I don't spend a lot of one-on-one time with my mom. We see each other often enough (2 parents + 4 kids + 4 significant others = a whole lot of birthdays to celebrate, on top of all the other mandatory dinners like Easter and Thanksgiving) but we don't really spend quality time together. So I invited her to go to the Tulip Festival with me because a: she's always really wanted to go and b: going to the States means buying American candy. Oh and I guess I should include c: I get to be the best daughter for a weekend.
I told my mom I would pick her up at nine so we could get to the border before it got too busy. At five to nine, I was sitting at my parents' kitchen table, drinking coffee with my dad. After some truly magnificent faffing, which included two - TWO! - trips to the bank (the first to get cash and another after she realized the branch was open Saturday morning and she could get her American money out of her safety deposit box, if only we could head back to the house for a quick second so she could grab the safety deposit box key), we managed to leave for the border by ten. We got onto the highway, turned on the traffic report, and found out that there was a minimum two hour wait at the three nearest border crossings.
So. No tulips.
Instead, we went back to my place and grabbed Stella (Wolfgang had to sit this one out due to his man bits not being fully healed) and drove up to Buntzen Lake.
It's only an hour outside of Vancouver but it feels like you're in another world.
Everything is so green and alive.
The air smells so fresh.
There's a fabulous off-leash dog park on the beach that is fenced in on three sides, with the fence extending into the water so the dogs can swim.
Stella is not much of a swimmer.
She does, however, like to sniff out all the smelly beachy smells.
And then, you know, roll in them.
That right there? Is a picture of pure puppy bliss.
It wasn't the day we had planned but my mom and I had a really nice time. It's interesting to spend time with my mom when she's not mothering her flock. She's a lot more ... relaxed.