Monday, 6 August 2012

Through the Eyes of a Child: Coralie's long weekend

This weekend, I decided to try something different. I've made plenty of posts as to how I spend my time on two wheels with my family to help show how easy life can be as a family living without  owning a car. But I think there's no better way to see how our lifestyle effects our children then to see it through their own eyes. So this weekend's post features photos from my six year old daughter, Coralie, our creative little girl with quite an eye it would seem! Enjoy!
My guest photographer
Our weekend started off with yet another trip to the beach. After a long week of day camp and work, we headed out to English Bay Friday night for dinner on the beach and to watch the sunset. The beach was fairly busy, with the day having been so beautiful, but we managed to find a log to sit against to enjoy some dinner. After that, we played at the water's edge and waited for the sun to fall behind the mountains. One thing about Vancouver, as soon as that sun sets, the air cools right down, so it was time to head home. We enjoyed a lively walk up Davie Street, already in full swing for Pride Weekend. Coralie got such a kick out of all the lights, elaborate costumes, and, of course, SPARKLES! We then reminded her that we would be going to the parade Sunday, and her face lit up...this was going to be a great weekend!
The sunset...pretty great shot I think!
Enjoying dinner on the beach

The forecast for Saturday and Sunday can only have been described as one thing...HOT! So what does a family in Vancouver do when it's hot? Go to the beach, of course! We also invited one of Coralie's friends to join us for the day, which was a nice treat for her being off school and missing her school friends, but also a challenge for us, being that we were travelling the 28 km return trip to Jericho Beach and back. On the way, Karli, our extra traveller for the day, marvelled at many of the sights our kids have come to take for granted. She also got the privilege of taking a turn riding the trail-a-bike, which she absolutely loved. The idea of riding without training wheels was so exciting for her that when I told her if she got tired of pedalling, she could just rest her legs and let Chris do the work in front, she told me she wanted to keep pedalling, and did for probably 15 kms of our journey!
Coralie and her friend Karli, enjoying a ride in the trailer
Chris and I holding hands on the ride to Jericho Beach 
Science World..."because we go there sometimes", I am told
Olympic Village and the birds
The harbour in False Creek near Granville Island
Once at the beach, we enjoyed a quick picnic lunch before heading down to the water. The tide was out which left lots of barnacles, shells and crab shells uncovered, and all three kids were excited to explore. We then spent some time building castles by the water's edge, and I relived my childhood and made a sand sculpture. Nothing fancy, just a sun, but it was fun to get sandy and be a kid again! As the tide started moving in, we packed up and headed home, the girls getting a chance to catch up in the trailer behind me. 
The view of low tide at Jericho Beach
It was fun to expose someone else to our daily life as a Velo Family, especially a child who had a fresh appreciation for something as simple to us as a ride to the beach. It also made me proud to know that our kids experience life like this all the time. They may have lost some of the excitement from having made some of these trips many times over, but the fact that we are giving them the opportunity to travel mainly by bike means that they are aware of their surroundings and experience them at a very personal level. Quite frankly, regardless of how hard it may be to haul them around once and a while, I think that is pretty darned fantastic!

Sunday proved to be yet another busy day. After all the biking on Saturday, we opted for public transit, and knowing we were headed into a bit of insanity, it was an excellent idea. So just before lunch, we hopped on the Skytrain and went downtown for the 34th Annual Vancouver Pride Parade. Last year was the first time we took the kids to the parade, and Coralie told us it was the best parade EVER! and this year was no less amazing. Everyone was so happy, both in the parade and the crowds watching, and we couldn't help smiling the whole time. Etienne doesn't fully understand the importance of the parade, but it's great to be able to share this with both my children. I'm also quite proud of Coralie, knowing that when I explained the point of the parade to her, her response was basically, "of course anyone can love anyone".
Enjoying the colour and excitement of pride
After about an hour and a half at the parade, we caught the bus from downtown out to Kitsilano Beach and the outdoor pool to meet some friends for a swim. Both kids took the chance to show off how much they love to swim, Coralie managing to master swimming under water, something still new for her. Etienne once again proved how fearless he is, jumping off the edge to my husband and I over and over. I say jumping, but really mean leaping with all his might, managing to catch me unprepared and receiving the brunt of his body a couple times! We all had a blast at the pool, leaving exhausted and ready for some rest.
Coralie was enjoying Kits pool too much, so this shot is care of Chris
And rest we did. This weekend may have been a long weekend, but after getting up to so much for Saturday and Sunday, Monday was spent watching the Canadian Women's National Team play in their semi-final soccer game at the Olympics and a short visit to the park. We certainly like to keep busy, but I couldn't imagine life any other way. We get to experience so much as a family, and share some great moments as a family. From bike rides, beaches, parades, pools and cheering for our national team, we enjoy so much of what life has to offer here in Vancouver!
Cheering on the Canadian Women's Soccer team (another photo by Chris)

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