Thursday, August 20, 2009

Canada, And Other Stories

So, we went to Canada about a month and a half ago, and it was awesome but then we were tired, and then Maggie stopped napping on any kind of regular schedule, which is below the belt even for her, and then my mum keeps gleefully reminding me that I stopped napping when I was two, and I have been busy interviewing hitmen to take her out, and so I have not quite had time to tell the tale of our trip to BC, or our (surprisingly longer) trip home, or our (surprisingly even longer) readjustment to non-vacation living. And there has been this blog post draft hanging around the que forever, gathering dust and halfway uploaded, and so I am taking a stand and finishing it so we can move on. Because Max's birthday party is coming up, and he has big plans. Big plans, people.

Our journey to Canada was very smooth. We left in the morning, Maggie and Max had a backpack each full of stuff to do and eat and think about on the plane, and then they slept most of the car ride from Spokane to my dad's house. This gave us a false sense of security concerning the trip home (ominous music).

See how happy and carefree we are? Vacation, ahoy!

We took time, whilst in Canada, to stop and smell the flowers.

And, of course, we stocked up on hammock time.

We went to the lake, to baptize the children in their (well, in mine, but they are 50% me) native waters. Dad had grand visions of taking the kids on the fishing boat. He purchased life jackets especially for the occasion. Maggie's was pink. She liked it. She did not, however, like the idea of going on the boat. Max was even more reluctant.

So Dad sailed alone. He was reasonably philosophical about the death of his dream.

The water was refreshing. By which I mean, it was very cold, and you had to ease in, and then it felt good for awhile, and then it was cold again. If you look closely, you can see the tear tracks on my sister Aly's face as she cries over her frozen belly button.

Maggie does not like going in swimming pools, which is weird because she loves baths. I was curious about what her reaction to the lake would be. She initially charged right into the lake, with me hastily shedding shorts and buckling life jackets in her wake. By the time she realized that it was booty-freezin' cold, it was deep enough that she was afraid to retreat alone, and so she shimmied up my leg and squwaked, "I want to get out. It's too cold. I want that Grandpa. I don't like it swimming", until I took pity on her and escorted her back to dry land.

Grandpa helped her forget her troubles with a cookie. And then she liked that so much that he gave her a second one. My dad is a sucker.

Max was not a big fan of the cold water, either, but he really enjoyed digging in the sand near the lake. There are pictures of him enjoying digging in the sand near the lake, but Ian took them and it was bright and so it was hard for him to see what he was photographing (or that's his excuse, anyway), and so for some reason all of the Max digging pictures feature someone's bum prominently in frame. Like, really prominently.

I made my sisters pose with me in the lake, because it is picteresque. They must really love me, because it was also chilly.

Ian "forgot" his bathing suit, or I would have made him pose in the lake with me, too.

One of the great truths of life, learned by Max and Maggie during our trip, is that Aunties are awesome. They think you're cute, and they don't have to wake up at 2 a.m. with you, so their love for you is not tinged with bitterness like that of your parents.

And, the more aunties there are, the more likely you are to find someone who is willing to play with you. We were one auntie down, this trip -- my sister Jill was in Vancouver -- but luckily there are still quite a few hanging around.

This is the face you can expect to have pointed at you if you suggest that Maggie get off the swing before she is ready. It's scary, huh?

Max's giant hobbit prints at the water fountain park.

Max (far left side of picture) is practicing what he calls "squid-style kung fu" on an especially aggressive fountain spray.

Maggie, on the other hand, prefers to wade gently and admire the fountains from afar.

Our camera sort of ate its own battery relatively early on in our trip, so I did not get very many pictures of the many Fry relatives and their enfolding of Max and Maggie into the clan. I am therefore posting this shot of my grandma with Maggie, because it is one of the few that I have, even though it looks like my grandma is walking Maggie on a leash (she isn't).

In fact, Maggie roped her GG and Erhart into blowing giant bubbles on our last morning in Canada. Mercifully, she seems to have outgrown that thing where she called bubbles "bastards".

Look at her warlike stance, one pink bathing-suit-clad hip thrust out, fraggle hair blowing in the Canadian breeze. I adore her.

On our last evening in Canada, we of course visited the Colander, where we ate salad, spaghetti, meatballs, chicken, potatoes, now my tummy hurts just thinking about it, and ice cream. Maggie broke not one but two glasses while we were there, before we even started on the salad. The first one was accidental. The second one was because she liked the smash of the first one. My extremely kindly family took turns strolling around the restaurant with her for the rest of the meal, so that Ian and I could eat.

Blurry, but cute.

I had a giant head of steam about the whole return trip when I began this blog post, but that was like a month ago, and I am mostly over it. Our plane was delayed in Spokane, which meant that we would have missed our connection flight, which meant that we needed to spend an extra night in Spokane. This by itself would have been incovienient but bearable. The unfortunate part was that we got stuck with a not very helpful clerk, who told us that there were no available hotel rooms anywhere in Spokane (not really true, as it turned out), and who advised us to fly to Seattle and 'try to get a hotel room when we got there'. This struck me as undesirable. Ian and I, travelling by ourselves, could probably spend a night sleeping on our suitcases in the airport and live to make it into an amusing anecdote, but not with two small offspring in tow. My dad, who was already about halfway back to Canada at that point, turned around and came back to Spokane, where he helped us find a hotel room and stayed with us. My dad is an unsung hero. We made it home the next night, and we were extremely disgruntled, but then the airline sent us vouchers for our next flight, and gave us free air miles, and compensated us for our hotel room. So we're friends again.


Santa Bell said...

Just wondering why you didn't include any pictures of me? You know how I love Canada.

Auntie Penny said...

Seems to me that was a sign to get back in the car and drive straight back to Canada! Thats what i woulda done. :-)

Anonymous said...

You are right I am a sucker. I have more of those "only in Canada" Cookies waiting for a couple of very cute cookie monsters that i know.
By the Way My Dad's boat is patiently waiting to help Max and/or Maggie catch a fish.