Today is my niece Madeline’s 13th birthday. Thirteen! A teenager!! Amazing!
I hope you have a fabulous birthday, Madeline! Wish I were there to celebrate it with you! Can’t wait to see you at Christmas time!
Hey remember that time that my Mom and my niece came to visit me? Of course you don’t, because I didn’t blog or tweet/Facebook/etc. any of it while they were here because we were having way too much gallivanting (and perhaps spent all of our tech-related time catching Pokémon instead).
Highlights of their trip included:
- the New Westminster petting zoo (which I’d never been to before, despite being a New Westie for several years now!)
My niece holding a bunny at the Queen’s Park Petting Zoo in New West
- the Vancouver Aquarium, where we petted rays and saw beluga whales, dolphins, otters, sea lions, and much more
- Science World at Telus World of Science, where we did the spy exhibit. Wasn’t really any science to it, but it was super fun! It was challenging enough to keep us engaged through all the parts of the exhibit – and my niece was the master of figuring out the clues! For the record, we totally figured out who stole the computer chip and why!
- New West StrEAT food truck festival. It was insanely hot out, but that didn’t keep me, my Mom, my niece, Kalev, Andrew, and I from checking out all of the 88 food trucks. Among us we had an Aussie meat pie, a Japadog, bubble tea, a tacotino, pizza, hurricane potatoes, a Beaver tail, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting!
My niece was inspired by a photo of a child with ridiculously placed chocolate on his face on the side of the Beaver Tails truck to place some chocolate in a similar ridiculous fashion.
- BBQ dinners, including pork tenderloin and steaks
- Granville Island, including Lee’s Donuts, jewelry shopping, looking at fancy brooms (and my mom saying “How can I fit this in my luggage?” and then not buying one because she can’t fit it in her luggage – a tradition of hers when she comes to Vancouver), sitting in hammocks (and saying “Where could I hang this?” and realizing we have nowhere to hang hammocks and then not buying them – another tradition when my family comes to town), and lunch at Edible Canada.
This was a menu item at Edible Canada, but we were pretty sure it is actually a Pokémon.
- Delicious pizza from Pizza Garden. Crick became obsessed with the pizza box, even choosing to sleep there at night instead sleeping with me like she usually does. After a few days, I decided that it was time for the pizza box to go (given that it does have bits of food in it, which will get icky) and said “I’m going to take the pizza box to the compost”, and the Crick bolted from across the apartment to the box and stood on it and looked at me as if to say “You aren’t taking this anywhere!”
Crick is in her happy place
- Pokemon Go! With all the walking around we did, we had ample opportunity to hunt for wild pocket monsters. We caught an Electrobuzz at the New West petting zoo, and 3 Tauros in one day! We also collected so many Pokémon that we had a whole bunch that we could evolve, so we planned it out so that we could drop a Lucky Egg (which gives you double XP for half an hour) and then evolved about 40 Pokémon, which resulted in me finally levelling up from Level 20 to 21 (and getting a good chunk of the way through Level 21 to boot.)) We evolved a few Pokémon that I didn’t have before – a Persian (from a Meowth), a Wortotle (from a Squirtle), a Venomoth (from a Venonat), and a Poliwhirl (from a Poliwag) – and a bunch of ones that I already have just to get the extra XP.
My mom, helping us catch a wild Hypno.
- A very exciting semi-finals hockey game in which my summer hockey team went to an eleven round shootout to decide who went on to the finals!
- Losing the aforementioned hockey semi-final in an eleven round shootout.
- My mom’s triple injury – she burned her finger on the first day here, she cut two fingers quite deeply on her second day here (trying to open a package with an overly sharp knife), and then a few days later is poked herself in the finger with a bamboo skewer while making dinner.