July Recap, Part 2

Check out Part 1 of my July recap here.

Just over 22 years ago, my mom took me to my first ever concert – the Backstreet Boys! A fan for life, I have been. So when it was announced that they would be coming back to Vancouver I just had to try and get tickets! Obviously, I was successful, and last weekend my mom and I road tripped once more to live out my fangirl dreams!

We left early Friday morning and made pretty good time getting into downtown Vancouver considering there was quite a bit of congestion and traffic. We were staying with my brother so we swung by his office to pick up keys and a parking pass before making our way to his place!

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The view from his apartment was pretty stellar, as long as I didn’t look down!

After dumping our stuff we took the sea taxi across to Granville Island to kill some time/pick up things for dinner while we waited for my brother to get off work. We also took a little walk along the beach before the humidity got to us and we had to retreat back to the apartment.

Once my brother got home from work we went out again to get a few groceries for breakfast and to make a quick stop at the liquor store. Fun note: I was asked to leave the liquor store for not showing my I.D. even though I wasn’t buying anything. (My brother was already in line paying and I was just standing there beside him.) So that was hilarious! We went back to the apartment and had an awesome dinner before venturing out again. Vancouver was gearing up for Pride Week, so there was a bunch of free entertainment going on by the Art Gallery, including Drag Queen dance lessons, so that was fabulous to watch!

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Saturday morning I was able to check a run on the Seawall off of my Run Route Bucket List! One day I’d love to run the Seawheeze, but until I’m prepared for that, this was the next best thing. The views were pretty spectacular, especially as the sun rose over English Bay!

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Post-run selfie with the Burrard Street Bridge!

By the time I was done my run I was hot and disgusting, so I headed back to the apartment and sat myself in front of the fan while I waited for my mom and brother to wake up.

After breakfast my brother thought it would be fun to go to the Stanley Park Pitch & Putt. It was actually super fun and we laughed so hard! We were starving by the end of the round so we found a place to have some lunch. Lucky for me, they were still serving brunch, so I ordered a crab cake eggs benny with a pineapple margarita, and it was delicious!

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After lunch we ventured towards Robson Street and meandered to the Jack Poole Plaza to check out the Olympic Monument solely because I had never seen it in person before. (#TouristMode) It was a little underwhelming but the people watching was good!

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We slowly made our way back to the apartment to relax before ordering dinner (Door Dash is amazing in Vancouver) and getting ready for the concert! We were about a 1/2 hour walk away from Rogers Arena, so we left with plenty of time to navigate the streets and find our seats!

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The opening act started almost right on time (which happened to the the 16-year-old son of one of the Backstreet Boys, which made me feel wicked old), and then … it was SHOW TIME FOR THE BACKSTREET BOYS!

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Let me tell you, they seriously put on an amazing show, and I’m not just saying that as a life-long fan! They nearly performed for 2-hours straight, singing all of the classics as well as a few new ones off their latest album. The audience was electric and I am so glad that I got tickets to this show. My inner 11-year old is very happy with my adult self, is what I’m saying!

We arrived back to my brother’s apartment just around midnight and I promptly fell asleep, mostly because I was exhausted. (I logged just over 35,000 steps according to my FitBit!)

On Sunday we managed to hit the road at a decent time and casually made our way back home! As much as the break was wonderful, I missed Kyle and the girls and was happy to be reunited with them!

So with that, July was a pretty amazing month and I’m looking forward to whatever August has to bring!

What are some July highlights for yourself? Are you still a fan of a singer or group that you started listening to when YOU were a kid? Share in the comments!

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Road Trip Recap

Warning: This post is wordy!

Once a year my mom and I try to make our way down to the Vancouver area to get some solid family and shopping time in. This past weekend we loaded up half of my house our stuff and headed out for a fun, four-day visit!

(Seriously though – I drove our truck down because we had SO MUCH STUFF. Between our regular luggage and everything I needed for Norah, it was necessary to take the truck.)

The girls did great on the ride down only having to stop twice, once just to stretch our legs and the other time to have lunch. We were lucky enough to have great driving weather and once we got down to the Fraser Valley the traffic wasn’t even that bad. When we arrived at my grandpa’s we were welcomed with margaritas! Can’t say no to that ;)

After dinner we went for a short walk up to the park where the girls had some fun on the swings and teeter totter. Soon it was time to walk back and turn in for the night, as Saturday we had a busy day planned out!

