Separated by distance, we aren’t able to spend as much time with our Vancouver grandsons as we’d like and when we’re here, we also need to spend time with my very elderly father and my special brother, Donald. Fitting in quality time with the boys is a priority, however, and this time we managed to go on a special date with each of them. Though they enjoy a lot of the same activities, Sam and Nate are as different as night and day personality-wise, so one on one time with each of them individually was great.
Sam is just finishing first grade, but Friday was a professional development day for the teachers at his school. Nate was at preschool that morning, so it was a perfect time for our date with Sam. He decided that he wanted to go geocaching, a hobby of ours that we introduced the boys to a couple of years ago. We started by searching out a couple of caches within easy walking distance of his house. He was especially intrigued by this old gent sitting very near the location of the first one.
Here he is retrieving the next one from beneath a cedar tree!
Here in North Vancouver you are never far from nature and forest trails are easy to find. Part of our morning was spent in Princess Park. The clue for one of the caches there included this description: “You are steps away when you see a trunk that looks like a bird bath, or a water bowl for a Great Dane.” What in the world could that mean?
It was obvious when we saw it and sure enough, the cache was hidden nearby.
Sam loves sushi and so do we, so when we asked him where he wanted to go for our lunch date, he chose Valley Sushi, a great little restaurant close to his Lynn Valley home.
This morning, Sam was back at school and it was time for our date with Nate who only attends preschool three mornings a week. He knew exactly where he wanted to go; Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. He’d been there once before with his other grandfather and had shown me a brochure containing a map of the trails that criss-cross the park the day we arrived. He wanted to hike to Juniper Point and after hearing about Sam’s geocaching adventure, he also wanted to find some caches. There were two of them along that trail. The hint for the first one said, “Horizontal tree meets vertical tree.” The GPS doesn’t work really well under tree cover, but we thought we’d found the right spot when we found a fallen tree right beside a standing one. When we didn’t find the “treasure” right away, Nate grew bored and wandered a little ways away. Suddenly we heard his shout, “I found something! I think this is it!” Sure enough, he’d located the cache all on his own, tucked into the end of another fallen tree.
Another cache was found near the beautiful rocky point where we enjoyed a snack overlooking the ocean.
After completing that trail, I also managed to convince Nate to hike out to the lighthouse. Look closely and notice the bald eagle perched on the weathervane!
Nate’s date ended just like Sam’s with lunch at Valley Sushi. Even his order was the same; California rolls and Dynamite Rolls. Yum!
Making memories with the boys on our special dates worked out so well that I think this should be the beginning of a new tradition. I wonder where they’ll want to take us next time we visit?