holidays and what-nots: part 2

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A weekend in Sechelt

A weekend in Sechelt

Our cousin, E, who lives in Vancouver has family living in Sechelt (her in laws) so we thought we’d take it easy the first couple of days to settle down before starting on our hectic travel to Seattle.

Sechelt is about a 2-hour drive NW of Vancouver. You will need to take a barge (drive the car on) to get to the island. You can make reservations for the ferry however you will need to be there at least 30 minutes before your reservation is withdrawn. For non-reservations, you will need to be there at least 15 minutes before to grab the last tickets (providing there is still space on the ferry. The ferry ride is about 45mins, and there are some cafes on board the ferry if you need to get some food. We got to the ferry terminal about an hour before the ferry departs and made it in good time, arriving at our accommodation around 9pm, and the sky was still light!

Surprisingly when we got to Sechelt, it was cold (in Singaporean terms lah). It is a quaint island, with fantastic scenery. E’s in-laws own a house and I was fortunate enough to be able to see, via a telescope, an eagle sitting in its nest supposedly protecting its eaglet! I managed to do some quick grocery shop, grabbing the boys diapers in their sizes to last us the entire trip (28pcs-pack..definitely not enough for 2 weeks). But of course, there is no such thing as a quick shop. Ended up with junk food, crackers, pouches and cereal for the boys. Kua kua. Oh and lip balm. I couldn’t find the one I brought so I ended up buying another tube and then finding the one I brought a couple of hours later. Meh.

We had lunch at Lower Gipson (note to self: portions are always HUGE, so order one to share and then only reorder if it isn’t sufficient!) before ending up in this shop, the Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. What a terrible shop to go into, and when I mean terrible, I mean terrible on my pocket! I was tasting so much flavoured vinegar and olive oil. Oh man..thank goodness they had them in a gift size! Else I will be in trouble trying to finish the entire bottle.

We spent the rest of the day at E’s in law’s place where the kids had a blast with bubbles and wiggly monster racing.

racing

racing

wiggly monsters is basically a pull-toy for kids. They are made by E’s father in-law who is a talented woodworker and has made several pieces of furniture and toys out of wood! Man..I got envious look at his craft. He generously gave us handmade little dustpans, and QT a wiggly monster of his own! QT loves it and was mad happy to have a toy of his own on this trip.

We left Sechelt the following morning for E’s place, and dropped off spare luggages, picked up new empty luggages (for us!), had a quick lunch and were soon on our way to Seattle. At the border, we were required to get an entry permit into Seattle, on top of the ESTA for the USA that we had purchased prior to leaving Singapore. It costs USD$6 and it is a paper that allows you entry into the States. Now you will think, if I already have the ESTA, why do I need to pay this USD$6? We actually didn’t know that we didn’t have to pay for that. We just naturally assumed that an ESTA is required for any form of travel to the USA. That USD$6 is for entry into the USA by land, whereas the ESTA is required for entry into the USA by flight or sea. Ah wells. the ESTA is about USD$10 plus a USD$4 processing fee and is valid for 2 years, so maybe another trip to the USA before it expires then? =)

Seattle

4 days, 3 nights in Seattle

4 days, 3 nights in Seattle

we had gorgeous weather in Seattle. and the food! and the shopping!

shopping loot

shopping loot

well…*sheepish* to give you an idea, we went with a stroller in the back, those two purple suitcases, 3 backpacks. And came back with this. And…we were still not done with shopping. Haha Cos we hit the outlets again on the way back to Vancouver!

Our itinerary was somewhat like this:
D1: Premium Outlets, Target, Apartment
D2: Pike Place Market, Walmart, Costco, Apartment
D3: Pike Place Market (again), Daddy Ting & Ollie @ Children’s Museum, Target, Dinner @ Morton’s (mmMmm), Apartment & pack for Vancouver
D4: Leave Apartment, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Premium Outlets.

Yup. As you can see..we are very shopping orientated. Haha. I made Daddy Ting take Ollie to the museum. I mean, the adults are on holiday, the kids should also be on holiday right? I felt really guilty that we were dragging the kids around with us, so Ollie had half a day at the Children’s Museum. Judging by the photos taken, it is pretty similar to the one in Houston, but not as fully equipped and big as the Houston’s Children Museum.

But Pike Place Market is a must go! I was so happy to just soak in the atmosphere in the market, the seafood, the fruits & veg, the yoghurt, the coffee, food..etc. Aahhh…my kind of place. So many other shops around that area too! The parking rates are as follows:

Parking @ Pike Place

Parking @ Pike Place

TIP: There is a Target around the corner from Pike Place Market. You can park there, and if you spend $20 at Target, you will get the first 2 hours free (validation), and you pay $8 for the third hour,$12 for four hours. You can check the rates here.

Vancouver

8 days in Vancouver

8 days in Vancouver

D1: Arrive in Vancouver
D2: Fort Langley, Outlets, Walmart, Boston Pizza (yum!)
D3: Mount Whistler
D4: Dim sum, chillax
D5: Petting zoo for the kids, chillax
D6: Granville Island, chillax
D7: Strawberry picking!
D8: Pack & homeward bound.

We were due to leave on 5th June @ 2am, and had to return the car by 4th June @ 4.30pm. We didn’t want to hang around aimlessly in the airport, so we decided that we will pay for one night at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport. This meant that we would make two trips to the airport, one with just the passengers, the other with the luggage. Having a room meant that anyone could take a break/nap, take a shower and not have to make a mad rush to check in. The check-in counter opened at 10pm, so we could check in and then still hang around in the hotel room for another hour before deciding to go to the boarding gate.

This time round, I asked again at the check-in counter if they had meals for both kids. The counter crew assured me that there was. I have to say the counter crew we were dealing with was most helpful! Not because she let us get away with slightly overweight baggages (by 2kg), but that she actually thought up of a solution to help us!

TIP: There is apparently such thing as a courtesy box which Cathay could provide to allow you to repack some of your luggage into the box, provided you still had baggage allowance in terms of pieces. 

She went to find a box suitable for us and even provided us with tape and scissors! Waah, that is called going beyond the call of duty. She could have just charged us. In the end, we didn’t need the box cause of some weight machine problems. So all good! Phew.

At the boarding gate, I double checked again to ensure that QT will have his meal. See, there is this issue of catergorisation. QT is an infant passenger (below 2yo), BUT he requires a Child’s meal cos he can eat chunkier food. That in itself is a confusion. Infant passenger means jar food. Child’s mean means child passenger. See my point? Yet, when I boarded the flight and asked when the child’s meal would be served, there was again some confusion. Turns out that because I checked at the boarding gate, they rushed an extra child’s meal in at the last minute.

kid's meal of mac & cheese, with two corn dogs, a panacotta and snacks.

kid’s meal of mac & cheese, with two corn dogs, a panacotta and snacks.

Wah liew. Having said that, we had a really pleasant journey on the way back! The service crew that served us was really helpful and went out of his way to make us feel looked after.

Could tell that Ollie really enjoyed his holiday towards the end, spending time with his cousin Olivia. It was aaaalll he would talk about when he came home. Jie jie olivia this, jie jie olivia that. Haha. And he remembered all the places we went to! We did too, and can’t wait to be on our next holiday already!

Category: Special, Travel

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