My grandpa drove us to the Skytrain station where we hopped on the train to go right into downtown Vancouver and meet up with my brother! He met us at the stop closest to his apartment and we picked up some lunch from Freshii (which I’m still drooling over) on our way to his place.

After lunch we headed out towards the Seawall and walked along there until we got to the Aquabus dock. We hopped on the cute little ferry and went across False Creek to Granville Island and checked out the Public Market and Kid’s Market! Isla was having a ton of fun and she was SO sad/upset when it was time to leave, but we had a lot of walked left to do to get back to the Skytrain station and head back into Burnaby. (I think my brother said we walked just over 15,000 steps, according to the app on his phone.) I’m so glad I was able to borrow a Sit & Stand stroller, because Isla wouldn’t have survived the trek back to the station.

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Sunday was our shopping day and we headed out to Ikea (conveniently only 10 minutes away from my grandpa’s) to BUY ALL THE THINGS pick up a few items. I bought a bookshelf for Norah’s room and some new dishes, as well as a couple odds & ends because Ikea. I was also able to meet up with Callie, which was wonderful as we don’t get to see each other very often! (Especially in her neck of the woods!) We all went back to the house afterwards for some lunch and then my grandpa dropped us off at the Skytrain station so we could hop on the train and head to Metrotown to do some more shopping!

Old Navy just so happened to have an amazing sale on baby and kid’s clothes (BOGO free!), so I stocked up on some summer gear for Isla and Norah. We also visited the Disney Store where Isla REFUSED to leave, (can you blame her?) and I got suckered into going to Lululemon by my brother:

Him: Don’t you want to go into Lululemon?
Me: I don’t really need to. I don’t need anything.
Him: Well, I want to look at shorts for running.
Me: Okay, fine. 
(I buy a new bag, my brother buys NOTHING.)

It was time to head back to the Skytrain, and that’s when the hilarity begins. First, we ask Isla if she needs to use the bathroom, which is at the complete opposite side of the mall from the Skytrain station. (Of course.) She says no, so we head towards to station. We get to the exit, and what is Isla doing? The potty dance. I walk/run allllllllllll the way back to the bathroom with her, then we walk/run allllllllllll the way back so we can get on the train. One just pulled up when we got to the platform, so we rush and get on the train only to realize after it takes off that we got on the headed in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION of where we needed to go. Ugh. So we get off at the next station, get on the train going the RIGHT way, only to realize that we were on the train going to SURREY, not our stop. We rode that train until we couldn’t anymore, then FINALLY got on the train that would take us to the station where my grandpa was picking us up. Thankfully the Skytrain “regulars” could tell that we were total newbs and were so wonderfully helpful in making sure we got on the correct trains.

Needless to say, I was happy when my grandpa busted out the margarita machine when we got back!

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Isla would’ve rode the train all day if we let her.

Monday morning we loaded up the truck (which took some planning out due to all of our shopping) and we were on our way home. It was bittersweet leaving because we had such an amazing time, but the girls were starting to get a little restless and needed to get back to their normal schedule. They did SO well though – especially Norah – and neither one of them made me regret driving all the way down to Vancouver for a few days.

We can’t wait to do it all again next year!!

A Weekend of Fun, Adventure, and Closure

Whew! I’m back from a seemingly whirlwind trip to Burnaby/Sechelt/Vancouver. My mom, Isla and I headed down to the coast Friday morning for a little weekend getaway, not only for some shopping, but also to bring a little closure. (More on that later)

We left around 9:30 Friday morning after rushing Isla through her breakfast and getting her motivated to sit in her carseat for 4 hours. She actually travels really well and just played with her Mangadoodle until she fell asleep after we were about half-way to Chilliwack. She woke up just in time for us to stop for lunch, so it worked out perfectly! After lunch, we continued on our way to Burnaby, where we were going to stay with my grandpa and his girlfriend. We got there around 2 p.m. and were able to unpack and relax for a little bit before we headed to Ikea!

I probably could have gotten into a lot of trouble in Ikea, but I had a mental list of things I wanted to get, including something for Isla’s birthday, a cake stand, and a little plant for the hallway. I managed to get those three things, plus a few extras: some wall art for the ensuite bathroom (pictured on the right –>), cutting boards, a clock, a pig stuffy for Isla, and some more cork hot pot holders. The bonus? I didn’t spend more than $100! Go me! After that we headed back to the house and got ready for dinner. As it turns out, my uncle and aunt had also come down for the weekend, so they came over for dinner as well! It was actually great to see them, because I haven’t seen them both in about 2 years!

