Posts Tagged ‘charlsea’

Charlsea’s Hometown!

Back in May Charlsea and I took a little trip to Salt Spring Island! Do you know where Salt Spring Island is? It’s in Canada, well below the 49th parallel, just a little north and west from where I live.

Our journey started with a ferry off our island and onto San Juan Island.



We hung out in Friday Harbor for a little bit, enough time for breakfast and some quick exploring.




From Friday Harbor, we had to catch another ferry to Canada.



Here’s our first photo in Canada, just off the dock in Sidney, BC:


Our priority in Sidney was groceries! Specifically, my sister wanted quite a variety of Canadian candy bars. I also picked up Maple Bacon Potato Chips and Canadian Fanta.

Here are a few photos around Sidney:




From Sidney we had to ride a bus for just 10 minutes to the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay.




And we rode our third ferry of the day!




It wasn’t long before we were all ashore on Salt Spring Island!



We were able to catch a bus to our hotel.


Check out the guy who sat next to us on the bus; he has the same shoes as Charlsea!


We checked into the hotel, then headed out to explore town and find dinner. It was a lovely evening.











The next morning we started with the Salt Spring Island Saturday market!


The market was nice, and it sold all sorts of stuff. Didn’t buy anything (well, except for some poutine later from a food truck), but it was fun to look.




After we had thoroughly explored the market, we went hiking. But first, this bit of Salt Spring uniqueness:


We hiked around a park close to town. It had a few different trails, a Frisbee golf course, and carved up trees.













After hiking, Charlsea suggested we go kayaking.



But Charlsea wasn’t allowed to go because she left her PFD at home, and the store didn’t have any available in her size! So I went without her, and had a ton of fun, even if my arms were crazy sore later.

And the next morning we headed back home. Here are our last few photos of Canada:



before we got back on a ferry to Sidney,



then back to Washington. It was such a nice day for being out on the water!



This is Charlsea reading the ferry schedule, trying to figure out when we’d get home.


We had quite a lot of time to wait in Friday Harbor. We spent most of it eating Chinese food. But we finally made it home.


Salt Spring Island is a beautiful, almost magical place, definitely worth three ferry rides to get to. Until the next adventure!

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This Tuesday, I had plans to hang out on my day off with my coworker. Well, she bailed, and I found myself with 2 days and no plans. A TV show mentioned Vancouver, and I knew I wanted to go. Now. I got online to see if it was possible. I don’t drive, so I checked with greyhound, and yes, there was a bus that left in about 2 hours, and would arrive in Vancouver just in time for dinner. Hotels.com had good availability, and I found a nice place in the heart of downtown for under $100 USD.

Charlsea is the newest Maplelea girl. Her character is from BC, and my Charlsea doll has yet to take an adventure. My personal luggage was light, so I let Charlsea come along.

Here we are at the bus stop at home:
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We arrived at the greyhound station to a sad sight:

It was not quite 4:00 when I arrived for a 4:15 bus. I had paid for a ticket online, but I still needed to pick it up. I asked the bus driver for help, and he let me get on the bus to try to pick up my ticket at the next station. But he knew that our arrival would be close to the time that ticket office closes too. Yikes. I was a little stressed out for this leg of the journey, but we arrived on time, and I was able to get my tickets with little difficulty. So we were officially Vancouver-bound!


Riding a greyhound bus across an international border is pretty annoying. I had done it once before on the way home from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and thankfully we had fewer passengers this trip. All passengers have to get off the bus to talk to Customs/Border Patrol. It takes a pretty long time. We arrived in Vancouver about 30 minutes after scheduled.

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My dinner craving was for this super-yummy BBQ place in Gastown. I made the customs guy chuckle when I told him I was going to Canada to eat American-style BBQ, but it is really tasty. And it’s always fun to window shop in Gastown! Here’s Charlsea in front of the restaurant.

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I got a window seat at the restaurant, and enjoyed people watching and watching the moon come out. After dinner it was a short walk to our hotel. The hotel was far nicer than I required for a one-night stay. It had a small, but complete kitchen, and a separate sitting area. Here’s Charlsea basking on the king-sized bed under a fun photo of John and Yoko:

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In the morning we took a few moments to enjoy our lovely view (woohoo, corner room!)

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Sadly that’s the last bit of Vancouver that Charlsea was allowed to see. In true Vancouverness, it rained all day. I kept her in a plastic bag while I got yummy breakfast, a food truck lunch, and shopped for shoes and candy. But here she is back at the greyhound station:


I had a good trip, but I think Charlsea wants to go back when it’s not raining, or maybe to explore other areas around British Columbia. Hopefully we’ll be back soon!

