Claire in Vancouver

hotel bear

In February Jeff had to go to Vancouver for training so Claire and I tagged along. His classes were in the Vancouver public library, so we stayed next door at the Westin. While I would generally prefer a little boutique hotel off the beaten path, it was wonderful being right in the thick of things. I broke out the Ergo carrier for the first time since the fall and Claire and I trekked all over downtown Vancouver and Gastown. We found our way to the ocean and she found a beautiful smooth rock that perfectly fit her fist; she put it in her mouth and tasted the salt and carried it with us. We found a walled Chinese garden, we wandered through boutiques, we ate sweets and met another mom with her baby at Pure Bread. We met my brilliant art historian friend and Etsy genius, Jessa, at the Vancouver Art Gallery where she works, and she walked and talked us through exhibits of Cezanne, and modern Chinese art.

[Note: I found this unfinished post from last year and decided to put it up. We’re prepping for our next big trip with Claire: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, next week. She adores planes and airports now, so this should be fun. I’ll just add the one Golden Rule of travel with little ones that I learned on the Vancouver trip: always fly in a nursing-friendly top or dress. Claire caught the flu from friends’ children and spent the entire flight from Edmonton throwing up on both of us or screaming. She was only okay while nursing, but I had worn a dress that I could only nurse in if I pulled it up to my neck. So I sat in the plane bathroom and nursed that way for most of the flight. Will never make that mistake again. I now always fly in one of the Boob Design dresses. Worth every penny.]





You don’t really think of water when you think of the prairies, but they are, of course, dotted with ponds and sloughs. I’ve been endlessly enthralled by the blue of water amidst the gold of the fields this fall as we’ve driven back and forth to Saskatchewan. A couple of weekends ago we drove to the mountains, and on the way home, between Calgary and Edmonton, there was this dreamy blue light over the prairies. I used the zoom on our little point and shoot and shot out of the window while Claire slept. I kind of love this blurred, ethereal quality.

I grew up on the prairies and really missed them when I first moved to Ottawa 6 years ago. But then I fell in love with Ottawa, Montreal and (parts of) Toronto. When moved back West to be closer to my family when Claire was born, I was shocked to find how much I missed the urban spaces of those three cities, and was (and still am) terribly sad to think of Claire not knowing them. I will always miss zipping up to Montreal to stay in an auberge in the Old Port for the weekend, or wandering through the National Gallery on a Saturday, but the prairie and mountains are finding their way back into my heart.