Friday, January 04, 2019

A Washington Thanksgiving and a Vancouver Dolphin

Winter vacation has been fabulous.  I can't tell you how much I am enjoying the relaxed pace without the stress of work, school, or extracurriculars.  On a normal day, Brooklyn leaves the house at 6:45, we walk Eli to the bus at 7:00, Talia leaves at 7:50 to help out at the library, and I drop Annika off on my way to work at 8:25.  In contrast, for the past two days I've let the kids sleep until 10:00.  What can I say?  They needed to catch up.
This photo of our sleepy Eli was actually taken during Thanksgiving vacation.  The long drive to Washington must have really worn him out since he was too tired to make it into bed.

Come Thanksgiving morning, we were re-energized and ready to go.  Our first order of business was a fun family turkey trot at Point Ruston.

We were a bit underdressed, so Aunt Callie helped us accessorize.  Looking foxy, Brooklyn.

Zoe seemed less thrilled with her ensemble.

Here are Eila and I coming down the chute for our grand finish.

This sweetie seemed to thoroughly enjoy her running debut.

Back at home, it was time to start making some table decorations.

Eila and Anders enjoying some yummy appetizers while the turkey cooks.

This turkey's sizzling.

All gathered for our fancy feast.  With much to be grateful for, family is at the very top of my list.

The next morning, we gathered together once again to crack open the Thanksgiving pinata that Annika assisted we make/bring.  She wanted an octopus, but I think it turned out more like a squid.  Here's Anders giving our creation a whack.

Annika gives it a whirl, as seen from up above.

Eila's next.  Note how Callie has wisely nominated herself wall protector.

That's a dangerous job, especially when Eli up to bat.

In the end, it was Brooklyn who defeated our very own Kraken.

Bounty for all.

Some might think that the drive from Salt Lake City to Seattle is long enough, but we decided to tack on a few more miles.  Any guesses where we went? 
(Tim Hortons gave it away, eh.)

Vancouver, Canada!  Here we are making our way onto Granville Island.

It may have been a bit drizzly, but with Washingtonians in our midst, we still had plenty of fun.

Inside the market, Annika was completely fascinated by the fish.

In the end, tourtiere (French Canadian meat pie) seemed a better purchase.

The cranberry chutney they served it with was delicious!

Last but not least, some family photos taken in front of the Vancouver skyline.

Callie and her little Eila goofball.

The Wilhoit men (Adam and Anders) join the photo fun.

Love this family!

Sisters forever.

Adding in the next generation of big and little sis.

Brooklyn looks happy in toddler land.

Talia Lily in the rose light.

It was pitch black by the time we made it to our airbnb in Burnaby, so this is what we saw when morning arrived.  While it may not have been perfect, it had plenty of beds to accommodate our crew.

We didn't hang out long, however,  We had places to go and something very special to see.

After months and months of daily begging to see a "real life dolphin," Annika found out that her dreams were coming true.

Meet Helen, Vancouver aquarium's white-sided dolphin.  You can see here that she lost her pectoral fins after they got caught in a fishing net.

A great look at her blowhole.  (Photo credit goes to Talia.)

Eagerly waiting for the dolphin training to begin.

At last, here she is!  Note Papa Kay applauding in the corner.

Pectoral fins or no, Helen sure has hops!

Amazing!  Annika has great taste in her obsessions.  (By the way, since our visit to the Vancouver Aquarium, Annika prays for Helen by name at every meal.)

While Helen may be their biggest attraction, the Vancouver Aquarium has lots of other fun animals as well.  I could watch these sea otters frolic all day long.

Hard to believe this walrus is only a toddler!

Inside, I was less thrilled to see the electric eel.

However, I did find it pretty cool that this Christmas tree is powered by the eel's electrical current.

Jellyfish are so hypnotizing.

Annika was particularly intrigued by these garden eels that burrow into the sand.

And remember: a little kelp goes a long way.

After watching the sea lions, otters, walruses, and dolphin dine on fish, we were ready for some vittles of our own.  This Australian Bakery was the perfect solution.  No fish to be found, but had anyone ordered the Hopper, we could have eaten kangaroo.

I ordered my steak and mushroom pie "peaked" with mashed potatoed, smashed peas, and gravy.

Oh my goodness, it was so tasty!

A meal to delight diners of all ages.

That evening, Papa Kay took the older crew out to the Heritage Christmas display at the Burnaby Village Museum.

If we'd known how much fun it would be, we probably would have dragged the rest of the crew with us.

Check out Papa Kay riding the vintage 1912 carousel!  Definitely an evening to remember.

On Sunday morning we headed to sacrament meeting in Vancouver.  Don't Annika and Eila look sweet in their matching Christmas dresses?

After church we took one final excursion to Burnaby Mountain Park, a scenic spot that Jason discovered while out for a run.

Thanks for the memorable weekend in Vancouver, NomiAnn and Papa Kay.  It was delightful.

And now Anders, I'm afraid it's time to settle into the carseat.  You can count on a long wait at customs.

Back to Edgewood, Washington at last.  Tired, but happy.

Adam and Callie, thanks for always making us feel so welcome.  An especially big thanks for sharing your little ones with us as well.

We promise to bring our crazy back soon.