aaron and su

in the last week before christmas, we had the privilege of hosting aaron and suliana, our friends from singapore. it was su's first time in canada, which made things more fun, but also put pressure on us as hosts to present our country well. ;-) the G clan, equipped with our beautiful surroundings, is up to the task!

aaron and su each had a lot of fun playing with ty. he loves guests, especially fun ones, and was a joy to have around.

aaron even came bearing gifts. here is ty demonstrating his new squeaky shoes. all the rage in singaporean playgrounds.

bearing in mind our responsibilities as canadian hosts, as well as our proclivity towards long baths in the great outdoors, we set out for clear creek hotsprings, north of chilliwack and east of harrison lake.
along the way there were opportunities to illuminate su regarding canada's once again burgeoning resource economy.
aaron, being a former tree planter and canadian hero, had many gems of wisdom to bestow. pictured above, he is almost certainly explaining how one can examine the rings on the tree to determine, not just the age of the tree, but also derive information as to which seasons in the tree's past had been particularly harsh or nourishing, thus perceiving a rough map of the recent climate of the area.

after a slightly bumpy ride, we arrived at our destination and convinced our friends, newly arrived from singapore, where it is 31 degrees and humid every single day, to strip down to their bathing suits in the canadian winter. they were easily convinced of course, the rewards of such actions being evident in the clear steaming tubs in front of them.
ty had a great time marching around the rim of the tub and jumping into aaron's arms.

su had never heard of superheating in a hot tub and then cooling off in the snow, only to return to the tub and luxuriate in the prickly warmth. she saw me do it, so she had to give it a try. she convinced aaron to accompany her, rather than the other way around.
kylie and i were very impressed. her first trip to canada found su lying in the snow of her own accord. that shows strength.

later, while wandering by the creek, aaron spotted a log crossing and proclaimed his intention to fulfill his canadian manly duty and cross the creek, dam the consequences.

aaron's show of patriotism ignited my own sense of duty to my country, so i joined him on the log in a show of unity against the enemies of freedom.
we threw a few snowballs and took a few pictures and finally hopped back in the 4runner to return to the shores of harrison lake and on home to chilliwack. we saw a few deer on the way, as well as swans, a marmot, numerous canada geese and several squirrels. it was a great trip back, as we got to hear more about su and aaron's life in singapore, as well as su's family and her studies.
we don't get to see aaron very much, and this was our first time meeting su, so we made the whole time count. our days were packed with coffee, cognac, walking and talking, but all too soon i was speeding them on the way to the airport. i trust that other canadian hosts took up their patriotic mantles and continued to show our singaporean friends a fantastic time.

happy new year everyone! 2012. wow! it feels like we are living in the future.


merry christmas!

well, we had a chilliwack version of a white christmas this year. foggy and sunny at the same time! what a beautiful christmas eve.
after a lazy day, we went for a lovely walk to the park and through the cemetary by our house. the sunlit fog was spectacular and made a great photo backdrop.

after a nice walk we drove to our church for a potluck christmas dinner and a wonderful, personal candlelight service.
in the evening, we continued our own christmas traditions with a tasty chocolate fondue. kylie even melted down her bernard callebaut chocolate K. what a sacrifice!
it was fun to help ty unwrap his presents. this has been the first occasion that he is aware that these presents are for him. he may not understand much about christmas, but he understands a new truck!
happy holidays everyone! we hope the season is treating you well. a special christmas greeting goes out to mrs. wisse. we are very sorry we couldn't come caroling this year. thank you so much for all you have done for us and for taking a special interest in our lives.

merry christmas!


farewell tropical sunshine

this post is being started on the airplane home from maui. we arrived at the airport in time to pick up some pizza to supplement the airplane food, although hawaiin airlines did come up with a pretty good turkey sandwich and brownie for dinner. i wanted a bloody mary, but while the tomato juice and tabasco sauce was free, they wanted $7.50 for a shot of vodka, so i opted for a virgin. to which historico/religious mary does the eponymous drink refer to? kylie is better equipped to answer that question.

