Sorry folks, no pictures this weekend. Oh wait, let me grab the camera…

Lots'a lights

I’ll tell the story in a minute.

I was going to say that it was a reasonably quiet weekend, but we kept busy enough. On Saturday, we trundled down to City Square Mall (Cambie & 12th) to catch a free Charlotte Diamond concert. Along the way, we passed a new crane being put up at VGH, and the demolition of the old BC Cancer Agency Building. Aidan loves trucks and construction things (and so does Gwen — funny, I’m the civil engineer) so it was an entertaining walk.

The concert was in the “food court” at the mall (world’s smallest food court, but I digress) and it was packed. Gwen and Aidan squeezed in and I stayed at the back guarding the SUS (Sport Utility Stroller). Aidan had a great time wandering around and seemed to enjoy the first 20 or 30 minutes of children’s songs. Gwen gave him a pretty loose rein, so at one point he even wandered almost right to the stage. It could have been bad … he was eyeing the monitors and mic cords … but some sort of instinct kicked in and he made his way back to mommy.


The concert went on for another 30 minutes, but he got pretty restless. He started wandering away and was more interested in other kids’ strollers and sippy cups than the music. We stayed right until the end, though, when there was a draw for some CDs and DVDs. Wouldn’t you know it, Gwen won a Christmas CD! She didn’t even know she had entered!

That afternoon, Gwen put the lights on the Christmas tree, while I supervised. I believe we had 3 strings of 100 and 3 smaller strings (50? 70?). The last time we put the tree up, we had one fewer string of lights, but ran out before finishing getting them all on, so we had to get another. This year, Gwen ran out of lights about 2/3 of the way up the tree. So what did we do? We went out and bought two more strings of 100 lights. Over a glass of Irish Creme on the rocks, Gwen finished lighting the tree that night after Aidan was put to bed, and we got it decorated too. Now, there’ve been many snarky comments about the lights, so I’ll just let the picture above speak for itself. It’s certainly a well-lit tree, but I don’t think it’s excessive.

Plus, it heats the top floor.

Aidan’s been pretty good with the tree, occassionally pulling some of the ornaments off and bringing them to us, and occassionally saying “Light!” and then going over and warming his hands, but I don’t think it’s been too bad. Certainly, the tree is still standing, and most of the lights and ornaments are still there.

On Sunday evening we went on a sleigh ride, part of Holy Trinity’s Christmas activities. The sleigh ride was actually a horse-drawn carriage ride (seating maybe 20 or 30 people), and it was in Stanley Park. This might surprise you if you know anything about the weather we’ve been having lately. The last windstorm we had (Thursday night) felled over 1000 trees in Stanley Park, and they figure it might be months before they get all the debris cleared. The park was supposedly closed to the public all weekend, but apparently the sleigh ride was to be the first public use since the wind storm, so away we went. Arriving in the park, the road to the stables was blocked by a Vancouver Parks staffer. We were told to loop around by the Aquarium to get to where we needed to go. This seemed incredibly silly since that mean that we were driving over quite a bit of tree debris. In fact, although the western part of the park was nominally open, it was hard to see why. Huge trees were down all over the place, but the road was cleared of most major debris. We arrived at the stables 5 or 10 minutes later, 30 seconds up the road from the Parks worker. The parking lot was mostly being used as a staging lot for the tree moving equipment, but that was fine for Aidan!

Aidan enjoyed the sleigh ride — at least once we got going. He sat quietly for a bit, watching the world go by from the open-sided carriage. We droned Christmas carols, losing the words often since we couldn’t see the song sheets we were given. Aidan picked up during some of the livelier songs, dancing and “singing”. 20 or 30 minutes later it was all over. We got off the carriage and said good bye to the horses. Again, he was interested, but not really enamoured with the horses.

And, although we brought both the camera and video camera, we didn’t use either. Oh well.