Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Walker had his annual weekend away with his college friends last weekend, and I decided to take the kids to Victoria. The ride up on the Clipper was fun. They enjoyed the view and the novelty of eating from the snack bar. There was drawing, and reading, and silliness, and then there was playing games on the tablet.
We were able to check in to our hotel early, and then headed out for lunch. Unfortunately, I forgot that the kids had been woken up early and Davis was a wreck by the time we ate. Both kids fell out of their chairs hard enough to hurt themselves, but we managed to get back to the hotel and have a nap.
After naptime, we went to the bus stop and picked up a random Canadian. Otherwise known as our friend Jade. I'm very glad she joined us. Davis didn't want much to do with her, but she was great at distracting him occasionally, and at helping keep Moira entertained.
There are a lot of totem poles in Victoria. We tried to take a picture of all the ones we saw, and both kids liked to shout "totem!" every time we walked past one.
We stayed near the Clipper dock, so we could get around just on foot. That was a lot of walking, it turns out, but the kids handled it well. Sometimes, we had to bribe Davis into riding in the stroller so that we could get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time. Mostly we weren't in a rush so we could let him meander his way along.
There was this giant glacial rock formation near Parliment, and the kids were enthralled by it. We spent a good 20 minutes just climbing up and down it one day, and Moira declared it her favorite playground ever.
We went to Miniature World (twice because of bad weather on our last day there), and I got to answer a lot of questions about why there were so many wars. We talked a little bit about World War 2 last month when we were learning about Germany, so she was extra interested in those dioramas.
On the second visit, there was a huge crowd of people there, and so they had disabled some of the buttons and set the trains to autoplay. That also meant that they turned off the night/day cycle in a couple of the exhibits. That was my favorite part of Miniature World, so I'm glad we went on an off day. The kids really liked the miniature carousel, and the circus section.
I took Moira to tea at the Empress one afternoon. She was delighted, and showed me the proper way to drink my tea, and wipe my mouth with my napkin. Because we ordered the special "Princess Tea" she even got a certificate that she is a real princess.
Davis was in a horrible mood on Friday, and did not want to do anything, but also didn't want to not do anything. So that was fun. We finally got him to the Bug Zoo, where he started screaming because we had to leave the stroller in the lobby, and then more screaming when he got a hand stamp. He was finally mollified with cuddles and a stamp on the forehead and then enjoyed the bugs.
Moira enjoyed it less, but she was still interested in all the different ones, as long as I didn't try and make her touch any of them. She really enjoyed the drawing table and made a bunch of lady bug pictures.
Davis was in a better mood after a nap, and we headed out to the big park, where the kids were thrilled that there were more big rocks! We spent a long time just hiking around there, and of course, Moira picked grass.
We eventually found our way to a playground and the kids all enjoyed playing some more.
When we started to get cold, we headed back towards downtown and found this field of crocuses. Moira tried really hard not to step on any of them, and Davis tried really hard to step on all of them.
More rocks! I let Jade chase after Davis who seemed intent on going all the way over the rock.
We spent most of Saturday (minus nap time) hiding from the snowy mix in the Royal BC Museum. Moira was too nervous to walk past the mammoth, and so she say by herself outside that exhibit until I found the way around it for her.
She really enjoyed the exhibit on the First Nations from the area. Especially the showcase with all the masks and recorded stories.
Both kids took lots of pictures. It took me a little bit to understand what Moira wanted when she asked me to "take a picture of my picture." When I finally figured out that she wanted a meta picture, I was happy to comply.
We all also enjoyed the section on "Modern History." I quibble with that name, but I have been stumbling how to explain the settling of the country in a way that honors what really happened without being too depressing. Moira took lots of pictures of dresses in this section, and both kids liked panning for gold.
We were all pretty cranky on our last day there. We went to Miniature World again, had lunch, had a lot of arguments between the kids about the little figurines Milestones puts on kid drinks, took a nap, and then the kids and I spent a couple of hours waiting for the boat.
When we finally got on the boat, it was a newer one than the one we had taken up. I enjoyed the slightly higher level of comfort. It was a full boat, so after we had dinner, I just let the kids play with the tablet, because of the above mentioned crankiness and the increased number of ears I wanted to protect from screaming.
It was a good trip. I would like to go back when the weather is nicer and all the things are open. Moira would like to go back and take Davis to the Empress. We shall see.