Bug Off

It’s September 1st. Some folks think summer is over- but I disagree. The weather has been absolutely stunning these days. My days off have been fantastic, but busy. Yet I am still enjoying life.

Today as I got the pool ready, I noticed a couple bugs in the water. As I skimmed the water to get them out, I realized the size of these ones. Much larger than the usual fly or mosquito. Clearly the summer was good to them- as they are bigger than I could have imagined.

Once I cleaned the pool, my wife and I enjoyed the afternoon sun. We floated around in the pool- staring off into the horizon. We are not ready to give up on summer.

Just like the bugs that I tossed aside- I’m tossing aside the idea that summer is over. And any of those folks who think it’s time for autumn- you can bug off. Summer isn’t over!

Seeing It From A Different Perspective

I’m always sharing pictures of sunsets and views from our vantage point. I love the colours that nature produces and the way the sky is always vibrant and ever changing.

Today, we had a late dinner and sat inside instead of on our deck; like we usually do in the summer. When eating at the dining room table- normally I face the glass door that looks outside. Tonight I sat opposite of my normal chair. I was missing out on the sunset, but the world was shining into our home and brought with it similar hues.

As beautiful as the sun shining into our home was, my wife and I had a difference of opinion on what the colour actually was. I said it was orange, my wife said the colour shining in was purple. Our son said it was light brown. Now I’m leaving it up to my friends and readers- what colour do you see shining against our grey walls?

Honestly, I’m at a loss. I am adamant that it’s orange. But I could very well be wrong.

Gonk

So last week we returned from Disneyland and I was inspired by Galaxy’s Edge to finish a project I started last year. My own Gonk.

I had collected parts over the last year to create my little droid. Mostly greebles and a couple of tubs put together in a random fashion. I added hinges to the tubs so that I could use it for storage. I glued and screwed the parts together. I used some bondo on the sides to clean it up.

I put the little dude together and gave him a coat of grey primer spray paint. It already looked pretty good once it went grey. But I wanted to add some more detail in the painting.

I tested some coloring on the top and bottom in order to make it look like a rust bucket. I prefer the way the top half turned out. The bottom was a bit too much. So I’ll re-paint it eventually. But for now, my little Gonk is going to greet me in the garage whenever I return home. It just needs a name.

Moving On Out…

Thirteen months after we moved into our home, the former owners are finally moving out. When we bought the house, we set up a rental agreement for them to remain for a few months. This was in order for them to have their next place built on the island. The arrangement was beneficial to both them and us. As their new home was getting built, it kept getting delayed. So they stayed far longer than expected. But it wasn’t a big deal for us.

But the time came for them to bid us farewell. They had a shipping container dropped off in order to fill their remaining contents. During the day today, they had some movers come by and pack it up. Unfortunately, the container was too small to fit everything.

So they ended up having a truck come by as well afterwards. It was a far longer day than expected. The movers were only here to fill the container. Good thing our teenagers were home and were able to offer assistance. I also ended up offering my help when I came home after my 12 hour day at work.

Now the suite is essentially empty. Technically their last day is the last day of the month. But we did the walk through of the suite with them and everything seems to be in great shape beyond some basic wear and tear. Next month, it’ll be time for us to declutter the rest of our home and furnish the basement the way we want it. I can’t believe that we have almost 1900 sqf down there. It feels like we are moving into a new home again.

John and Sandra were great tenants. We will keep in touch with them still as we created a good friendship with them.

My Time Is Precious

The one thing in this world that people will try and take from you is your time. That’s one of the few things I have a difficulty giving away. I’m particularly fond of my time off from work or time to myself. That is time I will not give up too easily. However, my immediate family takes priority when time is required of me.

Oh look- we have a cat now.

I had a few days to myself last week after our road trip to Disneyland. I took the time to be creative, carefree and calm during this time. No commitments beyond a couple of hours with friends on one evening. That was some time I gave willingly to them. I was able to benefit from the recharge of hanging out.

Cold drink on a hot evening.

When I’m by myself, I like to keep busy. I have difficulty just lazing about. I don’t watch a lot of tv to pass the time anymore. I used to do that in my youth and have since decided that television is not really my thing. Of course there are a few shows that I do enjoy. I prefer to sit around with a drink to watch the clouds roll by and the sun set.

How do you allot your time? Are you willing to give it up easily, or do you keep track of your time like I do?

End Of My Summer Vacation

Saturday was the last day I had off for my vacation. I had the house to myself for the last few days of vacation. So I enjoyed my solitude.

