Archive | September 2010

Short break

So I’m back from a couple days at Qualicum Beach.  We stayed at a nice little cottage that was about 50 feet from the Strait of Georgia.  Ah, so calm, so quiet.  It was really nice to get away, I wish we could have stayed longer but DH wanted to get back before the ferry madness.  You see if you want to visit Vancouver Island, you have to take a 90 minute ferry.  All holiday weekends are seriously busy and since we didn’t have reservations, we didn’t want to get caught in sailing waits.  If you’ve ever experienced a sailing wait, you know it’s bad, but with an infant, it’s unbearable. You could end up spending 2 hours or more sitting in your car on tarmac. Blecch!

Anyways, after spending hours and hours trying to pick out reasonable accommodations for a shorter than average stay (and it had to take dogs), I got a small cabin for us.  It had two small bedrooms, bathroom with shower stall, and small living/kitchen area. We had a nice deck with a BBQ parked on top and two adirondack chairs faced towards the ocean.   I couldn’t find any reviews of the place, so I packed some extra toilet paper, and pillowcase  and a scented candle(cause you never know if it smelled funny). I preferred a larger cabin, but they they would only rent it out for 3 days, not 2.  It didn’t matter, we would squeeze our crap in.

Funny, thinking back to the old days, we would have booked some place with a spa attached or picked out nearby restaurants to visit, loaded up tons of booze and a portable stereo.  Now, it’s a playpen, inflatable duck bath, baby food,toys, etc.  Now, if only DH could have left his Crackberry at home, but he had to do a conference call while we were on the ferry!

It was nice to sit in an Adirondack chair, having a coffee in the sunshine while the baby had his morning nap.  The air was so fresh!  And you barely even heard the nearby guests. They had a little boy as well who was able to walk and play in the sand with his shovel and pail.  Soon, that would be our little boy.   All we could hear was the ocean at night.  On the side we were on, it was rocky beach, no sand, but we put the Precious in the Ergo and made our way along the coast and just enjoyed the scenery, throwing sticks in the water for Juju.  She had a blast.  We had to tie her up on a long rope at the cabin because there was a family of tame bunnies running loose on the property.  Lucky for us, she kept a silent vigil on them, endless entertainment for her for HOURS.

chillin'

And for such a timid dog, she wanted to stay outdoors all day and night, but we made her come in for the night.  The bedroom we had was so tiny, she had to spread out in the living/kitchen area.  The Precious had his own room, and for that we were grateful!

We collapsed into bed the night we arrived, full of good Scotch and wine, BBQ steak and potatoes and fresh peaches and cream corn.  During the night, we just heard some coos from the next room, but no bellowing.  In the morning, guess who didn’t wake up early?  Yes!  Not a peep out of him and he gave us just enough time to renew the woo. Yipee!  Unheard of!  Thank you fresh ocean air!  No garbage trucks rumbling down the alley, no beep, beep, beep up delivery trucks backing up, no yelling and carrying on from crazy people (I’m including myself here). No roar of traffic, no truck air brakes, no buses and NO AMBULANCE, FIRE OR POLICE SIRENS!!!!  Just the gentle sounds of waves whooshing against the shore.

Oh, I love the babbling of the kid in the morning, but it often deteriorates into bellowing and the drumming on the legs on the mattress or the crib itself.  His voice is like a call to duty and when he calls, I must go.  I told DH to go check on him because I thought he might be dead, but no, he peacefully slumbered till 8am.  Who would have thought I would think 8am was “sleeping in”?

DH was awesome, he did all the cooking, BBQing and cleaning up.  I tell you, the one thing I dislike about going to cabins or condos is the whole cooking and cleaning up thing.  I do that every day, so why would I pay someone big money so I can continue doing it on holiday?  Luckily, DH knows that a surefire way to put me in a good mood is put food in my stomach and do the dishes. And no, I did not count points in can of reduced fat Pringles.

