Back in July, we were given a trip up Grouse Mountain as part of a great contest that they were putting on. At the time, we were only able to spend about 3 hours up the mountain, having 2 young kids and nap / bedtime schedules to juggle. As such, we weren’t able to see everything. A couple of weeks later, Ianiv and I took Damien up the mountain for a second visit.
Although I still wasn’t able to do a helicopter ride (boo to the clouds), I did take a trip by myself up to the Eye of the Wind (what a treat, to be solo!). This wind turbine is the world’s first and only wind turbine with a viewing pod at the top of the tower. With 360-degree views of the mountains and Vancouver, you are in for quite a treat! To get to the Eye of the Wind, you have to take a chairlift and walk a short distance – there’s an elevator to the top. Even with the clouds, it was an amazing view (see more pics here):
While I was up the mountain, Ianiv took Damien on a long walk and we later took some great photos of the grizzly bears, who were more visible on this visit.
Carisbrooke park is a beautiful oasis in upper Lonsdale. Built in 1912-1923 by the BC Electric Street Railway Company, the park boats a beautiful greenscape and path with a fenced (from the road) playground. The playground itself is fairly new featuring some really unique elements such as the merry-go-round.
The playground has two main play structures which are mostly connected offering a great circuit for active climbers. There is a large slide, monkey bars and a net bridge. There are swings for those kids who love to swing and lots of shade for young babies. The only downside to this park is the lack of a washroom or port-a-potty.
See all photos from this park here.
Park Location: North East corner of Lonsdale Avenue and Osborne Rd E.
Aiden recently paid a visit to one of the City of North Vancouver’s Fire Departments for a little tour. Most fire departments offer free tours for kids and the firemen we see at the cafes often say to just drop by for a visit. Well, we finally took them up on the offer! Luckily, a fireman was able to show Aiden and his friend around the fire station for a while.
Aiden got a little shy at the fire station (which he often does for a few minutes in a new situation), so he didn’t sit behind the wheel of a fire truck. He got inside a couple of the trucks, had a good look around, and got to see a firetruck pulling in and then going out for another emergency job. He was a little frightened when the fireman pulled the air horn on one of the fire trucks (he has auditory sensitivities – his ears hurt with loud noises) and that kind of soured the end of our visit.
Aiden has subsequently talked a lot about the visit and how he didn’t sit in the firetruck; from past discussions of this kind, it seems to be his way of talking through his fears so that he can overcome them next time.
It was great to be able to show Aiden the fire station and all the details behind one of his favourite vehicles (according to Aiden, all sirens we hear are firetrucks).
See all our photos from the visit here.
Another mom friend recently told us about the Well Fed Meal Assembly classes held in North Vancouver by the Well Fed Studios. For two months, these meals have been feeding us well! Ianiv took the course in June and I took the course with some mom friends in July – it was so amazing!
In just over two hours, I walked out of the studio with 8 family-sized meals (for us, 2 dinners at least!) based off of a menu of 12 that we pre-selected. How do we have so many meals in 2 hours? Well Fed studio does all the prep – all the cutting and pre-cooking and measuring. During the course, all you have to do is follow a well laid-out set of instructions to assemble all the ingredients into a meal that you take home to freeze (they provide all the ziploc bags & freezer trays). During the class, we enjoyed wine alongside bread & cheese – so great!
All the meals feel gourmet and they taste that way too! Using high quality ingredients and great recipes, we have been incredibly happy with all our meals. Since this is our second month, we have now tried 10 dishes and have not been disappointed in any of them. From pork tenderloin to gnocchi to chicken roulade to blue cheese bison burgers, the variety has been amazing.
In terms of kid friendly-ness, Aiden is kind of picky about foods being “mixed”, so he doesn’t really eat all of these meals (unfortunately). There have been a couple that he has enjoyed such as the chicken kabobs, chicken tenders and mac & cheese. We are hoping that continually exposing him to these meals will mean he eventually tries them (that’s our tactic with all our meals, but often we cook more simple dishes with him in mind).
If you are finding yourself going out, ordering in or eating poor thrown-together meals, this class may just be for you!
Yesterday, our little family of 4 headed up Grouse Mountain for an adventure at the top of Vancouver. We don’t often have a chance to go up Grouse, even though it’s just minutes away, so we jumped at the chance to head up as a family.
Aiden and I paid a visit to Grouse Mountain last year when we had family visiting from Argentina, since it’s one of Vancouver’s top tourist destinations, but it’s also great as a local family destination. As a local, we actually have the best rate with the Annual Local’s Pass at only $99 or $199 for the family (2 adults, 2 kids) – a great way to spend a few days a year up the mountain (including the great Christmas festivities they do each year).
We spent about 2.5 hours up the mountain (not bad with a toddler and a newborn!). I had Damien in the sling most of the time, taking Aiden first for lunch (pizza), then over to see the Grizzy bears in the wildlife refuge (we only saw one – first he was sleeping, but later playing in the water) and around to catch some action during the Birds in Motion show. We got to see a baby owl, just 18 weeks old – very cool.
Aiden enjoyed climbing on all the sculptures and enjoyed his first Beaver Tail as his snack:
After that, Aiden and I sat down for the Lumberjack show. Though the comedy went over the head of my nearly-3-year-old, there was still a lot to entertain him. He’s talked a lot since about how the lumberjacks fell in the water during one of the ‘competitions’. During the show, the lumberjack carved a little chair (aka the bunny that didn’t work) and it was given to the youngest member of the audience – Damien! As you can see in the photo at the top of this post, it was the perfect fit for him… it’s now proudly sitting in our garden.
During all this time, Ianiv was off for the adventure of a lifetime with the Zipline experience. He took part in the 2-hour, 5-line tour going all over the mountain, including the Peak Chair). Ianiv said the views from the zipline experience were breathtaking and his guides, Lee and Danny, were great fun. As you can see from this photo, Ianiv thoroughly enjoyed himself!
Once 5pm rolled around, Aiden was getting grumpy and Damien was getting tired, so we had to skip on any further adventures. I was hoping we’d be able to go up to the Eye of the Wind and maybe sit down for a video in the theatre – next time!
All said and done, Aiden’s favourite part of the day was the ride up and down in the skyride – a little scary on the bumps, but he was fascinated by the whole process! He’s been telling everyone all about it today :)
See all our photos from the day here.
Please vote for this post in the Unlimited Blogger Contest from Grouse Mountain and you could win an Annual Membership, a Zipline tour or an Eye of the Wind tour!
Disclosure: Grouse Mountain extended an invitation for us to visit the mountain. The opinions in this article are my own.