My wife had taken Theory to a speed skating competition in Calgary for the weekend. Darwin tagged along as well. I was lucky enough to have watched his races via a live stream from The Olympic Oval.

Being that I was home meant I had to take of the garden. We have had a good amount of vegetables coming in. Mostly peppers and tomatoes. Our mixed apple tree is bearing a ton of fruit as well. I can’t wait to make an apple pie from the green ones!

The end of my day (and vacation) I watched the sun as it set. The sun beams shone over the land as the clouds lay up in the sky. A flock of geese flew past at one point making a flight path southward. Summer is almost over- unfortunately my summer vacation has come to an end.

But it was fun while it lasted.

Locality

Friday night I met up with some friends at a brewery. I screwed up the date and ended up at the location a day early- sitting by myself. As embarrassing as that was, I enjoyed the location and the sunset while sipping on some beers.

The brewery is located just up the road from our old house. It opened last year about a month after we moved. Thursday was the first time I had been there. We don’t tend to go back to our old neighborhood much, so this was a nice treat.

This brewery is still in its infancy so to speak. They haven’t put much money into fancying up the place and the seating outside is eclectic to say the least. But the beers are by far some of the best I have had over the past few years. What makes this place stand out is the pond and the serenity as you sit in the farm land and sip on your beers. Even with other people around, it is far quieter than any other brewery I have been to.

I’m sure if we had stayed living in our old home, I’d be attending this brewery weekly. Lucky for me- my friends were there the second day I showed up (albeit the date I was supposed to meet them.) I also picked myself up a pizza from the pop up Raving Gamer pizza truck that was on the premise. It was not too bad, although about five bucks more than it should have been. But when there isn’t much in the way of food out there- you have to enjoy what is offered.

So check out Locality Brewing if you live in Langley or Abbotsford; or if you want to check out a farm feel brewery just outside of Vancouver. You will not be disappointed. I know I wasn’t- with the fact that I was there two days in a row….

Washing Maki

After getting home from our trip, I noticed that our house smelled like dog. I’m not going to lie, it probably smells that way all the time. Our dog, Maki is a lovable member of our family. Yet she sheds. A lot. We are always vacuuming the house and even use one of those Robot Vacuums to help out.

But I noticed that Maki had torn a piece of carpet up and her nail had broken off in the process. It was time to trim her nails. I figured if I’m going to do that, I may as well brush her as well. While I did that, I noticed she smelled pretty bad. That meant it was time for a bath.

At first she was excited because she saw the leash and smelled the treat I had. But once the water came out- ohhhhh boy…. She was flipping out. Not a very happy dog while getting washed. Once I was done and turned the water off and began to towel dry her- she was relaxing again. Within minutes she was her bouncy, happy self once more.

I definitely smelled like wet dog afterwards. As did she. But within a few hours, she was pleasant smelling once more. I was too, but that’s because I showered off the smell.

Hopefully our home starts to smell nice again, at least for a little while.

Final Push Home

Yesterday was the last leg of our journey to return home from Disneyland. We woke up and had breakfast by 7am as we were all eager to get under way. Home was only a short 5 hour journey if traffic was good. Otherwise it could take about 6 1/2 hours. We needed to get through Tacoma and Seattle.

Of course, the teenagers were out cold AGAIN almost instantly. Yup, I kept taking pictures of this. My wife and I talked and listened to music up front and enjoyed the peace and quiet coming from the back.

I mentioned about having road nuggies the previous day. This time my son wanted to bring “racon” aka “road bacon”. He grabbed a to-go coffee cup and filled it packed tight with bacon from the hotel breakfast. A couple hours after leaving and our car smelled like the heavenly aroma of bacon.

The journey only took us a little over 5 hours to complete. Once we got home, our oldest was in the process of tidying up. They had opted to staycation at our home and look after the pets and house while we were out of town. They even made my wife and I a painting and left it in our bedroom for us.

Being home is a great feeling. I was surprised that it was far hotter than Disneyland. But I got to work quickly and had the pool cleaned and open for us to relax in after our two day drive home. I love the memories that we have made over the years doing these road trips. Maybe more will happen, but I have a feeling this may have been our last one for quite some time.

Next summer I do not plan on going anywhere as our home is pretty gosh darn awesome. For now, I’ll enjoy the next few days alone as my wife is taking our two youngest on yet another road trip to Calgary for a few day. Practically feels as though she is living in her car. But this sacrifice she is doing is for our son’s speed skating. He has a competition this weekend and it was imperative that he attends.

A bit of “me time” is on the agenda the next couple of days as my vacation time winds down. I’m sure I’ll be able to keep busy. Or at least catch up on some naps like the teens did.

