Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tofu-Family Vacation to Victoria, BC (Canada) - Day 1

Well, we're finally back home. And what an absolutely wonderful "BEST-EVER" time we had.

This is the first "single Mom" vacation I've attempted with my kids and I have to admit I was a little anxious and more nervous than I needed to be... Despite my concerns, everything went smoothly and my kids were just fantastic! I LOVED LOVED LOVED every moment with them and we returned with great memories!
I'll warn you - we also took a ton of pictures, (not to fear, I'll only post a fraction of them). I figure people probably don't care what color we painted our toenails on day four anyway... I'll try to just hit the high points, but bear with us, it was SO MUCH fun!

OK, so we left home Monday morning, and drove way, way up past Seattle to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal. You have to arrive two hours early, due to summer vacation schedules and tourist traffic on the ferries. Which meant sitting in a big boring, hot parking lot for two hours.

Fortunately we had plenty of Simpsons episodes on DVD to watch in the van. Thank goodness for modern technology and quality shows {insert "sarcastic Mommy" face here}.

Of course I came prepared with lunch and there were handy picnic tables with a view...

Of the parking lot. And seagull poo. And the overflowing trash dumpster.
And the water and mountains - which you can't actually SEE in the pictures...

The surroundings didn't seem to distract anyone because lunch was a hit! My kids' absolute favorite macaroni salad ever (which we ate from paper cups because they have a thing about food touching each other) - and homemade beanburger sandwiches.
The Sprouts gobbled everything in record time and didn't even ask once to go to the tacky concession and snack stand. Must be the fresh air and all...

Easy, Vegan, Kid-Friendly Macaroni Salad

(My kids love the green peas and little shell shape pasta. I don't do any "fancy" spices or herbs or anything more exciting that some Vegenaise. Seems to suit them just fine.)

4 cups cooked shell macaroni
1 cup sliced green olives
1 bunch sliced green onions/scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
(use any veggies your kids happen to like here!)
1/4 cup Vegenaise

Mix together. Add more Vegenaise if needed. Salt and pepper to taste.

OK, so after lunch and a little longer, we boarded the ferry. We left our vehicle securely parked and hung out on an enclosed upper deck for the trip through the San Jaun Islands to Victoria.

The kids explored the ferry, watched for orca and seals, played on the computer, watched people and sometimes napped - I mostly sat in the sun, put my feet up and read (that was a luxury in itself!)... It was such a beautiful and relaxing three + hour trip.

Obviously someone had way too much fun with the camera, as you can see by the many pictures.

We arrived in Canada and had to wait ages to go through customs and such.

By the time we finally got to our hotel and checked in, it was past supper time and nearly dark. We wanted something predictable and not too adventurous our first night out, so we opted for Olde Spaghetti Factory, just down the street.

Yes, Spaghetti Factory is a chain, but we like it, and even though menus differ slightly from location to location, it's reliable, inexpensive and there's usually several vegan options. And they had garden-like outdoor seating available, which the evening was perfect for!

I lucked out with a lovely vegetable-filled ravioli (no cheese in the filling! Woo!) with marinara and of course lots of salad and bread. The kids did the same spaghetti they always have. How original.
Again, lots of hamming for the camera too. Must be the sugar-shock from the ice-cream. Can you tell we're all a little delirious by this point?

Even though we finished dinner around 9:PM, certain small people STILL had the energy to check out the pool and very wonderful relaxing whirl-pool hot tub.

More Tofu-Family Vacation updates tomorrow. (Try to contain your excitement!)


Anonymous said...

great, i cant wait to see more photos, im really enjoy them!

thanks for the recipe.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Welcome home! I love the photos. Sounds like an adventure of a lifetime. Can't wait to see part 2.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lovely vacation so far. I like seeing all the fun photos. Don't be shy about posting them! I just ate at Spaghetti Factory last night and I'm sad they didn't have the veg ravioli on the menu (only spinach and ricotta). We stuck with the spaghetti and tomato sauce-always a winner.

bazu said...

Coooool. I cracked up at the view... of the parking lot! The ferry shots are great. Isn't it great to have a good rejuvenating vacation?

Julia said...

I'm one of those weirdos who likes looking at other people's vacations photos. Looking forward to day 3!