Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Back to the Future

We're back from our first family vacation, to Victoria, B.C., were we ocean-strolled and seabird-gazed together as a threesome. The whole trip was my idea and it had taken a bit of work on my part to convince Rich it was worth it, even necessary.
"But it's the value of memories, of what we do down there as a family."
"We can do things here as a family."
"Yes, Rich, but we can be carefree on vacation: No police force to call you away, no obligation to visit people or squish to-do's all in. We can just be us three and enjoy each other and be somewhere different, doing new things: together."
We ended up compromising: We flew on Visa points, and house-sat for relatives so we could enjoy after-hours (while Abby slept in her playpen in the bathroom) without having to tiptoe and be quiet, nor pay outlandish fees for a hotel room, giving Rich a coronary.
Victoria and Sooke were in beautiful fall bloom, and it felt as if we had gone back in time, as our fall had come and gone in August. The salmon were just spawning (those up North had done so in July) and bears were still fattening up before their hibernation. We ate fresh, locally-grown produce so colourful and tasty and cheap it was like a dream! We didn't need mitts or parkas or toques quite yet (well, those of us with hair didn't). We were free to roam and discover and laugh and change Abby's bum in a whole slew of new places.
We rented a car and drove to Whiffen Spit were we watched waves crash, delighting Abby with each rush and retreat. Her big blue eyes spotted every bird that flew in our periphery. She tasted smoothed-down sea rocks and flew on her daddy's shoulders on the sea coast.

We shopped in Victoria, getting Christmas presents for family, treats for ourselves and snacking at delicious delis.
We drove around the island and checked out ritzy real estate, hidden-away bakeries with REAL Boston cream doughnuts, and the eagles and deer who call the island home.
We laughed and rolled on the floor together, let Abby give big, sloppy, open-mouthed tongue kisses, and had nice baths in a big, soaker tub. It was heavenly.
I could tell as the trip neared to an end that I didn't need to say, "I told you so," or any other cheeky slight. Rich and Abby and I all found value in time together, making memories and re-discovering just what it was we meant when we said we wanted to have a family together.
We drove back to Ross River after the flights, the grocery stock-up in Whitehorse and a first Halloween in snow. We prepared for the worst: bad weather and a bored, teething baby. But that little gremlin contentedly played with her toys and snacks, stared at the intricacies of her hands for hours and gave us more reasons to thank the heavens for such a beautiful little girl.
"You know, I think this is the happiest I've ever been," said Rich. My eyes teared in agreement and I held his free hand while the other continued steering us home.

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