Road Trip: Leaving Disneyland

We said goodbye to Disneyland yesterday and began our journey home. It was supposed to be 14 hours. However it took us 16.5 hours. We stopped for lunch and dinner, but we also took a wrong turn at one point.

Starting another early day meant the teenagers were exhausted. They slept and were generally quiet the entire drive. No fighting or bickering was happening. Honestly, they lasted longer than my wife and I did at the parks. The rest in the car was well deserved.

We stopped for lunch at In-N-Out Burger once more. Across the street was a McDonald’s, so we picked up some Road Nuggies as well. This is where things went a bit sideways as we left to get back on the I-5.

At this point we were driving on the I-5 heading towards San Francisco/Sacramento. Somehow my wife was distracted and we missed the split and wandered towards San Francisco. We caught it after about forty five minutes. Time to turn around and get back on track. Worst part- we did the same thing last road trip three years ago! Ugh.

We probably would’ve noticed sooner if we had our cellphones on. But paying a roaming charge in another country is a little bit outrageous. So we had gone old school and printed off directions prior to the trip. Although… maybe we should have read them instead of just driving… oh well.

We finally made it to our hotel by 11:30pm. About an hour and a half later than we wanted. Just enough time for popcorn, some television and sleep. Road trips mean hitting the road early. So sleep is limited- and we are off for the last part to get home.

Disneyland 2022: Day 4- Another California Adventure Day

For our final day at the theme parks, we hit California Adventure. This is our favorite park of the two overall. We love the Pixar Pier and the old school amusement park feel.

Of course, we made it to be first in line at rope drop in order to ride Radiator Racers. After that was the same plan as we had a couple days prior- Incredicoaster and Toy Story Mania.

My wife and I split from the kids for a bit throughout the day and hand a good time together. It was a bittersweet series of moments as we realized that our kids are no longer the youngsters they once were. As well, this is our last trip like this with them.

We did meet up with them periodically and had a great time. A few more rides and meals together. We made the coaster a couple times as it got dark. That’s always more fun when you see the lights of the park everywhere as darkness falls.

We ended our day at The Avengers Campus with some dinner followed by one final ride on Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. Probably one of the best rides in the park. Full of high energy, great music and visuals.

Saying goodbye to the trip was tough. But it was a ton of fun!

Disneyland 2022: Day 3- Another Disney Day

We just finished our third day in a row at the Disneyland Park. We were there bright and early again. In fact, we were able to get to rope drop and be first in line.

Once the rope dropped, we hustled to Galaxy’s Edge and got onto Rise of the Resistance without stopping. That walk took us six minutes and was worth the rush.

Most of our day was casually hitting a few rides, meeting some characters and eating. Theory got a set of ears and had them embroidered. We got lucky and we arrived in Tomorrowland just after Space Mountain had broken down. As our son walked up to ask if they knew how long it would be down for- the ride reopened. Again, we walked right on to the ride. Once it was over, three of us walked right back on before the line grew once more.

The rest of the afternoon was shopping, followed by hours at Galaxy’s Edge. Our two kids decided that they wanted to build their own Lighsabers. Which was a pretty cool experience.

For day three, we had a pretty good time. Now onto our fourth and final day!

Disneyland 2022: Day 2 In The Park

We just had day 2 in Disneyland (Technically we finished California Adventure 2022: Day 1 In The Park). It was again started with getting there early. This allowed for us to be first in line and first at the rope drop. Big hustle to get to our first ride.

We hit up Radiator Racers first, then onto the Incredicoaster twice, followed by Toy Story Mania twice. We walked on each ride without lines. That was all done within the first hour of arriving. After that, the crowds caught up.

That wasn’t an issue as we still hit every ride in the park. Including waiting twice for Guardians of the Galaxy and an hour wait for a second ride on Radiator Racers. We also got plenty of shopping done and ended the day in the “Splash Zone” of World of Color.

We have one more day at Disneyland and the following day at California Adventure. Now that we hit every ride that was important to us- we are going to hit a couple of the big ones, but not try and rush as much.

Oh, and our feet are sore. Just sayin’

Disneyland 2022: Day 1 In The Park

We arrived early at the park and were second in line to have our tickets scanned. Then it was off to rope drop on Main Street. Once that occurred- it was a mad rush to our first ride: Rise Of The Resistance.

Afterwards was some fun wandering Galaxies Edge and getting onto Smuggler’s Run twice without much wait. Along the way, a Wookiee joined us. That was magical.

