Stings in the tale

One of the reasons we're spending a fairly long time in each city is so that we don't have to make every day a sightseeing day. And after the long day trip to Whistler a nice, low key playdate seemed just the thing. Well it would have been, except that shortly before our new friends arrived at the park Master H came running over to me telling me his foot was "on fire": I looked down and, to my horror, saw a wasp clinging to his ankle (I've never been stung by a wasp but that seems like a pretty apt way to explain it with a sense of urgency). Anyway, I cautiously batted it away, comforted child 1 and then wondered why child 2 was flapping about like crazy. Turns out I'd batted it right on to my little shadow's chest! At that point I completely ignored my previous selfish quandary as to how to move the wasp along without being stung myself and managed to pull it and the stinger off little Miss. By then all of the polite parents who'd kept back to let me deal with the initial injury had swarmed in to help, and I was swiftly presented with ice blocks and sympathetic utterances. Our new friends arrived in the midst of all the chaos, but fortunately my two eventually calmed down and we all had a nice play together, and I decided that Vancouver mums (because it was mainly mums) were every bit as friendly, helpful and respectful as playground strangers anywhere I've been.

Thankfully our next intentionally low key outing to a nearby community farm was much less dramatic, where the only ripple was when Mr H and I had an animated disagreement about precisely how far down the street the entrance was. We perhaps both had a bit of latent stress from the car break-in, but the squabble was probably overdue anyway: I have a theory that couples need to argue about insignificant things in order to exorcise those emotions with each other and prevent arguments rearing up quickly when discussing serious issues. But I digress. (It's my blog, so why not?) Anyway, after finding the door we visited Southlands Farm, where we fed chickens, said hello to some horses and fed some chickens again (Miss H liked trying to stroke them and Master H rather enjoyed throwing the bird feed in lieu of any stones that day).


Our next big day trip was to be a visit to the Sunshine Coast, an area north of Vancouver that requires a 40-minute ferry trip to get there. We planned an early start, made up a packed lunch and got all of the beach gear ready the night before... then forgot to set an alarm. Fortunately we hadn't reserved the ferry so no money was lost, but as the next ferry wasn't for two hours we decided we should go the following day instead. It was however Mr H's birthday that day and he'd been excited about going somewhere new, so after some quick Googling we decided to visit Harrison, a town famous for its hot springs. It was a fairly long drive so we were all glad of the nice green space and playground at one end of the town where we stopped for our picnic, rounded off with a wee birthday cake which Mr H kindly pretended he hadn't noticed in the fridge the night before.

Unfortunately our research had been too hasty: when we tried to visit the springs we learned one was within a resort and so was for guests only, and the other looked to just be a feed into a normal public pool which didn't seem very appealing, so instead we took a short stroll and meandered back to the car, only to be met with a parking ticket for being 15 minutes over our time. But the lady parked beside us had a ticket for being 3 minutes over. 3 minutes! Beware if you park in Harrison!

So, with a missed ferry, a disappointing plan B result, frustration at getting a ticket and no WiFi to look for other options roundabout us, we simply studied what we could see on Google Maps and decided to head for a lake which was roughly on the way home - and we hit the jackpot! We discovered Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park which was warm, serene, full of stones and delightful for swimming (you can just about make out the birthday boy in the first shot). 







So in the end Mr H had a very enjoyable birthday. He loves discovering new places so, although we went a funny way about it, he managed to do exactly that.

Coming up... a day later than planned we make it to the Sunshine Coast!


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