Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More on my trip to British Columbia...

I'm so proud of my family.

My siblings and I are taking the promise we made to my mom (and indirectly to my dad too, of course!) to heart - we stay in touch with each other by email and see each other when we can, but it's not that often since we live scattered across Canada.

However, selling at the Powell Street Festival in Vancouver for the past three summers has meant I can see my two brothers who live close to Vancouver. And my sister in Edmonton has also been selling at the festival for the past two summers so I get to see her too. The first time I did the festival in 2007, Nancy surprised me by showing up without telling me (although the rest of the family knew, including my husband!) - there was a lot of screaming and tears at the airport when we first saw each other. We can be pretty loud.

It has now become a tradition (can three years in a row make it a tradition?) that after the Powell Street Fest, we go to this amazing Japanese restaurant in Coquitlam, close to where my brother, Mike, and his family live. Good Japanese food and sushi is easy to find in Vancouver - everything is so fresh. I'm jealous. There are maybe a handful of good Japanese restos here in Montreal (maaaaybe), everything else is mediocre at best. Anyway, this place, Shyun, is wonderful and Mike and his family go there pretty regularly. Here we are after our scrumpy meals have been wolfed down. Looking forward to eating there next year again!

My sister Pat (my only other sib here in Montreal), supplied the surprise factor this year, by just showing up at the festival! Picture lots of hooting and hollering going on in front of our tent that you see in the pic below. Good thing she showed up with her boyfriend early in the day, or we would have scared customers away with all the shrieking. Did I mention we can be pretty loud?

Here we are on the ferry to Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, to see my oldest bro Ron, who just retired in April, and his family. I know it's no big deal for people who take this ferry all the time, but I just love this ride!

We took another small ferry from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island to do some kayaking - what a perfect afternoon! Here's my niece Emily, patiently waiting to leave the dock.

And below you can see Ron and Nancy practicing their strokes in the bay before we headed out to more open water.

JF had the camera, so this is shot below was taken while I was paddling alone against the crazy current, just before it nearly swept us into these rocks. That's what you get for trying to get closer shots of the seals (hey, we're city folks).

Here's one little guy on his own, click on it to see it a little bigger! There were sooo many seals and little babies; our guide was saying it was a good year since there was enough fish to feed all the moms and pups.

Here are the paddling siblings! Mike and Doug, you HAVE to join us next year!

JF and I can't go anywhere without taking this shot at least once. Awwww!
We are seriously trying to plan for a six-sibling and families vacation at some point. JF is aiming for Japan, but I'd be happy out on the west coast again, which is a little more affordable if we want to do this in the next couple years. This year, we had five of the six sibs... maybe next year? Ahem, Doug?

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