Monday, July 21, 2014

camping on "the island"

Every summer we do a big week-long camping trip with friends, and every year we talk about how we wish we could do more trips. So this year, we managed to get one trip in with just our family at the beginning of the month, before our big one next month! It was fun and tiring and a different experience for us.  For one, Hunny wanted to surprise us, so he wouldn't tell us where we were going! He gave us one clue though: we would be going on a big boat! H'mm...curious. I jokingly said sailing, and a cruise, but it was clarified that we'd be taking a ferry! That could mean three different places off the top of my head. Victoria, which we had been wanting to take all of the kids to for a while now, Galiano Island, where we had camped  for two summers when it was just the three kids, or Powell River, where my brother lives with his family, and where we hadn't been in years either!

We ended up going to Powell River!  My Hunny couldn't take not telling us anymore, and my refusal to guess (haha), so he had to tell me. (Although, truthfully, I had already found out by accident.) And then he spilled it to the kids later by not being careful what he said around them! It was a fun surprise though, and we didn't know about the location until two days prior to our leaving. (trying to plan a camping trip without knowing for sure where you'd end up wasn't easy. I kept having to remind myself that the climate across BC is pretty much the same. We'd need some shorts as well as pants, and it's always good to pack a swimsuit just in case!)

I haven't been to Powell River to see my brother since I was pregnant with Rhys, with my parents. And Hunny hadn't been since before Bryn was born. So it was a long overdue trip! It was nice!  It takes two ferries to get there (so we were up at 5am to pack up and leave to catch the first ferry of the morning. Ugh. I don't like mornings at all!) and is on the Sunshine Coast, which is still on the Mainland, but I seem to have a hard time remembering that and I still think it is on an Island! It was funny driving around and telling myself that it was really just the other side of Whistler that we were at. In fact, there is a few logging roads that you can drive to get there, but it is so rough and long that no one drives it. It would be so nice if BC would decide to pave a road there, but then they'd miss out on all the revenue from the BC Ferries. Phooey. Oh well, taking a boat is fun for the kids.  Not so much for me though. I admit to having a bit of fear when it comes to windy open spaces near water, and having an unnatural fear of the kids being swept off the boat deck and into the ocean! Thankfully those were unwarranted!

We had a slight half hour delay for the second ferry at Earl's Cove as there was a bike race that was setting up.  I was impressed with all of the competitors; I found out it was a 7 day race and this was day 4. Wow. Good for them!

 Our first night had my brother and sister in law come by the campsite with their kids and snacks and stuff that we had forgotten to pack (like sugar, ice, coffee, wood...) It was a fun evening. The older cousins took my kids down to the water and they played there while I got to sit by the fire and visit. That doesn't usually happen!

Our second day was spent driving around Powell River and checking out the other campsites (we are deciding if we will end up back there for our big trip in August with our friends, so we need to see which sites are bigger and more to our style.) I was surprised with Powell River; it is bigger that I thought. When I visited in 2008, we spend the weekend at my brother's place and didn't go out sightseeing or anything.

 (Eden wanted us to wear her hats)

There was fun trips to the water, and catching small fish with two other boys, named Talon and Kale.  Kai managed to catch one, which freaked him out just a bit! (my not-so-brave boy!)  Bryn wanted to see how deep he could walk in the lake and made up to his chest.

Rhys found a caterpillar, actually I found one on my shirt and gave it to him, which he named Friendly. He pet it and made a little home for him, and loved on it for some time. It was sweet. Hunny was finally able to convince him that maybe it was best if we let Friendly go find his family, so Rhys was lifted so he could put him onto a leaf.  It was a sad, sincere goodbye!

The funny thing is that we found a caterpillar the next morning that they were convinced was Friendly, so there was more loving and petting before we released him again!

We roasted bottoms and s'mores on the campfire, and Kai made it his job to chop wood and keep the fire going.

 I mentioned earlier this week that my Dad is staying at Mark's house now too, working with him on some painting jobs, so he came up to our campsite one night too. That was fun! 

Our last evening in Powell River was spent at my brother Mark's house, where the kids got to snuggle with their cousin Emma's kitten Charcoal, swing in the backyard, swim in the pool (Abi was really only the bravest to swim, since it was too cold for the others. She attempted to bring them in with her, but no one else lasted!), play video games with cousin Isaac, and sit out by the backyard firepit.

Our camping experience was different this year. We went tenting, instead of using our tent trailer (to save on costs. We'd need to take two vehicles since the truck that pulls the trailer doesn't fit all of us, and that would cost a lot for the ferries) and we had family to visit! We have never gone camping anywhere local-ish were people could come see us. I liked this opportunity!


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