Thursday, 30 August 2007

Cheap Thrills

As a mommy, I am constantly wracking my brain to come up with fresh and stimulating adventures for my little ones. As an accountant, I am forever on the lookout for a great deal or bargain. A sublime sense of satisfaction overcomes me when the cosmos align and I am able to achieve these two goals in synchrony!

Since we live on the coast, Chi-Chi spends a significant amount of time gazing out to sea. He admires the seagulls soaring overhead and giggles when the cool sea breeze tickles his cheeks. He listens attentively to the ubiquitous sound of the foghorn. Chi-Chi has a deep passion for all modes of transportation. It is therefore no surprise that he delights in spotting the various boats and ships that cross our view plane - from local lobster boats checking traps, to military vessels performing training exercises and cargo ships journeying out to the open ocean. His enthusiasm for the transportation industry and his maritime surroundings assured me that a “Big Boat Trip” would be a sure hit in his books!

The day of our long awaited nautical adventure finally arrived and we were graced with sunny skies and a light sea breeze. We loaded into the family car and headed down the road to the Dartmouth Ferry terminal. I was rather pleased when I pulled out my change purse to pay our fares. My one-way ticket was a mere $2 and Chi-Chi cleared the gate free of charge. Our 12-minute voyage across the Halifax Harbor was both thrilling and scenic through the eyes of this little two-year old. He smiled shyly at the other passengers and marveled at the many “big, big, big boats” we observed. He was particularly tickled by his sighting of Theodore Tugboat chugging along the water. We received an enthusiastic welcome from Daddy upon docking in Halifax and enjoyed al-fresco dining on the wharf at one of the local restaurants. We meandered along the boardwalk hand-in-hand, stopping to browse in the odd shop or watch an entertaining busker act. We treated Chi-Chi to an adorable wooden Theodore memento. At $15, this was probably a bit of a splurge for a cheapskate like me, but I simply could not resist! How often does one stumble upon a souvenir that meets the criteria of a natural toy? As our ferry waited, I dug another toonie from my purse. Farewell hugs and kisses from Daddy sent us on our journey home.

A one-hour tour on Theodore Too would have set us back a whopping $56. That’s the equivalent of 28 one-way ferry rides! No doubt I will one day shell out that $56. Chi-Chi is now sleeping with his wooden Theodore. It may be the beginning of a new love affair. Regardless, if you are in search of a “cheap thrill” for your little one, a ride on the Dartmouth Ferry may just be the right ticket!

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