Canada Day

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
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Trip End Sep 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Zuckerman House
What I did
Steveston Salmon Festival and Canada Day Parade

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Sunday, July 1, 2012

We woke on time and, according to Fiona, we were to be out the door by 9:15am in order to make it outside of Vancouver and to the Steveston Salmon Festival and Parade which ran every year in order to celebrate Canada Day; Canadian Independence Day. True to form, all 8 of us were loaded up into Odie and out the door by 9:17, no small feat considering the number of children which we had to organise and coats and shoes and socks and drink bottles and....Nevertheless, true to the compelling form of our hosts and their organisational ability and planning, (all this, despite professing a clear desire to "take it as it comes") we were parked, walked about a mile down the street and just as we got to the main drag, the first float was about to come by and we found some seats on the side of the road right where we arrived. Fantastic!!!! For the next two hours we watched and clapped and cheered while float after float and organisation after organisation went walking past. There were constant calls of "Happy Canada Day!" ringing out all around us, lots of rub-on tattoos, candies, Canadian Flag pins, flyers, pamphlets, candy, pencils, etc... were handed out to the kids and adults that were lining the parade route. Everyone was dressed in red and white, there were flags on every person, house, car and street throughout the area where we were, and no doubt, throughout Canada. It was neat to be in a different country as their national pride was on display. Vancouver also has a very large Asian population so there were lots of people and dancers in traditional costumes and playing traditional music scattered through the parade. The other dominant theme was of course hockey!!!! I was amazed at the number of men, women and children who had Canadian Ice Hockey Jerseys on.
After watching the parade go past and allowing the children to stuff their pockets with goodies we walked down the parade route towards what made this particular celebration special: The Salmon Bake. We found some good seats near the children's playground and while Jess kept an eye on all four kids, Ben, Fiona and Tim went out to round up some food from the various purveyors and food merchants throughout the park. Soon, hot dogs were rounded up for the kids, a pulled pork sandwich for Fiona, a veggie burger for Jess and Ben waited in the very long line and brought back two salmon dinners. This was an impressive sight as it was prepared on several hundred feet of open charcoal barbecues and all that could be seen from behind the barricades was hundreds of orange and pink half fishes being charred and cooked to perfection. After we all ate lunch the plan was to let the kids play for a little while before we rounded them up to finish exploring the festival. This was when the "accident" happened.....
Poor Lucas was playing with a ball he had garnered from the parade and when he spun around to catch it, he tripped and hit his (we first thought nose and later realised head) on the side of a wooden train that kids were playing on. First there were screams of pain, then the nose swelled and then it started to bleed. Tim went to find an icepack and on the way found the St John Paramedics who offered to come and take a look. By this time, Lucas was lying down on his Dad's lap and seeming quite lethargic. The paramedics pronounced him 'ok', but we decided to head for home as he was clearly in a bit of discomfort. From here, his symptoms continued to get worse and he got more and mor lethargic and sleepy. He was carried partway by Ben but got too heavy and Tim ran back to get the car. By the time the group was reunited, Lucas was lying on the ground and the bicycling paramedics had been waved down and the advice was to take him to hospital. What ensued was a very long 45 minutes as we fought traffic, strove to keep Lucas awake and we all attempted to keep our anxiety levels down. Halfway to the hospital, the hot dog lunch came back up and we had to drive with the windows open........Fiona and Lucas went into the hospital, Ben dropped the Heidmanns and Felix at home and went back to the hospital with a change of clothes for Lucas and to wait with Fiona. Tim and Jess played with the kids, cooked a roast chicken for dinner and waited for news from the hospital. When it came, after waiting to be seen for a long time due to the other emergencies that had come in, it was all good!!!!! Lucas was fine, his nose wasn't broken, he had a minor brain trauma and had to take it easy for 24 hours. We were reunited before 8pm for a lovely dinner and soon the kids went off to bed and we kicked back with a couple of cocktails to finish the stress of the day. It was a crazy day: from celebrating Canada Day to worrying about Lucas to the relief of knowing he was ok. But, all ended well and we are looking forward to a less dramatic day tomorrow.
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