The last weekend of summer
James didn’t take today off for the long weekend – instead he’ll be taking this Friday off so we can go visit his dad and other family for longer than a rushed overnight stay which a regular weekend would provide. We also chose not to travel this weekend because that would be totally insane, especially with a little one in tow.
Even though he didn’t have the extra day off, it felt like we made the most of the time we had together. On Friday night, he and I went kayaking. Something I can cross off my bucket list, as it’s always been something I’ve wanted to try but never had the chance till now. We opted for a tandem kayak experience, and I’m so glad we did. Especially for my first time, it felt safer being out on the water with James helping me steer (he has kayaked once before, but he’s canoed quite a bit). It was SO MUCH FUN! In fact, I thought it was so fun that I’ve now added a new item to my bucket list, not just to try kayaking but to one day take kayak lessons. I loved being out on the water again, it reminded me of the feeling rowing gave me last year. I loved rowing but I think I might prefer the kayak. It’s quite different though, and both are a lot of fun. I just love being out on the water. We were in False Creek, and it was an absolutely beautiful night. So interesting seeing all the sights from the vantage point of the water instead of the seawall, it really does make a difference! I can’t say enough good things about that experience.
And yesterday we took Andrew to the PNE and Playland, since it would be ending today. We’re really glad we took him, and he loved the experience. It was extremely hot, of course crazy busy (which we were expecting) and expensive (which we were also expecting for the most part) but we don’t regret going! The thing is, when Andrew heard we were going to the fair, his mind created an image of the Haunted Mansion (standing outside watching the creepy guys from a safe distance, which is his FAVOURITE thing to do at Playland!!) and going on a few rides, such as the Super Slide and the little roller coaster. So even though there was fun to be had at the PNE, and he DID enjoy parts of it, the whole time we were there he was itching to get to Playland.
We got there at 11:30 so first thing we did was watch the Superdogs show. It was really funny. Andrew was bobbing to the music and thought a few of the dogs were particularly hilarious. He was more interested in asking me if he could go down and play on the equipment they were using for the stunts, though. He got upset when they started clearing parts of it away before the end of the show, because he imagined it was a jungle gym! But it was still a good time, after which we went and shared the best baked potato and corn on the cob ever. The corn in particular, so sweet and delicious!
Then Andrew painted a truck for a few minutes, and we went and looked around the PNE some more. We went into the farmyard area, where I was hoping we could show Andrew the baby chicks. But we didn’t get far enough in to even see them. Andrew was whining that he wanted to go to the rides, and I was feeling nauseous from the stench of the whole farminess of it! So off we went.
The complaint I have about their system when it’s Playland AND the PNE, is the expense of taking a little one on rides. When we went to Playland earlier in the summer when the PNE wasn’t open yet, it cost us $12.95 each for James and me to get in, and that paid for all the rides Andrew can go on (which aren’t many). Whereas yesterday it would have been almost $45 for each adult, which obviously is ridiculous given he’s too short to go on much of anything, and we can’t go on anything without him. Not to mention with me being pregnant, I wasn’t even supposed to go on the dinky little roller coaster (and I didn’t!) So it just seemed like a complete waste to go that route. Instead we decided to buy 10 tickets, at $1.50 each, they told us the rides he can go on are 2-3 tickets each.
He had his eyes on a bouncy castle so we were essentially purchasing the tickets so he could go in that. Well, when we went up to the guy taking tickets, he said we had purchase Playland tickets, and they weren’t valid at the PNE. We had to go buy tickets at a booth across the way. The tickets there were the same price as the ones we’d just bought, the tickets were just a different colour! It made us really mad since we’d already spent $15 on the other tickets. So we just bought 2 tickets so he could go in the bouncy castle. You get 3 minutes in there for $3, which is so ridiculous. Andrew enjoyed it and was in there playing nicely with other kids, so all was well, but it still annoyed us the process (and price) of it all.
The rest of the tickets got him 2 turns on the Super Slide and once on the roller coaster with Daddy. EXPENSIVE! But it didn’t matter too much to Andrew, who really was content to just stand outside the Haunted Mansion and stare in awe of it. He really loves that thing!
We ended up heading back to the PNE for a few after that, saw a cool marching type band play some songs and then we tried to get in to see another show at 4:00 but it was an absolute zoo and we were all getting tired so we decided to leave. I think Andrew thought we were going back to Playland – when he found out we were on our way home he was crying and said, ‘Andrew no want to go hooooome!’ You always have to try to come up with something to subdue the tears in those situations, so I thought fast and said, ‘Well, we can always come back for Fright Night at Halloween time!’ Of course then he was intrigued with this whole ‘Fright Night’ thing and I had to explain to him what it was. Now it’s all he’s been talking about, and I looked it up today and they don’t recommend children under 12 go to it…The thing is, they’d be right in saying that – he wouldn’t actually go INTO the Haunted Mansion, for example, he likes to see the creepy guys who are relatively tame, but having people jump out at him etc would be a whole other story. Obviously we’re not going to want to pay to go to that if we can’t actually experience the majority of it, but I’m not sure what to do since he desperately wants to go. We’ll have to figure out a more toddler-friendly alternative I guess! He can’t possibly be the only 2 ¾ year old who’s obsessed with ‘bad guys’?!
Anyway, it was a fun weekend, and I’m so glad we’ve been having really summery weather. I can’t BELIEVE it’s not only September but already the 6th tomorrow, time flies by so ridiculously fast these days. But we still have some late summery type plans in the next few weeks, so I want to just enjoy the moments and not think about the fact that next month is October.