When little Damien was 12 days over, Sarah of SarahJane Photography, came over to our house for a newborn photo session (and Nicole of Mary Kay came to do my make-up!). I’d actually won a shoot with another photographer, but decided to pass on it since we were so happy with our family portraits while I was pregnant. By the time Aiden was a dozen days old, we had set up several home photoshoots; the reality of two kids is that there are fewer opportunities to take photos. With that in mind, we wanted to make Damien’s memories just as special as Aiden’s. In this case, Damien won out – with the help of a pro, we have some truly amazing photos!
It took Damien about 2 hours to fall asleep, even though he’d been awake for an hour by the time Sarah arrived. Bit of a fail there. Since Damien was diaper free, you can imagine just how many accidents there were during this time period (and they mostly landed on me – gross). Anyway, once Damien was finally asleep, we captured some beautiful moments. He was amazingly pliable once he fell asleep and had a massive nap after the shoot finished.
We bribed Aiden with a bag of candy to participate in a few of the photos (he really didn’t want to participate). Mexx should pay us for this photo of him:
See all the photos here.
Ianiv & I were married on April 1, 2006, having begun dating in 2000 while we were both in University. This year we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary at Fraîche in West Vancouver. I’d heard many great things about Fraîche, though oddly enough I had no idea it was in West Vancouver. Upon the recommendation of Raul, we drove over to the restaurant in the beautiful British Properties. With a breathtaking view of Vancouver from up high, we dined on several courses of amazing food.
To start off with, I have to applaud Fraîche for having a series of amazing non-alcoholic cocktails on the menu. Being pregnant has left me with very few drink choices when we go out and it was nice to have a change of pace. The drink menu would definitely cater to those of us who don’t choose to drink as well as the many families I saw dining while we were there.
The food was amazing, both in flavour and in presentation. I had a lobster squash bisque that was amazing and subtle followed by a mushroom risotto that was the best I’d ever had. Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of all exotic mushrooms, so I was taking a risk with this one. However, none of the mushrooms were chewy (my usual complaint) and the flavour was perfectly balanced – and amazingly enhanced by the tomatoes. Such a surprising combination. Ianiv ate the grilled octopus followed by the daily special, a braised yak that was so perfectly done it just melted in your mouth. For dessert, I had the sticky toffee pudding (one of my favourite desserts) and Ianiv had the vahlrona chocolate cardamom cremeux. Both were amazing, though I think the cardamom was a little under-played on Ianiv’s dessert.
The service we received at Fraîche was beyond reproach. Ianiv had the bad luck to order beer that was unavailable that day, twice!, and as compensation the waitress offered him a glass of wine on the house. In addition to this nice gesture, they did up a special platter for one of our desserts to celebrate our anniversary. Really special.
We will be going back to Fraîche for sure – I can’t wait to try the menu without my pregnancy food aversions and with the ability to have a glass of wine!
See all our photos from our dinner here.
While enjoying our weekend away at Rockwater Secret Cove Resort, we were as much looking forward to our dining experiences as we were to the time spent relaxing in our tenthouse suite. Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time eating at White Spot as parents. We don’t often go out for dinner dates, so this was a real treat for us.
Wild mushroom & mascarpone ravioli with duck confit / Seafood chowder / Braised lamb shank / French toast with side of sausage
Though the menu at the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort restaurant is small, it offers the gourmet many choices for a wonderful experience. We took our time with both dinners, enjoying our way through 2 or 3 courses and most of the menu over our 2 night stay. I was most impressed by the seafood chowder, which was both generous with seafood as it was with flavour – love the addition of more vegetables. The ravioli was likewise melt-in-your-mouth amazing. I wish they had a second pasta on the menu, this one was so good.
All of our meals were cooked to perfection, even if I did have to order my steak well done (darn pregnancy!). The asparagus, so often overcooked, was the perfect crispness. The food all had a lot of flavour and came in quite decent portions. The chocolate torte we enjoyed for dessert was definitely both large and rich – I’m glad we decided to share dessert.
Our breakfasts were both great. Though the breakfast menu does not appear online, it offers a variety from the general variety plate to eggs benedicts to french toast. We’re quite grateful that breakfast was served until 11am – and that room service was available. I do quite admire the server who carried our breakfast, in the rain, all along the long path to our tenthouse – it arrived warm and delicious.
