After spending our four camping days at Mabel Lake, Cory's brother and his family came to our house for a few days to continue the visit (and maybe sneak in a shower and a couple loads of laundry - remember we had no electricity or water).
Burning off energy in the back yard
Daddies hard at work..
Playing at the splash park
Checking out the snow birds on BC day, a spectacular albeit short show this year.
Luckily we had front row seats for the show. Cory's work is right down
by the waterfront, so we took in the show from the roof top! No crowds,
clean bathrooms and a clear view - score!
Some audience members had an even better view...
Thank you for the wonderful visit Uncle Kevin, Auntie Laura, Cara and Katie! Looking forward to seeing you all again next year!
Although our summer weather was rather delayed, we had scheduled a camping trip with Cory's brother Kevin, his wife Laura and their two little girls earlier in the year.
We decided to go to one of our favorite recreation camp sites (no running water or electricity) Cotton Wood Beach on Mabel Lake.
Afternoon view of Mabel Lake, finally the sun is out!
Our girl's were so excited to see their cousins who are similar in ages. The girl's ages are 4 (Cara), 3 (Sylvie), 2 (Mary) and 1 (Katie). Four children, four and under. But just wait, Cory's brother had a friend from university traveling out this way camping so they decided to join in on the fun. Their daughters are 5 and just about to turn one. So SIX girls, five and under. Yes, there was a lot of estrogen in the air.
The Drinkwater Grandchildren!
Katie, Cara, Sylvie & Mary!
Here are a few pictures of the memories we made over the four day camping trip. We ate too much, drank too much, played in the sun a little too much, stayed up late a little too much, missed our afternoon naps too much, giggles and laughed too much... life is good!
Making the girls into "mermaids"!
Building sand castles...
Our girl's don't get to see these cousins often as they live in Saskatoon, a measly 14 hour drive east...where there are NO mountains....only canola fields. Luckily for us, they drew the short straw and drove out here to visit us this summer, so I guess that means that we are on for next summer. Hopefully the mosquitoes next year won't be so plentiful or hungry in Saskatoon as we heard about (I know, what am I thinking?)!
We don't only camp during the summer you know...we also visit family! We decided to take in a little of the big city life and hopped into the truck for a little jaunt down to Vancouver for a few days to visit Uncle Brian and Uncle Paul. First order before heading to the big city - hair cut and nail polish!
Blowing on their nails to dry them faster...
This was the girl's first time getting nails polished, and it was a big hit. While I wasn't impressed with the quality of the haircuts, the glitter hair spray and pink nail polish included with the cut made their day.
The girl's were very excited to see their uncles, as well as the kitties. Unfortunately, the kitties weren't as excited to see the girls and spent a large chunk of our time hiding in the bedroom away from prying eyes and hands. Too bad the kitties didn't realize our girl's are expert cat hunters!
Here's Tucker hiding in the closet!
And Sophie deciding to just sleep and ignore the girls...
We spent the first day fulfilling little kid dream's - riding city transportation. I am sure other kids are the same way, but ours love to point out buses when we are driving. In fact, when talking about our China trips, Sylvie's favorite memories is riding the buses! So we ended up by the end of the day taking advantage of Vancouver's vast transportation system and rode the city buses, sky train, sea bus, along with going on a few elevators and escalators. Our kids loved it, and the adults loved seeing the happiness and excitement on their faces.
That evening we were able to visit with more family, as our cousin and her husband were invited over for dinner. It was great to see them again and spend the evening reminiscing around the dinner table with a couple bottles of wine and Uncle Paul's cocktails. Thank you Uncle Paul for the delicious supper (as well as all the other meals you cooked for us and the girls!).
Uncle Paul made us breakfast every morning!
We spent the second day walking the water front and exploring all Granville Island has to offer. The girl's loved looking at all the food vendors and devoured their cookies. They also were impressed with the very insistent, aggressive friendly sea gulls and other birds who were quite tame, and enjoyed being feed french fries and other tidbits by fellow picnickers.
Some of the places we visited while exploring the city were China Town, the Water Front, Longsdale Quay, Granville Island, and English Bay.
The Sylvia Hotel (and Bar) on Beach Ave.
The Chinese gardens in China Town
Having our picture taken by our astrological sign - The Rat!
Quick blast from the past, last summer August 2010...
Our girl's loved the waterfront. Unfortunately summer has been slow coming
to Vancouver as well this year, so no swimming this time in the ocean :(
Thankfully there were uncles around to help "shoulder" the load of walking around downtown with toddlers!
Checking out local art on Beach Ave!
The girl's discover that although one uncle is pretty good...
Two uncles are better!
Thank you for the wonderful visit Uncle Brian and Uncle Paul. Hope to see you both again soon!
Sigh... my heart is happy just looking through the pictures of our
camping trips so far this year. We love camping - by ourselves and with friends! Luckily there are a few more to come before fall!
Our second camping trip this year was to Whatshan Lake. Both Cory and I have been here before, but that was a few years ago before kids. It is a beautiful, clear lake surrounded by stunning tree covered mountains. The weather was a little iffy, with a smattering of sprinkles here and there of rain, but ended up with sunny breaks for most of the weekend.
We were invited to join our friends the "C" family at their leased campsite on this beautiful lake with their three children. Also along for the ride were the "A" family with five of of their six kiddos. We met both of these families a couple of years ago at a local adoptive parent's support group, and together we have welcomed nine children into our three families over that time. There was a range in ages with the kids this weekend from 5 months to 14 years old, and they all played wonderfully together - as they usually do!
A bonus for the weekend was the boat, as the kids had a wonderful time tubing and the parents even got an adult only ride around the lakes while the older teenagers babysat the younger ones. Cory and I realized that this was the first time (if we don't count hospital stays) where we were off on our own without the kiddos...must rectify that situation quickly and maybe a little more often.
No pictures of the kids tubing, but some of our girls in the little rubber boat!
Happy Mama and Daddy enjoying the outdoors!
Happy kids enjoying the outdoors, the true test being super dirty feet and hands at the end of the day. Mama just sighs and is thankful we have an outdoor shower to hose them down with.
Thank you "C" and "A" families for the wonderful weekend and your continued friendship! Can't wait to camp with you all again (and a few others) later this month!