Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A weekend’s adventure brought to you by the letter “S”

At first I did not notice the connection between the weekend’s activities planned.  Some of it was part of our regular life, some of it was inspired by adventure, some of it was timing of the season, and some of it happened spontaneously!  There were similarities between some activities but together the five activities of the weekend had nothing in common.  Two activities required water but in different forms; liquid and frozen.  Three activities required special footwear and two of these needed helmets.  Three activities required helmets and two of these needed special footwear. (Confused yet?)  Four were outdoor activities and one resulted in total darkness while another was as bright as could be.   So what was the one connection between all these activities?  The letter "S".  Skating, Soccer, Swimming, Spelunking, and Skiing.

Skating is one of our regular family activities.  As important as it is to get your kids active, it is equally important to be active with your kids.   Sometimes grandpa takes the kids skating, sometimes dad and Ben go to “Stick n Puck”, and other times it’s me, Ben and Liv enjoying ice time.   Skating is an activity that is perfect for everyone, affordable, rentals available (if needed), and fun.

Soccer is the sport of choice for Ben and Liv.    We are lucky to be able to play outside all year (Sept – March) on Vancouver Island.  Soccer keeps the kids active during the week, builds self-confidence and teaches them about teamwork and commitment.  It is a family event.  Either you’re playing or watching and cheering on the teams.

Swimming is a favorite for kids.  Anytime we have a free weekend they are asking to go to the pool (or river/ocean/lake in the summer).  Swimming was the spontaneous activity for the weekend.  I have learned over the years to pack swim suits no matter what.

A Spelunking adventure at Horne Lake Caves

Did you know that Vancouver Island is referred to as the “Island of the caves”?  With close to 1000 documented caves and some 1600 more thought to be out there, it was just a matter of time before we ventured to the Dark Side!  Spelunking is the act of exploring caves and it is a perfect fit for us.  We love exploring new places and trying new things.  Joel’s interest in ropes/safety meshes well with the rope descends and vertical pitches that caving offers.  We already rock climb so some of our gear can be used for both sports.  Bonus is the caving community happens to be full of warm, inviting, friendly, and the most encouraging group of people I have ever met.  There are some amazing stories to be told within the caving community and I am honoured to be able to share one with you….soon! (I wrote an article on an amazing Vancouver Island caving kid.)

On top of Mt. Washington

I will admit skiing was not on my “adventure” list of things to do before the kids came along or when I lived in Alberta.  But, when you can drive to a mountain from home, ski all day, and then return back home (to green grass) all on the same day then I am in.  Take that and add in the excitement of your kids and watching them improve and you get a mom who now adds skiing to the list of adventure things to do. 

I could go on and on with all the “S” related items during the weekend’s adventure.  It was Saturday and Sunday, we ate sandwiches and sushi, one child was sick, the other silly…. and when it was all said and done I realized there was one more “S” adventure we could have added the mix.  

Surfing!  Time to wax the boards; I feel a west coast adventure coming on!

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