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  • Writer's pictureSophie

Vancouver, and home

So I arrived home from my Canada trip at 7am Friday and I was SO glad to be home.

I’d had a final day in Vancouver (I had a 10 hour stopover after my flight arrived in from Halifax at midday), so I left the airport and took the train, walk and ferry to Granville Island, This was my first visit to Vancouver and it was beautiful!

Oh, hi Vancouver!

I loved how easy it was to catch the little ferries (like mini buses!), from the ferry stops, the drivers will pop their heads out and just yell out “where are you going?” To see if they could take me. If they were going the wrong way, they radioed another bus to stop for me! And you could pay with credit card on board. So handy,

So cute! And handy.

Granville Island was just a few stops up and it was great to spend a few hours. Originally an industrial island, it had been turned into a huge public market, artisan space, shops, etc.

Arriving to Granville Island from the water.

A glimpse inside the market

I had a delicious taco salad outside on the deck with beautiful views and giant seagulls! They are like 4 times the size of the sea gulls we get in Australia (which are more like big pigeon size)! Also bought maple fudge, and an artisan donut (had a big line to get one I know it would be good, and it was!).

I then spend another hour or two wandering around the island, looking at the art in the shop windows, and spending a long time in a children’s market looking for souvenirs for the kids (finally got bear socks for us all of varying styles, plus a moose figurine for O and a cute reversible bear/moose plushie for E.

I was going to head to Stanley Park next, but I was actually feeling exhausted by this time so I decided instead to walk back slowly, along the water, to the train to head back to the airport. I could do a few hours of work from the airport before dinner and waiting for my plane. The walk turned out to be lovely.

Gee it was a pretty walk.

To be honest though, by the afternoon in Vancouver I was tired, and lonely, and ready to come home. I feel like a decade ago it was so easy to do long stretches of solo travel, for example in 2013 to celebrate finishing my doctorate, I took off 3 months and did a round the world adventure through Europe, USA, Central America and Chile. It was amazing, and really only the last couple of weeks I felt like I missed home. (And Al and I were already together- I did miss him but I was still happy to be having my adventure!)

However, these days I’m so attached to my family (particularly the kiddies of course), and even my home and community, that short stints are much more fun for me! 3-4 days seems to be the sweet spot of having some time to myself, doing some adult adventures and seeing somewhere new, but not missing the family too much. I’m not sad about this new reality- I’m enjoying my current priorities. Travel and adventures were a huge part of my identity for at least 15 years, so it’s just strange to realise that this is no longer the case to the same extent. But also fun to see how we can change over time.

My flight from Vancouver left at 11.15pm and felt SO much longer travelling through the night, compared to the day flight I had travelling to Canada 9 days earlier. I don’t sleep well on planes so I’d rather fly through the day so I don’t even have to try! I did manage to maybe get 4 or 5 hours of sleep, but that’s not much when the flight is 14 hours long.

But otherwise the flight was smooth and Al and E picked me up from the airport and gee was I excited to see them (E coming was a surprise and so good to give her that first big squeeze). On the drive back we picked up McDonald’s for breakfast and E informed me it was under 8s morning at her school and she REALLY wanted me to join her. I’d had only a few hours sleep, I hadn’t had a shower in 36 hours, but what could I say? This past 10 days had been tough for the kids missing me, so I decided to come, and bring O too.

We got home, big hugs for O and said hi to my in laws, changed, washed my face, and took the kids to Under 8s morning! The sun was shining, the kids were excited, and there was a coffee van, so I was happy.

Lolly pops and fun activities for the kids.

Other than a few work tasks I slept a lot of Friday, took it easy and enjoyed a relaxing weekend with the kids. We said goodbye to Als parents on Saturday, and i was so hugely grateful that they stayed with us for so long and helped so much with the kids and house too. Al worked a lot of the weekend, but I was just happy to hang out with the kids. We headed to the library, hung out in the backyard, had friends over, I did loads of chores and unpacked, and also napped. There was plenty of screen time too, and reading and chats and just generally soaking in the cuddles. I did my jet lagged moments when I was just TOO tired and a bit grumpy, but luckily it passed by quickly (and melatonin helped with any insomnia at 1am, hooray!).

So happy just to hang out with these two.

Grateful for my amazing trip, and grateful to be home. Have a great week everyone!

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May 27

I've never been to the West Coast of Canada, but it is on my bucket list. Vancouver looks GORGEOUS!

I'm glad you're home safe and sound and I'm sure the whole family is delighted to have things "back to normal."

May 27
Replying to

Yes we all are! Hooray for routines 😆


May 27

This is Lisa. Welcome home! I am glad you got to explore Vancouver a bit. It is a gorgeous, picturesque city! I have been there several times as my bestie I met through blogging lives in that province so we have met up there several times for races, her wedding, etc.

The longest I have been away from the kids is 3 nights. I am not sure how I would feel for a longer stretch of time. I don’t know that anyone would come to stay with Phil if I was gone for a longer stretch (but the chances of me being gone for more than 3 nights is veTy low). I was gone for 4 nights last summer when…

May 27
Replying to

Yes I had no idea what to expect with Vancouver, and it was so picturesque!

I think my ideal solo trip would be 3-4 days, but living in Australia so many places we travel to need half that time just to get there 😂 I try to limit this longer international trip to every couple of years, and otherwise just travel domestically. But yes we are so lucky to have family who will come to help out. Al could handle it himself but it would be much more exhausting.

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