kauai family time

our last week has been spent in sunny kauai, hawaii with my entire family except for shareen's husband craig.  it has been two years since the core 6 have been in the same place at the same time.  and what a place... princeville hawaii is stunning.
in addition to sunshine and surf, kauai features heavily forested mountains with copious hiking trails.  the guidebooks emphasize the difficulty of said hikes, but they were no problem for seasoned chilliwackians!
or fit albertans for that matter.  here is my dad's attitude at the top of one of the steepest hikes on the island.

when our family gets together we eat well.  note all the cheese.   mmm...
apparently when you purchase several hundred dollars worth of groceries, safeway will give you a free turkey.  we hadnt planned on thanksgiving dinner, but when in rome...
it was an interesting cultural experience to witness an american thanksgiving.  our accommodations were more condo than resort and as such had a lot of permanent residents.  family came in from all over and were welcomed like it was christmas.  "happy holidays" was thrown around to family and strangers alike and there was hugging and parties all over.  definitely a bigger deal over here.
but of course the big deal for us was the beach.  surf and family and turkey together; a truly wonderful combination.
princeville and hanalei offered a great mix of big surf, little surf and calm snorkelling beaches.  check out these great wave shots of kylie and shareen.
this same beach offered 10 foot walls further out.  dan, lowell and i ventured out for surfing and boogie boarding and got pounded.  we also got dragged out by a riptide, but managed to make it back to the beach under our own steam.  swimming against the tide is a great workout.  the guard towers were always in sight, but it was still just a little bit scary.
speaking of just a little bit scary, ty had his first boogie boarding experience on the kids' side of this same beach.  over the day he got totally comfortable challenging the waves from the shore, then swimming in the surf and finally boogie boarding with daddy.  even salt water blasts to the face didnt deter him.
the waves here had good power.  it was surprisingly easy to catch them even with extra weight on the front.

kauai has a serious chicken population, giving ty lots of practice yelling "cock a NOOOOOO!"

 down time was still full of family fun.
ty got a new harmonica from papa so they could jam.

cousin fraser provided a lot of entertainment as well.  unfortunately a lot of that entertainment involved derivations of knocking fraser over:  shoving fraser, straightarming fraser, tripping fraser... good thing his parents' are tolerant folks who love ty as well.  you can see julie's record of our adventures here.

but the most fun was still had at the beach.  nana and papa are great playmates.

both our boys seem ok with the everpresent sand that comes with a beach vacation.
november is a great month to go to the beach!  many mahalos to mom and dad and kauai.


i cant believe we live here pt. 2

yesterday mike and i ventured out in our kayak to see the salmon party on the harrison river.  it's estimated that there are currently around 10,000 bald eagles in the valley containing the confluence of the chehalis and harrison rivers.  as the eagles flies, this area is about 4km from where i typically kayak, but it's on the far side of the fraser and we had to drive through aggasiz to kilby to get there, so it took about 40 minutes from our house.

our morning was fasntastically sunny, and surprising warm for the middle of november.  the water was calm and there were eagles and swans and ducks and gulls and salmon EVERYWHERE.
 we had a bit of an ethical dilemma when deciding how close to get to the eagles.  too close and they all fly away.  too far away and i couldnt get good pictures.  is it bad to disturb them?  maybe not once or twice, but all too soon the tragedy of the commons comes into play.
luckily the river took the decision away from us.  the chehalis delta was so shallow that we got hung up nicely away from the feeding grounds and mike had to tow us to deeper waters.  that's what he gets for wearing a wetsuit.
 we crossed to a deeper channel and stopped for lunch on a sandbar.  there were eagles all around us.  the sky was alive with them, as were the trees across the river from our landing spot.  click on the pic below if you cant see all the speckled yearlings.
 not since being on safari in kenya have i really lusted after a slick telephoto lens.  after seeing these pictures on the computer i wish we would have harassed these eagles at least once, nice and close.