a long flight affords me the opportunity to further elucidate details of our time in hawaii that have been previously glossed over, as well as occasionally and egregiously forgotten altogether.
first up, tyrn james. he was fantastic on this trip. he had a great plane ride over, and he is currently sleeping in his seat on the ride home. he is a pretty easy kid and a good traveller, and this trip has borne that out. aside from getting up at 5:30 every morning (we'll come back to that) he has been a pleasure to have along.
certainly beach vacations are different with a toddler, but the rewards come in new ways. instead of trekking all over the island looking for the best snorkelling and surfing sites, we have spent most of our beach time running up and down the shore getting swamped by waves or building sand piles (you couldn't call them castles).
for the second week of our time in hawaii, we moved north to lahaina where we had found a one bedroom cottage well outside of town.

ty's early start time produced a pleasant byproduct; every morning i would take him for a run or a hike to allow kylie to get back to sleep after her early shift. our place outside lahaina backed onto beautiful volcanic slopes cleaved with steep valleys. two mornings we ventured out before sunrise to experience dawn in the mountains.

some friends of julie and lowell's, named ryan and adele, were staying in lahaina as well, and we got together on a few occasions to play on the beach and use the hottub and kids pool. on the first day of our arrival, the resort was serving wine, baked brie with cashews, grapes and cream cheese and mushroom pastries in the lobby. we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and i ate a lot of brie.
ty really enjoyed both ryan and adele. despite the fact that we had never met them before, we were able to leave ty playing in the waves with them while kylie and i borrowed their snorkeling gear to check out the reef just off the hotel beach.
the pool was a great setup for kids, with a swimming pool, wading pool and hottub all juxtaposed, meaning everyone could be where they wanted to and remain within supervisory distance.

kylie celebrated her birthday while we were in hawaii. she had an excellent day, starting with breakfast on our front deck.
after that we went to the beach, then kylie left for the spa while ty napped. in the afternoon we returned to ryan and adele's hotel and poached their hottub, even though they had already checked out.

in the evening, we went out for a nice dinner in the harbour and took ty for gelato after. he much preferred kylie's coconut cream to my dark chocolate.
but alas, contrary to our previous experience, holidays like this cannot continue until we are sun sated. we are now back in chilliwack and i am back at work. it has been an easy transition though. today i went for a bike ride in the sunshine, and for our first two days back in BC, we played host to aaron and su, newly arrived from singapore. we enjoyed meeting su for the first time, and touring her around our corner of canada. more on that to come.


Maui Part Deux

The second half of our week here in Maui has been spent hanging out with Fraser and Ty in our place, drinking coffee that Julie and Lowell bought for us everyday (mmmm coconut lattes) and going to multiple beaches.

Thanks to Julie for forever capturing my very brief moments of paddleboarding! :)

We went back to Little Beach to catch some great boogie boarding waves and Ty participated in the 'spirit of the beach.'

Ty started off our week here being quite tentative in the water. He would go to the edge and get a bit wet but run out right away. Today he was throwing himself into the big waves so he could turn around and crawl out of them, only to be dragged back into the water laughing. He is definitely a water baby! Yesterday he spent close to 3 hours straight in the ocean or pool and would have kept going if it wasn't bed time. Crazy kid!!
Having two babies on a vacation creates A LOT of diapers! Smart Julie brought her diaper genie insert and here Marc is showing off our diaper tube.
On Saturday we said goodbye to Nana and newly christened Papa as well as Auntie thts and Uncle Lowell and cousin Fraser.

Ty has spent the remainder of the week asking for Nana, Papa and thts and where they went. He also constantly asks where the moon is.

We have shockingly spent a lot of time at the beach this week too!

Marc has a lot of jumping shots that have been on this blog previously. I am not sure I enjoy his new choice of what to jump over.

Ty has absolutely loved Hawaii and we have had such a great time with him here this year. He is a super fun kid and loves new adventures!! On to the next one . . .