My most stellar recommendation for our dining experience was the staff – by far the best service I’ve had at a restaurant in many many months. Our servers were all very observant and attentive but without being overbearing. As with the rest of the staff at Rockwater, they talked with us about our stay and took a genuine interest in us. It was lovely.
Most of the other restaurants we looked into on the Sunshine Coast seemed to offer either a too-broad menu or just general dining options. Even if you don’t stay at the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort, we think you’ll find it your best dining experience in the area. There’s a reason we only ate one lunch off property in our 2 night stay!
Check out all our photos from our dining experiences and our stay here.
Disclosure: our first dinner at Rockwater was complimentary. We paid for our subsequent dinner the next night.
Last weekend, we took a toddler-free trip to the Sunshine Coast to stay at the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort. This was our first time taking two nights (three days) away from Aiden; in the past we’ve spent one night in Vancouver and one night in Whistler. We had been to Rockwater once before, several years before we had Aiden, and had fond memories of how peaceful and relaxing it was.
It took us about 3 hours from our house to reach the resort, including ferry wait and crossing, which is quite reasonable for a Vancouver getaway. You need to drive about 45 minutes from the ferry terminal to the resort, located near Halfmoon Bay. The resort offers access to many outdoor activities as well as the on-site spa services. Our goal in going to Rockwater was to relax completely – we didn’t want to play tourists this trip, we just wanted to relax. And that we did!
Our tenthouse suite
We stayed in one of the luxurious tenthouse suites. Far from what you’d imagine of anything that has the word ‘tent’ in it, the tenthouse suites offer all the high-end luxuries of resort hotels (king bed, soaker tub, fireplace, heated floors) and then some (check out this view). You won’t find such privacy or stunning views at any other hotel!
My views, though, mostly consisted of this:
I spent a rather embarrassing amount of time in that tub – and I read 2 books over the course of 3 days, so that should tell you a little something about just how chilled out we were during our stay. It was fantastic to rest my pregnant self in the tub or nestled in a pile of pillows on the bed next to the fire. So nice!
The view from our tenthouse balcony
Each tenthouse offers its own breathtaking vista of Secret Cove. Whether you’re enjoying the view from your bed or your deck, it’s easy to forget there are other tenthouses near you. Our first night we had a major wind storm, which did disturb our rest a little bit – quite noisy, as you can imagine, from within a tent. Our next night was perfectly restful (though I am apparently incapable of sleeping in anymore).
Ianiv spent some time when it wasn’t raining to enjoy the deck (I was in the bath, of course) and take some photos. At night, he spent some time stargazing as well – it was breathtaking! It’s easy to forget how much of the night sky we miss seeing when we live in the city – I only wish we could have taken a photo of that to share with you!
We ordered room service one morning from our tenthouse and took our other breakfast, and both dinners, in the Rockwater restaurant. Review forthcoming.
Check out all our photos from our stay here.
Disclosure: we were given a discount for our stay at Rockwater, though our choice to stay here and our review were not swayed by this.
Christmas with Aiden this year was one of the most fun Christmases I can ever remember. I was seriously unsure whether we would have much of a Christmas given that Christmas Eve was a horrendous mess with Aiden in bed 2 hours early. Although his croupy cough resolved quickly, I have never seen my good-natured little man so unhappy – not even as a colicky infant. It was hard to deal with and hard to watch. We spent most of our time watching tv, but he didn’t really even want that – he didn’t want anything. Poor Aiden.
Thankfully, after 4 hours of restless sleep, he settled into a long restful sleep and woke up chipper and happy for Christmas. He was a true gem all day, loving all the attention and presents. I think he would have been happy to stop after a present or two and just play, but we pushed on through.
We started our Christmas morning at home, with Oma coming over right away. We started into the presents at a leisurely pace, but then had to rush through more than half the tree in order to make it to my Uncle’s for brunch. I think next year we’ll cart off some presents to continue over there rather than rushing.
Our day was filled with family and joy. There’s nothing quite like watching your toddler explore Christmas in all its various traditions. Presents aside, it made me giddy to see him connecting with others in our family and sharing his immense joy in life with them. Toddlers are just bundles of excitement and it’s hard not to be infected by all the fun.
Aiden sort of understood Santa, in that he would bring presents, but I don’t think he really *mattered* this year. Still, we had many weeks of obsessive reading about Santa, particularly with The Polar Express. We read the book, watched the movie (except the middle – Aiden required that to be fast forwarded) and listened to the audio book in the car. Over and over and over.
How was your Christmas? I hope it was filled with infectious joy!