Friday, February 27, 2009

Our Trip

I always struggle with summarizing our trips out west. It's funny because - as much as we enjoy going there - it doesn't feel like a vacation because we're spending most of our time with such comfortable friends and family. Each time, I come home kicking myself for not blogging about it or taking very many pictures. It just doesn't cross my mind to take pictures when it feels like we're doing normal stuff. I suppose that's a good thing :)

Tuesday, February 17
We left early in the morning, which seemed like a good idea at the time we were booking our tickets... And probably still was. Briony wasn't very impressed with us for waking her up in the dark, but she fell asleep again promptly after she was fed, dressed, and buckled into her car seat. We managed to fit all our stuff + the three of us into a taxi (a fact that still impresses me) and made it to the airport with no hiccups at all. Briony slept through the ride, through check-in and security, through boarding and take-off, and woke up happy once we were well-established at altitude. AWESOME. She was awake and playing for virtually the entire flight, and fell asleep again just in time for the descent. Maybe three minutes of fussing total. What an answer to prayer. Marilyn (Geoff's mom) met us at the airport in Vancouver and Briony was doing so well that we decided to spend a little bit of time in Richmond before heading out to Abbotsford. We had breakfast, walked around Ikea (this is when we filmed the now-infamous panda bear video), and checked out a few of Geoff's favourite stores in the area. By midafternoon, we drove to Abbotsford and spent the rest of the day at Geoff's parents' place. His sister Carole stopped by briefly, otherwise it was a quiet evening - except for my phone call to MTS to complain about the fact that my BlackBerry wasn't working.

Briony's first airplane trip

Wednesday, February 18
Sunshine! We woke up to +14 weather, so the day's main activity was a very easy decision. Geoff, Marilyn, and I packed up Briony in her stroller and spent almost four hours walking around outside. It was glorious. I was so happy to have Briony outside in the fresh air, even though she slept through - seriously - the ENTIRE THING. I made another call to MTS, and their tech support people explained that there was curently no data coverage for MTS customers in BC, Alberta, or the Northwest Territories but that they were working hard to try to fix it. Grrr. In the evening, we headed into Vancouver to visit with my friends Jason & Amy. Jason and I became online friends a few years ago, and then real-life friends when I flew into Vancouver to meet him in 2005 (has it been that long?!). Since then, he met and married Amy - we flew out for their wedding in May 2007, just a few days after our engagement - and they've become very special friends to both Geoff and I. Wednesday just happened to be Jason's last day at his job, the day they *finally* found renters for their current condo, the last day they had to pack up that condo before moving to their new place, and the day before they left on a three-week vacation... And they still managed to find a couple of hours to visit with us. We sat among their boxes eating pizza and it was just fun and normal and good.

Outside at Mill Lake in Abbotsford

Thursday, February 19
We decided that Thursday would be Road Trip Day, and Briony's first official trip across the border (she visited the US twice while I was pregnant). Marilyn came along and we did a little bit of shopping - nothing crazy, just a few summer outfits for Briony, a couple of books for Briony, and a bunch of Bath & Body Works products for Briony's mommy. Oh, and some crappy American cereal and candy for Geoff. We made it there and back without incident, and were happily surprised when the folks at customs waved us through without having to pay duty on our purchases that added up to more than our daily limit. We were back in Abbotsford by dinner time and spent another quiet evening in. (Today was also my sister's birthday. And the third day in a row that I had to call MTS about my lack of a functioning BlackBerry. Not that I'm bitter or anything.)

Briony's first road trip to the US (she's clearly loving every minute of it)

Hanging out at the mall with 'Grammy'

Friday, February 20
We had big plans for Friday, but tossed them all when we woke up tired. Geoff opted to stay in bed all morning, and I opted to pack up Briony in her stroller and go for a walk around the neighbourhood (Marilyn joined us). In the afternoon, we headed into Vancouver to see Rob & Vicky and their new baby girl Ava who is less than a month older than Briony. Rob and Geoff have been friends since childhood, and were each others' best man (best men?) in May and September 2007. (Rob & Vicky and Jason & Amy got married one week apart in Vancouver that spring, so we were able to attend both events - and Geoff proposed in between. Kind of a ridiculously romantic and important week in all our lives. So strange how the universe works.) We had dinner at their place and spent time visiting - another great, fun, normal, good evening with friends. Oh, and I called MTS - who basically told me to stop calling, because they had little hope that the problem would be fixed before we were back in Winnipeg anyway.

Rob & Ava and Geoff & Briony - notice how much these girls look like their daddies!

