Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A long post from a long day - Vacation Pt 4

Our brief stay in Vancouver quickly came to its final day. Josh played some chess with the boys before everyone enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with our hosts, the Lowndes family.
 At breakfast, the younger of the two competitors was in the winning position, but it turned out that Josh won in the end.
 It had finally stopped raining, so the girls enjoyed the spacious back yard and toys while Josh and I alternated getting things packed and ready to go.
 Hopey enjoyed some trampoline time, after removing the bug or debris from the bottom of her foot. :o)
Big girl - little ball...
 Little girl - big ball!
 Pam Lowndes giving Joy a helping hand as she tried to figure out how to kick that ball.
 So thankful the girls warm up to new people easier now. :o) At one point in our trip, Hope asked me, "Mommy, are we going to meet more new friends now???"
 Still can balance while sitting on a ball. :o)
 We left the Lowndes to cross the city one more time, heading for Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium.
 And, of course, we stopped at Tim Horton's along the way. The girls don't get to have Timbits everytime we go, but this time they did. :o)
 As was Joy's morning tradition while on vacation, she zonked out for an hour or so in the van, which made the drive time easier for us anyways.
 The Portman bridge, in year 5 of the scheduled 5 of construction. Ooooooh the traffic!
 Note the sign: "Over 50% Complete. Thank you for your patience." :o)
 There's this wonderful little app called "Google maps" and for all the convenient information it can give you, it sure picked the dumbest route up to Stanley Park - right through downtown Vancouver, and of course we were there right at 12:30 noon. :o) Needless to say, we chose a different route out of there. :o)
 To the Aquarium at last.
 The little penguins were very friendly and interactive.
 Hopey loved it!
 Joy got the hang of the magnetic fishing rod right away, and Hopey did with some help. :o) Maybe Joy was just lucky. :o)
 One big sea lion.
 And one big turtle, as seen from the underwater view downstairs. 
 This was definitely the highlight of the day for me - the dolphin show!
 Hope and I snuck in to a spot on the crowded fence line to enjoy the show, while Josh wrestled with Joy slightly back from the crowds. :o) 
 The dolphins were so responsive and obedient to their trainers!
 And their synchronized tricks were delightful!

 The power of praise.
 Looked really refreshing. :o)
 We were surprised but delighted to find parrots at the Aquarium, as Hope had been wanting to see a parrot, but we didn't think there would be any there.
 Regardless of what they really were, Hope called these the blue parrots.
 And she LOVED the rain forest section, because of all the butterflies.
 I enjoyed the beauty greatly myself... though my pregnant state made me exceedingly happy to get out of there into some cool, dry air again. :o)

 One lotus blossom.
 Thought this sign was cute - on the exit door of the rain forest.
 The best for last - a frog display that pictured different frogs and made their sounds when you pressed the buttons. Both girls were going at it together for a time, and was that ever a lot of noise!
 We couldn't leave without at least going on a little walk by the sea along the edge of Stanley park.
 This big cruise ship honked at the folks on the shore as it passed us, heading for the ocean beyond Lions Gate Bridge.
Geese? She posts a picture of geese? WHAT?
Ok, the little story goes this way. As we were readying the girls to leave on our trip through the mountains almost a week prior to this picture, Hope was asking her Daddy what she would see along the way. She was on the parrot thing, but Daddy told her she wouldn't see parrots while driving through the BC mountains. He told her she would see ducks swimming in the water. Well, guess what we never saw until the last day of our vacation - ducks swimming in the water. Every time Hope would see a pond or a puddle, she'd ask "Now will we see the ducks, Daddy?" It took till the ocean to see something that met the said description. :o) Rather fun.
 Not a great shot - just one that says we were there - at the ocean!
 Little girl with a big will. She fought us all day in the Aquarium and then konked out as we walked along the sea and back to the van. Poor kid. She just wants to be like Hope and get to walk around and see things. She just has to learn to listen and hold hands, like Hope is willing to do, then we'll let her roam a bit more. :o)
 The sunshine felt lovely.
 Almost back to the van, with one happy - super - happy Hopey.
 She LOVED seeing all those animals, and literally talked and sang for 4 hrs straight as we drove late into the night back to Kamloops. :o)
 Crossing the Lions Gate Bridge, headed east. :o)

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