If you can believe it, I haven't had time to go to Starbucks today, so today's chai was non-existent. I hope it doesn't go into existential crisis again.
My niece Zoe told me last night, while we sucked back our bubble teas, that I might want to avoid downtown today because it's 4/20 and it would be silly with pot and pot smokers. "Don't go downtown tomorrow with the kids," she says. "Don't go to Hastings," she says. So what do I do? Given the beauty day we had today (24 degrees and sunny), I decided it would be a good day to visit Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Classical Chinese Gardens. In Chinatown. At Hastings and Columbia. Don't know the particular area I'm talking about? Hastings is heroin central in Vancouver...but it was all good because it was 10:00 am and apparently the heroin addicts don't come out that early. Dr Sun Yat-Sen's garden is closed on Mondays (how did I miss that in this information age?), but there is a public city garden right beside it with koi and turtles in the ponds and plenty of interesting flowers and plants. Anyone looking for serenity this morning in the garden was sadly disappointed as my children ran screaming and laughing down the paths. Thank goodness for other small, loud child because mine just sort of blended in.
Afterwards, we visited several souvenir stores and I actually said (I feel like I'm going to die admitting this), "Look with your eyes, not your hands!" in an annoying sing-song voice. But seriously, if Kate touches something, Anna has to touch it too and my heart was hammering in my chest because Kate breaks stuff by just looking at it and Anna is four. A bull in a china shop has nothing on these kids. We managed to leave all items unscathed and even picked up a terribly tacky gold, sparkly fan for Anna and some strange pen for Kate. I also jumped on the band wagon and bought both of them Canucks shirts. I told Kate several months ago that she was no longer allowed to cheer for the Leafs because they just suck and told her to pick another team. That fabulous girl picked the Vancouver Canucks (based purely on Zoe living here and my bestie's Canuck love, I'm sure). They are wearing their shirts all day tomorrow in support of the Canuck/Flames game (look at me knowing what's going on in the hockey world, thank you Google).
After that, we picked up Zoe to take her to Capilano University to drop off some paperwork. What a beautiful campus! I always loved University of Waterloo, which has its pretty areas, but nothing beats ancient evergreens and mountains. I felt like I was at summer camp. I wonder how long it would take before you just take that beauty for granted? I don't know if I ever would.
We dropped Zoe back at school after a fabulous sushi lunch at Sushi Nanaimo and headed off to the Vancouver Aquarium. It was very manageable in three hours to see everything and catch a few of the demonstrations. The girls loved the Pacific White Sided dolphins and the Beluga whales of course. Even though these animals are meant to be in the wild and I feel badly for them being in cages and tanks, I can appreciate the conservation efforts of all the staff. They obviously care deeply for the animals and for educating of the public. Both dolphins were caught in fixed fishing nets and rescued. One of them had both her pectoral fins partially removed because they were so damaged by the netting, so she can't be released back into the wild. People complain that zoos and aquariums are cruel, but that animal was injured in the wild because of human beings. The aquarium is a safe place for her to live and survive, with the added bonus that her story is cautionary tale to the public.
Most of the day was spent with yells of, "MOM! MOM! LOOK AT THIS! LOOK AT THIS!" To the point that I asked them to call me Megan because I started hating the sound of the word Mom. "MEGAN! MEGAN! LOOK AT THIS! LOOK AT THIS!" *sigh* At least the sound of Anna's little voice calling me Megan was mildly amusing.
When we got home, I was trying to do something for Kate and Anna was saying, "Mom, mom, mummy, MEGAN!" I looked at her and said, "I'm doing something for your sister. It's not always about you Anna." That punk looked me right in the eye, smiled and said, "Yes, it is."
Just got back from La Casa Gelato with the kids and they are finally in bed. Grown up time! Whatever shall I do...zzzz, wait, what?
|Breakfast with Chaplin|
|Breakfast with a regular girl|
|We all loved this immensely|
|My little rabbit|
|My little dog|
|And snakey Meg|
|At the entrance of the closed Dr Sun Yet-Sun Classical Chinese Garden|
|In the public garden|
|I love the traditional Chinese buildings against the backdrop the skyscrapers|
|My sweet girl|
|On her throne|
|Also on her throne|
|The koi were massive|
|Slightly obsessed with jelly fish|
|Pacific White Sided dolphins|
|After our visit, complete with souvenirs|
|Loving her ice cream|
|Also loving her ice cream :)|