Monday, 13 August 2012

Bikes, Beach and a Birthday

Yesterday was a special day. Together with many of her friends from school, we celebrated Coralie's 6th birthday. Our little girl has seemingly always lucked out with fabulous weather for her birthday, and this year was no exception, so it was only fitting we spend the day doing some of our favourite activities.
The birthday girl set to ride
We started with a family bike ride, Coralie decked out in her party wear, dressed for the destination. We headed through Strathcona, one of our favourite neighbourhood to ride through, and then onto the seawall. It was a nice easy pace, with Coralie on her own bike, me hauling the trailer filled with birthday goodies, and Chris riding beside with Etienne on the trail-a-bike. It was a ride unlike any other, but knowing that I had 40+ cupcakes delicately stacked in the back of the trailer, I was happy for the more "leisured" pace. We did get surprised by one moment of brilliance from Etienne en route. Earlier that morning, the kids had watched an episode of Sid the Science Kid, the theme of which was exercise and how it's good for your body. Etienne, inspired by this, told us, "My heart is getting better" because he was riding a bike. Just goes to show kids are always listening, and absorb so much of the knowledge presented to them in a day. The trick will be continuing this thirst for energy as he gets older, but it's nice to know we're starting them off right!
Our active kids en route to the party
Our destination was a place Coralie loves to go, the beach! Once we arrived, our guests gradually started to join us for a fun day in the sun. As a parent, I have to say, if you have a child with a summer birthday, a beach party is the easiest way to get lots of friends together with less of the stress. I did bring balloons for a balloon toss, but all the kids were more interested in playing in the sand, plashing in the water and climbing on the rocks. Overall, it sounded like everyone had a great time at a beach that most people don't think of going to and will definitely return to in the future. We also decided this year to make a collection instead of people bringing gifts for Coralie, which we will donate to a local charity. All in all, she collected over $70, and our plan is for our little animal lover to donate it to the local SPCA and help some animals in need.
Our beach party crew, relaxing in the sun at Sunset Beach
The girls having a "strenuous" water balloon toss.
Apparently, water filled balloons are heavy for 6 year I know!
As dinner time approached, our guests started to head home, tired but happy. But being it was such a gorgeous night, we decided to stick around and relax with a couple of our grown up friends. Coralie got to play cards with one of our new friends currently visiting Vancouver for a few months from Germany, while Etienne made a new friend down at the water. As the sun began to set though, it was time to head home, knowing we had another busy week ahead of us. Our friend, David, from Vancouver Cycle Chic, joined us for the return ride home, which brought one more surprise for Chris and I. Coming home involves riding up a pretty intense hill at Woodland Drive just before 1st Ave heading south. Historically, Coralie has stepped off her bike and walk up, but last night, something changed. Be it the motivation of riding with David, or my having said I would walk up with her, but she hauled her butt up that hill without hesitation, waiting for Chris and I at the top. It's amazing, but they do really grow up so quickly, and I couldn't be more proud!
A very special cupcake for a very special six year old girl!

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