Canadian flags flying in the wind, Vancouver, Canada
Today has been a gorgeous day! The weather couldn't have been more perfect: mid-70s, clear skies, and a light breeze all made for open windows and comfortable relaxing on a holiday afternoon. This morning, I picked up the children Beth is caring for this week and brought them to our home for the day. We went to the North Shore Canada Day Parade, which was a fun experience for all of us. I believe that part of reaching our community includes getting out into our community, and things like parades are perfect for getting out and meeting our neighbors. I even have visions of participating in the parade next year! We could have a "float," throw candy, and hand out tracts and balloons on the sidelines, or we could have a concession stand to give out free water along with tracts. Anyway, the parade lasted about 1 1/2 hours and included area businesses, various military units, the police and fire departments, of course, the mayor of North Van on one of those Segway motorized thingies, several ethnic organizations . . . everything that makes up North Vancouver. There were some "religious" organizations represented, such as The Knights of Columbus and the Shriners, but no churches were in the parade.
One way, among many, that Canada is different than the US is that the various ethnic groups retain their heritage and cultural groups in this country much more so than in the US, where everyone is encouraged to become a part of the melting pot. I really enjoy meeting people from various countries and learning about their cultures; that's not something that was common in the places I lived in the US, where I rarely met someone from another country. Besides Mexico when we lived in Texas, of course!
After the parade, we walked back home. The beginning of the parade route was about 12 blocks away from our house, so we just walked down and back. Although the weather was perfect, the sun was still strong, so I wore sunblock (I've learned my lesson more than once with my fair skin!). Then my left eye started watering, and where I kept wiping the tears away, I have a spot that is burned! LOL I am sunburned in one spot on my face! I now have thousands of freckles showing themselves on my arms once again. Anyway, back home we grilled burgers and hot dogs and had a good lunch. The kids have been playing on the Wii and playing Dutch Blitz this afternoon while I've been reading.
I was going to take the kids home about now, but there is a "police incident" on the bridge closest to us that runs from North Vancouver over the harbor into Vancouver. This is a common enough thing to happen here. Someone will be on the bridge for some reason or other - maybe to jump off or to demonstrate against something or other - and it'll usually get the bridge shut down. We only have two bridges off the North Shore, so when one is closed down, the other one gets overloaded and traffic snarls, which is exactly what has happened today. The incident today started at 1:00 this afternoon, and it's still not over yet. All we know is that police are dealing with a "very distraught woman." So here everyone sits. If this were not a holiday, traffic would be far worse - hate-to-think-how-bad worse! One morning there were demonstrators on both bridges during rush hour - absolutely horrible! All that to say I won't be taking the kids home till the bridge is open again, and we don't know when that will be.
Vancouver has The Burrard Inlet Fireworks Show planned for tonight at 10:30. They park two barges in the inlet and set off fireworks from the water - easy viewing from both shores! I'm hoping I'll still be awake enough to go out and watch it. I think I mentioned last week that we should be able to see it from our front balcony. I love fireworks!
So that's our day. It's been a good one. I hope yours was too. And if you're Canadian . . . Happy Canada Day! We love your country!