Our family decided to forgo any vacations involving planes as a form of transportation this year and, instead, go on a tour of British Columbia by car. Not all of BC, of course, but a few key spots where we have friends and other fun attractions for the kids to enjoy. The idea of traveling with two young children seemed like a bad idea but with low expectations, we hit the road.
We left Fernie at around noon on May 30th and tried to do a few hours without stopping right off the bat. It wasn’t hard to do since the weather got cool and wet at about Cranbrook and it hit us really hard. With clouds above us and a fairly open road ahead of us, we just kept on going. Because we are traveling with a 1 (almost 2) and a 3 year old, I thought I’d tell you what we did to keep the smiles on their faces, which was the most exhausting part of the whole trip.
In our “fun car bag” we brought toys from home, a couple cheap toy fans from Extra Foods cheap bin, some new toys, stickers and books. There was talk of a portable DVD player but that didn’t happen, although, I think it would have helped.
Our first stop was Christina Lake. By the time we got close to Christina Lake, ears were popping and we didn’t know how to teach a three year old how to fix her ears. How do you teach that?! It was time for a run around! Christina Lake has a huge, beautiful beach. We tried eating picnic style on the beach but the kids were way too busy with the water and sand, to eat anything. But the second we got back in the car, guess who was really hungry…FUN! PJs on and ready for a few more hours with sleeping children we got on the highway again and 10 minutes later we drove straight into a severe hail storm. Slow u-turn and a nerve wracking crawl back to Christina Lake, we checked into a motel but not without getting completely drenched. So much for getting ahead. It ended up being just fine. We got up the next day and carried on to Osoyoos.
Before we got to Osoyoos, we needed a strong cup of coffee. Let me tell you how little there is going across British Columbia. Very little. Imagine my surprise when we drove through Greenwood, a town that might still be living in 1955, and spotted a little place called Copper Eagle Cafe. I wanted to hug it.
Osoyoos. What a great place to take the kids. I was tempted to stay in Osoyoos for two weeks but the rest of our trip to the coast sounded too good to give up on. Our kids are happy enough on a beach throwing rocks into the water, and we did do that, but we also found Rattlesnake Canyon, an amusement park that our kids were too small to really enjoy. We ended up doing the bumper boats and Roman cried almost the entire time. They loved just running around the park, which you can do for free, but we’ll try again in 5 years.
Back on the road with some not too excited children so the toy fans came out. They were great for a little while and then, of course, they turn into weapons. Children. Not fast enough, we got to Surrey and went directly to a park just off highway 1 so we could all stretch our legs and go for a walk. The park is called Tynehead Regional Park and if you had a dog, this would be a prime place to take your pet if you’re driving to Vancouver because they not only encourage dogs in the park but also have a large off-leash area. Plus, the whole park is beautiful, which I wasn’t expecting in Surrey. The kids loved walking across the highway on the pedestrian bridge and walking through the many trails in the forests and meadows. We stayed at a friend’s place that night in Surrey and then drove to the big city of Vancouver. That story comes next.
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