BC Day (and the last week)

Happy BC Day! Today British Columbia celebrated 150 years. Of what, I’m not sure. Canada hasn’t even been a country for that long, but the land has been around much longer than that. I think it is 150 years of being a British Colony. Because time begins when Britain makes you a colony.

Enough of that.  Here is my week in review:

Purden Lake, where we stayed the night before driving out to Edmonton from Prince George. Colleen’s sister has a cabin here. Very nice! It would have been ever better had we had time to enjoy the things one can do there, like getting out on the lake! Next time.

On the drive… Mt Robson!

To Edmonton we go for Carlynne’s wonderful wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was lots of fun. I had a great time catching up with people I haven’t seen in at least a year, most more.

I flew back to Victoria from Edmonton because I knew I wouldn’t have time to drive back down to Vancouver and then get over to Victoria to get in the van to drive up to Port Hardy to get back on the boat. Whew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it! This is flying into Vancouver where I had a 2 hour layover. The fact that I had to wait 2 hours wouldn’t have been too bad except for the fact that there were  approximately 5 flights for Victoria that left between the time when I landed and the time my flight was. Why they couldn’t have put me on one of those, I don’t know.  I tried to change my ticket, but I had checked luggage. Speaking of which, Air Canada has gotten even stupider and now charges you if you have more than 1 checked bag. One more good reason to fly WestJet.

Finally, Victoria! I had time last night to set up my new room.  There were a few things I still needed to pick up this morning (like hangers), and there are still a few modifications to be made, but here is where I sleep and hang out when I’m actually in town.  (Janis, if you’re reading this, yes, this is your old room!)

TV room – room you walk into from outside.  Roommate’s TV, not mine. Large collection of DVDs on left, his. Smaller amount on right, mine. The three closest to the middle on each side are the same: Lord of the Rings, Extended Edition. At least we have some similar tastes!

Kitchen, as seen from TV room.

In my celebration of coming home last night, I heard from one of my friends in town and she told me there was a sweet concert going on tonight at the Legislature.  Upon further research, I discovered there were lots of things going on at the Legislature today. So, after doing all the things that needed doing this morning, I headed down for noon to see what was going on. It seems that BC Day is a pretty big deal. Who knew? There were about 8 MPs, an MLA, a mayor, a Premier, and a Prime Minister all sitting up on the stage. I’m not sure why some of them, like Stockwell Day, were there (he needed a party to flash his grin at??), but it was fun none-the-less.  Gordon Campbell spoke first and introduced our mascots for the Olympics. A funny thing happened while he was speaking. A lady got up quite close to the front and started yelling at him for cutting down all of our forests. This old lady sitting near her apparently didn’t appreciate her comments because she got up and tried to slap the yeller. Next thing you know, there’s a full-on slap fight going on between them. It was fairly humorous.  There were a number of protestors who showed up during the speeches, but they, for the most part, got booed into silence by the crowd.

Next, our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, spoke. As bad as his french is, I liked it better when he attempted to speak french because none of the protestors seemed to understand him: they only booed when he spoke English (and I’m pretty sure I was in BC, not Quebec!).

Then, the next thing I knew, the Snowbirds are flying overhead. It was kind of freaky because I’ve never seen them fly that low before. I’ve also never seen them fly over a major city before – only over the prairies or large air fields. I was minorly hyperventilating the whole time. It was strange because they would periodically disappear behind buildings and then they’d come back for a fly over. It was quite a fun show though!

After that excitement, I wandered around town, reacquainting myself with Victoria after a 14 month absence. I got lunch, went in a few shops, visited my favorite coffee shop in town, and eventually parked myself with a book in the rose garden at the Empress.  From there, I could hear the sounds of bands playing at the Legislature – Alex Cuba, Burton Cummings… but I was comfortable in the shade.

I met up with my friend around dinner, we hit up a classic Victoria institution for dinner before heading back to the Legislature to take in the rest of the festivities. There were a couple more people there than there had been in the morning, but we managed to worm our way into the crowd and find decent spots to watch…
Sarah McLaughlan…

…and Feist.

I left before the show was done because today was a long day and the next month is going to be even longer. I head up to Port Hardy tomorrow to rejoin the boat and sail back around to Victoria. I’ll be home sometime around the end of August, beginning of September. Don’t expect to hear too much from me as there isn’t (shock, horror) Internet in the middle of the ocean. I know, its hard to believe. I don’t anticipate much cell reception either. I’m looking forward to getting back on the boat and spending time with some of my favorite people to sail to exotic places with. While this will be no Tahiti or Papua New Guinea, the west coast of the Island is some of the most beautiful and untouched landscape in all of Canada, if not the world. Maybe BC really is The Best Place on Earth.

PS – the concert will be broadcast on CBC on August 30, so you can relive all my fun then!

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