Vancouver with Holiday Inn
Besides a quick (24 hour) stint in Colorado to see a concert with my honey, this is the first real trip we have taken away from the kids since Ames was born. It was.... AMAZING!
Prepping to leave took me a whole flippin' week. A week of labeling outfits and jammies (by day), making the babysitters schedule charts, food lists, printing off medical and insurance forms, nap and bedtime instructions, putting together activity boxes and cleaning the house like a mad woman.... Who stole Oakley and replaced her with a psycho-organized-chartloving-cleanaholic?! I mean, I labeled my kids clothes by day!! That is just flat-out weird... for anyone to do... The only thing that I can think of to justify these strange and unlikely behaviors of mine, is to think that I must have needed that organization as a distraction. I needed to fill my week with tasks and leave the house in ship-shape order before leaving my babies for a whopping three nights! That's right, three nights had me all worked up as if I was abandoning my kids to jet-set far away and become a neglecting mother (insert eye-rolling emoji).
Just like everyone assured me, the trip was so good for me AND for the kids. Once that plane landed in Vancouver, I only called the kids to check in once or twice a day. Go me! Though when my arms really missed my squirmy little babes, we jumped onto FaceTime and read Scholastic books to them. Did you know Holiday Inn gives free Scholastic books out? Always ask the front desk! I snagged a couple and brought them home to an ecstatic little Scarlett after she enjoyed them over FaceTime.
When Holiday Inn reached out and asked if they could send us one a little re-charge trip, we were thrilled. It gave Scott and I an opportunity to get out and reconnect with each other. This has got to be the hardest time of life for us to stay in tune with one another. Life with three tiny kids is beyond chaotic. After work Scott walks in the door, I throw him a toddler and we divide and conquer. By the time they are all in bed we feel like we've just been defeated by a small army and need to crash, usually resorting to snuggling while watching a show. There is just not a lot of time or energy for us to have quiet, deep talks and focus solely on our partner. Having three days of no kids was so great for us and exactly what our relationship was craving!
Vancouver was never on my bucket list. Now it's on my bucket list to go back! When we got through customs and rented a car, we drove through the city in awe of how charming and quaint the area was. We got to the Holiday Inn downtown, had a quick check-in and headed up to our beautiful room. The view was amazing, looking over the city and water. We ate the local treats that were left for us, freshened up and headed out to sight see. We rode bikes around Stanley Park along the water. As the wind blew through my greasy travel-hair and we let ourselves get lost on the bike paths, I really soaked up the freedom of not having to stop and get out snacks for a fussing child, or change a poopy diaper! As much as I LOVE and missed my kids, I really got into the ME time and loved spending it with Scott. Free to be a little irresponsible and careless for the first time in years. We biked. We went to an incredible taco place in a semi-sketchy part of town and walked about ten blocks to find a donut shop we'd heard about. After a night of laughs and good food we slept like rocks in our SUPER comfortable bed, like out-of-this-world comfortable! Just what this mama needed in a get-away.
The next morning we woke up early, went and picked up some of our good friends who were also in town (also kidless) and headed up to Whistler for the day. The drive up took my breath away and left me stunned by the almost clear mountain water and thick forests surrounding us. By the time we reached Whistler, we were ready to adventure and rented the first mountain bikes available! [SIDE NOTE; I was the one person out of four people with little-to-no experience on a mountain bike... in the best mountain biking trails in the world.] Before I knew it, we were in thick forests on tiny trails biking up and down little paths surrounded by beautiful scenery... and I, the worlds clumsiest mountain biker, only had about three near death experiences. Eventually Scott insisted we walk the more difficult parts and I didn't even mind one bit. I walked some of the most beautiful areas that I have ever seen, surrounded by natures greatest accomplishments. And I biked the parts that I knew I could survive on. ;)
That night we zip-lined from one mountain to another, flying above trees and forests that were housing lots of bears and other wild animals... what a rush!
The next day and a half we spent back in Vancouver, hiking the Grouse Grind (almost 3,000 steps straight up Grouse mountain), crossing the Capilano suspension bridges, eating incredible food, visiting the Granville public market and sleeping the best sleep of our lives.
Canada founds it's place in my heart. From maple deserts and farmers market goodness to outdoor overload and foodie-lover heaven. It rocked our kidless-time, world.
And Holiday Inn... well they already had a place in my heart (where we stay 90% off the time when traveling) but now they're place has grown ten fold. From their downtown location (in close proximity to all activities) to their quick and easy check-in/check-out, to their stellar service, scholastics books, fabulous room and BEST BED EVER... they made our traveling experience perfect. Thank you for the unreal trip and time with my main man.