This weekend we revelled in unusually warm, summer-like weather. The temperatures soared and the sun was shining. To make matters better, it was Easter and we were fortunate to enjoy an extra long weekend. Four days to spend at home with the family, four days to collect myself after a very busy week. The weekend had a lot to offer, but I want to tell you about Saturday.
First, a little background. When I was home on maternity leave last summer, I was looking for easy, but exciting things to do with my oldest son, Carter. At the time he was just 3, full of energy and enthusiasm for any new adventure. Because my youngest, Xander was still brand new, only 4 months, many of our days were spent sitting in at home, nursing, napping, and resting. The routine made it challenging to entertain such an energetic little boy. It occurred to me one day, as I drove down a major highway in our city and passed a public transit station, that he might enjoy a ride on the bus. What an inexpensive, relatively easy way to get out and do something different and fun. It was a tremendous success and the impetus for many summer adventures the whole family enjoyed.
Because this was our first full weekend of spectacular weather and it was a family holiday, my husband and I decided we’d take our first bus trip of the season. The day started out better than planned. The baby slept two hours later than usual, we had a calm, leisurely breakfast, and I enjoyed the spring morning by hanging clothes on the line. Yes, this is a chore that I enjoy. For some reason, hanging clothes outside is just peaceful to me.
We set out fairly early so we could be home before the real heat of the day hit. Because the baby had slept the two extra hours, I felt comfortable heading out and missing his morning nap. We didn’t tell Carter what we were up to until just before leaving. When he learned our plans for the day, he was giddy with excitement.
We took the bus downtown, hit a few favourite shops at a local mall, and spent some time at a favourite family haunt, Chapters. Chapters is the equivalent of a Borders bookstore in the United States. At every Chapters there is a Starbucks. If you know me, reading and coffee are my two favourite things. But also, Chapters has an interactive children’s area where the little ones can play with Thomas the Train and various other fun toys. So the whole family was happy: good coffee, good company, good play time.
We took at walk through the Byward Market and ended up on Parliament Hill for a planned picnic. The kids took advantage of the large grassy area, walking and running (well Xander not so much, but he is mobile on his feet and trying hard). Carter was particularly enthusiastic because he discovered a rather large hill to roll down, over and over again.
Shortly after lunch we hopped the bus back to our car. The boys were exhausted but content and I was delighted because we still had so much of the day ahead of us.
We spent the afternoon outside of course. Carter ran through the sprinkler, drew with chalk on the road and helped his daddy spring clean the yard. While the baby napped, I had the opportunity to just sit and read. When he woke, he joined us outside and the two of us sat happily playing and snacking on a picnic blanket.
The day was filled with simple, but happy moments. It was just the four of us, enjoying our time together, exploring, playing and basking in the beautiful weather.
It was, simply put, the perfect day.
What simple things do you do with your family that bring you tremendous joy? Have you discovered easy-to-do activities that have provided endless opportunities for fun? Do you have any unique activities your family enjoys during the spring weather?