Family travel requires compromise. Bal and I can no longer go on long hikes or relax into a lingering seafood meal over wine. The girls miss friends their age and their room full of toys. We give and take, sacrifice and gain, until settling at a happy place that we can all enjoy.
Today’s compromise means a little family stroll in the rain, a solitary power walk for myself, and a whole lot of time for games and playgrounds.
We begin with a brilliant game I saw on Pinterest called Escape the Volcano. 15 minutes with scissors and construction paper and voila, you are a brilliant mamma that has created a specially made game just for your kids! Kaya was tickled, as you can see here.
Added novelty in making a giant gameboard in a loft cabin for sure! The dice template that rolls only a 1 or a 2 is brilliant in getting the most fun out of all the fun activities, meaning everybody has to partake in the downward dog,
ottoman gymnastics balancing act,
singing songs on stairs, sharing things we are grateful for and sending paper airplanes shooting off the loft. Kaya wins best landing spot! Can you see the one she is not holding?
Super fun game for the whole family, allowing the suggestion to head out in the pouring rain for a small bog walk almost acceptable to all.
Admittedly, Kaya would have chosen to play that game all day if we allowed it. This smile is totally fake as she grumbled through most of the walk, racing far ahead of us in attempts at just getting it over with already. Ah yes, compromise…
Brennyn was slightly more enthused. As long as she could practice more gymnastics balancing with a yo-yo in hand and daddy reciting ‘A hog and a frog cavort in a bog, but not the hippopotamus…’
Whether they know it or not, the fresh air was needed and now Bobs & Lolo’s The Log Song is much more meaningful for them,
I’m on a boardwalk over a bog
I’m going to visit my favourite log
It used to stand tall but the wind knocked it down
now it’s the perfect home for life on the ground
Oh – I’m rockin’ with your roots
And I’m dancing in my boots
While we’re hikin’, skippin’, trekin’ and a trompin’
Be careful where your feet go stompin’
Besides, how can you not love a walk in Broccoli-Land filled with dragons and monster zombies?
Bal then takes the girls back to the cabin for lunch and drops me off at the Wild Pacific 8k trail head. Oh I can not even begin to describe how this hike filled my soul. Every turn, outcrop, and descent led to a gobsmacking view. Waves thundering into rocks, trees forming into tales of wind and power, wind singing songs of life. All amidst a constant, drenching drizzle that only served to accentuate the scenery. I enter the newly formed Artists Loop and it couldn’t have been more aptly named. Every bench, every bend, lended to hours of sketching, writing, photographing, painting or composing.
Only once I have completed 6km and the trail leads out to the road do I realize how soaked I am. Being amongst nature made it natural, being amidst concrete and houses made it cold. Still, I trekked on to the cabin where I was greeted with smiley girls and a hot tub.
Oh, and more games. I surprised them with this game too, one I picked up at the after Christmas sales. Little surprises make for giant smiles.
Richard Scarry’s Busytown Busy Busy Airport Game. Such a perfect game for these ages can I just tell you. Planes fly to various destinations that you spread throughout the room (or house) picking up and dropping off passengers while picking up souvenirs. Game, family, strategy, activity, airplanes, I mean come on, brilliant!
After naps and stories, Pema Chodron reading and Happy Feet 2 watching, it’s the parents turn to be less than thrilled being in the rain. This time at a playground. The girls run and squeal, imagine and play while Bal and I pretend to enjoy ourselves. Eventually our patience pays off and their exuberant play extends from the park to the beach where we all beachcomb, log climb and puddle jump.
Give and take. Take and give.