty quickly that things sometimes go a little crazy while traveling and not what you expect. Just finding the hotel the evening before (we stayed in Edmonds the night before to catch the train early the next morning) he exclaimed “this is cockadoodle!” when we got lost and took a few wrong turns. Life is often cockadoodle, buddy.
When we said goodbye to his sister, he hid in a corner- he quickly ran out as soon as the door was shut and, with giant allligator tears, said “I miss Sadie, mama!” This I had to laugh a little at- because apparently even though they fight like crazy, they find it odd to function without each other. He reminded me several times on the trip about how much he missed his little sister.
I quickly cheered him up with a game of skip bo, which, he will proudly tell you if you talk to him he won every round we played.
Though they never fully announced it, I was amused to observe we had crossed the international border into Canada when I read a graffiti of the word “Hoser” on the side of the tunnel. I wish I could also say I saw the word “sorry” just a few feet down but it wasn’t so!
When we pulled into Vancouver, a little old lady in front of us turned around to tell me thank you for the wonderful story about the mouse. I had been reading”The Tale of Desperuex” to him on and off throughout the ride- a beautiful story about love and mice and bravery- it’s a must read.
Our first stop on our list of things to do was Science World, and it conveniently was just a block down from the train station so we headed straight there. We were hungry too, but luckily there was a burger joint inside of science world- triple o’s- to which Haden made his first international observation “Mom, the French fries in our world are much littler.” I had to laugh at that one 🙂
On Monday we hopped on the Vancouver Hop On, Hop Off trolley. We didn’t have a set plan for the day, but quickly found ourselves renting some bikes near Stanley park to explore. Haden hasn’t had much experience on a bike, so I wasn’t sure just what to expect, but I was happy to see they had an attachment that he could ride and that would attach to my adult bike. He could even pedal to help me, or just ride along himself.
Riding that bike along the sea wall at Stanley park was hands down my favorite part of our trip- it was beautiful and fun and the scenery from the park is seriously amazing! I would highly recommend this activity to anyone visiting Vancouver!
After our ride, we found a nearby Mongolian restaurant for lunch. Here’s a big tip: Green Eggs and Ham was the BEST book to have brought on a trip meant to push my kiddo outside of his own bubble, especially when it came to eating! He hadn’t ever been to a Mongolian place before, but I reminded him to give it a try, just like Green Eggs and Ham- and what do you know, HE LOVED IT!
Hopping back on to the trolley, we explored a bit more and found ourselves on Granville Island- it was definitely time to find those cupcakes he had been anticipating. Ironically, we passed an ice cream stand first and in a moment of impulse Haden threw out his dreams of Canadian cupcakes and opted for some blue bubble gum ice cream instead. He still tells people this was his highlight of the entire trip, haha
Blasted phone dying before I had the oppportunity to document it, but YES, we did have poutine while there. Haden was absolutely against it at first, and, thanks again to Dr. Suess, he tried it and fell in love, cheese curds and all!
Our last day was a trip to The Vancouver aquarium. Since we were heading out after, we carried our backpacks with us and stored them in the lockers there. I was so proud of my little guy for carrying everything he needed for himself there and back and never once complaining. Also of course a shout out to technology and kindles for providing the exact amount of distraction we needed while waiting for transportation 🙂
The aquarium was super fun. Our favorite part was definitely the 4d movie theater, where you not only saw and heard the effects of the movie they showed, but felt and smelled parts as well! Such a fun experience. We had such a wonderful time, and Haden got to spend his last few loonies in the gift shop to buy a tiger shark which he promptly named “sharky cheetah” because of course he would.
I’m so happy we did this little trip. It was amazing to spend one on one time with my little guy. It had me thinking a lot about this stage of life and how thankful I am. I might not be kissing his ouchies, sharing a bicycle made for two, or reading his first chapter book on our next trip together. Holding his hand everywhere we go or listening to his tiny little scratchy voice make euberant amount of sound effects. It was a little adventure that brought us together, and for that, I am so happy. He is one of the coolest kids I know, and I am grateful to have a travel buddy like him.