Monday, September 07, 2009

We decided that we needed to go to Vancouver this weekend so we packed up and left Saturday morning. We got a late start because we were out on Friday night and I had not packed beforehand. It was a pretty good drive up (we did not have any owls drive into the car) but the border wait was over an hour.

Since we were running late, we checked into our hotel in Richmond then drove out to Surrey to The Hockey Shop to outfit Jax for hockey as he can no longer rent equipment from the beginner program. We were there close to two hours but we got everything we needed and had someone help ensure that his skates fit properly. It was good in that they did not steer us towards the most expensive equipment in the store and everything that we bought was on sale anyway then we got an additional 10-20% off. With the exception of the skates, the prices were the same or better than Canadian Tire, a place where everyone bought their hockey gear when we were growing up.

Afterwards, we went to Jean-Paul and Marilyn's for dinner. Lola is so funny. She barely spoke for the first hour we were there. Then she would say things to the boys like "Pick me up" as she lay on the floor. Or she'd tell them to shout out the front window with her. She is virtually potty trained. Oh how I wish my boys were trained at age 2!!

As I mentioned, we stayed in Richmond near the airport. We normally stay in downtown Vancouver but the Sheraton was booked and the pool at the Westin Bayshore was under construction so we chose a different place. Stephen was not impressed.

I think I have mentioned before that he is a hotel snob and very spoilt. My oldest brother worked for Sheraton/Westin/Starwood for close to 30 years so since I met Stephen, we were used to staying at a fancy hotel at a very nicely discounted rate (including FREE when we went to Montreal, Chicago, Florida). However, my brother no longer works for them so we are playing regular rates for these places now. And for the price of the Westin Bayshore with no pool, we could get a one bedroom suite at the Radisson that had a working pool (or so we thought) and breakfast for four in the restaurant. Stephen agreed so I booked it.

When we checked it, there was a sign that the water heater in the pool/fitness area was being replaced so no hot water. I thought "how cold can the pool be"? Um, pretty damn cold. The boys did swim in it but not for long.

Traffic around that area was HORRIBLE and there were huge signs in the parking lot warning one not to leave any personal items in ones car. So we lugged up all of the hockey equipment to our hotel room. The room had a king bed in the bedroom and a queen-sized pull-out couch so I suggested that the three boys sleep together in the bed. Stephen hurt his back sleeping on the pull-out couch so all around it was a bad choice. I believe next time we'll be back at the Westin. Mr. Hotel Snob will insist.

(On a positive note, we did get a breakfast buffet included in the price. And, the hotel was close to Costco where we stocked up on peanut-free Chewy bars and fun-sized chocolate bars. The drive home was quick and the border wait was only 15 minutes).

Here is a photo of Jax in his gear. He's ready to play (and let's hope he continues to like playing!):

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