Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Last week's excursions: Sidney and Butchart's

Carolers at the Butchart Gardens

Abigail keeping warm
Abigail on the Carousel
Megan and Ariel warming up over hot chocolate

Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney


Collecting treasures at China Beach in Sidney

I'm playing a bit of catch up with my blog because the two excursions above happened before New Years. We went to Butchart's on a beautiful clear but crisp evening with Uncle Will and cousins Ariel and Megan. The children marvelled at the Christmas lights which adorned many trees and covered a few acres. It was pretty special to share that with them, the place I worked for many a summer holiday (flowers in season, lights at Christmas). It has changed quite a bit now and has an outdoor skating rink and a full size carousel. Imagine the delight of riding on a wooden animal going round and round and up and down! And the kids loved it too! Uncle Will stayed on terra firma to take photos but the rest of us had a wonderful ride.

On another day, also before New Year's, we went into Sidney with friends Anne and Ray and their children to visit the Ocean Discovery Centre. This was a great trip to extend Sam and Madeline's learning about the sea from school last year. We enjoyed the giant aquariums full of beautiful fish and sealife, as well as the touch pools at the end. Afterwards we explored China Beach to collect bits of smooth glass for our collections, and then some hot chocolates and another pumpkin spice before home.

On New Year's Eve we were fortunate to have options, so enjoyed the first half of the night with friends, visiting and eating sushi and sundry Japanese items. Delicious. Then we met up with my cousin and her husband and little girl who had come from Vancouver for games and laughs at my sister's house, including my brother and his family. The game was Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and I have to say, the women were smokin' in the second game (I won't mention the first) until we discovered we were nearly at countdown. Turned on the tele to see a "not quite what I remember" Bare Naked Ladies performance and then we counted down. Except, no one wanted any bubbly. Except me, but I was a lone voice. Rather a hollow experience and we all knew it, so 10 minutes later we did it all over again, this time with the cork popping. Excellent! And since we're still on New Zealand time, the night was still young!

And tonight we have just come home from a fantastic couple of days in Vancouver, but I'm sorry, to do the blog justice, it will have to wait for another day. Photos to load and stories to tell.

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