The labour day long weekend has
traditionally been a camping weekend but Helen is working this
weekend. The first day of school is only an hour long
(basically attendance and an assembly) so having a parent with
Tuesday off is really handy. That said, it meant I had the
kids for the weekend.
The Taiwanese festival was running downtown. The Taiwanese
festival is really known for the food stalls, but there are some
booths setup for non food items - temples, community
organizations, Taiwanese fruit sellers and more. The kids
found a stall for a dance company that had their masks out.
The kids got a real kick out of trying on the masks.
We went to the food market - it's tricky to get food, feed kids
and take photos all at the same time.
The Vancouver Art Gallery had a temporary
show on about Cabins and their impact on Canadians. I
figured it was worth trying the kids to see if we could safely
spend time in a gallery. The kids did really well - they
were interesting in the models and exhibits and they really wanted
to see the Emily Carr exhibit on the top floor.
Of course more hands on playing would have been appreciated, but
the Vancouver Art Gallery doesn't really target kids.
The difference between August 31st and
September 1st is mostly in your mind - it doesn't suddenly get
colder. I thought it would be fun to take the kids to the
beach for one last run on the sand. I messed up reading the
tide table (got high instead of low), but the kids had fun making
I was really surprised how the beach was completely empty even
though it was actually pretty nice (but not hot) out.
Renfrew Ravine Festival
I have a soft spot for the Renfrew
Ravine Festival. The Lanterns make great photo subjects
and the timing (September) is a great reminder that just
because the summer is over, doesn't mean the fun is
over. We usually have Chinese class on Saturday nights
so we get out of class, eat a quick dinner and then drive over
to catch sunset and the lanterns.
As the sun sets, the lanterns take
over as the primary light source and the tripod becomes a
critical tool. The ravine is lit up with a number of
"installations" - perhaps a lit tree with a performer or a
small cove next to the path with a number of related
lanterns. You can hear the music and drumming of the
lantern procession as it walks down the trail through the
Previous years I have seen beautiful
hand made lanterns. One year there was quite a focus on
the return of the spawning salmon. This year there
was a focus on birds.
After the ravine, there is a performance. The
performance generally has projection screens show basically
shadow puppets and the live performers in front. There
is usually a fire component and the evening finishes with
The fireworks this year were particularly impressive in both
duration and quantity. Their sponsorship must have been
really good this year!
Rock and Mineral Show at Richmond Nature House
We did a rock hunting trip in the summer
so we are now trying to do something with the rocks we
collected. The Richmond Nature house puts on a small "Rock
and Mineral" show in cooperation with the Richmond Gem and Mineral
Society. They had some "cool rocks" and some people making
art with rocks and the kids did really gravitate to the projects
made with rocks.
We have seen the Richmond Nature Park has
been building a new playground for a while and this visit happened
to be the first that the playground is open! The kids were
really excited to go play. The playground has a lot natural
wood and climbing places.
When we got home Claira wanted to work on
her rock tree project. We are using sandpaper to round out
rocks - it's safe for the kids and with really soft rocks (we have
fluorite - hardness 4) they do make good progress.
VanDusen Rock Bridges
We have a seasons pass to VanDusen so
it's easy for us to stop in for an hour to play in the maze and go
find good places to jump. The kids ran through the maze about 6
times, smiling more every time they finished.
The news was going on about the largest
cruise ship to ever dock in Vancouver being in Vancouver.
The Norwegian Bliss is the ship. The kids haven't seen a lot
of cruise ships and I thought it would be fun to go down and look
There were actually three cruise ships tied up to Canada Place and
there wasn't a great spot to get a view of the Norwegian
Bliss. The two Holland America ships were tied up on the
accessible side so it was easy to walk around and see the
ships. Sadly, none of the ships had an open house so we
couldn't see on board. We did see the waiting/process room
for embarkation - there must have been one thousand folding chairs
in neat rows for people to wait in.