 in addition to conversations on love and war, politics and religion, mike and i were witness to an aerial battle over control of some sweet fish guts.  the above birds stole that hunk of meat back and forth at least twice, right above us, before dropping it into the harrison.  you can see the bottom dude just starting to pull big G's up under his buddy.  amazing.
 mike was feeling at one with the elements in his sweet coldwater surfing getup.  at this point he was considering jumping in the river and floating back to kilby without me.  his toque would have looked like a nice red spawning salmon, just waiting to be plucked from above, and patti and i have a deal where i get to borrow her husband occasionally as long as i return him in one piece, so i gently encouraged him to return to the boat.

incredible day.  awesome backyard.  as i type this i am looking out our kitchen window onto the same chehalis range.  i love chilliwack.  that being said, i should warn you that we are leaving for hawaii later today.  the fraser valley is nice and all, but it's starting to get a bit cold! ;-) next update from sunny kauai!


i can't believe we live here

 we had just settled in for a month of rain when november surprised us with a gorgeous sunny stretch.  the last few days have been crisp and clear and the forecast is for more of the same.
 kayaking on the fraser has never been more beautiful.  i got out both tuesday and thursday and the valley was teeming with wildlife.  a group of eagles regarded me coolly from the shore.  three foot long chum salmon were jumping out of the water beside me.
 and i made friends with a playful seal, who kept bobbing up beside me.  he would check me out for a while, then rocket out of the water and do a bellyflop, popping up 20 seconds later somewhere else.  he's hard to make out in the above picture, but let me zoom in for you and adjust the levels.
 there's the sneaky little guy.

 today the sun was out, but the wind was up.  we took the opportunity to test two recent presents.  brad, launa and quinton gave ty a kite for his birthday, and my dad gave me a kite for my birthday.  ty's kite saw more airtime than mine.  so fun to see ty holding tight to the line all by himself.
 and yes, we were flying kites in the cemetary.  in the veterans area.  just before remembrance day.  despite the fact that ty picked at least two poppies, i like to think that they appreciated a little boy flying a kite for the first time.

it must be fall.  one of the trees in our front yard has turned from a regular shade of red to a brilliantly deep shade of red.  enjoying the new season.


To Halloween and Beyond . . .

It's been a busy October round these parts. Lots of fun happenings. We moved from the most beautiful September in recent memory into quite a rainy October but we have still been out and about enjoying things.

We FINALLY got Ty a hair cut. Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that Ty's hair has recently gotten a little out of control in the length department.  Marc and I said recently that Ty really has long hair because it is the path of least resistance for us.  We are lazy parents. ;)  That being said, Paulina did an awesome job on his hair and we love his new short do!  He quite enjoyed his haircut, especially getting a blue mouth from his ring pop.

Speaking of candy, Ty has enjoyed a lot of it this week.  We carved pumpkins on Tuesday night.  Ty was happy to be an observer but not too happy to touch the pumpkin guts.  Nor was I, I was happy to stand in the background and let Marc do the dirty work.   
I got Ty all ready to get down and dirty but he didn't want to even come close to the insides.  He was happy to draw instead.

On Halloween day Ty and Quinton decorated cookies together:
What every adult wishes to put on their sugar cookie but holds back due to social pressures. ;)

 After naps, we dressed up our monster truck and little puppy and headed to some family friends as well as Marc's place of work to show off the kiddies.

We didn't get a great picture of Ty's costume (this was the end of the night and his costume was on backwards and we were all wet) . . . Nonetheless he was so happy going to "another candy house" and "another candy house".  Showing off his haul:
Zeke's haul:  Apple sauce

Marc and I finished off the evening by sharing a lovely pumpkin ale. According the Globe and Mail these were sold out all over Canada.  Little did they know that small town Chilliwack had the goods.

In other news we finally got the boys rooms organized (more on Zeke's room to come later) but we hung Ty's name painting that he did with Auntie Shareen.  I ordered some hooks from etsy for their sweatshirts and bags.  This cute bag was made by Candy.  Thanks Candy!  It looks great.  If you notice his overalls in the top of the last post, those are the matching pants to his bag. 

And we've got a mover.  Zeke has been motivated to roll and he did it while I was in the other room right after taking this picture.  Dun dun dun.....  On to new and exciting things!