Saturday started out a normal day for us around here. The night had been rough (read: the kids tag teamed waking Mommy up from 11pm through till 5am. Gotta love 4 hours sleep in a 24 hour period) so Corey and the ladies let me sleep in for an hour. It was bliss. Then came a cuddle on the couch, a workout that made my thighs ache and some hangin’ out.
The night before Corey and I had been talking about doing something to surprise the kids. We had a birthday party on Saturday but we wanted to do something more as a family. After some hummin’ and hawin’ we went to bed with the possible idea of taking off to Vancouver for a night. Not for sure, but maybe.
Saturday morning that maybe became a for sure and I spent over an hour searching for a good hotel. Now, lets just take a moment here to examine what that means when you’re talking about a frugal (that means cheap), picky (that means no nasty sheets), homebody(that means the more time I spend in a house that I love, the more I don’t want to leave it). It means hours of “yes we should go”, “no we shouldn’t go”, “it’s frivolous”, “it’s worth it”, then I decide ok lets do it and I search for a great deal. In my defense, while this may annoy most (not my fabulous man) men, it pays off. I found a great deal that included in room movie, beautiful room, cookies and milk before bed for the girls and breakfast (not a continental breakfast but a full on deal) in a beautiful restaurant, in a 3 year old hotel, for less than the cost of a room in some of the less than wonderful hotels in the city. It was wonderful.
Anyways, we had made this decision, I had called and booked us in, but we didn’t tell the girls. They were so excited to go to a good friend’s 1st birthday we decided to keep it a surprise. I mean, last year the girls and I surprised Corey with a weekend away, this year was their turn (can you guess who’s turn it should be next year…)
I packed for us all in secret and then like the secret agent I’ll never be (think more Agent 86 rather than 99) I loaded the van. The party was lovely, the girls had fun and as we headed out the door, I felt a slight flutter of excitement on what was to come next.
We loaded the kids and then broke the news. Out came the giggles and grins!
Our Surprise weekend started with a trip to Metrotown, where we window shopped (the best kind!) and wandered and had dinner. The girls were good as gold, following our “Don’t ask” rule, minding their manners and being great. Even when we went past the Build-a-Bear workshop, they were good and didn’t ask, but the look in their eyes told us everything.
And it was because it was a special weekend away and because they didn’t ask that we took them in and let them choose their own special friend. Audrey chose a sweet blue teddy, who resembles her pink buddy pre “love”, all fluffy and great. His name is “Sammy Teddy Stone” and she’s so far, packed him everywhere. Bethany chose a green bear (surprise, surprise) with shamrocks on his nose and his feet. Her name is “Princess Arabella”, named after a princess in Grammy’s made up stories. These teddy bears are great, but the experience that was there for the kids was better.
The staff at both Build a Bear and the hotel we stayed at treated our girls like gold. Bethany and Audrey were made to feel like royalty everywhere we went and it totally made the weekend.
When we checked into the hotel, shortly after dinner, the lady at the till made a special effort to talk to the girls. She gave them the vouchers for the milk and cookies and then disappeared into the back. When she came back out she had a special welcome package with some cool toys and things in them for each of the girls. She thanked them for staying at the hotel and wished them a good night. They were beaming.
We settled into our room and changed into our jammies. Then came the movie – we rented Tangled. It’s the story of Rapunzel and it was awesome! Corey and I laughed all the way through and Bethany thought it rocked. Poor Audrey was so tired after her big day that she passed out part way through, but I know she’d have loved it too!
Sunday morning came and so did a trip to Granville Island. We walked, we shopped, we played outside, we went into this awesome store that had a polished rock, rock garden the kids could play in and we went to the kid hairdresser.
Bethany got her first haircut, her first real hair cut. She loved it! She got to sit in Lightning McQueen and watch Thomas and it was awesome. We won’t make that trip for every trim, but for that one first cut, it was well worth it!
This weekend was wonderful. It was yet another weekend that was so desperately needed. We don’t do these things all the time, we make a lot of effort on a daily basis to show our girls love, to make them feel important, and to teach them that the great moments happen we you’re together. That they don’t matter on the amount of money spent or the things you have, or the treats your going to get. We want them to appreciate the moments for what they are, to be grateful for what they have and to see joy in the small things.
But that being said, sometimes, it’s really nice to be able to take a break from reality. To escape the norm, and to give our girls a treat that was really, and truly deserved and appreciated.