victoria, bc*

{on the ferry to victoria.  he got his blue moon wish for a ferry boat ride!  here he was chatting with passersby, whether they wanted him to or not!  he told many imaginary stories, which is how he communicates with people.  one patient grandma stood and listened to him for 10 minutes.}

{seeking an adventure.  ended up going on a ferry taxi tour. that is the Empress Hotel in the background.  breathtaking.}

{that bus in the background was our tour bus!  i've always wanted to do the afternoon tea at the Empress.  someday...}

{coolest public toilet ever.  good thing no one was in there while cedar was saying "helloooooo?"}

{on the bus, we had the whole downstairs to ourselves because cedar didn't want to be on the top. he felt safer down below. i learned so much about the history of the city on this tour!}

{solstic cafe...our favorite place to get yerba mate lattes.  they gave cedar a straw dipped in honey.  what a sweet treat.  their dark hot chocolate with honey was a favorite of his too.}

{a park at beacon hill.  here cedar had a bit of a break through playing with others with the help of a boy with a kindred spirit.  at first he said "there are too many kids here!"  but then this sweet quirky little boy that didn't want to talk to cedar just sat or stood near him.  and he let cedar chatter on and he listened and somehow, that gave cedar courage to feel safer in this environment.}

{listening intently to the captain on the ferry taxi tour.  we saw the most adorable house boats!  we are tempted to retire on a house boat someday.}

{fan tan alley. one of my favorite places to browse. so teeny tiny and full of hippy earthy shops.}

{cedar picked this fan out in china town over a toy.}

{my boys outside the museum, pretending to be totem poles}

{at an exhibit at the Royal BC Museum}

{us on the double decker bus tour}

{resting on daddy after a long day of adventures}

Victoria is a place we have visited each year since our honeymoon. Sometimes twice a year and now that we are a bit closer, perhaps it will be more. We are so drawn to this gorgeous city!

The last few times we brought Cedar, I noticed there was an underlying sense of being a bit bummed that we couldn't do all we used to do BC (Before Cedar): Sit at an Irish pub, drink Ciders and listen to stories from tourists or locals, filling our bellies with yummy spicy Ceasars and watching hockey, walking around the city at night after romantic dates at a new restaurant, long drives for hours exploring the island. Don't get me wrong, we so enjoyed our time there with him but I also found ourselves stuck in the muck of old expectations and spending energy trying to release them.  We weren't really wanting to admit it to one another but it was just an energy that was there.

This time around, I wanted to be more present and aware of our reality. The reality that vacations with toddlers aren't always relaxing and full of sleeping in and doing things on a whim. Especially when Cedar is more comfy knowing what's happening next and also repeating things that bring him a sense of joy...over and over!!  Going into this trip with the intention that it will be all about toddler-ness, completely shifted the energy for us. We still did many of the same things we did the last few times we were there with Cedar but this time, that sense of longing to do or be somewhere else on the island wasn't there. We were right there with Cedar, seeing it through his eyes, following his rhythms and it felt gooooood to our souls.

I left remembering how important it is to be present in the moment and to let go of expectations and go with the flow of now whether on vacation or at home or anywhere, really. Its a simple concept but it takes practice.  Daily.