So we arrived in Vancouver today after 12 hours of travel involving a few ubers, a few taxis, a few airports. Pretty stinking awesome that we can cross a continent in so few hours.
Flying into Vancouver felt like watching Lost or what I imagine going to Hawaii might be like. Look at this place!
And then we get into the airport and it's like a cross between an airport and a natural history museum.
With waterfalls all over the place. Even one running down parallel to the escalators (not pictured because six kids and escalators).
The Customs agent greeted us with a "Bonjour". Raising many questions from the kids who didn't grow up next to Windsor and watching Canadian Sesame Street (CBC, anyone?).
After the 12 hours of traveling we had one last taxi drive which took a WHILE because who knew that Vancouver be a big ol' city?! Third largest in the country and will soon surpass Montreal AND Toronto, according to my taxi driver from Morocco.
Another cool thing about Vancouver is that it's downtown is 80% residential - people are living there. It's so nice to see a city crowded with actual humans forging their life through and with and around each other. We got to forge through a little with them too, actually because all of these 80%-ers were out in the streets for the Canada Day parade which our hotel was smack dab in the middle of. I mean, literally in the middle of. Like, walk out the door wearing a maple leaf or just a little too much red and you will be sailing down the street leading a marching band. So me and my four youngest children and my 15 year old brother in law sat in traffic and then had to hoof it a couple blocks (with 5 pieces of luggage and 6 backpacks) through and with and around all 80% of Canadians celebrating 150 years of togetherness. Even the four year old had to pull double duty.
But after we got settled in the hotel room...
we all agreed that we would go out and see what this parade was all about and try and track down some quick food.
And THAT is how we ended up watching a Canada Day Parade on their 150th anniversary FROM A TIM HORTONS.
No, I am not kidding. This is by far the most Canadian-y I have ever been. It was all kinds of AMAZING.
Here, FOR EXAMPLE, is Captain Canada: I didn't even know that I didn't know that there was a Captain Canada. But now, blessedly, I know.
So we waved flags, we cheered, we caught the tail end of the Mounties,
we ate TimBits and life was good.
Until I let a bit of our typical American malarky spill out.
No child! No! No hitting each other with Canadian flags. Respect the leaf, man. Respect the leaf. The leaf does not do violence. Not on Canada Day.
Don't look at me that way. Put that American-sass right back in your pocket, Shorty.
The night ended with many tears. Because, as John likes to say, if you don't end with tears then you probably didn't get your money's worth.