Monday, September 4

Andersen Family Reunion 2017

3_1 1_1 4 5 6 7 Now that it's September and I really should blog about Everett's first birthday like a good mom, I'm playing catch up on all our summer activities. In July we spent a weekend at Lake Powell with my dad's side of the family. There were kayaks and paddle boards and tubing and waterskiing, massive quantities of food, slides off a houseboat, and evenings spent listening to singing and guitar music. I really lucked out in the family department.

And I really lucked out in the cute chubby babies who love water department too. ;)

Monday, July 31

British Columbia Trip Part 2: Vancouver Island

After we'd spent a few days in Vancouver, we took a ferry to Vancouver Island and headed to Butchart Gardens. They were heaven on earth and made my garden at home look so pitiful I just want to rip everything out and hire someone else to do it for me (not happening). But John did buy me a few seed packets and they're sitting in my basement cellar waiting until next spring to be planted. Maybe then I'll have some glorious hollyhocks and delphinium of my own. My black thumb is doubtful.IMG_3434 IMG_3433 IMG_3439 IMG_3445 IMG_3450 IMG_3456 IMG_3462
My dream house has columns in the front, a wrap-around porch, plenty of climbing roses, and lily pond out back with big pink flowers like in the next photo. Basically picture Southern Plantation meets English countryside. I'm not asking for a lot here. ;)IMG_3486
After we spent the afternoon at Butchart Gardens we drove up the coast to Nanaimo and spent the night. The next day we went to Pipers Lagoon Park, which is basically just gorgeous rocky shoreline running up to evergreen forests. I loved it and could have stayed longer but everyone else was cold. IMG_3501 IMG_3503 IMG_3507 IMG_3508
Not sure what was going on in this picture but I like it.IMG_3512 IMG_3513 IMG_3514 IMG_3516 IMG_3520 IMG_3529 IMG_3533 IMG_3536 IMG_3543 IMG_3544 IMG_3545
We spent the afternoon in Victoria. I loved seeing the British influence there, especially since I did a study abroad in London and I think Queen Victoria is fascinating. Our first stop was Fisherman's Wharf. IMG_3557 IMG_3558 IMG_3561
These homes were all floating right on the water.
IMG_3566 IMG_3569
Everett was a champion eater on the trip and had fish for every meal (served with healthy portions of lemon and tartar sauce, because obviously he's my child). It almost makes me cry happy tears because one of my life goals is to raise adventurous, unpicky eaters (he's snacking on sharp cheddar as I write this because who needs string cheese when you can eat something that actually has FLAVOR).  John and Jared ordered a few types of sushi we'd never tried before and let's just say sushi by the ocean is always a good idea. IMG_3573 IMG_3579 IMG_3582 IMG_3609 IMG_3613
After we finished at Fisherman's Wharf we explored downtown Victoria. We found a little boutique called Violette where John insisted on buying me the daintiest rose moissanite ring from Hart + Stone. It's such a sweet reminder of a beautiful city. I love that guy.

Sunday, July 30

British Columbia Trip Part One: Vancouver

For Rachael's senior trip (foreeeeeever ago, in June) we did a big road trip up to British Columbia. And I'm just now getting around to blogging about it. We drove overnight in a giant 15-passenger Ford Transit that my sister affectionately dubbed "The Creeper Van" and arrived in Vancouver the next day after way too many rounds of truth or dare (the highlight of that being Kristen eating a hot mustard-dipped muddy buddy).

My three favorite things we did in Vancouver were Stanley Park, Granville Island Market, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Unfortunately I really didn't take pictures at Stanley Park or Granville, so all the following photos are from Capilano.

Vancouver feels a lot like San Francisco to me, except that it's more forested and the people are friendlier. (No offense to anyone San Franciscans that may ever stumble upon this post). Stanley Park is by the ocean and it's insanely beautiful and large. We spent one afternoon wandering through it and when I saw a big field of yellow flowers I thought I could get the cutest picture of Everett sitting there! And this was the the ONLY photo I got where he wasn't screaming bloody murder. So yeah, expectation vs reality and all that jazz.

Capilano_0001We had lunch one day at Granville Island Market and I can say with certainty that we highly recommend the sushi rolls (best crab ever), the fish and chips (Everett was in love with the halibut), and the butter chicken. Oh and the gelato. Can you tell I really like food?

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is also easily do-able in an afternoon. The highlight is a huge suspension bridge. My 86-year-old grandma is amazing and walked across the whole thing. We neglected to tell her that you have to walk across it to get to the rest of the park, and then you have to turn around and do it again to get back. I'm not sure she loved it but she did it and I have the pictures to prove it.

Capilano_0123 Capilano_0118 After you go across the main bridge, there's a large area with lots of catwalks and trails to explore. John carried Everett in a hiking backpack, which was great because it gave the crowds of adoring Asian women following us around a great view of that happy little chub. ;)

Capilano_0005 Capilano_0011 Capilano_0031 Capilano_0012 Capilano_0033 Capilano_0034 Capilano_0115
I'm pretty sure carrying Everett around in a backpack is John's preferred method of travel. Every time I'd suggest we use the stroller, he'd come up with a reason the backpack was better. And he took a million selfies of the two of them. Heart melted.
Capilano_0131 Capilano_0132 Capilano_0138
Part two of this travel series will be coming up shortly. Right after I tear myself away from staring at that perfect fat sleeping baby.