The Rest of the Summer (So Far)

Bella and Pearl – summer beach buddies

As August quickly approaches its end, we’ve started to look ahead to the fall in our household. Peter’s work schedule changes to its more regular hours in a couple weeks and so the rhythm of our days will revert back to its more ordinary flow. In the meantime, we are enjoying our last days of summer. It’s been a good one.

Beach Pearl

We’ve spent as much time as we can at the beach, whether it’s the one near our house or slightly further afield. We’re fortunate to live in a land of beaches, though most of them tend to be pretty rocky. This summer we’ve definitely had our favourites and have tried to take advantage of low tides where hidden sand bars are revealed. Pearl is not much for ocean swimming yet (she’ll wade) but she’s enjoyed splashing around, building castles, and searching for crabs.

Some dear friends of ours came to visit and we loved being able to host them. These are friends we’ve had since before Peter and I were married and we’ve watched each other get engaged, celebrated weddings together, and welcomed each others children. Pearl falls right in between their two boys age-wise and in previous visits, the kids haven’t interacted much. This time, they quickly became friends and it was wonderful to watch our friendship continue into the next generation.

Klein Lake

After our friends left, we headed up to Pender Harbour for a short camping stint. One night is a good amount of time for us at this stage of our lives so we opted to try out Klein Lake, a place neither of us had visited before. It was the perfect spot for camping with a two year old – quiet and right by the lake. We brought up our rowboat and Pearl loved “rowing”. If you ask her about camping now she’ll tell you that she slept in a tent, ate noodles, and that mum fell on the dock. All true.

Pearl’s first Pirate Pak

We made a quick trip to Vancouver to visit with family (fun!) and go to Ikea (less fun!). The older Pearl gets the more fun she has with her older cousins. She works hard to keep up with them. She also got to enjoy her first ever Pirate Pak. For those not from BC, this is a childhood classic. Basically, the kids menu at a restaurant chain here comes in these pirate boats and you can only order them until you’re ten. We’ve just begun needing to order Pearl her own meal at restaurants so our days of dining out as a family are limited.

Courtesy of her older cousins, Pearl came home with this balance bike. She loves it and is so good at racing around on it already. I love it because it’s turned out to be a great way to get her to the park and back at a decent pace. (We’ve only had to abandon it halfway in the midst of a temper tantrum once so far!)

Seven years!

Peter and I recently celebrated seven years of marriage and we were able to take a night away, just the two of us. (Thank the Lord for grandparents!) This was actually the first time we’ve both been away together since Pearl was born. We didn’t go far – a night at the Ruby Lake Resort in Pender Harbour – but it was so good to get away, just the two of us. We also had an amazing meal at the Italian restaurant there and spent time the next day swimming and canoeing on the lake. I’m so thankful that after seven years of marriage (and ten years together total) we still really like spending time together.

Canoe on Ruby Lake

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Canada Day 2017

This year Canada celebrated 150 years of existing as Canada. We are obviously a young country and we would do well to remember that culture existed and people lived on this land for many, many years before European settlers arrived. In 150 years, we as a nation have made a great many mistakes and we are still working to fix and atone many of them. At the same time, I think we live in a nation worth celebrating. In all the upheaval of our world, there are a lot of things that Canada is doing right and I’m proud to be a Canadian and feel privileged to live in a land like ours.

Canada Day is a big deal in our little town and we love going to the parade each year. (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012) This was Pearl’s third Canada Day experience and her most enjoyable. She was really engaged with what was happening and has been talking about some of the sights she saw ever since.

The parade always starts with kids on bikes that they’ve decorated themselves. I kept telling Peter that next year he’d be there, running alongside Pearl!

Then come the classic cars. We have a lot of retired folk in our community and that seems to translate into a lot of classic cars. As soon as the weather gets good, they all come out for the summer.

Then the veterans, pipers, cadets, and others in uniform. (Mounties too, of course!)

Pearl waved her flags and cried, “Yay Canada!”

This “tiny horse” with a flag on it was a big hit.

As was this bear that wore pants and a hat but no shirt. (Pearl and I recently encountered a bear in our neighbourhood so we’ve had a lot of conversations recently about the two bears that she’s seen.)

Of course there were lumberjacks.

Happy Canada Day! (Or whatever other national holiday you may be celebrating this month!)

Canada Day 2016

Some photo evidence of our excellent long weekend and Canada Day celebrations.

We, of course, attended the annual Sechelt Canada Day Parade. It's the social event of the year.

We, of course, attended the annual Sechelt Canada Day Parade. It’s the social event of the year.

A raccoon seemed like the most Canadian of Pearl's stuffed animals.

A raccoon seemed like the most Canadian of Pearl’s stuffed animals.

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It's not a Canadian parade without red serge.

It’s not a Canadian parade without red serge.

...and pipers.

…and pipers.

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The fly-over.

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A little Top Gun tribute – volleyball in jeans.

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Parades always end with emergency vehicles

Pearl looking patriotic. (She loved waving her flag.)

Pearl looking patriotic. (She loved waving her flag.)

Pearl tried to climb into the petting zoo enclosure. She really wanted to grab that pig.

Pearl tried to climb into the petting zoo enclosure. She really wanted to grab that pig.

She also loves swings.

She also loves swings.

Friday evening - Canada Day ended with dinner and drinks on the beach with friends

Friday evening – Canada Day ended with dinner and drinks on the beach with friends

Saturday at Tuwanek

Saturday at Tuwanek

Sechelt Canada Day Parade 2013

A highlight of the year in this small town is the annual Canada Day parade. This was the third year I got to be in attendance.

It starts with some classic cars. You know them because they’re the same ones you saw the year before and the year before that or that you’ve seen driving around town.

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The fly-over. This plane will hit multiple communities in the province on Canada Day.

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It’s not Canada Day without the Mounties.

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Or the pipers. It warms my partly-Scottish heart.

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And then the floats begin.

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The end of the parade is signalled by the emergency vehicles, sirens softly blaring.

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The loudest applause seemed to go to the Search and Rescue because, when you live on the Coast, you know those guys save lives.

Read about last year’s parade here.

Happy Canada Day!

Long Weekend, Long Weekend, Long Weekend

That’s a pretty beautiful pairing of words, isn’t it? Oh, Canada! Thanks for the long weekend!

What did I do?

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Got dressed up and had a fancy dinner out with my handsome husband. We had a gift certificate (Thanks Jen!) to a nice restaurant nearby and ate delicious food while watching the rain fall over the ocean on Friday night.

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Had a delicious breakfast with the in-laws.

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The sun showed up like crazy this weekend (finally!) and Saturday is market day in Sechelt. It was also $5 bag day at the thrift store. I’ll devote a separate post to those findings!

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We spent the afternoon on the beach, after a lovely ocean swim.

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Saturday night sunset at our house.

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Drive back into town on Sunday afternoon:

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Patriotic dessert.

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Sleepy puppy cuddles.

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And just one from the Canada Day parade, but more to come!

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