Vs. tourism challenge- days 19 + 22, Mother’s Day and BC Politics

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums and mother figures out there.  While I was unable to spend the day with my own mother, I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with her mother (and sister).  From Anne came Susan, Angela and Ian. My grandmother Anne came over from Scotland on a work-travel visa in her early twenties.  After some time she decided that Canada was the place for her.  It’s funny, every time I see her these days I get a little bit more out of her about those days, why and how she decided to stay in a country where her only family here were some cousins and aunts and uncles, leaving her sisters and mother back in Scotland. She loves Canada.  I remember asking her once a few years ago if she’d ever consider moving back to Scotland- to be with her sister, to which she exclaimed “No! This, Canada is my home.”

She talks about the cultural mosaic of Canada, and how everyone here is so different [“thank god!”] and it’s one of the reasons she loves it.  Of course, she recognizes things are changing.  She lived here back in the cultural mosaic boom.  She talks about Trudeau (senior), and I think it’s incredible that in her lifetime she has experienced such a political and economic shift, yet here we are, back with a Trudeau.  I think we  have a similarly confusing, and mixed emotion relationship with politics.  Angie, Anne and I sat in the car yesterday, glossing over the recent BC Provincial Election results.

I said something to the effect of  “Could we have had a more ‘Canadian’ election result?”, referring to the fact that the Liberals, NDP and Greens all claimed some sort of a victory after last week’s ballot count.  We’ve got the Liberals currently sitting with minority power and the NDP and Greens with some major negotiation power.  However, it’s still too soon to tell what the actual result might be with recounts for at least two ridings in the province. We chattered about the future of BC Politics.  We agreed that we struggled with this election.  How could we vote for the BC Liberals with their current leader?  But then there’s the NDP, who have a tricky track record in BC.  Do we vote strategically to try and overthrow the BC Libs?  Only to put another questionable party in power?  And what about the Greens, they still don’t have the influence nor reach that could put them in power.  And to be completely candid, the Green Party definitely doesn’t appeal to a great number of voters and their interests.

At this point, my grandmother perks up and says, “well, I voted Green.  I really liked the candidate in my riding”.  I grinned at this.  My grandmother, a proud Liberal (federal) supporter, nearing eighty, voted Green.  I quickly replied that I had gone into my polling station planning to vote NDP, and came out having voted Green.  Angie then perks up that she too, had in fact voted for her Green candidate.  Tickled.  The three of us don’t spend a lot of time together, and we hadn’t talked about the election during the lead up, yet we all voted for the same party.  Something about family.

We all proudly stated our votes, despite the fact that the NDP won in all three of our ridings (still kind of interesting for me, I’ve never lived in a riding that hadn’t voted in a Liberal candidate).

We spent a little time in the car yesterday, talking politics while we drove around unnamed (6)Richmond to collect more stamps for the Tourism Challenge.  We are past the half-way mark here!  Our first stop was Lulu Island Winery were at 10am we did a (free) tasting!  Anne and I tested a few different wines, while Angie just smelled them (she’s on a cleanse).  I can’t possibly think of a better way to start my Saturday.  The girl who was helping us out was very friendly and knowledgeable. She also let us do the tasting an hour early (they start the tastings at 11am). On our way out, about twenty to thirty tourists swarm the winery.  We  hop in the car and head to Steveston.


Steveston is probably my favourite place on this earth.  I remember going there as a kid with my dad’s parents. Down to the boats that dock and sell all varieties of sea creatures.  I remember walking out at Garry Point, through the little seaside village and on the boardwalk.  Hearing the gulls cry out.  The time a dog chased me down and tackled me. That was fun.

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One thing I’d never checked out in the area was the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.  Ok, sounds unnamed (5)maybe kind of lame, a cannery museum, but it actually has a pretty neat history.  The old cannery has been turned into a museum, outlining the canning process from catching the fish and bringing them in the back door of the building, cleaning and processing it for the canning line of production, finishing with canned fish at the end.  They have preserved many of the original pieces of equipment along the line of production and also have an area on fish, and sea-life preservation and conservation.  FYI, if you ever get a chance to check it out, bring a jacket and maybe some gloves, it is notoriously chilly (we could see our breaths).


Final stop on the tourism challenge- The Richmond Olympic Oval! But, wait! Kass, don’t you work there? And what could there possibly be to see there other than some ice rinks, basketball courts and fitness area!?  That’s what I would have thought too, however there’s this pretty nifty thing there, the Richmond Olympic Experience (ROX for short).  It’s an Olympic Legacy Museum (one of the only ones currently in North America), that overlooks the Oval’s two ice rinks and connects with the Legacy Lounge.

I had no idea this place existed before I worked there.  As a part of my on-boarding I got a tour of the museum in my first week, and is a stop on the tourism challenge.  This place has medals and torches on display from past Olympic Games.  It’s also super interactive, with simulators for sit-skiing, ski jump, kayaking, bobsledding, and a race car.  It has agility games and high jump video playback to compare your highest jump to the world records.  Also on display are original equipment and uniforms for Canadian Olympic Teams.  There are touch-screens everywhere, giving information on past results and newsworthy items.  In the theatre (yes there is also a theatre here), they show a short movie called “Pursuit of a Dream”, which I have now seen twice and teared up both times.  It reinforces my pride in the work I do and have done for the industry I am in, and proud to have had the opportunity to be involved in sport as both a competitor, coach, coordinator and official.

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Earlier in the week I was able to connect with my old high school friend, Jenny.  We’ve known each other almost ten years, but for the last eight we’ve lived in different cities. She’s one of the hardest working and kindest individuals I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet.  She’s been a dedicated student, but always makes time for fun and me, whenever I visited.  We went for dinner, talked and walked down to the Vancouver Lookout.  She’d never been in all her years living in Vancouver.  We went on a particularly gloomy evening, so, while we missed what  I imagine would be a spectacular sun-set from above the buildings, we ended up with a clear view of Vancouver and its neighborhoods. We walked around the viewing deck, pointing out buildings we recognized and tried to figure out which way Main St was, where the Olympic Village was and gazing across the harbor at the mountains and bridge to North Vancouver.  As darkness fell upon the city, the lights became little beacons, reaching out and connecting with the rays from other nearby lights resulting in a lovely glow outlining the buildings.

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I am feeling pretty grateful these days, to have the opportunity to try out all these great activities.  Summer is around the corner and I’m enjoying this send off to winter!


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