Monday, July 16, 2007

Island Vacation

We got back on Saturday night from our 5-day camping trip to the Island. There are so many pictures to post and too many stories to tell - we'll see how far I get with this entry...

Killing time in Horseshoe Bay while we wait for the ferry to Nanaimo.

We spent our first 2 nights at Riverbend Campground in Parksville, BC. We had been there last year when we took a trip with Brad & Nichole.

The kids hanging out in the tent while Erik & I set up camp.

Our cute little campsite.

The campground had it's own little swimming area on the Englishman River. It was perfect - HOT weather & refreshing river water...

We really wanted to go back to Rathtrevor beach after our experience there last year (also with Brad & Nichole). Unfortunately it did not live up to its former glory. The beach is on a massive sand bar and you have to walk about a km & a half to get to the water's edge. The water is very shallow & warm and last year we had a lot of fun there. I knew that we would have to walk a ways to get to the water, but I had expected that the tide would stay put for a while so we could just sit and relax by the water. So, with Keziah loaded in the mei tai and our arms laden with towels, sand toys, snacks, diapers, bottles, sunscreen, a beach umbrella, etc, etc, we started the long walk to the water's edge. We passed by some young families who had set up beside some little shallow pools that the tide had left behind, but we were determined to be right at the water's edge so we just kept walking. Oh how they must've been laughing at us trucking our stuff all that way, but anyway... We finally got close to the water and started setting up our stuff; put down the blanket, shove the beach umbrella into the sand, get Keziah out of the mei tai, break out the toys and the snacks... But, as it turns out the tide was actually moving in already - slowly but surely. Within 10 minutes we decided we'd better start moving our stuff back a bit as the water was approaching. So, we gather everything up and start backtracking to find another spot, set up again, etc... At this point Keziah was starting to get really fussy. She had been woken prematurely from her nap for this event and was a little out of sorts. The breeze coming off the ocean was pretty strong and ripped our umbrella from the sand a couple of times. Then Micah decided to start throwing sand in the air which landed all over our things, including in the chip dip that Erik & I were trying to eat. We had to move back yet again and the whole experience was far from relaxing. At this point, Erik, who (bless his heart) had not complained at all said to me, "To be honest, I'm not having very much fun." I laughed. Erik is usually one to let his feelings be known right off the start, but I knew he had been holding back because he didn't want to ruin a fun family day :) We decided to pack it in and make the long walk back to our car. I loaded Keziah back up in the mei tai and she fell asleep almost instantly. Micah was not impressed with having to make that trek again and he dawdled after us. It took forever. As we passed those same families who were set up closer to the parking lot, we realized how very smart they were! And we felt a little sheepish as they watched us walk back less than an hour after we had arrived.

We still managed to get some pictures though. And I think Micah still had fun :) Here we are playing in the ocean. Gotta love the Sanjaya hairdo I've got going, hey?

Micah playing "sand & pail".

Keziah asleep in the mei tai at the end of our long walk.

So, back to our campground we went. The river beach was much more relaxing! I'm glad we had such a great alternative. The current was perfect for tubing. When you got to the bend in the river it would swirl around and carry you back upstream where you could start all over again.

Erik found a small cliff to jump off a little further downstream.

That just can't be comfortable.

Sandy hands.

Keziah was REALLY difficult during this trip. She has become a very challenging baby and I blame it mostly on teething. Her one stubborn tooth is still pushing against her gums but hasn't broken through. But, the teething aside, Keziah just seems to crave constant attention. We found she was often happiest in her car seat, so we kept her in there during our afternoon at the river and she was pretty content.

Googly eyes.

Keziah's dip in the river.

Camping is dirty.

Bathtime for Keziah in the wash basin:

Micah insisted on bathing in the basin too...

Lots of napping was done in the car. I love this picture of Micah blowing bubbles in his sleep.

On Thursday we packed everything up and headed northwest to Comox Lake to meet with some friends and family at "the cabin". We've been there twice before and it's always an enjoyable time :)

Oh, I love techonology...

Some classic cabin activities included:

1) Rock toss

2) Log walking

3) Floating/Sun-bathing for the ladies :)

Micah joined Nate & Rosanna for an evening canoe ride:

Beware of the Hoops Monster!

