Vacation Week

There wasn’t a lot of blogging activity over the past couple of weeks because of our annual family vacation. For over a full week, we had four kids living in our 3-bedroom home and not only did we manage to NOT kill each other, we managed to have a great time.

So here’s the deal…with me losing my job the week before our vacation, it was decided that we needed to play it smart and have a “stay-cation”. Y’see, for the past 3+ years or so we have either borrowed a vehicle or rented a vehicle to get the six of us around town, drive the 90 minutes to the nearest zoo, drive the 45 minutes to Peggy’s Cove, or the 2.5 hours to Magic Mountain. We wanted to always make the vacation as memorable for the kids as possible.

What we discovered, though, was that we could come up with a LOT of different things to do in the Halifax area without having to (a) spend a lot of money or (b) use a larger vehicle to transport everyone.

Here’s a breakdown of our vacation in pictures:

The vacation started with me still hitting the pavement every day. My workout routine varies from day to day, but on this particular morning I went to the Halifax Common and took a photo of the fountain located in the center of the park.
The vacation started with me still hitting the pavement every day. My workout routine varies from day to day, but on this particular morning I went to the Halifax Common and took a photo of the fountain located in the center of the park.
After a particularly long week at the office, Sunshine wanted to hit a beach in the evening. We decided to try a new beach that was only about 30 minutes away, Lawrencetown Beach. This place was AWESOME!
After a particularly long week at the office, Sunshine wanted to hit a beach in the evening. We decided to try a new beach that was only about 30 minutes away, Lawrencetown Beach. This place was AWESOME!
The kids were a little apprehensive at first, but the waves kept coming in and a very good pace. They loved trying to jump "through" them as the crashed against the shore. The waves are so good here that there were surfers everywhere.
The kids were a little apprehensive at first, but the waves kept coming in and a very good pace. They loved trying to jump “through” them as the crashed against the shore. The waves are so good here that there were surfers everywhere.
My son was the first one out of the water, so he got the "privilege" of taking the first vacation selfie with me!
My son was the first one out of the water, so he got the “privilege” of taking the first vacation selfie with me!
Sunshine loved the beach so much that she jumped for joy...literally. I love it when she's this happy.
Sunshine loved the beach so much that she jumped for joy…literally. I love it when she’s this happy.
A selfie taken at the Halifax Public Gardens. Another free attraction for all of us to enjoy that's just a 30-minute walk from our home!
A selfie taken at the Halifax Public Gardens. Another free attraction for all of us to enjoy that’s just a 30-minute walk from our home!
There was just something about the shot that I love, so I'm including it here. Ankle Biter was just standing and looking at the pond while we were at the Halifax Public Gardens.
There was just something about the shot that I love, so I’m including it here. Ankle Biter was just standing and looking at the pond while we were at the Halifax Public Gardens.
We asked the kids to get together for a pic, and this was the "least ridiculous" shot we could get. Trust me...it's tough to get them to all smile and look at the camera at the same time. You'd think it's just such an easy task to accomplish, yet it's insanely difficult to pull off.
We asked the kids to get together for a pic, and this was the “least ridiculous” shot we could get. Trust me…it’s tough to get them to all smile and look at the camera at the same time. You’d think it’s just such an easy task to accomplish, yet it’s insanely difficult to pull off.
This is just a statue/fountain found at the Halifax Public Gardens. It was a beautiful day, so it turned into a beautiful pic.
This is just a statue/fountain found at the Halifax Public Gardens. It was a beautiful day, so it turned into a beautiful pic.
While we climbed to the top of Citadel Hill (which overlooks the downtown and the majority of the city), Ankle Biter decided to lay back on the grass and take-in the beautiful day. I really love this shot of him.
While we climbed to the top of Citadel Hill (which overlooks the downtown and the majority of the city), Ankle Biter decided to lay back on the grass and take-in the beautiful day. I really love this shot of him.
This is a pic from the same spot as above, only without my son in it and a slightly modified colour filter applied to it. I love how this turned out.
This is a pic from the same spot as above, only without my son in it and a slightly modified colour filter applied to it. I love how this turned out.
We went up to Needham Park and Kiddo took our official 2nd Anniversary Photo. After a number of different poses with both of us on the swing, this is the one we chose because it just seemed so natural and so US. I love this photo.
We went up to Needham Park and Kiddo took our official 2nd Anniversary Photo. After a number of different poses with both of us on the swing, this is the one we chose because it just seemed so natural and so US. I love this photo.
Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. Oh where we I even begin? Because of financial cutbacks, we couldn't go to a nice restaurant like we wanted to. Sunshine had found a Groupon from a restaurant that we both enjoyed earlier this year, so the plan was to go out and enjoy that for our anniversary dinner. Unfortunately, the kitchen was short-staffed that night and we were expecting an hour-long wait. Not a big deal normally, but we had run errands before going to eat and it was after 7pm by this point. Sunshine was STARVING and we couldn't afford to eat in any other restaurant in the area, so Wendy's was the only choice available. Hey...we saved money, we ate food, and we talked and laughed once we stopped being so "hangry". If nothing else, this will make for a great story in another year from now.
Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. Oh where we I even begin? Because of financial cutbacks, we couldn’t go to a nice restaurant like we wanted to. Sunshine had found a Groupon from a restaurant that we both enjoyed earlier this year, so the plan was to go out and enjoy that for our anniversary dinner. Unfortunately, the kitchen was short-staffed that night and we were expecting an hour-long wait. Not a big deal normally, but we had run errands before going to eat and it was after 7pm by this point. Sunshine was STARVING and we couldn’t afford to eat in any other restaurant in the area, so Wendy’s was the only choice available. Hey…we saved money, we ate food, and we talked and laughed once we stopped being so “hangry”. If nothing else, this will make for a great story in another year from now.
The next day was filled with rain, so we decided to have a "Board Game Day". We picked up some trophies from the local dollar store and told the kids that the winner could keep the trophy until the next time we all got together. First up was Apples to Apples, a great family-friendly version of Cards Without Humanity. Fun stuff!
The next day was filled with rain, so we decided to have a “Board Game Day”. We picked up some trophies from the local dollar store and told the kids that the winner could keep the trophy until the next time we all got together. First up was Apples to Apples, a great family-friendly version of Cards Against Humanity. Fun stuff!
So the "Apples to Apples Champion" was Sunshine, who was more than happy to show off her trophy as she laughed with evil glee. :-P
So the “Apples to Apples Champion” was Sunshine, who was more than happy to show off her trophy as she laughed with evil glee. 😛
Next up was Yahtzee, where Lil' Mo was the winner over Rugrat by only about 20 points or so. Each of them rolled TWO Yahtzees and both got the bonus on the top section. Talk about a nail biter!
Next up was Yahtzee, where Lil’ Mo was the winner over Rugrat by only about 20 points or so. Each of them rolled TWO Yahtzees and both got the bonus on the top section. Talk about a nail biter!
The next day the rain ended and we headed out to the Halifax Oval, which is a skate park in the winter. During the summer, though, they have free rollerblade, rollerskate, scooter, & bicycle rentals to anyone with valid ID. All of the helmets and elbow/wrist/knee pads were all free, as well. How awesome is that??? The kids (and Sunshine) had a GREAT time! I enjoyed watching them and was smiling the entire time.
The next day the rain ended and we headed out to the Halifax Oval, which is a skate park in the winter. During the summer, though, they have free rollerblade, rollerskate, scooter, & bicycle rentals to anyone with valid ID. All of the helmets and elbow/wrist/knee pads were all free, as well. How awesome is that??? The kids (and Sunshine) had a GREAT time! I enjoyed watching them and was smiling the entire time.
Yeah...they're my "Wonder Women"!
Yeah…they’re my “Wonder Women”!
During the afternoon, it was scorching hot so we walked down to the local park. There was a very small water feature that spit out water randomly, just to cool the kids off. This shot happened just as the water surprised both Ankle Biter and Kiddo. I got lucky.
During the afternoon, it was scorching hot so we walked down to the local park. There was a very small water feature that spit out water randomly, just to cool the kids off. This shot happened just as the water surprised both Ankle Biter and Kiddo. I got lucky.
The next day was another beauty, so we went to the park to have some fun as a family. Ankle Biter and Rugrat were throwing the football around. He's getting much better, but she really surprised me with how great her throwing arm is. Really...she was firing bullets!
The next day was another beauty, so we went to the park to have some fun as a family. Ankle Biter and Rugrat were throwing the football around. He’s getting much better, but she really surprised me with how great her throwing arm is. Really…she was firing bullets!
With two kids occupied, I took a quick selfie with my wife and two awesome stepdaughters.
With two kids occupied, I took a quick selfie with my wife and two awesome stepdaughters.
Nothing much to say about this pic; Ankle Biter just thought he'd relax a bit on the playground area. Maybe he was preparing for his next challenge...?
Nothing much to say about this pic; Ankle Biter just thought he’d relax a bit on the playground area. Maybe he was preparing for his next challenge…?
The third and final trophy of Vacation Week was for "Somersaulting in the Park". Kiddo, Lil' Mo, and Ankle Biter all participated. AB won with 40 somersaults in a row (!!!). Lil' Mo wanted to try and match him, but was over-heating badly and we had to stop her (she'd probably somersault until she passed out...lol). He gladly accepted his trophy.
The third and final trophy of Vacation Week was for “Somersaulting in the Park”. Kiddo, Lil’ Mo, and Ankle Biter all participated. AB won with 40 somersaults in a row (!!!). Lil’ Mo wanted to try and match him, but was over-heating badly and we had to stop her (she’d probably somersault until she passed out…lol). He gladly accepted his trophy.
We were all waiting for Pebbles to show up so all seven of us could go to the beach as a family. It's a very rare occasion when all of us are together at the same time, and Ankle Biter was waiting for his half sister to arrive...impatiently.
We were all waiting for Pebbles to show up so all seven of us could go to the beach as a family. It’s a very rare occasion when all of us are together at the same time, and Ankle Biter was waiting for his half sister to arrive…impatiently.
This was the coup de grace! All seven of us in one photo for the first time since the wedding two years ago. This made me happier than words can adequately explain.
This was the coup de grace! All seven of us in one photo for the first time since the wedding two years ago. This made me happier than words can adequately explain.
The kids had a GREAT time splashing in the massive waves from Lawrencetown Beach again. Really...this is now our "go-to beach" because of the waves.
The kids had a GREAT time splashing in the massive waves from Lawrencetown Beach again. Really…this is now our “go-to beach” because of the waves.

