Little D woke up early today and could not be more excited. Not only did she get to sleep with mom all night, but we’re in a new place that needs to be explored. I didn’t want her to wake up husband & son (the last thing I need is two grumpy men all day) so I put her in her backpack and we headed out to the supermarket next door.
Strangely, checking out supermarkets is one of my favorite things to do when we travel, especially in other countries. There’s something I love about seeing what people eat everyday (as opposed to in restaurants). In Canada, the packaged food choices aren’t much different than at home (though there tend to be more international options) but there are fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and spices that aren’t legal to import to the US or from countries that we don’t trade nicely with (e.g. iran). In our pre-child days, we used to make picnics almost entirely out of products not allowed in to the US. Mangosteen is my personal favorite & I’m always trying to wrangle a trip to Vancouver in June or July so that I can eat some of these sweet delicacies. At home, I’m a gourmet chocolate bar kind of girl, but when we’re travelling, I love to try the different varieties of supermarket chocolate & see how they compare.
After a light breakfast in the hotel room, we headed to Granville Island. Granville island was once a derelict industrial park and has been transformed in recent years into an artist’s colony, public market, and entertainment destination. I love the market, with it’s excellent food (both raw ingredients & prepared) and enjoy visiting the different artist’s studios where you can often see how the artist creates his or her artwork. It’s fun to explore with the kids, and they enjoy seeing the workshops as much or more than us.
This trip marked the first time that my son was old enough for the Kids Market (a shopping area designed especially for kids). We spent a short time exploring the toy shops (nice, but we have so many good, independent toy stores close to home that we didn’t see much that was new) but what he really loved was the Adventure Zone, an indoor play area for kids, cleverly oriented vertically to take up less space and let the kids climb. My son is 2, so most of the play area was too intimidating for him (also, my husband had to go in with him, while older kids parents stay outside) but what sold it for him was the big room full of balls. I’m pretty sure he thinks that’s what heaven looks like ;) He talked about it for the rest of the day. The only disappointment was that there wasn’t a good area for little D to crawl around. We ended up hanging out on the stairs & so that she could practice climbing.
We also visited the excellent model train museum. While none of us is a train aficionado, my son was beside himself with joy watching the model trains running around the lovingly detailed track. While I thought the admission was a little steep for such a small museum, his joy and enthusiasm quickly made it worthwhile.
Granville island also has waterpipes, a water spray facility, and a special water play area designed for toddlers. It was too wet and cold this trip, for us to check it out, but I’ll look forward to next time.
Now we’re back to the hotel for a nap (the baby is having one. My son, so far, is not.) I’d somehow forgotten how exciting the hotel room itself is for him. There are so many new spaces, buttons, etc to explore and mom & dad always in close proximity.