On a whim I ran down to the Fraser Valley for Father’s Day weekend. Oh no, wait. I think that was the trip made expressly to have an ultrasound done. On my thyroid. Yea, that’s it. Who was I to say, Nope, not going to be able to make that appointment; never mind that they finally had an appointment for me…it was only booked in September 2016!!!
Anyway, a trip to the Valley means a visit with the kids and grandkids so I am totally fine with it…even the long drive. And this long drive was made even longer because as soon as I arrived in Chilliwack I hopped back IN the vehicle again ( thankfully our son Ryan drove!) to take in Grandson Maxwell’s year end band performance at WJ Mouat. Man, did that bring back memories! Maxwell’s Maman, Anita, was also in Band – Concert and Jazz.
It was a whirlwind visit, over before it began it seemed but all good because I brought Benny and Alex home with me! It’s been a while since I have done a long haul trip with littles on board. I recall toddler Benny being as good a traveller as Bear and was hoping toddler Alex would be a much better passenger. Thankfully he slept most of the way to Williams Lake but not Benny. Oh my! Such a talker!
Five and half hours after leaving the Valley we pulled into the Best Western. As luck would have it, I had two very wide awake kids to contend with. All good. We went out for a little walk up the big hill which went very well but then, you know, we had to come back down the hill and of course Granny sourced a short cut but the hill was … epically steep…heh, I had Alex on my hip, sometimes accompanied by Benny, but dang it! We conquered that Hill together! And then an exhausted Granny took the very energetic littles for a swim in the pool at the hotel. Both grandsons slept very well that night! ( read, all night long, Kristina)
Now I can’t tell you all the stuff we got up to while the Grandsons were visiting but there were definitely a lot of stories read, a lot of snuggles and we even found time to do some baking. Benny LOVES Croissants and actually quickly polished off the dozen we bought at the grocery store in Williams Lake so we rolled up our sleeves and made some more!
As well as asking for Croissants, Benny always wants eggs and bacon for Breakfast. Sometimes he makes a Breakfast Croissandwich, sometimes he doesn’t and, unlike his Maman, he loves tomatoes! Yay, Benny!
With the boys tearing up and down the trails Grandpa built, playing with all kinds of rocks and sticks of course they are going to uh, collect a bit of dust, and need a BATH. Too bad we don’t have one of those! We have one of those annoying little all-in-one shower inserts which I really, really, really dislike; it’s next on the reno list! But, well, you know, I can’t just chuck the boys in the lake: for one, there are too many mozzies feasting on the tender lil fellas and two, they would just get filthy on the way back up from the lake. Solution? Fill the laundry basket with water and bathe them in that! Alex thought it was great fun and made it look so appealing that Benny opted to hop in too even though he is an old hand at showers.
Benny was so good at finding things to do while Grandpa had to sit at his computer and work but he loved it best when Grandpa could take him out in the boat and go fishing. Even though that really just meant a lot of tangled fishing line. Even though that meant a long, hot walk down to the Boathouse. Even though that meant getting eaten alive by the starving mozzies!
And then Luke made the mistake of driving old Blue down to the Boathouse due to time constraints…oh, I think that was the day that Benny requested that he go fishing with Grandpa AND we go for ice cream! Benny wanted hang up his sneakers and DRIVE down to the Boathouse for EVERY trip after that!
Can’t find any photos of that:
We drove to Nimpo Lake store for Ice Cream! Normally a 6 hour drive and I won’t even tell you how long it took with two littles and two dogs on board! OMG, is all I am going to say about that…and I will add that they didn’t even get Ice Cream…they got $0.25 Freezies!!!! Oh, and that is when the Miner Lake fire started. Benny thought the planes flying back and forth with water buckets were pretty cool. Enough said about THAT.
Now with two littles in the house there was a lot more cooking and cleaning happening so Granny didn’t have a lot of time for adventuring BUT I did agree to camping out in the tent with Benny and he thought that was the BEST thing EVER! So easy to impress. And we read stories. And we talked. And we read stories by flashlight. And we wrestled with the dogs to some and sleep with us. And he made up great stories. And he slept, like an angel beneath the stars.