After taking Ankle Biter back to his mom, dropping Rugrat off at her grandmother’s, and returned the girls to their dad for a couple of days, Sunshine and I had two days all to ourselves. The first thing we did was go to a 50% off sale at the local Value Village…cause sales!

Where I've been working out and losing weight, i thought I would try on some sports-related clothing. While I'm really happy with the weight I've lost, even I had to recognize that this shirt was too tight. But honestly, I NEVER take selfies in a mirror...but I had to send this to Sunshine because I didn't think I looked too bad. :-P
Where I’ve been working out and losing weight, i thought I would try on some sports-related clothing. While I’m really happy with the weight I’ve lost, even I had to recognize that this shirt was too tight. But honestly, I NEVER take selfies in a mirror…but I had to send this to Sunshine because I didn’t think I looked too bad. 😛
Sunshine and I enjoyed a beautiful afternoon walk at Fisherman's Cove. There isn't much there to look at, but it was nice to know something so "rural" could be found only 30 minutes from our home in the city.
Sunshine and I enjoyed a beautiful afternoon walk at Fisherman’s Cove. There isn’t much there to look at, but it was nice to know something so “rural” could be found only 30 minutes from our home in the city.
Not something you see everyday...even in the Maritimes.
Not something you see everyday…even in the Maritimes.
Y'know, I walk or run by this sign quite often on my workout days, but something about this particular day made me stop to take a pic. It's sad because it's true. In an area that's littered with homes and businesses, this corner has been vacant for a very long time. I would love to see it turn into a park...but those are becoming harder and harder to find these days.
Y’know, I walk or run by this sign quite often on my workout days, but something about this particular day made me stop to take a pic. It’s sad because it’s true. In an area that’s littered with homes and businesses, this corner has been vacant for a very long time. I would love to see it turn into a park…but those are becoming harder and harder to find these days.
We went to a harbour-side park with the girls to enjoy the sunset. The vacation was drawing to a close and we wanted to get as much "escape" from it as we could.
We went to a harbour-side park with the girls to enjoy the sunset. The vacation was drawing to a close and we wanted to get as much “escape” from it as we could.
I was really fortunate to capture this pic. I love this!
I was really fortunate to capture this pic. I love this!
Uh...yeah. This is what our kids do when we're out in public. It's our family...whattya gonna do?
Uh…yeah. This is what our kids do when we’re out in public. It’s our family…whattya gonna do?

MacKay Bridge - Halifax, NS
And thus ended our family vacation for another year.

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