Friday, September 16, 2016

Cruise to Alaska Day 10: Victoria, Canada

Y'all are going to be so sad that these are the last photos from our cruise! Fortunately, it couldn't have been a more beautiful day, and I could not have been more excited that I was finally going to Canada!

It finally occurred to me that I should take some photos of the ship that we've been on for the past 10 days!

Canadian flag!

And here I am in Canada!
Matt came, too.

We did a bunch of sightseeing, including a giant bus tour around the entire city (which included free gardening tips, and that is why I've been putting banana peels around my rose bushes--they like the potassium!), but we also went to high tea at the Empress, which is a thing.

Look at all the noms! I ate that entire dish of clotted cream pretty much by myself.

This is The Empress. I want to come back to Victoria, stay here, and also buy a tea set.

And here's the Parliament.

Anytime we ramble, we always make it back to the ocean, and generally I have disheveled hair.

Random food truck. 
We stayed out in Victoria so long that we missed our fancy dinner reservation, so we made do with one last beautiful dinner out on deck. I love my face in this photo. I have been trying so hard this year to do well without Pappa, and then without Mac, as well, and just really sucking at it. There's been a lot of stress, a lot of extended family drama, a lot of toxic personalities coming my way, a lot of sadness, and I'm having trouble working out how to cope, because my support system died. The other day I wasn't coping well and when Matt asked, gently, if I was feeling sad, I snapped at him, "I am ALWAYS feeling sad!" That wasn't fair, and it wasn't true, but it is true that I am sad every day, sometimes for Pappa, sometimes for Mac, sometimes I can't distinguish, sometimes I'm angry, and sometimes I don't know what to do with myself. But I look at my face here, and I also think, okay. I am definitely, genuinely happy right then. I am definitely, genuinely happy every day, as well. I can do this. I have photographic evidence.
I have no idea when I'll next go on a vacation with Matt and without the kids. It's not something that I'd say that I need to do every year, or even that often, but it was 1000% worth it, and if you've got kids, and you've never taken a vacation with your partner and without the kids since you had them, I am telling you right now that I strongly recommend it. I make no bones about the fact that I am primarily a mother, and I think that Matt would also say that he's primarily a father, and that's great--I wouldn't love him the way that I do if he wasn't. Raising our children is THE most important thing to us.

But you also want to have a relationship apart from the kids, you know? You want to be able to send them out into the world, then sit down at the breakfast table alone with your partner, and know that you still have something to talk about every morning aside from the kids. You want to be able to sit alone at that table and have something to think about besides them, as well. So I needed this trip. I needed to relax, without being someone's caregiver. I needed to remember that I can still have fun, and not worry about where someone else's shoes went and how many granola bars to pack and who might need colored pencils and who might need an emergency book. I needed to take some deep breaths, bum around with Matt and not go to a single hands-on museum, drink dirty martinis and behave shockingly, and smile just exactly like that over my after-dinner cappuccino.

But just so you know... I smiled even bigger when I finally got my kids back into my arms!

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