It has become our family tradition in the past few years to spend Canada Day (July 1st) in beautiful Saint Andrew's by the Sea. It's such a beautiful seaside town, so warm and inviting to tourists, and they really do Canada Day up right. It's one of the big highlights of our summers.
Settle in, we had a full day and this is going to be a long post!
We got away a little late this year, by the time I got the picnic lunch packed and all our things together. Finally, we arrived!
Ok, so maybe they don't look super excited, and the Boy didn't even want to stand still for a photo, but it's just because they're tired of holding still and ready to explore. (And Sweetpea says the sun was in her eyes.)
Eventually everyone had sheets for the town-wide scavenger hunt and it was time to play.
We went around collecting clues and occasionally splitting up (somehow the Princess got last year's sheet, so a few of the clues were different) until it was time for the children's races. Here's the Boy:
The reward for participation is a voucher for a free hot dog lunch up at the Legion, so we went to collect. We had to hustle; it was a few blocks away and the parade was starting shortly. This guy wanted to go before his sisters had even run their heats.
We got back and got settled in for the parade. By this time the sun had come out BIG TIME and we were caught with no sunblock. It had been drizzling and overcast when we left home and the forecast was for cloud and rain. The meterologists got it wrong!
Waiting was almost as fun as the parade. Lots of people (and pets) showing their Canadian pride!
That's right, Scouts Canada not only lets in gays, it also lets in GIRLS. Screening for leaders, but no discrimination. At all. Back when I was in High School my friends and I actually had an all-girl Rover Crew. It was incredibly fun. We went on trips with other (male) troops. The world did not end, nor were there any shenanigans. This troop was headed for the big jamboree in Alberta this summer.
Moving on, I thought this group in their kilts was so fun, especially that little guy on the tandem bike. Oh for cute!
When the parade had ended we wandered the Market for a bit. We said hello to our friends from The Warrington Farm, the delightful and always smiling Krysta from Morning Sun Pottery, and enjoyed the new offerings this year. There was a wood-fired pizza truck that had the most delicous looking fare, and a Crepes truck too. Line-ups were crazy and there was no way we could get close. We didn't stop to photograph much, but I did snap a shot of a very talented musician.
Speaking of musicians, there was a group playing in Sheriff Andrew's house. With that and the trifle being served it was a happy little kitchen party and I could have stayed all day. Sadly my children weren't feeling the same; once they'd finished eating they were off for more exploring.
Our next stop was the All Saints Church up the street. Inside the church are several treasures, including a coat of arms of William and Mary, carved in wood and brought to St. Andrews by Loyalists from Wallingford, Connecticut. It was also a stop on a Canadian tour by Charles and Diana. And there's this beautiful Union Jack;
I also love the stained glass in this church. It's beautiful, and it has some of my more favourite stories...
Next stop was the Ross Museum, where the kids did crafts on the lawn while the adults enjoyed some really fantastic music. I'm still kind of kicking myself for not buying one of this girl's CDs. She had a really lovely voice!
Finally it was feeling like suppertime, so we went up to the blockhouse to change into warm clothes, park the car, and have a picnic. The kids had some fun playing on the cannons and rolling down the lawn as we watched the tide and the clouds roll in.
When we'd played for a while we decided to walk into town to kill some time. We browsed the storefronts, bought some glowsticks at the dollar store, and went to the very awesome children's playground. At the playground it started raining, but the kids didn't seem to care. We wandered back to the blockhouse again to claim our spot for the fireworks, wondering the entire time if there would BE any fireworks. I sat on the picnic blanket in my rain gear and read a book while the youngest two huddled under blankets and raincoats until they fell asleep. The Princess and Hubby read books in the car. Just as the sun set it stopped raining and the fireworks were able to go forward. It took until about half way through the show to wake the Boy up enough to watch though!
Happy Birthday Canada! We love you!