Saturday, March 21, 2009

Celebrating Mike's Birthday Canadian Style

Spring Break in British Columbia

Friday afternoon we drove up to Puyallup, where we celebrated Mike's 46th birthday with a wonderful dinner of lentil chili and ice cream sundaes with my sister, her husband, and the kids (plus my mom and dad, who are joining us in Canada). Their nanny, Herrerra, makes the most incredible lentil chili, and it's a true family favorite. We feel very honored because it's a closely guarded recipe but she has shared it with us. She made the chili on Friday, and when Chris saw we were having it for dinner, he rejoiced!

The cousins had their usual time of loud, wild fun together. When we left Saturday morning, Ryan was full of tears, and all the way to Canada Nicholas kept saying "I miss the cousins!"

Saturday morning we left Puyallup before 10, with not a lot of wiggle room to make it to the Port Townsend ferry terminal by 1:00 (the ferry was to leave at 2:00). This should have been fine (it takes around 2-1/2 hours), but we had about 1/2 hour of panic when we got to the Hood Canal Bridge, and the traffic was backed up for miles. The only thing we could conclude was that the bridge must have been closed for naval ships. With visions of having to return to Puyallup and postpone our trip by a day, we were greatly relieved when the traffic finally started moving again. We made it to the ferry terminal just before 1:00, after stopping for sandwiches and the restroom.

Kieran and Nicholas loved the ferry! Chris read his magazines and books most of the time while the younger kids explored the whole boat...


Mom and Chris


Dad, me, and Nicholas


Kieran


Nick with his "hammer" (which doubles as a feathersword...)


"Swimming"


Heading toward Victoria



At the front of the boat
Kieran enjoying the boat
One one part of the deck where it wasn't s0 windy
More "swimming"
As soon as we arrived on land and had to wait for about 45 minutes to go through Immigration, Nicholas kept lamenting "I MISS CANADA!" I think he thought the boat was Canada!
Getting to Kingfisher Manor, the house we are staying at, was quite an adventure. We stopped in Langford, on the way, for some groceries. We bought sushi and sake for Mike's birthday dinner. The house is reached by several long, windy, and curvy roads. When we finally arrived at this beautiful spot, we were blown away by the view. It surpasses expectations.

We are looking forward to exploring the area. It's enough of a journey from Victoria that I don't expect we'll spend a lot of time in the city--perhaps a couple of days.
Mike with his sushi
Nicholas trying on Dad's hat


Kieran posing with the birthday boy
The artist at work--the advantage of traveling with grandparents--they brought art supplies!
Christopher on e-mail
Mike blowing out his candle on a funny coconut tofu dessert I got (one has to be creative when looking for wheat-free desserts!)

Mike holding one of his gifts...I wanted to get him a game called "One Dark and Stormy Night," a trivia board game about first lines of books...I had seen it at Powell's a few months ago, but when I went back to look for it at Powell's on Friday, they no longer had it. So I had to be creative--he ended up with a Powell's bag, Powell's t-shirt, another shirt, and Jamie Oliver cookbook!

View from the dock last night--beautiful!




The dock was covered with otter poop! Apparently the otters like to hang out on the deck. We saw one in the water, but hope to see more of them this week. This morning we also saw a beautiful loon in the water, and some rabbits out the kitchen window.


Aren't those clouds gorgeous?






Today we are going to explore Sooke and the area. It's beautiful here!

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