This works better when you live on the same continent as your ancestors, but Mum and Dad fulfilled their side of the deal to perfection when they offered Hannah and me a night away during their stay. "Is the Pope a Catholic?" was all I replied, swiftly booking a night at Harrison Hot Springs before that particular conversation ended.
An hour-or-so east of us, Harrison is a resort town in the great tradition of the 1950s. There's still a dinner dance that takes place every night, which we would have totally gone to and re-enacted the finale of Dirty Dancing, but we decided to stay in our room eating pizza and watching TLC.
The hot springs have been drawing tourists since the late 1800s, and even though the outside temperature dipped to -14C it didn't stop us dipping in the soothing, steaming, mineral-rich waters. Clothing was sadly not optional, but even that didn't take away from the relaxing enjoyment. To be honest, I'd have been happy to sleep on a park bench knowing my parents had taken on all feeding, changing, and entertainment duties back at home.
Next morning we made our lazy way home, following a route that took us past several eagle feeding grounds, both bald and golden. I wondered about these graceful, powerful flyers, swooping with utter freedom in the clear, silent air. Do eagles eat their young?
Back in Vancouver it's not entirely clear whether grandparents/child noticed that we'd been away. "I was very strict!" claimed my mother, which means the baby was only allowed ice cream and cake four times a day rather than the five he requested. Whatever - when the cat's away the mice can play, especially if the cat is sipping cocktails in a hot mineral pool under the twinkling stars.
The view from Harrison. Not too bad, but cold.
They also have some indoor pools but, frankly, they're for wusses.
Hannah enjoys a large glass of chardonnay with lunch. Just like I do on any normal day.
Me and a Sasquatch. When I shed my clothes to jump into a hot spring I look surprisingly similar.