Monday, December 8, 2008
And more parades!
That's Santa climbing to the top of a mast on a sailboat in the Lighted Ships Parade.
And here comes a Lighted Truck! Yes - we made it to both events. After some careful analysis of the truck parade route, I established that the trucks would be rolling through downtown around 7 p.m. - the same time as the boats would be making their way around the Inner Harbour. So around 6.45 pm we headed out in the drizzle and made our way to the harbour, stopping to admire the lights on the Legislature.
There was no sign of the trucks, though the streets were lined with people waiting, so we strolled through the harbour, oohing and aahing at all the boats with Santas and candy canes glowing up their sails. We walked out along Ship's Point, where there was an evening market and carolers singing under a marquee. It was all quite magical - the only thing missing was snow (the white spots on my photos are only raindrops reflecting the flash). A few of us have been experiencing some mild snow withdrawal, but nothing too serious. We soon heard a truck honking a monochromatic Jingle Bells, so we raced back up to street level and made it to the corner of Government and Wharf in time to catch the first truck in the parade. What a parade! My picture doesn't do it justice at all. There must have been a hundred trucks, and they were going along at quite a clip - it is a much speedier parade than the regular one with floats. All sorts of trucks, from Canada Post and Thrifty to antique fire trucks and concrete mixers with strands of lights spinning around their barrels, all honking away merrily. Needless to say, Sam was in heaven - I heard him say something like "I always wanted a truck parade". Dylan exclaimed "Best Parade Ever", and as most of you know, he is not prone to hyperbole. We were standing just opposite Roger's Ice Cream Parlour, so when it ended the children campaigned for hot cocoas/ice cream. These are times when the small city living really pleases me - even though we were on a busy corner following a double header of Christmas merriment, the crowds thinned quickly. There was no bustling or waiting or traffic jams to deal with. You have to love a place where getting your driver's license or passport form processed only takes five minutes. Even the Christmas shopping is less of a mob-scene (but maybe that is more a sign of the times?)
So there you have it. Next up on our social calendar is skating with the Brownie troupe tomorrow night. I'll leave you with one more brief episode in the life of a four-year old (this one goes out to my nephews in Ottawa, who love Sam stories). Last Friday at preschool, Sam and his classmates created little reindeer out of toilet paper rolls, with glued-on paper antlers and googly eyes and a little red pompom for the nose and a little black pompom for the tail. Sam and his buddy charged out of preschool with their reindeer flying through the air, but soon the little red pompom fell off Sam's reindeer. (That non-toxic glue they use is almost useless). I tried to convince him that the nose would be safest put away in my pocket, and we could glue it back on at home, but as you can imagine this logic escaped him, and for a couple of blocks we would walk a few paces, notice that the nose was missing, and then retrace our steps in search of the missing pompom. Finally Sam decide to hold the reindeer sideways, on his back so to speak, letting the nose balance on top. In this manner we made it all the way to the video store, where we had a late DVD to return. We had just made it into the store when Sam held his reindeer up, and in the very instant that the nose began to roll to the floor, a large black dog approached. The next part sort of played out in slow motion as we watched the dog immediately scarf down the red pompom. I was terrified that this would trigger another melt-down, but Sam was just stunned. "WHY that dog want to eat my reindeer's nose?" was the loud and persistent refrain. I had the job of simultaneously trying to answer this question while locating the dog's owner to let them know what had just been ingested (it was the shop owner's dog, and he/she was not present at that moment). We quickly exited the store, and all the way home the refrain continued, regardless of what answer I gave ("the glue must have smelled good", "maybe he thought it was a candy", "maybe he thought you were offering it to him", "dogs just aren't that smart", "it was bad timing on the part of the loose nose" etc, etc.). All of a sudden he stopped walking, and looked at me accusingly and said "WHY you not get my reindeer's nose back for me?" To which I could only respond "WHAT? You wanted me to put my hand inside that big dog's slobbery mouth and try to find it for you? He would have bitten my hand off!" This made him laugh, and he said "You tell Daddy what happened to my reindeer. And the bit about why you not get it back." We got home and found another pompom on one of his sister's dress-up hats, pulled it off the hat and voilà! Rudolph is all better.
Now I'm going to watch some TVA and Radio Canada to find out what happened in the Quebec Election. I could watch the English CBC, but watching Quebec news en français soothes my late-night twinges of homesickness. Plus I get to feel good when they air tomorrow's météo! (Sorry).