Help, I’ve fallen (behind) and I can’t catch up.

I’ve slid a little further than usual this time-I feel like a large dog (perhaps an abnormally huge shar pei?) going at breakneck speed across a linoleum floor, attempting to turn the corner on a dime and instead sliding sideways, jowls flapping, legs scrambling futilely to get a grip and go the other direction but instead being completely ineffective (but nonetheless exhausting) and letting me slam into the wall. It has been fun – mostly – but yikes, I’m tired.

We arrived home from Vancouver late last night, went straight across to say happy birthday to my 20 year old (!) nephew and eat cake, then came home to prep for a taped show I had to do today and set my alarm for 4:30 (!!) to get up and go cover traffic on the morning show. Since leaving work this afternoon it has been all party planning all the time because tomorrow – in approximately 16 hours – is W’s fifth birthday party. We have a chocolate cake baked downstairs with elaborate plans (and specific instructions) to turn it into a dragon that breathes lava balls using only icing and candies. No pressure.

Yes-W turned five on Wednesday. He’s all mature now, and has decided to graduate from chocolate ice cream to far more sophisticated strawberry. Here’s where I’ll pick up where I left off writing in Vancouver… If you get disoriented, lose all sense of time and aren’t sure what I’m talking about, we’ll be right on the same page.

Ready to jump into the DeLorean? Let’s go.

I’ll preface the news of our ultra-fab digs at the Met in downtown Vancouver with a report of our five-hour wait at the ferry terminal yesterday, having consciously planned to beat the long-weekend rush by waiting to leave Tofino until Tuesday (HA) and having, as usual, rushed to get everything packed/cleaned/remade to get out the door in order to make the ferry (did I mention HA?), having almost run out of gas on the windy, shoulderless road to Port Alberni (where there is a Tim’s!) and having arrived in Nanaimo just after noon. Not only did we miss the 12:15, the 12:50 was full and we didn’t make it onto the 3:10 by THREE CARS (was it the Tim’s? The roadside pee in the bushes?) and had to wait on the hot tarmac for the 4:40, which was delayed due to “extreme heavy traffic”. We left Tofino at 9:20 and didn’t get off the ferry until after 7pm. (Actual distance between Tofino and Vancouver: 201 km or 125 miles.)

We amused ourselves in the (HOT) car by playing with PhotoBooth on my laptop. It started innocently enough with the photo up top. Then it deteriorated to this:

By the time we missed the third ferry, we looked something like this:

First world problems, I know. I just wanted to provide ballast to the fact that the pendulum swung over and we are now in a schwanky hotel room – no, suite – at the Met in downtown Vancouver, wearing thick white robes, sleeping in the most divine king-sized bed (aren’t sheets and pillows the true marker of a great hotel? They don’t get any better than this) and this morning we ate eggs Benedict on cornbread with roasted plum tomatoes for breakfast, after an amuse-bouche of teeny pancakes with plum compote and a teeny BELCH – bacon, egg, lettuce and cheese – sandwich.

W ate Fruit Loops naked. He turned five today. We suspected we’d be on the road at some point this week, and so thought we’d do something special, since in recent months he has taken to asking at random if we can just stay in a hotel tonight mom? One with a swimming pool? No – one with two swimming pools – one big one and one small hot one? If he asks this in public I tell him to finish his Perrier and we’ll discuss it in the Jag (which, by the way, this hotel has for anyone who needs a ride to their morning meeting – anyone need to meet for coffee in downtown Vancouver tomorrow?). He discovered he loves hotels last year when we stayed a night in Banff – the same night he discovered he actually isn’t terrified of swimming pools. I thought maybe we’d stay in Vancouver a couple nights and take him to the aquarium and sleep in a hotel with a swimming pool. What better way to ring out the fifth year of your life, and welcome the sixth?

I can feel myself falling asleep at the keyboard again, so to be continued…


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14 comments on “Five.

  1. Cheryl
    August 6, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Happy Birthday W!
    (The Monster discovered hotels on our trip to Vancouver too. Obsession!)
    Now go to bed.

  2. Jennifer
    August 7, 2010 at 12:38 am

    We once witnessed a meltdown par excellence at the Jasper Park Lodge. The child was understandably hysterical that the fab family vacation was over and he was unconsolably (sp?) crying and screaming and windmilling his arms and legs. His parents were calmly trying to explain that they could return to this very hotel again next year and do it all over again. The kid stopped crying long enough to yell out for everyone in the lobby to hear, “But I won’t be FIVE!” and it really all made sense to me. The kid was a zen master, a crying, snott-flinging and flailing zen master. And he was right. It will never be as good as when you are five at a really great hotel.

  3. Jennifer Jo
    August 7, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Oh my, Julie. That first picture of you and W is priceless. The eyes! Really, you ought to frame it.

    And the image of the dog skidding across the linoleum—perfect.

  4. ldy
    August 7, 2010 at 8:45 am

    You went from several days at an oceanside cottage to this?

    Yowzer. I’d settle for just one of them. And I would gladly go pie-faced if that was required.

  5. JulieVR
    August 7, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I know! I certainly wasn’t expecting this – it was quite the surprise when we arrived!

  6. Ann
    August 7, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Happy Birthday W!!

    What a fabulous pic of W to start off your blog post.

    5 hour wait for the ferry!! (Groan)

    Thanks for the update!

  7. Erin B
    August 7, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Have a wonderful time at the Aquarium. I spent part of my early years out there and am sad that my little man (2.5) has yet to see the ocean.

    Take comfort in this…it could be worse. You could be 1/2 way through painting a kitchen with a 2.5 year old who wants to ‘help’. Hubby has to work over time. I can’t even take a picture because I’m wearing yesterday’s shirt and haven’t brushed my hair yet.

    Crud…A is trying to lock Tinkerbell (our 65lb black lab in her kennel).

    Ahh motherhood is so glam!

  8. Katharine
    August 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

    WOW! Beautiful hotel room!! Brutal waiting for the ferry for that long. We would have melted down, man……

  9. Cathy D (Calgary)
    August 7, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Happy birthday W! I will forever remember him earlier this year with the construction cone on his head outside of Starbucks, acting out his one man play. Cutest thing ever. EVER!

    Yikes you’ve had a busy time (but that’s not so far out of the normal for you now is it 🙂

  10. Laurie in Burnaby
    August 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Congrats on W’s birthday 😉
    Congrats on having a wonderful holiday (it’s raining today) 🙁
    But wow! talk about leaping back in with both feet!
    I’m looking forward to having some recipes that are meals and not deserts – there’s been a steady stream of deserts and nothing else for a while. I’d love it if you relaxed enough to show us something good to eat. 🙂

  11. A Canadian Foodie
    August 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Eating Fruit Loops naked and getting an amuse bouche for break fast were my highlights!… after your photos, of course… The ferry can be horrible in the summer!!
    Welcome home.

  12. Donna
    August 7, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Happy birthday W !
    What an awesome cake (via twitter) !

  13. Tara
    August 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Happy birthday W!!

  14. molly
    August 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Hah!!! Those photos are AWESOME!! (Even if enduring the whole ordeal was, um, a little less so!) Welcome home. And happy, happy, happy fifth, to your sweet William! It’s such a good year…

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