Keziah's toothless grin.

Sunset over the lake. Time to head home!

Erik & I agreed that this vacation was fun, but it wasn't very relaxing. In fact we came home exhausted, but I suppose that's camping with kids! Yesterday (the 15th) we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! Hard to believe. We didn't do much as we were busy getting our house back in order and catching up on some sleep, but we're hoping to go on a date later this week.

Anyway, that was a marathon of pictures and now I need to get some other things done!


Erin and Rob said...

The island is sooo beautiful. Good on you guys for camping with kids - I love the part about micah throwing sand in your chip dip. Such a classic story - I can definitely relate.

Jon & Bonnie said...

Fabulous post Jamie! The story of your attempted beach day was very fun to read--- and your pictures are so fun! That cabin looks like the perfect spot. Glad you got to have some time away, even if it was exhausting!

Happy Anniversary too!!

Nathan & Rosanna said...

Hi Jamie! I enjoyed viewing pictures from the first part of the week. So cute! I also enjoyed the second telling/reading of the lovely beach day you all had - too funny.
Nate and I both enjoyed spending time with Erik and you and your wee ones - so despite all the extras you had to do - thanks for making it happen. Hope you are feeling rested today - we need you in tip top shape for voting tomorrow night - JK:) Happy anniversary!

Ej said...

Looks like a great trip - Ry and I may just venture into camping next year!

Happy Anniversary!

Yvonne&Eric said...

Happy Anniversary! Looks like the trip was fun despite being so tiring:) Keziah looks like such a little person when she's taking a dip in the water. Micah looked so cute having his bath:) Hope this week is somewhat relaxing for you.

kelly said...

what a great post! The pictures are all so wonderful, the kids are just so cute!
i now agree that camping is not relaxing anymore with kids, but i'm sure it gets even less relaxing the more kids you have :)
happy anniversary!!!!

Anonymous said...

i love the pic of micah being so dirty....actually i´ve always been the same when i was little!
seems like you had a great family-time!!

Summer said...

HAPPY 6th Anniversary!! I love Vancouver Island. It is so beautiful there. Glad you guys had a good time camping. Love the pics.

Drea said...

Those photos are so great! love the hand w/ sand one. Do you like your babyhawk? im getting 1.

Ron and Raine said...

I am glad that you had a good time on the Island. The pictures are great! Thanks for sharing.

Amber said...

LOVE all the pictures! There are too many to comment on...the hoops master, life jacket wedgie, K&M both bathing in the container, Keziah's googly eyes...TOO CUTE!!! Looks like you had a wonderful time. How did the kids do tenting? You are brave!! Did it cool off nicely for night? We are going camping in a couple of weeks...I have visions of sandy beds, little sleep and sunburns, but I know it's going to be tons of fun!!!!!!

the salmon said...

looks like lots of fun. love the wash basin pics and keziah looks like a beauty. you've given me hope that camping will be ok when we do it in august. :)

the salmon said...

aaand Happy Anniversary!!!

Michelle said...

Glad to hear you guys had a good time! Yeah, camping with kids is usually more stressful than relaxing...been there, done that!! I noticed something too...our anniversaries are only a week a part! Chris and I celebrate our 6th on the 21st! Happy anniversary to you and Erik :o)

Anonymous said...

Great post and pics Jamie! I love all of them, I don't know which ones to comment on. :) You were vacationing right near where my brother and sister-in-law live. Cool.

Trev & Rebekah said...

What's mei tai?
Great photos. You guys take such wonderful pictures as they are always so bright and beautiful.

Michelle said...

I was going to ask you too what kind of camera you have and what kind of program you use to edit/crop/layout your pictures?

Jamie said...

Rebekah - the mei tai is the kind of baby carrier that I have.

Michelle - we have a Panasonic Lumix. It's pretty basic, but I do all my edits with Picasa2 - it's a free program that I downloaded from the internet. It's really easy to work with!

Rachel Z said...

again, I'm amazed at your bravery to take these vacations with two wee ones. We'll be getting a taste of our own island adventure later this week. Not camping, but adventures nonetheless. And then hopefully I'll get to meet you and your little fam soon. I'll be in touch.