Then it was off to the other rides. Loads of smiles as we waited in the stand-by lines. Surprisingly the wait times were not as bad as the app was telling us. We did have a couple longer waits, but nothing exceeded 40 minutes.

Even with one ride crapping out- only lasting five minutes. But we were ready to wait for Space Mountain. Mostly because of the air conditioning. It was mid-afternoon and hot!

The end of our evening was spent in Fantasyland. Followed by a picnic dinner as we sat waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade. It’s a neat experience to watch as the lights begin to turn on throughout the park from a central location.

After the evening ended, we snuck in another couple of rides followed by some gift shop wandering. A short nap (aka sleep) and we are off to Day 2: California Adventure.

Last Leg Of The Journey

Our road trip today was a little over six hours. We stopped at In-N-Out again. I was told by the cashier that I was number 1. So I totally did a dad moment and said, “You know it.” Afterwards we were stuck in traffic heading through Los Angeles and spotted a couple billboards for Disneyland.

We made it to the hotel without issue. My wife and I went out to get a few snacks for the parks and the kids were too excited to remain at the hotel. So they took off to Downtown Disney and wandered the stores. We met up with them at the first store and the played around getting some photos and grabbed a cheap dinner. My wife wanted a re-created photo of the kids at the gate waiting to enter. (Albeit we do have a substitute teenager in place of our oldest.)

Our evening ended back at the hotel. We stood on the balcony and watched the fireworks that exploded from the park. Our energy levels and dopamine was kicking in and getting to sleep was tough. But we did it.

The excitement of our first day is about to commence. Now onto a post- Covid lockdown adventure in Disneyland. Did I mention that I’m super excited about Galaxy’s Edge? Yeah. I kinda love Star Wars…. Squeee!!! I’m the biggest kid of them all right now.

More adventures to follow over the next few days.

Road Trip 2022: Beginnings

Wednesday we departed our home at 4:30am. Our trip was taking us south towards California. Because we were so early, we missed the rush hour traffic in Seattle. Shortly after that we paused at a rest stop and traded driving- it was now my turn. That lasted only about an hour until I got a speeding ticket. Now I’m not allowed to drive the rest of the trip.

Anyways… I got us to Voodoo Donuts in Oregon for 11am breakfast. After getting a sugar rush, my wife was driving and we were excitedly bouncing to some sing-along-songs until our next stop.

Shortly after 2pm we stopped for In-N-Out Burger. Seriously good burgers for an amazingly good price. Five burgers for $21. With fully bellies, it was time to get on the road for our final push for the day.

Ok, we drove for about an hour before we stopped at our usual rest stop in Weed. A quick stretch, bathroom break and photos… then it was onto our last stop. About five hours later we made it to the hotel. That last chunk was not so bad, until about the last leg of the journey. Because we knew today was coming to an end. All of us needed to get our bodies out of the car. It was as if we were suffering from rigor mortis.

On the bright side, we are now spaced out and refreshed in our hotel room. With only five and a half hours tomorrow remaining for our trip, I’m pretty sure we will do it in one go. Then we will be free of the car for almost five days. During which time, we will be walking. A lot. But that’s where the fun comes in!

Road Trip 2022: Beginnings

Wednesday we departed our home at 4:30am. Our trip was taking us south towards California. Because we were so early, we missed the rush hour traffic in Seattle. Shortly after that we paused at a rest stop and traded driving- it was now my turn. That lasted only about an hour until I got a speeding ticket. Now I’m not allowed to drive the rest of the trip.

Anyways… I got us to Voodoo Donuts in Oregon for 11am breakfast. After getting a sugar rush, my wife was driving and we were excitedly bouncing to some sing-along-songs until our next stop.

Shortly after 2pm we stopped for In-N-Out Burger. Seriously good burgers for an amazingly good price. Five burgers for $21. With fully bellies, it was time to get on the road for our final push for the day.

Ok, we drove for about an hour before we stopped at our usual rest stop in Weed. A quick stretch, bathroom break and photos… then it was onto our last stop. About five hours later we made it to the hotel. That last chunk was not so bad, until about the last leg of the journey. Because we knew today was coming to an end. All of us needed to get our bodies out of the car. It was as if we were suffering from rigor mortis.

On the bright side, we are now spaced out and refreshed in our hotel room. With only five and a half hours tomorrow remaining for our trip, I’m pretty sure we will do it in one go. Then we will be free of the car for almost five days. During which time, we will be walking. A lot. But that’s where the fun comes in!

Road Trip Time

Today is starting with an early morning wake up for all of us. Of course, we are all energized and ready… seriously.

