Monday, May 24, 2010

I Love a Parade

Oh yes, I do. And today was Victoria Day here in Victoria, so to the parade we went. Along with 65,000 other people, it is said.

Parade attendance involves strategy – where to park? Where to sit? Fortunately this town doesn’t get up very early and we were able to whistle on down to the View Street parkade, get settled on Douglas Street and get the all important breakfast in hand well before the parade showed up.

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Growing up in Calgary, where attendance at the Stampede Parade is practically mandatory I have certain expectations regarding parades. There should be horses. And pipers. And lots of audience participation. Things are different here. Light on horses, heavy on pipers, and needing serious encouragement for the audience participation part. Wilf has gotten used to me hollering and clapping and whoohooing and no longer pretends that he doesn’t know me.

As I mentioned, the parade is woefully light on horses. There were only three. But three beauties they were:

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They were part of the Victoria Fire Department Historical Society  display.

Of course, being lacking in the horse department meant that we were sadly deficient in the cowboy department, too.

But pipers and pipe bands – there were lots. Between the military and the American High School bands were were well taken care of:

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We had saucy sailor girls:

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and the kids from Reynolds High, on of our local schoolsMay 24 2010 023

Once the parade was over we had a little lunch in the sun on Government Street, enjoyed some gelato while watching the people go by and went to see the newest sculpture in town – topiary Orcas!

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Tourists in our own town!

Monday, May 3, 2010

2010 Times-Colonist 10k

Last year I got it into my head to enter the Times-Colonist 10k road race, as a walker. I signed up for a event preparation clinic through our local recreation centre, did the training and then did the race. It was great fun – I finished in 1hr35min. It was a great experience all around. In the Fall I entered the Royal Victoria Half Marathon as a walker, which was also great.

At some point along the way Wilf said the fatal words ‘If you can do it, so can I’. Uh-huh. And soon enough we were both signed up for the 2010 race and training clinics. And again, all went well. Some sort of miracle came to pass and for 14 Sunday mornings in a row we went for our walk with the clinic participants – and it didn’t rain! A few times it started as soon as we finished our cool down stretches, and one morning we left the house in the pouring rain, but it stopped by the time we got to Greenglade school. Race day was cool, lightly overcast – no  rain!

And here we are:

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With over 13,000 registered participants this is the second largest 10k in Canada  - second only to the Vancouver Sun Run (with 60,000 participants). In the above pictures we were just moving into position for the walker’s start. The runners had already gone and we moving from our corral to the start line itself.

We tried to catch a picture along the way on Dallas Road – what you can’t really see is the line of people in blue shirts stretching off as far as we could see.

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And then, after 1hr38min:


I’m clutching my chocolate milk and oranges – and amazingly enough we found Mom and Dad in the post race melee!

Other pictures are over here and here.

So – 2011 anyone?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I can see for miles and miles and miles and…..

Last month we were in Winnipeg. Usually our concern is whether or not we’ll run into winter and freeze to death. Living in lotus land means we’ve totally lost our acclimatization for winter. Turned out not to be a problem this time around. In fact, it was warmer in Winnipeg than it was in Victoria. In fact, it was 23 degrees. I mean – really? That’s a really nice summer day out here.

The good folks of Winnipeg were cavorting in shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. And, while I applaud their desire to enjoy the warm weather, there’s one thing. There wasn’t a speck of green. Not a blade of grass. Not a bud open on a tree. They had vaulted straight from winter to summer temps without pausing for spring. The roads hadn’t even been swept of the dust and gravel.

From the 8th floor, Portage and Sherbrook, looking south:

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Looking southwest:

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If it weren’t for those pesky Rocky Mountains we might have been able to see all the way back to Vancouver Island.

We had a great visit with Wilf’s Mom, got her taxes sorted, ate at Stella's and then headed back to the green and flowery West Coast.