Friday, July 11, 2014

An odd dream fulfilled - Spending Canada Day in Canada

After announcing the first stop of the Pacific Northwest Blogathon was Vancouver, I had a few people ask me what most were probably thinking: "Why Canada?"

My first answer was usually "Why not?" but for those who really wanted to know and had the time, I told them this story...

I remember clearly the first time I became aware that Canada Day was an actual thing. I was in high school, planning to meet up with friends to celebrate my birthday. My birthday, June 30th, is immediately followed by Canada Day on July 1st, and that was when we happened to be meeting.

We had plans to head out bowling or something but we decided to first meet up at Frontier Restaurant. While waiting for everyone to get there, I noticed a small band of protestors across the street, waving signs at the passing traffic. On closer inspection, I realized they were protesting against Canada. Their signs read "Down with Canada" and "Fear our neighbors to the north" with crude drawings of maple leaves.

Even though their "Blame Canada" signs were more farce than serious grievance, we still didn't want their nonsense to go unanswered. After all, we had a Canadian amongst our group. Well, half-Canadian at least. (Kathy, I miss you so much.)

So we gathered together, drove over to Walgreens, bought posterboard and markers, and made our own pro-Canada signs. We drove back and set up our own band of sign-wavers and spent the next couple of hours in support of our Canadian neighbors. We had tons of fun doing it, we got plenty of honks, and we we even had some people join our cause.

It was easily one of my most memorable birthday celebrations. We ended up going nowhere else that day. Instead, we headed back into Frontier and spent about $20 on a huge feast for everyone. If you've been to Frontier, you know twenty bucks will stretch pretty far.

Fast forward ten years later to July 1st of 2014. I finally had the opportunity to celebrate Canada Day where it's meant to be celebrated--in Canada. It was pretty much everything I expected. Lots of white and red, lots of Canadian flags, and lots of friendly people.

I watched the parade and fireworks, inviting a couple of Chileans I had just met not even an hour earlier at Samesun Backpackers hostel (great place, btw), and made whole new Canada Day memories.

The majority of my view was cameras and the backs of people's heads.

These little flags were everywhere.

Inexplicably, Darth Vader was there.

There'll be more stories from the Pacific Northwest Blogathon coming soon.

No comments: