We’re packing as much fun as we possibly can into summer around here. After our test camping trip, we hopped on two ferries and visited Vancouver Island for a few days.
We went to Victoria first – one of my favourite cities and the place I lived for seven years. We still have a few friends living there and it was wonderful to catch up with them. We stayed with friends that we make an effort to see at least once a year. (Last summer they came to stay with us.) They have two boys close in age to our girls so for a few days we had four kids, 5 and under, and it was a delightful chaos. While Pearl was sometimes a little overwhelmed by the noise and play of two young boys, she did great and had some fun times playing with them.
Staying with friends with kids is also great because they understanding the utmost importance of the nap schedule and they forgive you when your kid cries in the night and wakes everybody up. (I’m looking at you, Rose.)
From there we headed up island to Qualicum Beach where my brother and his family were staying for the week. They invited us to join them in this beautiful house on the beach. It was probably the most relaxing time away I’ve had with my kids. (I read an entire book while I was there so you know it’s true!) The beach was perfect for our little girls and easy to access for all the kids and the girls were entertained by their big cousins.
Like this moment when I came out from putting Rose down for her nap and found Pearl and her cousin enjoying a snack. For a split second I thought of telling them they probably shouldn’t be eating Oreos at 9 in the morning but instead I chalked it up to holidays and let it go.
We got in some time on the water too. Pearl stayed on this paddle board until Peter, her aunt, and I had all taken her out. Three is a fantastic age to be at the beach!
It was not, of course, all fun and relaxation. Travelling with little kids rarely is. Rose screamed all the way from Nanaimo to Victoria on our drive there. She had two of the worst nights’ sleeps that she’s ever had, both of which ended up with me sleeping on the floor with her. We had our share of meltdowns and band-aids and some fighting amongst the kids. But Peter and I have learned to adjust our expectations. To make the extra pot of coffee in the morning and get on with our day. It was a gift to stay with friends and family who made us so at home, accepted our exhaustion, and love us and our kids so fiercely.