So Early

This is the kind of road trip that can get a person excited. Even the teenagers are awake without grumbling. Albeit quiet and subdued. But ready to go nonetheless. No photos of them quite yet as that kind of energy isn’t powered up.

I know I have been talking about this trip to numerous friends and coworkers, so many people already know where we are going. The picture of my watch is a dead giveaway. If you haven’t figured it out- here’s another angle of the picture.

Hidden Mickey

Disneyland! We are so excited! This early start to our twenty two hour drive is going to get us revved up for our four whirlwind days in the parks. At least we are breaking up the journey down into two days. Only once have we pushed through in one stretch- never again.

I’m excited to share our adventures over the next few days. I hope you enjoy them as well!

Disneyland- HERE WE COME!

Vacation About To Begin!

Work is over for the next week and a half. Time to enjoy some well deserved sunshine! Now, as the sun sets, I am happy to be off work.

My son and I had a good evening in the pool after dinner. After tonight’s relaxation- fun is the goal for the next seven days! I’m looking forward to time with the family as we hit the open road! We are packed and ready to roll.

Hooray for time off!

Vacation Anticipation

Relatable post time. Here come the memes.

I have only one more shift to go before vacation. Yes, there is a countdown within the family of how many hours remain as well!

There’s always the moments when your brain is already focused on the future and not the day at hand. Nothing is going to get me down. I’m preparing myself to be checked out.

Getting thru that last couple of days of work are always difficult before a vacation. It’s even harder to return to work after some time off.

But a break is always healthy. Leaving work behind and just focusing on some mental relaxation is paramount to good health. We all go through this. I hope you all have good vacations as well when you go on them!

Another Beautiful Evening

Last night my teenager and I had dinner together. We watched the clouds in the sky as the sun vanished behind them. I’m still mesmerized by the views we have from the back of our home. I was happy to share the moment with someone.

There’s just something magical about nature and how the universe works. I don’t know the answers to Life- but I will say, watching a sunset hanging out with someone you care about really fills my heart with joy.

Cheering On Theory From Afar

This past week, my wife and son were in Calgary for a speed skating camp. Today was a competition for the skaters.

My wife shared with me a live feed of the event on YouTube posted by the Calgary Oval. I watched our son competing from the comfort of our living room. seeing his name on the television brings me a sense of pride and joy.

But watching him skate brings me more joy. He is passionate about his skating and is always pushing to improve his skills.

In his two races- he got new personal bests. He even shaved ten seconds off one of the heats. I’m really impressed and I hope he continues on the path to success in speed skating. The trips out of province are a good chance for him to get better and meet with other skaters.

But I can’t wait for them to come home. I miss the family when they are away.

Bro Time

This afternoon I got some time to hang out with some of my friends. We didn’t do anything exciting- just hanging out. Well worth my afternoon!

We farted around in the pool for most of the time. Lots of jokes, and throwing a ball between one another. A perfect afternoon of nothingness.

Later in the afternoon- my friend brought out his drone. He played around filming my home and created a video that he will be sending to me later on. I love the idea of seeing our home from a new perspective.

I had a few other buddies show up throughout the evening. Loads of good conversations were had. I’m glad they all showed up, I needed their company. It was a good evening. I’m glad we did a bunch of nothing together.

Nothingness was a ton of fun. I’m glad to have some bro time.

Alone On The Pool

My wife is out of town with our youngest in Calgary. Our other child is at work and won’t be home for a few more hours. After doing my weekly Thursday shopping- I opened the pool to give it a clean.

Now I’m floating around by myself- listening to music and enjoying life as the sun beats down. I am enjoying my solitude. Getting here was hard work and headaches for many years. Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labors. Even if it is by myself.

Being alone isn’t so bad, but I like to share experiences with others. Come on by for a dip. I’ll gladly share this life with friends!

Weather Seems Nice

Normally we don’t do a big vacation in the summertime to a nice warm place. Living in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia- we have really nice summers. So there is never a need to travel to a sunny destination.

As you can see, this upcoming week has some high temperatures and mostly sun. A good way to enjoy August. Why should we go anywhere?

You see, our goal is to be in Disneyland for the first time during summer. Similar highs, but the lows are far warmer. We won’t get much of a chance to cool off each day. But that will be just fine with me!

We have been waiting for this trip to Disneyland for over two years. We bought tickets hoping to travel in July of 2020 to see what the summer season (and July 4th) would be like in the parks. But, you know, Covid had other plans for everyone.

Soon we will be south of our home and enjoying the Warm California Sun. I’m excited about our family vacation and look forward to the weather being on our side!