This past Sunday morning I found out via Twitter that the Harbour Ferries were free that day from 9 am to 1 pm. I’ve always wanted to take a ride on one, so we decided to go. We parked at Spinnakers because we figured the lineups might be shorter there. We saw a ferry coming and starting running along the West Bay Walkway until we realized the ferry was going all the way to the West Bay Marina…there was no way we were going to make it. We realized at that point that we’d gone the wrong way (there was a dock much closer if we’d walked the other way), but decided to continue walking to the marina and pick up the ferry there.
Amy was in the stroller and Elliot walked, and Elliot walked (and ran) the whole way without a complaint. We saw a few float planes landing and taking off, and generally enjoyed the scenery. As we were getting close we saw another ferry coming so we started running again to see if we could catch it, but it turned out to be futile because when we got to the dock there was a fairly large lineup. The kids and I waited in line while Greg got us some lunch, and we had a very enjoyable time waiting for the ferry. The people beside us were really friendly, the kids were having a good time and the sun was (mostly) out.
We waited for about 30 minutes and then got on a ferry to Fisherman’s Wharf. Elliot sat up front on his knees so he could look out the window, asking questions the whole way. Amy was a bit scared, but she sat on Greg’s knee and didn’t cry, so I don’t think it was too traumatic for her.
At Fisherman’s Wharf we picked up a free ice cream cone for each of the kids, and then contemplated what we were going to do. It was getting close to Amy’s nap time and the lineup to get back to the marina on the ferry was huge. So we decided to walk some more…we walked along the waterfront to downtown, something I’ve never done before. It started raining a bit but there were no complaints from the kids. Elliot started to get tired before James Bay and Amy was willing to get out of the stroller and walk a bit, so that worked well. We meandered through the Inner Harbour with Amy and I stopping to say hi to the “neighs”. We watched a busker for a bit and then continued walking to the Johnson Street Bridge, where we took a short bus ride back to the car. Elliot and I decided to stay on the bus all the way to the Boat Park and we had a short play there before walking home.
We were out for about four hours and it was four of the best hours I’ve spent with my family. We were having an adventure, we weren’t spending a lot of money, we didn’t really have a plan, I was proud of how well the kids did, and we saw parts of our hometown that we’ve never seen before. We ended up getting home very late for Amy’s nap, but she did fine and Greg and I both realized that this is a new stage for us — being able to be out with both kids for so long, doing so much physical activity, and having a great time. A year ago Amy would have been exhausted and crying, and Elliot would have been exhausted and whining.
Next up? Maybe a trip to French Beach.