This has certainly been a busy long weekend and we still have one more day! Today started off nicely with everyone getting ready to head over to Nathan and Ada’s to go to the park and ride and head off to the festival.
Actually we parked AT Nathan and Ada’s and then WALKED 8 more blocks to the park and ride. Of course also meeting Chris, Chris and Ted for this mini marathon. But regardless of the walk I (and the boys and Trinity) got our first EVER city bus ride! What an adventure, and even better – the kids were all.. FREE! Bonus!
We managed our bus ride, though Trinity was NOT impressed and cried the whole way. The weather was rather warm when we got to the park and joined the festivities. Luckily we were able to get tickets for food for the people who had been unable to get theirs in advance and then start our wandering. Trinity’s grumpy mood lasted quite a while but a few potatoe pancakes (Ireland) later and her brothers’ sippy cups of water to play with and we were pretty much forgiven, though I think the half a welsh cake (Wales) sealed the deal!
There was tons to see and even more decisions to be made about what to eat. I did manage to get my two DEFINITES on the food list – a beef lemongrass skewer (Vietnam) – a total nom nom nom as Ken would say (he tried mine and then had to go stand in line and get his own), and a can of Pop direct from England (a sweet fruity one). Ken also had $2.00 in his pocket that he gave to me to get some candy at the England pavillion. I got a little bag of aniseed candies (that only Zander managed to finish his) and a bag of barley sweets I have yet to try.
There was lots to see activity wise too. The Ireland pavilion had dancers. The girls were just too cute with their bouncing curls and green dresses and HUGE smiles. I had to stop and take a picture or two!
The Chinese area had some dancers too… my favourite were the little girls with fans. A very greaveful and beautiful dance. The boys liked the giant “dragon balloon” behind them more though.
Another area had dragons. I think it was Borneo. I love watching the dragon dances. We only caught the tail end but the costumes were so bright and colourful.
The Arab pavilion was by far the most creative. The boys even wanted to go in and peek around. You could, for a fee, get your picture taken in traditional outfits and everything! Maybe next year?
At the Thailand stage there were quite a few dancers who even braved the rain to do their pieces. The costumes were absolutely gorgeous! And their food mmm. Ken got their curry and I got pad thai noodles. Both were excellent though the boys absolutely loved the noodles with the peanut sauce! I am so proud of how many new things they tried today! And how they walked so far and braved the rain!
The England area also had a town crier AND Morris dancers! I had read about them but never seen them before. I didn’t get a picture but the German area had a man playing an accordian and quite a few other pavillions had dancers or singers. Truly TONS to see and try.
I have to say by the time we were done… around 2pm everyone was pretty well done in. There had been some rain (explaining my umbrella that so does NOT match my shirt!) and sun and tons of fun.
There were also a lot of people in costumes wandering while not at their areas. One of my favourites were these two ladies in Japanese clothing.
Oh and I can’t forget this sign… for some reason many of the people in our group snickered at it??? Can you figure out why?
Ken used the last of our tickets to get a couple items at the Zimbabwe pavilion and we headed back to the bus. It was at the bus that Trinity FINALLY fell asleep for a few minutes. And then we had to walk BACK the 8 blocks! But it was so worth it! (I even made the treck up to the 4th floor to see Nathan and Ada’s apartment… rather nice place!)
Now for our bit of surprise news – Our lovely Miss Esther is heading off on her very own adventure on the 12th of this month! She is gone for A YEAR to Grenada to get her masters! Of course with such short notice we are a bit frustrated in our lack of ability to give her a proper send off but are VERY thankful she managed to come see us and say some good byes.
With Karyn here I as usual got quite a few pictures, my favourite being this one of the Esther and Karyn together!
Ted came over after he and Ken ran to Ikea to get a slip cover (Ted’s dad is going to be in Edmonton tomorrow for 2 weeks! First time he has seen his day – who is from Ethiopia – in about 5 yrs!). So I got this gem as well…
Of course Ken had to get HIS picture with his beloved sister. I am sure he is going to miss her as much as we are as these two are truly kindred spirits.
Don’t forget the boys! Aunty Esther is a GREAT favourite. They had to get in their moments with her and of course a pose or two for the camera.
Trinity was being her usual grumpy self so I held her and we got her a picture with her God-Mommy Esther anyway. I am hoping that by the time Esther gets back (all educated and nicely tanned) Trinity will be more than willing to sit and chatter along. As it is she amazed her Esther by running around like a big girl!
Just a half a day with our Esther before she left but it was SO worth it! A year is quite the time to be apart BUT as Esther says it goes by fast AND she has promised to do things like write, take pictures, Skype and maybe even use a webcam so we will be kept in the loop! I have not shed my tears yet but I will… and I have to admit am bursting with pride that she is taking this chance and going on her Great Adventure! Good luck Esther we are rooting for you!