until he was about a year old, i was all about taking the jackal with us everywhere. dinner, shopping, road trips, whatever. then he became mobile and i realized non-kid date nights were an essential for my sanity. for some reason that didn't translate over into the travel category until this past weekend. traveling with an opinionated toddler is HARD. i'm not saying we'll never take him places again, but i am saying this: no more kids will show up in our anniversary dinner pictures from now on. :)
anyway, canada was awesome! we'd never been before and i was especially excited about the border crossing. they asked us all these hard questions like "what do you do?" and "why are you going to canada?" and i felt like if we answered wrong we'd be detained in border-town jail [which is probably a lot like disneyland jail but way less fun]. luckily we made it! here's what the washington/british columbia border looks like in case you wondered:
vancouver is just a 3-hour drive from seattle, no time zone changes or language barriers or anything. plus, come on, it's canada -- the u.s.'s quiet little brother to the north. right? not really. i was a little surprised at how culture-shocked i felt as soon as we reached the city. vancouver felt more like frankfurt than seattle. it took a little getting used to.
friday we checked into our hotel, drove through stanley park, and tried to find dinner. starting a romantic anniversary weekend off in a foreign land is a lot more fun without a screaming starving one-year-old in the backseat. we were all a liiiiittle tense that evening. luckily, we ended up at a cute thai place, hit up a safeway for a half-gallon of whole milk afterward and made it back to the hotel by bedtime.
we stayed at the westin bayshore, right in downtown on coal harbour, and it rocked. they gave jack a little "kids club" backpack filled with treasures at check-in, upgraded us to a suite [for a small fee, but we'd booked on priceline so it was still a smokin deal] AND sent up a complimentary cheese plate our first night there. westin? definitely a do-again.
this was the view from our balcony:
saturday we went to breakfast and then checked out granville island. they have awesome shops and a cool farmers market, sort of like pike place but smaller. so many fun things to see, including dessert of course.
we went back to the hotel for naptime. i got to read on the balcony, take my own little nap, spend time with b -- it was glorious. once the kiddo woke up, we went for a long walk on the seawall overlooking the harbour.
it was amazing and gorgeous and probably my favorite part of the trip. we collected leaves, pet (petted?) dogs, talked to strangers along the path. we admired boats, seaplanes, ducks and city skylines. jack ran and jumped and threw rocks. it was perfect.
the leaves there were AMAZING. british columbia in the fall is just as incredible as everyone says. here's another picture i snapped on the street leading to our hotel:
that night we went out for our anniversary dinner at cardero's, which consisted of us trying to keep jack quiet and happy while also trying to enjoy our amazing meal. it was a little rough. but hey, at least it's documented:
having the monkey around wasn't all bad. i always love spending time with my little family, and i quite liked the quiet time that was built in to our day because of him -- it ended up being a pretty relaxing trip, which was just what the doctor ordered. sightseeing + relaxing = the best kind of vacation.
plus, jack looks really cute when he dances in puddles. i love this kid.
this morning, after checking out we went to church in a nearby meetinghouse [being mormon is great because you can find sunday services pretty much anywhere you go]. then we grabbed lunch and headed for the border, making it home to a sunny seattle by dinnertime. all in all, a great anniversary weekend.