March Break 2023

The first year Kiddo was in elementary school, I took one whole week off. I had plenty of vacation to burn after having returning to work from mat leave just two months earlier. Last year and this year, I only took three days off. March Break (or, as they call it around here “Spring Break”) starts shortly after my birthday which fell on a Friday and so I was off and roundly had a nice time.

This year, I had some “errands” I wanted to accomplish like shopping at T&T, Costco and IKEA and at the same time I wanted to make it fun for Kiddo and do things we miss when we’re hanging out like a family, like playing basketball and tennis, two of the sports I’m trying to foster his love for if it means I have to get into them (not a big deal).

After work Tuesday, March 14

With the way work has been going, not being at work, wrapping up things to be off for a few days, it was celebration enough by Tuesday evening. Plus, Edna and I were meeting up for a belated birthday thing for me.

After such a long break we went to a spin class together and after that, went to ramen at Menya Itto where – funny enough – we tried to go last year for my birthday. Itto was really new last year and we turned around and went to Kohaku Tendon instead. (Yum.)

Wednesday, March 15

I thought it was a “two birds with one stone” situation and close to home to go to Britannia for tennis and basketball. However, the tennis nets were not set up and the basketball hoops were 10-feet tall because it was high school grounds, not city courts.

When we left Britannia for lunch, I would see some great tennis courts on the way and they had nets up because they were city courts.

There is a Chinese “seafood restaurant” next to the T&T I wanted to go to and I thought it was as good a time as any to try it. Each new menu they roll out, the IGers are invited and probably do not pay for the meal or they have some kind of code to not mention prices (like, it’s tacky) but let’s be real. The BBQ duck noodle soup was the best deal at $17 because Kiddo actually ate half the meat (he worked hard and was hungry) and the rest of the dishes seem to average $12 because S=$8, M=$10, L=$12.25, XL=$12.50 and Top Special=$12.75 or something like that and everything was L or XL or Top Special. I ordered so much in order to try more widely and we brought home the items that could be enjoyed as leftovers.

Thursday, March 16

The courts I spied for the next day were just north of Kingsway off Victoria. Tennis courts next to basketball courts next to a playground and, we’d learn, a soccer (grass) field. There are nice things in Vancouver, it turns out.

It just can be missed how we’re enjoying cusp-of-spring weather and yet have a great view of snow-capped mountains. I would notice it so keenly on Thursday and Friday.

It was unfortunate that one of the two tennis courts had broken glass on it so I was worried when our ball would bounce over there. It was nice how one of the basketball nets was 8 feet while the other was 10 feet height. We moved over to play basketball around noon and the sun was shining from behind the backboard. The best angle for Kiddo was from the left and I kept feeding him balls to keep shooting from that side, basically from one spot.

My great idea for lunch was to visit the Yelp top-rated restaurant in Canada. I wrote up about it in a blog post at Catch Star Girl.

We went to Ikea where I added three more bags to my burgeoning bag collection*: IKEA x Marimekko Bastua, monochromatic GÖRSNYGG, and blue GÖRSNYGG which apparently can be worn as a backpack. I was using the Bastua immediately to hold the purchases. Also, around Christmas last year, I realized how much I wanted a waffle robe, so now I have one in the BJÄLVEN. It’s not luxe white or lux materials but you know what happens with white towels (ahaha).

Kiddo kept saying it was boring at IKEA – ack, making it less fun. The teacher for the other homeroom for his grade level says they are going through an egocentric phase. No kidding. It did seem almost like “what am I doing here” the way I wasn’t shopping a storm but came away seeing two beautiful and inspiring things below. Someday ….

Friday, March 17

Initially, I had a hair appointment at 11:45 and Kiddo’s cousin’s parents sounded reticent about pulling the cousin out of daylong camp when I would only babysit for a few hours. But when I called to try to get an earlier appointment, I learned it was cancelled. I would take Kiddo and his cousin pretty much all day for Mom Camp. But this point, Baby had wised up that while she continued to go to daycare, I was taking big brother out somewhere … so Friday was framed as a camp day. And exclusive camp for just Kiddo and his cousin.

The park of choice for tennis and basketball soccer was Brentwood Park which was close to the lunch and afternoon destination The Amazing Brentwood (Mall).

With two kids, the tennis portion was not serious or productive in the least. They played soccer for an extended bit and I could call my mother to catch up.

Lunch was at R+D that I have wanted to try. I ordered their special Wagyu burger and it was just okay. The real attraction was The Rec Room where Kiddo was last there last year during March Break and it was his cousin’s first time. Between trying to figure out the goal of some of the games and wasting some credits there and indulging if they wanted another try, the kids enjoyed the midway style games a bit more and Kiddo and his cousin are evenly matched when it comes to “winning” the games. They played me down to 13.0 credits remaining and we accumulated some 1,000 tickets to redeem for some junky toys they very much enjoyed because kids.

I was sure tired after that day with two kids, the past few days, to turn over the cooking and hosting reins to SIL that evening!

* I already have water bags Rensare, the smaller iconic Ikea blue Frakta, the 20 gallon zip Frakta that I used for a roadtrip to Whistler, translucent with a handle for a possible ball bag Dimpa, toy storage but a different pattern BLÅVINGAD, produce bags I never remember to use Kungsfors, and rocking the neutrals large format GÖRSNYGG.

On this day..