I’ve been wanting to visit Canada for a while now. It’s been a decade since I’d been out of the country and I was getting the itch for some international travel. Since I live in Washington State, the Canadian border is about 5 hours away and with my enhanced driver’s license, I didn’t need a passport to cross. Jeremy surprised me for my birthday with a trip booked for Vancouver BC. I went to Vancouver when I was almost 5 months old for the World’s Fair in 1986. Now I got to take my son when he was about 5 months old to Vancouver. Weird timing or what? This was first time spending the night away from home with Owen. Most people might pick a laid back vacation for their first trip with a baby, but Jeremy and I chose a 5+ hour car ride, a border crossing into a different country and a big city to explore. I had my doubts about how the trip would go, but it went great. Owen is a great travel. He slept a lot of the car ride. We made a couple of stops along the way so he could eat and have some time out of the car seat. We got to our very fancy hotel in downtown and then we took it over instantly with baby stuff! We set up Owen’s Pack’N’Play and made the breakfast table a diaper station. We laid a blanket out on the floor for play time. We seriously moved on in. I brought less stuff than I originally planned on packing, but I still ended up over packing. I brought too many clothes for myself and Owen. I figured he could spit up or poop on multiple outfits a day. Better safe than sorry. However, he was a relatively clean kid for most of the trip and the extras weren’t needed.
Jeremy and I are the masters of the Thursday through Saturday trip. These long weekends fit around our church schedule really well. Thursday we got into the hotel and set up camp. We roamed around downtown and I realized that Vancouver BC is a lot bigger than I thought. For dinner we went a little shack on the water called Go Fish. We ate the best fish & chips outside under a heater with the city view at sunset. Friday, we drove out to Steveston where our favorite show “Once Upon a Time” is filmed. It was so cool to see buildings that I recognized from television in person. We explored a few filming sites before heading back to the hotel to regroup. Back at the hotel, Owen and Jeremy hit the pool. This was Owen’s first time in a pool so it was a bit of a big deal to us. Owen enjoyed it a lot! We spent our Friday evening at one of the largest malls Jeremy and I have ever been to. It had over 400 stores on 3 levels. We spent 2 solid hours there just walking around and we still missed about half of it. On Saturday we went to the public market and had brunch at a place called Edible Canada. It was all fresh local foods. I had the most amazing waffles with a mascarpone cream, blackberry sauce and ground hazelnuts. Jeremy had a crab cake and eggs benedict. It was very fancy food and felt like a splurge! After we explored the market, it was time to head home.
This trip was truly an adventure. I didn’t realize that I would feel so “out of the country”. I assumed that BC would just feel like the northwest, but it really felt like we were in a different country. They said things a little differently, the money was different, the metric system was fun to navigate, we tried new brands, things are spelled differently (example: centre, colourful, busses). Our doorman asked us if we were on “holiday”. Because of roaming charges, we couldn’t use our phones unless we were at the hotel on their wi-fi. That was strange! It made me realize how attached I am to my phone. We are used to using it for GPS, so Jeremy had to breakdown and actually buy a map to get around! We commented on how often we would have googled something, but it wasn’t an option! It was fun and crazy to get out of the country especially for our first time away with Owen, but it was a great trip and I glad we took the chance on doing something a little out of the ordinary!