Our next adventure was an all-boys camping trip to Tofino. I scored an amazing campsite at Pacific Rim national park which is right on the ocean beach near Tofino. Beth had too much work to go, so I took the three boys solo to go camping for SEVEN DAYS STRAIGHT.
A few moments:
The loaded car, the ferry ride, and the first night of hot dogs!
First evening on Long Beach: the kids were thrilled to be on the huge beach.
Hot chocolate: a camping breakfast staple
Family portraits: it's getting harder to fit everyone in the frame!
Chesterman's Beach: the daily Tofino outfit was a swimsuit on the bottom and a winter jacket on top for the wind. We explored many windy but beautiful beaches!
Wickaninnish Beach and South Beach: lots of tidepooling, big waves, and me scrambling to get us all off a rocky peninsula before the rising tide turned it into an island and cut us off from shore.
Biking on the beach: Long Beach is 10 miles long and we were right in the middle of it. The hard sand near the water was very bikeable and we rode for a couple miles exploring the beach.
Boat trip to hike on Meares Island: There were some truly amazing HUGE old growth trees here -- the biggest trees I've seen in my life. The boys looked like dwarves next to these things.
And to cap everything off, Obie lost a molar while eating an ice cream cone!!
Quite the eventful trip. The boys held it together amazingly well and were troopers. We stayed up until 10pm every night (watching the sun set on the beach at 9:30), explored a new beach every day, hiked and biked and boated. We did it all. Beth had a peaceful child-free week (of straight work....sigh), and there was a happy family reunion when we returned. I managed to come back with the same number of boys I left with, and everyone was mostly happy the whole time we were there. It was surprisingly manageable...guess the kids are growing up!!??
A few photos from our summer so far: As soon as school ended in June, we headed out to Lake Kelowna in the Okanagan for a Canada Day week vacation with some friends. Little did we know that this was the heat dome week, and the temperature got up to 113 degrees! Still, we had AC in our hotel room, and a nice breeze on the lake, so we were all good. We swam in the pool and at the beach every day, we dressed up and went out to a fancy dinner one night, and we rented a boat to go cruising on the lake. We did see smoke from two wildfires when we were on the boat though! Yikes! Luckily the fires were eventually contained, the temperatures finally started to cool down, and we all made it back in one piece. And so the summer begins...
TIme has flown since our last blog post. Well, another milestone: Asa is five years old!
He had a lot of specific ideas for his birthday, and we honored as many as we could. First of all, he wanted just a family party, which is frankly easier given the Covid restrictions. But even before that, Asa wanted breakfast in bed – french toast and bacon – and he got it.
Next was a few presents. We are big into unicorns these days, and Obie and Emmet both gave Asa unicorn-themed presents.
We had a fun day of tromping around in the rain and playing Kirby (Nintendo game). We visited a friend's house where they were sitting shiva (Jewish week of mourning) for a grandparent who had passed away. Not exactly fun, but sort of fitting for Asa's birthday given his shared birthday with Grandpa John, who was remembered by all of us today.
Then dinner with Howard and Linda – Asa had requested sushi. We surprised him with a sushi place where the food is delivered by table-side bullet trains!
Then back to the house to fulfill another Asa request. He had been very specific about wanting "mango cake with sprinkles on it." Not your typical Whole Foods cake! We did find one, but the silver sprinkles we put on it melted and the colors bled so it ended up looking sort of tiger striped. It was a big hit though!
Five years old. Kindergarten in the fall. No preschoolers soon, no kids in daycare for the first time since....2011!!! It definitely feels like a new family phase.
Asa is a big ham at home, joking and making his brothers laugh. He loves to jump off the couch in his brothers' room, spinning and shrieking. The three of them are deep into Pokemon, and Asa has reams of esoteric knowledge around different creatures and their particularities and statistics.
He loves books, can read many small words already, and requests me to provide him with six books every night when I leave his room. He loves his unicorn dress, his many stuffies, and his best friends Zoe and Sophia at daycare. At home, he is learning chess from Emmet and can almost outrun both his brothers with a soccer ball. These days he can be reticent in big groups, and feels shy when he is in new places or social gatherings, though he warms up after a while.
He is a close observer when it comes to conversational dynamics with family and friends, and is quick to make lateral connections and jokes. He's a natural night owl, with energy long into the evening. We hear industrious play noises from his room long after his brothers' lights have gone out. At the dinner table, I am often impressed by Asa's sophisticated language and his maturity in engaging with his brothers – he views them as peers and they treat him like one.
But despite all this maturity, I can still wrap him up in a towel after a bath and carry him back to his bed like a burrito. Enjoying it while it lasts. I love you Asa and can't wait to see what 5 will bring for you!
What's new over here? A few things...
The family discovered the Wombo app which turns any picture into a lip-syncing video:
Asa had photo day at daycare...but he was feeling a bit shy that day and wouldn't look at the camera. Oh well...better luck next year!!
We had lots of ski days and early spring outdoors time. Asa did his first chairlift, and the boys all did ski lessons. That is actually Emmet and Obie under all those layers!
And Howard and Linda finally made it through their vaccinations and quarantines just in time for us to have Passover together:
Everyone is looking forward to better weather, Covid numbers going down, vaccinations going up, and border restrictions going away. Here's hoping sometime soon!