Monday, 12 November 2012

An Inspirational Weekend - Part Two

This weekend brought with the rest second part of our whirlwind with the Inspiration Pass. With the extra long weekend, we had lots of time to get as much done as possible, and we did just that. As an extra bonus, the weather was gorgeous Friday and Saturday, so we got to ride all over the city, which was long overdue. We did so much this weekend, and are pretty pooped today, but it was well worth it!

Bundled up and ready to ride on a sunny Fall day!
Such beautifully fascinating creatures 
On Friday, the day started all about the kids, as we head off to the Vancouver Aquarium. We rode along the seawall, enjoying the sunshine, arriving at the Aquarium for lunchtime. The kids had a blast running through each area, especially marvelling at the jellyfish. I was quite grateful for this visit, because the Aquarium is one of those great attractions that is just out of the budget for a family of four. Getting to take in all the shows as well, was just so much fun for the kids, and it's always nice to cater a day to them! On the way home, we made a quick stop at the Vancouver Police Museum, which was interesting, however creepy when you enter the morgue and autopsy area. Coralie was not impressed, and wanted out of that space quickly when she found out what happens there.

Coralie swimming with the fish
The kids locked up at the police museum...
seems fitting
Saturday, we stuck mainly to the central area of Vancouver. We biked over to Van Dusen Gardens, and wandered around the gardens. The highlight was the maze, which the kids took pleasure in leading us through. It was a nice quiet way to start the day, even if the kids spent a lot of time squealing as they chased each other through the park. From there, we headed off to the Bloedel Conservatory, which has been on our to do list since moving to Vancouver in 2007. It was pretty neat to walk through and see all the birds and butterflies, and to warm up in the tropical climate.
The maze at Van Dusen, conquered by the Velo Family children

All bright and sunny inside the
Bloedel Conservatory
While getting into all the gardens and museums is such a privilege, I think it is so fantastic that the pass also includes admission to the pools, skating rink and fitness centres. While going to these places isn't exactly unaffordable, being given the incentive to do some physical activity is great for a family of four who have been stuck inside with the weather turning wet. After Bloedel, being so close to Hillcrest Community Centre, we took the kids to the pool for some much needed playtime. We then headed home to rest up for one more day of play!

The photo hardly does justice to the sheer size of
this mammal
On Sunday, we woke up to drizzle, so we took that as our opportunity to give our bikes, and our legs, a rest, and headed out to UBC by bus. First stop was the Beatty Biodiversity Museum, and getting to see the giant blue whale skeleton. It was pretty fascinating, although after a few aisles, Coralie made it clear she did not want to see anymore dead birds. Etienne, alas, was not interested at all, which made us very grateful knowing we hadn't paid full price to get in. We then head off for a quick tour of the Museum of Anthropology, before heading home, exhausted but gracious for the opportunity.

Bill Reid "The Raven and The First Men"
sculpture at the MOA
So, after two weekends of museums, parks, galleries and whatever else we could fit in, I have to say that the Vancouver Inspiration Pass is such a fantastic program, and I am so thankful I have a husband who is quick on the draw and got us in line for this pass right away. Having two younger children, we likely wouldn't have went to most of these places until our children were much older, because they just don't have the attention span or the interest in much of what we did. We also now have a better idea of places we would like to return, either when the children are older, or on our own. For anyone lucky enough to get this pass, they will be able to experience so much. Two weeks is a short time to do all that the pass offers, but I encourage everyone to try to get to as much as possible. It is an amazing opportunity, and I am so thankful that we, as a family, were able to do this together!

A happy, well travelled family!

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