Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Ryan, Sierra, Paisley and I just returned from a conference in Victoria, British Columbia. I had never been to Canada before except for a brief sojourn across the border a couple of years ago when we were in Northern Idaho and went to a little town just across the border and had ice cream and left. Since we were crossing the border by sea and not by plane, we just needed to have ID and birth certificates. We are trying to give each of the girls a chance to travel with Mom and/or Dad alone, to have a little one-on-one time and decided that it was Sierra's turn to go with us. The day before we left I was getting Sierra's birth certificate from my safe birth certificate storage place and found every other child's EXCEPT Sierra's. I prayed, I searched, I looked in the same spot at least 12 times, and the other places I possibly thought it could be another 3 times each, and prayed some more. I could not find it anywhere. I thought the school had one on file and found someone in the office, luckily for summer break, and we found that there was not one there for her either. We took her social security card with us and decided to just give it a go. Our prayers were answered, not by finding her certificate, but by getting back and forth across the border with no problems at all. We flew to Seattle then took the Vicortia Clipper across to Victoria (about 2 1/2 hours by boat). My sister, Shari, met us in Seattle and went with us. It was so fun to have her along, since we really haven't had much of a chance to spend time with her in a long while, other than brief visits when the whole gang in together. (Her blog, Songsty's Place-see link at right, has her perspective of the trip and some great pictures.) While there we strolled through the Empress Hotel right on the waterfront (where the conference was held), ate some delicious food (seafood, gelatos, french pasteries), visited the Victoria Bug Zoo (Sierra held an 8 inch African millipede), saw Miniature World, petted goates at Beacon Hill Children's Petting Zoo, toured Butchart Gardens, took a horse drawn carriage ride, dined at Hatley Castle, played in the hotel pool, and walked through lots of fun touristy shops. We stayed at the Marriott just behind the Empress. The highlight for me was Butchart Gardens. It was so beautiful. I would love to have at least a portion of our yard looking a bit like that. Of course I don't have a $20 million annual budget and a full time staff of 600, but we'll see what we can do. Sierra seemed to have a fun time and Paisley was great (other than the time she pooped all down her pant leg.) She was carried around in the Baby Bjorn by Ryan a good part of the time, and everywhere we went people asked her name or how old she was or otherwise oohed and aahed. Babies are the best networking tool there is and we'll have to credit her college savings account for commissions for the new accounts her Daddy picks up as a result of her cute smiles at the meeting. I think they modeled the Energizer Bunny after Sierra - she really does keep going and going and going. Our flight home was delayed by about an hour and a half due to a mechanical issue, and we didn't get in until near midnight, and still Sierra was going strong. Besides being a neat place, Ryan got a few hours of CME and maybe picked up a new client or two, so it was good for all of us.