Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Othello Tunnels: Almost....

On our way home from Manning park we decided to stop by the Othello Tunnels an easy 3.5 km trail near Hope, BC. 
check out Julia and I in the reflection of the sign! 
This is the second time we have tried to go through the Othello tunnels. The first time was when we were newly weds moving to Vancouver. Cam's parents were with us and they really wanted to take us to the tunnels. Unfortunately we could not find them! Thankfully, this weekened, we had googlee maps and found the tunnels. Unfortunately the tunnels were closed for the season and were not open. We did get to go up to the first tunnel and talk with some construction workers that were working on getting the tunnels ready for the filming of a popular movie called 'planet of the apes'!

I felt it was worthy of writing a post about because these tunnels are exciting for all ages. Remember to bring flashlights to enhance the experience!!!

Cam and Etta outside the first tunnel

Julia and I at the first tunnel

Family selfie near the first tunnel. 3rd times a charm and we will get to explore the tunnels!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Manning Park: 7 ways children make life more excited

This past weekend we went to Manning Park with the kids to celebrate our 5 years of marriage. We were so happy to soak up the outdoors especially since Cam has been busy finishing his PhD. The great thing about Manning park is there is little cell phone service and therefore we were able to totally focus on each other and the present. 

One of my favourite things about having kids is that you can do something so simple and have a great time. In the past I have written about some of the challenges when travelling and/or camping with kids. Throughout this post I am going to highlight 7 ways our children have made trips more exciting. 

1. Telling the kids we are going to the mountains:
We told Etta we were leaving for the mountains about 10 minutes before leaving. We did this on purpose because she gets SO EXCITED!!! Once we told her we were going to the mountains she started running around the house saying 'Yeah mountains' followed by asking if myself, Cam and Julia were going to come too. We proceeded by saying 'yes we are coming to the mountains too.' Since we were all going, she got even more excited and this excitement lasted the whole weekend. 

2. The Cabin
Etta loved the cabin. Really I loved it as well but her enthusiasm made the cabin that much more exciting. She loved it so much that I now want to live in a simple cabin in the woods. Everyday she was excited to come back to the cabin and hang out. She loved it so much that when we left we had to say bye cabin and blow kisses as we drove away. She still talks about the cabin.
Outside the cabin with Julia.
3. Snow suit, toque and mitts
I know not every kid likes their outdoor gear but Etta gets so excited when she gets to wear her mitts, snow pants and boots. It may not last forever but I'll take it!!!
4.  Hiking
Whenever we tell Etta we are going hiking she starts jumping and running around. Her enthusiasm about the outdoors is incredibly contagious. At Manning Park there are tons of hikes outside your doorstep and although we kept the hiking simple, her enthusiasm amplified the outdoor experience. Trying to see these natural experiences through the eyes of a child is incredible. Our daughter gets excited by things that we often don't even take notice of, like leaves, rocks, snow and water.

5. Throwing rocks
I think Etta could literally spend hours throwing rocks into water. Big rocks, little rocks and even sticks and leaves can provide hours of entertainment.

6. Playing in the snow
Yes as an adult I still like playing in the snow but rarely take the time to indulge. Being forced out in the snow to play with Etta is extremely rewarding. Etta got so excited making her first snowman. Julia had an amazing look of wonder as her hand touched snow for the first time.
Etta's first snowman where she was able to contribute.

Julia's first snow experience.
7. Mountains
Lastly, I know I mentioned mountains previously but that was more about telling our kids we were going to the mountains. We needed to highlight how excited the girls get when we are in the mountains. Etta loves seeing snow-capped mountains. She loves knowing she is hiking on a mountain. She loves the fresh air.

Being a parent has changed our getaways but it hasn't affected how much we enjoy them. During our trip we decided to keep it simple and Etta's enthusiam and Julia's smiles made the whole experience really fun.