Then DH had to leave for the better part of Saturday to attend a funeral.  Last month a friend of his died in sleep of a coronary and he really wanted a chance to say goodbye.  We were without a vehicle, but of course, I did what I always do.  Put the Precious in his Bob, tied the dog around my waist and went for  a long walk.  Not entirely relaxing, walking down the shoulder of a scenic highway but what the heck?  By the time we got home, The Precious was still not sleepy – I was doing all the pushing after all, but he finally surrendered to a nap after standing in his playpen for an hour (the dog flaked out on the deck) and I could read the newspaper, surf the Net a bit.  In truth,  I ended up snoozing a bit til DH called to say he was on his way from Campbell River.  I thought he would have stayed longer, but I think the funeral made him miss us.

I have to admit was hard to pack up all our stuff and come home, but at least I can see Mum today. (I haven’t seen in her in a week or so.) Since hitting the wall of exhaustion last month, I only see her once a week now.  Visiting gets a little tricky with nap times or errands.  The Precious has became a real source of entertainment for the old folks there.  The old ladies demand to see him and since they all have dementia, they repeat themselves ad nauseum so I have to keep introducing him over and over.  They all come grasping for him, staff included,  so I do have to do a bit of patient stick handling with them.  (One staff member thought it would be okay for him to stuff her filthy keys in his mouth – ahem – no it’s not okay, lady.)

It’s rainy and chilly here on this Labour Day so it’s just as well we came home early.   I was hoping we could get in a family picnic, but forget it.   Funny how I don’t think of actual workers anymore, but mothers delivering babies.

Summer memories

This was prompted by Tobacco Brunette’s post.  When I was a little girl, maybe 8, I think, our parents took us  3 girls to a cottage for a long weekend (I’m guessing on this part).  Maybe it was somewhere in the Muskokas, that was the place most Torontonians seemed to want to have a cottage.

This only happened once, we didn’t have a lot of money for extras so it was a big occasion for us.  I don’t really remember all the details but I have a few snapshots still left in my head.  His friend of many years, Tony (he owned an antique/second-hand store) invited us over to his summer cottage.  He was Portuguese, and as we had lived in a Portuguese neighbourhood when we came to Toronto, I remember how nice our neighbours were to us.  We had a neighbour who must have had a port wine birthmark on his face because I called him Blue John and he raised rabbits (to eat of course, but I didn’t know that).  That explains why I’ve always had an affection for Portuguese people.

Tony’s summer home was a lot bigger than the little cabin we stayed in.  It was all wood and glass and it was perched high on a hill.  And it didn’t smell like, well, an old cabin.  His daughter made us JiffyPop popcorn on the stove.  It was like a miracle to me and my younger sister.  We thought they were millionaires, who else could have such a miraculous space age way of making popcorn?

Our mum used to make us popcorn in a rounded steel pot, pouring the kernels into hot oil and then putting a heavy plate on top and there were always a faint burnt taste.  It was such a dangerous thing that we couldn’t really make it ourselves for fear of being burnt with splattering oil, something that did happen to mum from time to time.  I remember the anticipation to wait and wait through all the shaking – would we disappointed, but wait –  something is popping! I remember the amazement to see the silver foil package grow and expand, the smell, the glorious smell of popcorn.  It was the best thing ever.  I think perhaps, just perhaps, that was also the first occasion we tasted roasted marshmallow.  Oddly, I’ve had a thing for marshmallows for years, roasted or not.  But only Kraft marshmallows, the generic don’t taste the same. I’m pretty sure they had Kraft.

I remember my dad rowing us in a rowboat on the lake.  Boring compared to the powerboat Tony’s daughter took us out on.  We squealed and squealed with delight!  We couldn’t go fast enough!  Dad seemed content to just row his canoe.  I wonder if he ever felt a pang of envy or jealousy? Who knows, maybe it was just his speed.  I remember learning how to fish.  Was it my dad who taught me? Not sure. The barb got caught in my hand.  It was okay though, I was pretty cool about it.

I remember feeling a little let down every night as we went back down to our little shack with the shack smell.  I realized then the difference between those who had money and those who did not.  Still, my mum was grateful that we had a little holiday and she would never complain.  I’m sure it cost my dad a lot to get us all there, and I’m sure my mum really pushed to get us to take a family holiday.  I rarely feel grateful for anything my dad did for us, but I have to give him credit for that.

Mmmm, I wonder what my sisters remember?