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I have recently declared myself Maplelea’s biggest fan.  I have all 7 characters and a Maplelea Friend doll, and a whole bunch of outfits.  My American Girl dolls love having these Canadian friends, but for the most part, these 2 groups do not share clothes in my house.  They just don’t have a need to.  The American Girls have their clothes, and the Maplelea girls have their clothes.  The end.

But I realize that there are other people who want their doll clothes to fit their entire dolly family, so I thought it might be a nice time to have the American Girl dolls try on the Maplelea outfits, and share my results.  It will take me a while to get through all the outfits, but here’s a start.  Let’s start with the smallest Maplelea collection (so far), that of the newest Maplelea character Charlsea.


This first photo shows McKenna in the outfit Charlsea comes in (sadly not available without the purchase of a Charlsea doll), Chrissa in Charlsea’s Sea Otter Sleepwear, and Lea in the wetsuit from Charlsea’s West Coast Waterwear. These 3 outfits fit wonderfully, including Charlsea’s pink rainboots! The Maplelea feet are entirely different from American Girl feet, so most of the time when the shoes do fit, they still look silly. But the pink rainboots work really well. McKenna is not wearing Charlsea’s tights, because I didn’t want them to stretch out, but they will probably fit fine too because they’re stretchy.

Let’s put in a photo of Lea in Charlsea’s kayak, because that definitely fits dolls of many sizes.

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I didn’t have anyone try on Charlsea’s two-piece swimsuit that comes in the set with the wetsuit, but it’s stretchy, so will fit fine.

Let’s move on to the other 2 outfits not in that first photo: Charlsea’s snowsuit called Weekend at Whistler and Charlsea’s fun outfit called Gulf Island Stylin. Well, they’re not pictured because they don’t fit. Both outfits come with pants with a slim fit, and Maplelea legs are significantly thinner than AG legs. So both pairs of pants are a no-go on American Girl dolls.

Here’s McKenna trying to put on the Gulf Island Stylin pants:

and the snow pants from Weekend at Whistler:

She also tried on the jacket from Weekend at Whistler, and the sleeves didn’t quite fit:

but the jacket still looks pretty cute on McKenna:

And that’s all for the Charlsea outfits I had last week when I took these photos! This week I got Charlsea’s newest dress called Granville Island Groovy (and last weekend I went to Granville Island…if the outfit had arrived earlier Charlsea totally would have accompanied me, but it didn’t, so she didn’t!) Anyway, it’s a simple shift dress made with a stretch knit, so it will fit a wide variety of dolls. The outfit’s flip flops are another story. I’ll get you a photo of this dress eventually, probably the next time I go to Granville Island!


I think I’ll close with photos of Charlsea’s outfits on Maplelea dolls, because what’s a post about Maplelea without some Maplelea faces?

Taryn in Gulf Island Stylin:

and Charlsea’s swimsuit:

and Charlsea’s pajamas:
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Portia in Weekend at Whistler:
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and Charlsea wearing her wetsuit backwards:
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Is it still Monday where you live?  It is where I live, so I’m gonna squeeze in my photos of Charlsea and her collection.

Charlsea is the newest Maplelea girl.  She is from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.  That is very close to where I live, and Charlsea and I have a lot in common.  For example, I got a kayak for Christmas.  Charlsea has her own kayak:

Isn’t she cute, and her outfit is so much fun!  Here’s a closeup of her tights and boots that she comes in:

Living on an island, Charlsea has a special relationship with the sea.  Her pajamas have sea otters on them, and they come with her favorite stuffie named Nottafish (because sea stars are not fish!).  Here they are modeled by Taryn (whose hair is quite a bit darker than Taryn’s, but Charlsea has slightly darker skin)

She also has a swimsuit and a wetsuit.  Here’s a picture of Charlsea wearing her wetsuit backwards.  I figured out later that it’s meant to zip up the back because it has a little sunshine graphic on the other side.

Charlsea is Canadian, so she needs a snowsuit.  Though her island doesn’t get much snow, she likes to head to Whistler with her family.  Here is Portia modeling “Weekend in Whistler”

And she has one more outfit available, called Gulf Island Stylin’.  It’s a little crazy, but I like it:

And finally, I took a new group photo of these outstanding Maplelea girls from Canada.  Here are Brianne, Leonie, Jenna, Charlsea, Taryn, Alexi, Saila, and Portia:

For this one, I think you need a link to a larger image

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