A bit of back story…bear with me. We got Bear in May 2011 and then came Benny in February 2012 so Benny has always known and loved Bear. Then Samwise Gamgee joined us in December 2012 and baby Benny thought puppy Sammy was the greatest thing since sliced bread! Long and short of it is, Benny grew up with Bear and Sam. Enter baby Alex in 2015 and Bear and Sam are now big dogs! Big, scary dogs for a lil tiny boy. The grandsons were with us for almost three weeks and by the end of it Alex, through watching his brother Benny, came to realize that Bear and Sam make great pillows, are great for giving hugs to, can easily be coerced into giving lots of wet, slobbery kisses to lil boys covered in crumbs and are heaps of fun to go on walks with. Bear and Sam both perk up when we ask them, “Where’s Benny?? Where’s the baby??”
While it was all fun and games for Benny, Alex and Granny, Grandpa still had to make Kibble money so it was our job to stay out of Grandpa’s hair … not difficult to do since a) he doesn’t have much of it and b) both boys loved to hang out in the Crow’s Nest! Prior to their arrival I made a play room for the boys; I tidied up the Crow’s Nest, made it all homey for them, and moved all the toys upstairs. Grandpa was an old worry wart, forever catastrophizing that someone was going to fall off the deck…he doesn’t even let Bear go up there by himself! Chill, Gramps, we got this! And they loved it! It is where Benny preferred to be if he was not playing Animal Crossing or out on the trails.
Oh, but Alex? Well, throw him a box in the kitchen and he is happy as a …
After two weeks their Maman, Krick, with her Ryan, came for a few days. There’s an adventure. They chose to use their GPS instead of our detailed directions and they wound up on some dead-fall strewn forest service road that granted them a flat tire! Tire changed they limped out to Kinickinick to use their free wifi, gather themselves together and suss out what to do. They had to limp back to Alexis Creek, drop Krick’s car in the garage where they would order in the tire she needed and find a way to kill time while Luke hopped in the truck and made the long trip out to pick them up. Just goes to show, don’t trust GPS!
(And thank you, Krick and Ryan, for bringing us fresh produce! They did a $300 grocery shop for us in Williams Lake…needless to say, not much of it was cold anymore by the time they got to Brittany Lake!)
They were happy to finally arrive! They had a few days of checking the place out, canoeing, hiking and you know, they were at my place so there was a bit of eating to be done. Their fave was my fresh outta the oven Sourdough Bread! So easy to please!
And that brings us to the end of this post. Please know that you are welcome to drop in anytime! Though we have discovered with our last guests that there should probably be some ground rules in place:
*Think of it as camping….Glamping, if you will
*Ask before you plug something in
*Minimize your impact on Mother Earth; only bio friendly products please and if you are using our supplies, remember how far we have to go to replenish and how much that stuff is going to cost us – that toothpaste you just lined your toothbrush with? $10 a tube for half the size of a tube of Colgate :p
*Shower only when needed; if you didn’t work up a sweat, i’m going to say that a shower prolly isn’t necessary and the Grey Water pond will thank you for your efforts.
*If the Sun didn’t shine today? Be super mindful of the power you use. Luke and I live by candlelight…a lot…it’s kind of romantic.
*Follow protocols in place and if you aren’t sure what they are? ASK.
* And prolly most important? Learn to adapt to the environment you are in. Luke and I have had a year to practice and we are pretty good at it…again, if you aren’t sure, ask.
*We LOVE having you come and visit; and thanks HEAPS for stopping in at the Grocery Store on your way here! We are happy to write up a grocery list, e-transfer you $$ so that we can make your stay as comfortable as possible, with the caveat that our fridge is TINY! So if you are used to consuming a lot of refrigerated products? Yea, not going to happen, sorry.
****Disclaimer: Previous guests only stayed a few days, with the exception of the Grandsons and well, they do what we say, pretty much 😉 We only discovered we needed to make the needs of the Earthship known with guests staying for an extended period of time. Luke’s parents were here for three weeks and they sorta get the whole water conservation bit, being Australians 😉
Also, we have heaps of well water, it is the used water that causes a bit of a concern.
So there you have it.
Until next time! Cheers!