Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Vacation and The Mouse Hand Injury

We're all very glad to be home in our own beds and bathroom. We're also happy to be living in Vancouver where there is no water shortage and no extreme water restrictions. It was one vacation which helped us to slow down and rest just a little, or as much as we could manage as D whined incessantly to go home the first four days while getting used to not having a computer and television to entertain him. In fact, it was quite an eye-opening trip as to just how attached D was to the computer at home.

This is the beautiful rocky beach that we reached via the boardwalk from the property of the Tofino Botanical Gardens.

The first four days of our vacation was spent in the Tofino and Long Beach area. We stayed in three different locations on our entire trip to keep things interesting for the boys. Monday, our travel day to Vancouver Island, began at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal where we caught the 12:30pm ferry to Nanaimo and then drove to the Clayoquot Field Station and the Tofino Botanical Gardens, our accomodations for our first two nights. We stayed in a dorm-style room (Room #7), which was made up of four bunks, and a small study area. Cooking, living and bathroom facilities were shared with other surfers, teachers and students. We originally wanted to book the teacher suite with our own private bathroom, but it wasn't available for our first night so, we just rented an entire bunk room to ourselves, which did us just fine. The Clayoquot Field Station is a new and unique facility for all those wishing to study and explore the Clayoquot area. Our two days here were spent leisurely exploring the beautiful Tofino Botanical Gardens (which incorporated many different forms of art and sculpture--including live wandering chickens and roosters), the beaches, and visiting the town of Tofino.

There was a moment on our second day of vacation, however, that just left M and me speechless. As we were checking out and reserving our campsite for Wednesday and Thursday at Bella Pacifica, D fell and scraped the palm of his left hand. As expected, he fell apart and took some time to calm down before allowing us to clean and wrap up his hand with gauze. Later that evening as we were changing the dressing on his hurt hand in Room #7 of the Clayoquot Field Station, he came to this sudden realization as to just how lucky he was that he had not injured his "mouse" hand, the hand with which he uses for navigating his online games using the mouse! Was I ever floored by my just-recently-turned-four-year-old's lightbulb moment response! I have to admit that I have a healthy interest in the computer, but I just didn't realize how much my interest was rubbing off on D. Boy, do I have to limit his time on the computer! This trip has also reaffirmed my feelings that we have to take more trips like this to "unplug"--at least once or twice a year, maybe more, so that the boys don't grow to miss the computer more than spending time with their family and friends or with their natural surroundings. We do have another excuse to go camping again, as we didn't quite experience the full camping experience. There was a fire ban throughout the island due to a dry summer, so the boys didn't even get the chance to experience a real crackling campfire with ooey, gooey toasted marshmallows.
Here is just a sampling of the art found in the Tofino Botanical Gardens.

Wednesday and Thursday was spent camping on a beautiful beachfront site (#14) at the Bella Pacifica Campground situated on MacKenzie Beach, a short distance from the field station on the other side of the highway. We had a very sunny, but windy day for setting up our tent, but the view of the beach was just breathtaking. D and R didn't play in the sand too much the first day, since the wind was so annoying, but the winds died down in the evening. D and R got used to playing in the tent and enjoyed using all our flashlights when the sun set. We had all of Thursday to enjoy the beach, swing in the hammock, laze around, and even knit. A big thank you to M for doing all of the cooking, even when it started to rain before dinner on our last night at MacKenzie Beach.Here is the view from our tent as M sleeps on the hammock.
Here the boys are having fun beachcombing and chasing waves on MacKenzie beach the morning before leaving our campsite.

I'll have to report on the last part of our vacation (on Saltspring Island)in my next post. I hear D and R fighting and screaming in the living room......

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