Briony and Ava 'playing' together

Saturday, February 21
In the morning, we finally managed to schedule in a proper visit with Geoff's sister Carole, her husband Ray, and their kids - Justin, Cheyenne, Niles, and Sean. They were completely enamoured with Briony, and we spent some time with them just kind of catching up. After our visit, we dropped off Briony with Geoff's mom and - are you ready for this? - Geoff and I went on our first 'date' since Briony was born. We've left her with a babysitter before, but always when Geoff has been working and I've had plans, never when the two of us could have non-baby time together. It was great. We spent the afternoon in downtown Vancouver, shopping and eating sushi. And then we went to go see Coraline in 3D, which was pretty cool. We drove back in time to have a late dinner with Geoff's parents and put Briony to bed.

Meeting her Auntie Carole

Sunday, February 22
Day One of our Kamloops mini-trip. Geoff, Briony, and I packed up, said a temporary goodbye to Alan and Marilyn, and headed out to Kamloops to see his sister Joanne, her husband Al, and their kids - Hannah, Ruth, Elizabeth, and David. We got there in time to hang out, introduce them to Briony, see the pictures from their recent family vacation to Egypt and the UK, and have dinner together. After dinner, Briony and I curled up on the couch with the rest of the girls and watched the Oscars and The Amazing Race while Geoff, Al, and David did boy stuff on the computer.

Ruth & Briony spend some snuggle time together before bed

Monday, February 23
Kamloops Day Two. Geoff got up early with Briony and then Joanne watched her while he drove Ruth, Libby, and David to school. I woke up while they were gone. Joanne had put Briony down for a nap and Geoff was just walking in the front door with a cup of Starbucks for me. Talk about a perfect way to start a Monday morning... Lucky me. We spent the day with Joanne and Hannah, going out for lunch and hanging around Kamloops. Around 3 pm, the chaos of a family with four kids began - Hannah needed to go to work, David needed to go to piano lessons, Libby needed to go to her dance class... And Ruth just needed to be picked up from school, so she came with Geoff, Briony, and I and we got to spend some time with her (and I had my second Starbucks of the day - always a sign that I'm having a good day, hehe). We regrouped for dinner at Al & Joanne's and spent a 'quiet' evening at home with them - as quiet as their family is capable of being :)

Hanging out at Starbucks...

...and MELTDOWN! :)

Tuesday, February 24
After saying goodbye to Al and the kids, and spending the morning with Joanne, we headed back to Abbotsford - with Hannah in tow. The roads were a little bit slushy, so it was a bit of a slow trip back, and it was *great* to have Hannah in the backseat to entertain Briony. We got 'home' just in time for dinner, and then Carole, Cheyenne, and Sean stopped by for one last look at Briony - and I ran to the store to pick up more sinus medication for Geoff, who'd started feeling sick and was dreading the flight home the next day. After they left, Hannah and I crashed on the couch downstairs to watch some brainless reality television, and then we all went to bed.

Wednesday, February 25
I woke up to a functioning BlackBerry today. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I'm trying to let it go, especially because MTS is refunding my data charges for the month. Not that it really fixes anything, but whatever. On to more important things... It always sucks to say goodbye. Our visits out to BC are typically around a week or a week-and-a-half long, but they always fly by - probably because we keep ourselves pretty busy. But there are always people we didn't quite manage to see, and we're always wishing that we'd had more time with the people we saw. It's especially hard to say goodbye to Geoff's family. And it was harder than usual because I could see how painful it was for them to have Briony flying back to Manitoba. After everyone was awake, Geoff, Briony, Marilyn, Hannah, and I went out for tea and scones before coming back to the house to pack. In the afternoon, Marilyn and Hannah drove us into Vancouver to catch our flight back home. It was snowing outside, and I was convinced that our flight was going to be delayed... I kept on calling, and they kept on telling me that it was on schedule - so we got to the airport in plenty of time and got to our gate and onto the plane without a hitch. We began to taxi to the runway. And then we stopped. Apparently, the snow was going to delay our takeoff. And it did - by nearly an hour and a half. I have to say, Briony was a real trooper. Our time on the plane was nearly two hours longer than we'd anticipated - and therefore, our arrival in Winnipeg was ridiculously late. By just after 2 am, we were home and we crashed into bed pretty quickly. Briony was kind enough to sleep through until just before 11 am...

And it's back to our Manitoba life again. With a new panda bear in tow :)

We seriously cannot get a decent family picture for the life of us... We'll keep trying!

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At February 27, 2009 3:36 PM, Blogger Elleah said...

Sounds wonderful!

At February 27, 2009 6:06 PM, Blogger Danae said...

sounds like you had a great trip! i enjoyed hearing about it :).... and your first stop being at ikea made me laugh, because that's something i would do!

At March 01, 2009 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the whole travel log.and pictures.
Wonder how we could get to see you in person.Glad you're home safely.Gr.K.


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