Friday, July 01, 2005

Canada Day Adventures

They're shooting off fireworks now over at the Cloverdale fairgrounds, near where they have the rodeo every year. It's really too bad as Michael had been hoping all day to see them. I told him at bedtime that it was too overcast and they wouldn't be doing them tonight because no one would be able to enjoy the fireworks because the clouds were too low. I was right, at the time, but between then and now, the clouds dissipated enough that they decided to go on with the show anyhow.

Canada Day 2005
A photo-set by Allan & Cheryl.

This year, instead of running away to the woods where people would NOT be, we decided to not be curmudgeons and headed over to our local airport where the city was holding their annual Canada Day celebrations. We've driven past in other years, so had a vague idea that there would be carnival rides, a midway of some sort, and food. What we found when we arrived was that there was a lot more going on as well.

The minute we got through admissions, which was by donation, the kids saw a carousel and immediately pestered us into letting them ride it. Melissa, Michael, and Madeleine were all pretty excited about being on the 'horsies' while the ride was moving, but as soon as the music stopped and the other children started leaving, Madeleine got upset and started to cry.

Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

The company I work for also had a booth this year, so we stopped in to say hello to Bob, our owner. He was pretty excited about having the company participate this year because he had already run into a few people who did not know that a high-tech company like ours was in the area. He had given his business card to a number of IT professionals who were interested in coming to work for us instead of commuting 90 minutes into the city. The other thing he said was that working the Canada celebration was far more fun than doing the usual trade shows because they didn't have any neat activities.

We soon found out what he meant by neat activities. A local llama farm had brought some of their llamas and vicunas for kids to pet. We passed the Kiwanis booth and they gave the kids balloons. There were at least two of the local gymnastics schools there, with trampolines, tumbling mats, and students doing demonstrations. There was a portable rock climbing wall (that you can rent for functions!) brought by one of the indoor climbing wall businesses. Another local business had set up a mini-golf course to play. Save-On-Foods, a regional grocery store chain, was running a hotdog BBQ. The local fire department a couple of fire trucks on display for the kids to investigate. The Search and Rescue team was next to them as well.

Madeleine in the firetruck
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

In addition to being the traditional site for the town's annual Canada Day party, the Langley Regional Airport is also home to the Canadian Museum of Flight (direct website link) and a small airshow that is held at the same time as the July 1 holiday. Michael was magnetized by all the small aircraft on static display - especially by the RC model aircraft. Before the main airshow, they did a mini-airshow with the RC models. We saw an RC Heli that was being run by someone who knew their stuff. I've never seen a chopper (RC or otherwise) fly upside down, climb, and kick over into a dive - while staying upside down.

Unknown Aircraft - Well, it's not an aviation mystery. It's just unknown to us. AviatorDave is going to have to help us get these planes identified as I don't have any guides on hand to help figure out what they are so I can label them correctly.
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

The museum had a CF-104 Starfighter on static display - and they were letting people sit in the cockpit. Michael immediately decided that he wasn't going anywhere until he had done so. It ended up that his mother took his sisters off while he and I waited in the long line-up until he had got his shot at sitting in the cockpit of a real airplane.

Michael in the cockpit - He was advised by the crew who were supervising, "don't touch anything yellow!"
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

We had arrived at noon, had walked until we were hungry, ate some lunch, looked at the displays, and walked around some more. At that point the kids said, "We want to go on the rides!" So we divvied up the tickets we had bought earlier (you know how this works - admission is free, but everything in the place runs on the internal currency represented by the tickets) and let the kids know that they were on a budget. They looked around and Michael and Madeleine decided to go on the Titanic Slide. We waited through a long-ish queue and when we got to the front it turned out that Madeleine did not make the 42" height restriction. She was mildly crushed, but perked up again when we said we would take her on the kiddie train ride.

Michael on the slide - this was a giant inflated slide which was mocked up like a sinking Titanic
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

While Michael was taking his turns on the slide, I took the twins in the stroller and Madeleine with me to get into line at the Go-Gator ride - which was a very tame kiddie coaster. After looking at the octopus ride (which was far too intidating) and the kiddie train (which was as exciting as dandruff), Melissa had decided that this was the ride she would blow her tickets on. Madeleine, of course, agreed. When Cheryl caught up with us in the queue Maribeth had fallen asleep, so we decided to give the twins' tickets to Michael so he could ride the 'Gator with his sisters.

Melissa and Madeleine on the 'Gator
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

After the thrill of the 'Gator, the kids were just about broke, so they opted to spent the last of their scrip on ice-cream. After obtaining the cold treats we found our way to some tables and finished up some of the sandwiches we had brought. Madeleine started to get cranky at that point, so we decided to call it a day.

Antique Car
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

It was on our way out of the airport proper that I noticed all the antique and classic cars which were leaving too and only then discovered that there had been a carshow on site too! Oh well, we'll just have to wait until next year.

The After shot
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

1 comment:

LarryandJean said...

Days like this surely showcase the advantages of having your children so close together. It looks like you're beginning to reap rewards from all that hard work! :-)