At the end of 2015, some good friends of ours moved from the Coast to the Kootenays. Peter and I decided to take the opportunity of Spring Break to go and visit them. Their littlest girl is just a few weeks younger than Pearl and it so happened that we got to be there for her first birthday. I loved being pregnant at the same time and I’m sad that we won’t be raising our girls in the same area but we’re hopeful that we can make them pen pals one day. (Do kids still have pen pals these days?)
We left home on Thursday afternoon and flew that evening from Vancouver to Cranbrook. This was Pearl’s first time on an airplane. The flight is only about an hour and a half so we knew that even if it was a horrible experience, it wouldn’t last too long. Thankfully, it was not a horrible experience.
Waiting to board in Vancouver.
The plane was small – seats for about 20 passengers – but we were able to pre-board and claim the very rear where there was a bench for three. Pearl loved looking out the window and waving the safety pamphlet around. I had packed a special bag of toys and distractions for her that was moderately successful. It held: snacks (baby biscuits and cheerios because she likes them both and they’re not too messy), ribbons of various lengths and colours, a photo book filled with pictures of her and Bella the dog (her favourite things to look at), her favourite book of farm animals, Stripes the Tiger (who I had hidden a couple weeks before so that he would be more exciting), and a little doll that she usually gets excited about. Nothing held her attention for that long but it was good to have a variety of things to keep pulling out. Eventually, she just wanted to run up the aisle of the plane and so Peter and I passed her back and forth between us, trying to keep her somewhat still.
More than the plane, I was actually the most nervous about her sleep while we were away from home. After our rough experience in Whistler the previous weekend, I tried to prepare myself for the idea of a weekend without sleep. But Pearl did really, really well! (Cue angels singing!) Our friends put us up in their basement where we had space to ourselves and Pearl slept in a pack-and-play next to our bed. (Visiting friends with kids of similar age is awesome because they already had so much baby stuff for us to use!) I was nervous about being in the same room with Pearl but it turns out the key was a really dark room. Pearl doesn’t need total darkness to sleep at home but basically, when away from home, she needs to not notice that she’s in a strange place if she wakes up at night. While she didn’t sleep through the night while we were there, she did settle back to sleep easily when she woke and she even napped during the day.
We had a great time seeing their new home and life in Kimberley. On Friday we all headed out to the Fairmont Hot Springs to spend the morning. The setting is beautiful – surrounded by snowy mountains – and the warm pools were the perfect contrast to a crisp, clear, and cold day. Pearl loved it! She loves being outside and she loves the bath so this was a pretty perfect combination of the too.
She also loved the fries she got to try for the first time at lunch afterward. Oh, and prosciutto too. Turns out, she likes salt. And sugar, because she also tried ice cream for the first time and liked it a lot. (Cranbrook has a Dairy Queen and as soon as I found out, I requested that it be a stop on our visit.)
We explored Kimberley a little bit, walked some trails near their house, and visited some stores and a pretty delicious bakery. But mostly we got to spend time with some people we like and that we miss. We were thankful for the opportunity to see them and thankful for their generous hosting.