Hello friends! Yesterday was Canada Day (like Independence Day in the US) – so I had the whole day off from work to get into some fun and celebrate in Canadian style.
Sadly, the hubby had to go in to work, so I started off the day with a trip to Tim Hortons (iconic Canadian fare) for breakfast. I grabbed some sandwiches and hash browns for the team, then snuck in a Timbit (or two!) and coffee for me.
As it was a BEAUTIFUL day outside, I joined some friends in the late morning to “Float down the Bow” – a.k.a. float down the Bow River. We left one vehicle near our stopping point, then drove the other up to Sandy Beach Park. We inflated our raft, donned our life vests, grabbed our snacks and water, and jumped in! We were originally told it could take us two hours, but I guess the river was flowing good…because it took us just over an hour. And although it only lasted an hour, it was a blast!!! We were in awe of the huge and glamorous homes along the riverfront, and were kept entertained by the many cute mama and baby ducks skimming the surface of the refreshingly cool water. And I can now scratch off another item from my Unique Canadian Food list – Ketchup Chips! (Only in Canada.) And yes, they literally taste like you dipped your Lays chips into Ketchup. A bit tangy at first…but after a few, I couldn’t stop eating them!!! The three of us devoured the whole bag like it was candy. After rafting, we stopped by a local hot-spot along 17th Ave, National Beerhall, for a sweet summer treat – Strawberry Lemonade with bourbon. YUM!
I then headed back home for a quick shower and change of clothes, and since it was only 4 pm, decided to head up to Eau Claire to experience some of the evening Canada Day festivities. There was food trucks, live music, entertainers, and LOTS of people. I decided that I just could not leave without a food truck dinner. I really, really, really wanted a Canadian staple (and one of my all-time favorite foods!) – Mac ‘n’ Cheese – so I ended up waiting in line for just over an hour to experience “Reel” Mac and Cheese: Slumdog Millionaire. It was absolutely delish! I took a few pics of the park areas, but it can best be described as a fun family atmosphere, much like you would see on Labor Day or July 4th in the States: picnics, Frisbee, face painting, dogs in the water….a truly wonderful day.
Before heading home, I checked my phone to see what else was going on in the area, and discovered that Chinatown was holding its own festivities. As it was only a few more blocks away, I meandered my way through the crowds and the streets to check it out. Chinatown is always fun to experience, as it feels like you are transported into a new country! The streets are filled with Chinese writing, restaurants, architectural designs – lanterns act as street lights – and the sidewalks are lined with Chinese trinkets! I took a few pics, stopped to listen to some traditional music, then finally made my way back to the office to pick the hubby up from his very long day at work. When I looked at the time, I was surprised to find that I had been wandering the streets for 3 hours – I guess I was having so much fun that I lost track of time!!!
Fireworks were scheduled for 10:45 pm – but I was one tired pup by days end. Needless to say, I fell asleep fast, and didn’t even wake up with the booms! Oh well, I’m sure it was beautiful. And I’m sure I will more than make up for fireworks during the upcoming Stampede!
I hope my fellow Canadians had a wonderful Canada Day!!! I am proud to have been a part of the cultural experiences!