So, the main reason behind this whole trip was because we were going to go to Sechelt on Saturday to spread both my Nana’s (my great-grandma) and my Grandma’s ashes. May 9th was my Grandma’s birthday, and with Sunday being Mother’s Day, my grandpa thought it would be fitting to do it that weekend.

We got on the road fairly early and were able to catch the 8:30 a.m. ferry up the Sunshine Coast to Langdale/Gibsons. It’s been about 15 years since I’ve been that way, and let me tell you – I appreciate how beautiful it is more than ever now. Seriously – if you haven’t been, you should. We all met up with old family friends of my Grandma’s, as well as her cousin, and we made our way to the seaside.

I must say, I wasn’t sure how I was going to react while we spread the ashes. It’s been 8 years since my Nana passed away, and 2 years since my Grandma, but it still seems like it was yesterday. The weather was windy and the waves were making their presence known, but it still felt so peaceful being there at the water. We tossed roses into the water and along with a few tears we shared a few memories.

Afterwards, we spent some time walking along the shoreline before heading back to a family friend’s house, where there was a delicious luncheon prepared for us. I really can’t get over all the wonderful people my grandparents have got to know and became friends with over the years. They were like an extended branch of the family. After lunch my mom, aunt, Isla and I went for another little walk to the water, and I couldn’t help but strike a quick tree pose in a little sandy spot in the ocean.

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By 3:30 is was time to head back to the ferry terminal so we could get on the 4:30 ferry. We could have done so much more exploring if time had allowed, but when travelling with a 2-year old you can’t push your luck too much ;)

The view from the ferry along the Straight of Georgia.

The view from the ferry along the Straight of Georgia.

Let me just say that I had the wonkiest sleep patterns ever on this trip. I would go to bed around 9:30-10 p.m. and wake up at 5:30-6 a.m. without an alarm or anything like that. I don’t know if it was the pressure of our busy schedule, but I was exhausted and a little cranky by the end of the day. Thankfully my Grandpa is an early riser as well and always had a hot cup of coffee ready for me when I came upstairs.

On Sunday my mom, Isla, and I caught the Skytrain into Vancouver to meet up with my brother! I haven’t ridden the Skytrain in ages (I think I was probably 11?) so we were a little lost when it came to what train to get on, but some very nice people happily pointed us to the right side of the concourse. My brother met us at the Tim Horton’s right by the station, and we caught the bus (my first city transit bus trip EVER) to the apartment he shares with his girlfriend. Let me tell you, his view is HORRIBLE:

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I have no idea how he can stand looking at the inlet and seeing those gorgeous sunsets. Pfft …

After letting Isla stretch her legs we walked about 4 blocks to Stanley Park (AGAIN – How can my brother stand living where he does?!) and walked along the seawall to Third Beach, where it was nice and sandy. I let Isla walk through the sand with bare feet and she loved it! We went to the water edge so she could put her feet in the ocean and she thought it was the best thing ever. She was seriously upset that she couldn’t go all the way in.

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Balancing rocks along the Seawall

We grabbed lunch at Fatburger, where I opted for fish & chips instead of a burger, and then walked it all off on our way to Robson Street to do a little shopping. I bought a couple of tanks from Old Navy, a caramel apple for Kyle from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and some new yoga shorts from lululemon. (I seriously have a lulu addiction.) After that, it was back on the bus to my brother’s place, where we met up with his girlfriend so they could both join us back at my grandpa’s in Burnaby for dinner.

We ended up not going for dinner until just after 7, and the restaurant was PACKED. We didn’t get seated until around 8 p.m., and I was really worried about Isla having a meltdown, but she didn’t have a care in the world! She was too busy playing with chopsticks and teacups to care about eating dinner at the time when she’s usually going to bed. We eventually got home around 9 p.m. and Isla was out like a light after a quick bath and story.

My mom and I loaded up and headed home yesterday morning and made good time. Isla dozed in and out of sleep the entire way home. It feels great to be back home; I missed Kyle a lot, and even my doofusy dogs too. As much as I love travelling, it can be so stressful, especially when you have a jam-packed schedule and a toddler. Isla had a blast the entire time and was so well behaved; she was seriously the centre of attention the entire trip. Some sweetly-cooky older lady on the ferry stopped dead in her tracks and commented on how gorgeous Isla was. Apparently the lady used to work as a casting director for films and said that she “still has the eye.” It was a little weird, but Isla loved the compliments ;)

So there you have it – my busy, crazy weekend in a nutshell! Now I’m back to the regular routine at home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way :)