Victoria Day Weekend

May 20, 2008 at 7:44 am (Other) (, , , , , )

With me only working two 2.5-hour shifts this weekend, Stephen staying home Friday morning, and today being Victoria Day, it’s as if we’ve just had a four-day weekend!  

Friday, I unfortunately had a demo at 2, but the weather was absolutely gorgeous and it was the first truly hot day of the year, so Stephen spent the morning with Eleanor and I.  Normally, we would have gone to the tot gym and hung out with friends, maybe gone to the grocery store and ridden the mall pony… Instead, we thought, “It’s duck-feeding weather!”  Of course, we didn’t see the Please Do Not Feed Wildlife sign until our last piece of bread had been decimated by the angry Canada goose.  (Recently returned from his travels South, he wasn’t as polite as I’ve come to expect of most Canadians.)  

This was at Queen Elizabeth Park.  We then walked the meandering paths looking for Totoros and ended up at the top of the hill where there is a conservatory, fountains, and viewing areas.  The views, I have to say, were a little disappointing, as the beaches and most of the city were obscured by trees and the North Shore mountains from so much pollen in the air.

A quick jaunt back down and we were back at our old haunt: Main and 32nd, the little dive we called home for all of three months, having been forced to move due to a pregnancy and an idiot.  Didn’t know it at the time, but there existed all along this amazing Vietnamese, French Bread sandwich shop for which Stephen only recently read a review.  Lately, I’ve found a new love in Vietnamese food (in part thanks to the take-out place down the street from where we now live).  Then we rushed home for me to go to work…

The next day was opening day for the local Farmers’ Markets.  Saturday is the East Van Market at Trout Lake, a comfortable biking distance if you avoid the Mosaic route with the killer hill.  When we arrived, we had to walk our bikes a good 100 ft. down the lane to find an opening to chain them up.  I love how bike-friendly this town is!  Anyway, the crowd was a little intense: the line for tomatoes was 20 ft. long and it took almost 30 minutes to get Eleanor’s face painted, but at least it wasn’t raining and someone was playing gamelan music!  After a tiring bike ride home, I planted the rosemary and sage in the garden and Eleanor played with the neighbor’s son in their sprinkler and kiddie pool.  Also, we got to meet the brand new baby that was just born to our upstairs neighbor.  Now, I want another one!  Dinner that night was wild-caught salmon (the only salmon), local potatoes and a salad of fresh field greens with dried peppers and a touch too much olive oil.  Hehe.

Sunday… We never have so much time together in a weekend, by the way… Sunday, I did have to work, but again, it was only a 2.5-hour shift, so we had all morning together and I got home around 5, just in time for a BBQ.  First off, we went for bagels at a place with a “Don’t Kvetsch, Be Happy!” sign next to the till.  Yummy, albeit not what I ordered.  A long walk led us even further south and east than the old apartment–to the cemetary and Fraser St.  A walk north long Fraser revealed an ethically-diverse business district where there happened to be hiding away exactly what I’d been hoping to find for some time: a large fish store with an amazing selection of fish and equipment at reasonable prices!  I was so excited, I started fantasizing about my next tank set-up (moss wall, for sure).  A brisk walk home left me out of breath, rushing out the door to yet another shortened demo (yay!).  When I returned, Stephen was setting up the BBQ (grill, for the Americans) so that we could BBQ (cook out of doors, for the Americans).  The smell of the neighborhood on the walk home from the store that evening revealed that we were taking part in a city-wide celebration of the coming dry season: the first BBQ of the year.  

Today, day four of this unusually-long-weekend, was Victoria Day, an event for which I hardly noticed any fanfare, not even a great-than-average number of store closings (for a Monday).  As the day progressed, my confidence that it was indeed a statutory holiday that I was getting paid for began to wane, to the point that Stephen had to ask a store clerk, presumably a Canadian for whom Victoria Day might mean something.  Her response: “Um, yeah, isn’t it?”  Anyway, it was raining.  We appeased Eleanor’s two-year-old desire to spill juice on a restaurant floor by taking her to The Pancake Store (a.k.a. White Spot) for breakfast.  When we got home, we cleaned the house from top to bottom–even the mold that grows on the underside of the toilet tank from clinging condensation.  Oh, and in between rain showers, we took long walks and breathed the smell of clean flowers… 

The days are already so long I put Eleanor to bed with light still clinging to the edges of her blinds, and as the weather warms up, I look forward to many more such perfect weekends.   

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