I’m Gonna Soak Up The Sun I’m Gonna Tell Everyone To Lighten Up

I’m a week and a half into the new job, and as much as I’d like to keep posts to somewhat one topic/thing on my mind… I’ve been waiting almost two months to write about a different topic.

This summer, I took an actual honest to God vacation. I figured if I don’t de it now, it’ll be another 9 years before I do. So I called up my aunt on my dads side (relevant because i haven’t spoken to my dad in close to 20 years) since we’ve been more in touch lately, and asked if I came to her town, would she be free during such and such time? She was thrilled! Calling me every day between that convo and the morning we left to discuss details. What do the kids like to eat? Where is our air B&B? Make sure to book the ferry beforehand so there’s room etc.

It was the highlight of her life it seemed, and my kids to. I told them only two days before we actually left because I wanted to make sure everything was settled and arranged and that hopefully by that point nothing would fall through.

Since moving to BC in 2018, we’ve gone back to Edmonton a couple times for holidays and my mom’s birthday, but in my mind it wasn’t a holiday. Time with my family can be stressful, and regimented, also considering it was back to the city I grew up in didnt make it seem like a vacation so this is what we needed.

I booked an air B&B in the heart of downtown Victoria, and we drove out on Sunday. The week before I had asked for the week off since I hadn’t taken any vacation time the whole year, and figured I was quitting soon anyway so I should use it or lose it. (My boss A called the day I got back to tell me about the ‘restructuring’ so i haven’t been to that job since mid August)

The drive was great. I guess I assumed from experiences growing up, that road trips would be frustrating and stressful. But my kids were fantastic! They had some books and downloaded a few movies before we left. We only had to stop a couple times for the washroom and stretch. I had the radio on and honestly just enjoyed my new car and freedom from work.

We took the ferry which Little E loved! The water and the peace. He also remarked after this trip he’d like to be a marine biologist when he grows up and move to Victoria.

Anyhow we get into town and find our place for the week which was perfect. I think somehow knowing you don’t have to clean the home your staying in make everything 100% better. Plus they had the most ridiculously comfortable beds! Normally when I sleep in a new place I sleep a total of about 2 hours because I’m tossing and turning. Trying to get the right position and the right temperature etc. but this was perfect the first time. Z and I commented a few times that we should get those pillows and blankets for our house.

So, back to the beginning. My aunt live in Victoria and took us everyday to guide the visit for us. Sharing the best places to eat and then taking us. Walking the harbour, going to a few different beaches and parks. Taking the kids to the marina (where Little Z decided his life’s path).

They were so accommodating to us and the kids especially. If the kids didn’t seem like they enjoyed where we were currently at, they’d pack up and find a better activity. Which is saying a lot because my aunt isn’t in the best of health and walking tires her out quickly.

But they (my aunt and her husband) sourced out the best of everything for us. Asking friends and my cousins for the best eateries and what kids would like. I’m so thankful for them.

We did arcades and the IMAX. We did beaches and big zoos. We did Beaconhill park and the empress. Like anything to do in Victoria, we did. I even took the kids for a pedicure one day and they both loved it. We ate out wayyyyy to much and I definitely gained like 5 lbs but I’d do it again.

My aunt and I had lots of great conversations and now memories. She had been saving lots of keepsakes since my grandparents passed away and I got to bring them back. A couple of China sets (one for each kid) 3 HUGE tapestry’s that my great grandmother had made. And a couple antique Japanese dolls in the glass cases (google them).

It was a great memory and beautiful vacation in all. Almost enough that I didn’t mind being fired the first day back to work 😅.

I took tons of pictures but I want to share the one that stuck with me most. I’m not sure what my dad looks like, but I look more like his sister, my Aunt than my mom. So I saved this and it makes me feel a little more like I belong. My sisters both look like our mom. But I have the super round face and the curly hair which is definitely from my dad. The first picture is from my wedding (last time I saw her in 2009) and then from this trip.

Photo Booth from my wedding 2009
Victoria 2022

So. That’s my big story. We went on a successful family vacation. We had an amazing time with my cousins and Aunt & Uncle. And I felt at home.

Am I still paying off what I spent to have these memories? Obviously lol. But I would do it again. I’m realizing self care means sometimes doing things out of my regular regimented schedule and just allowing myself to live. And I have no regrets for taking this time for myself and the kids. Finally.

Soak up the Sun – Sheryl Crow

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