To celebrate my birthday in our new location, Stefan, the kids, and I had a great day doing things that I loved to do, including a hike at Mount Seymour. We went out for about an hour and a half, I believe, gauging how well the kids would do on their first hike here. It was a beautiful day, and although it's a long drive (about 60 minutes), it was of course worth it. The trails are challenging for the kids' levels, and they loved having to climb over large trees and through little streams that were 'in the way'.
Sometimes our kids complain about going out for a hike, but Ani is a little worker bee and once we're on the trail there are no complaints coming from her. She is quite focused on her task for her age (4), and we're super proud of her work ethic. I'm not sure why Lukka is so contrary, but apparently he got the best of both of us to form one rebellious child. Every time we go out for a family excursion we always hear "no! I don't want to!" and it takes him awhile to get warmed up. Once we're about 15 minutes in, every time, he is enjoying himself, finding walking sticks for himself and his sister, and doesn't want to leave.
Since we don't take a trip up to North Van or Vancouver very often, maybe once a month, we want to enjoy it for the full day since it's a lot of driving. The view above and the few pictures below are where we spent the afternoon, at Kitsilano Beach, which is right in the heart of Vancouver. Of course this being March, there were no swimmers, but there were a lot of people at the park and on the beach because it was so nice and sunny. It was really fun to just lay on the sand for an hour while the kids happily played nearby.
This whole area is so stimulating to me, because there are views here that I've just never been around for any long length of time. There are mountains in one direction, ocean water all around, and huge cities that you jump every time you get back on the freeway. I get confused on which is which, because all the cities are so bunched together up here. It's hard for me to know when one ends and the other begins, but I believe the above picture is a view of North Vancouver. The one below (I think) is Vancouver metro.
This is a view of Kits beach while we're walking on the nice seawall. Not to be confused with the other Seawall at Stanley Park, it encloses a huge public pool that is open during the summer. I didn't get a picture of that (it was empty and needed cleaning before the season starts up) but it looked like a really fun place to go to someday. The kids could not understand why the pool wasn't open when it was sunny out!
Two other things we had planned for the day were me getting an hour to spend by myself at my favorite store, Anthropologie and spending my generous birthday gift card (thanks, Mom M.!) and also eating at our family's favorite spot, Chipotle. There are only 2 Chipotles remotely close to us, one in Seattle (1.5 hours away) and one in Vancouver. We thought we'd fit it in while we were up here for lunch. Surprise, surprise, the liberal Canadian population were celebrating Good Friday that day by closing up shop! What? We were so bummed, but right next door was an A&W, and after a hike, we were starving. Of course, A&Ws are always a good fix for me because I can get the Canadian savory dish poutine. My birthday, after all....
We go somewhere fun almost every weekend, and I take tons of pictures. The landscape up here is just unbeatable. It's why people pay so much for gas, groceries, and housing. It's breathtaking to see the mountains and the ocean meet. There are trees all around; it's so lush.
I'll try to post a lot more in the next week or so, trying to catch up with the picture-sharing of all our little day trips. You don't stay inside for long here on the weekends. There is just too much to see and do!