Today is Canada Day. Growing up in Ottawa, the capital, had many advantages, especially on Canada Day (as the rest of the country paid for it). In my home we often rode bikes as there is an excellent bike system in the city. One Canada Day my Dad and I got up early and took the bikes out – we returned many hours later and this became our tradition. After we got back then the whole family would go out and celebrate, donned in red and white. One year the Queen came to town, other years we plastered ourselves with free Canada Day tattoos and rode the carousel. We always ended up at our secret fireworks spot at the end of the night!
Later as I got older I appreciated other facets of Canada Day. Friends and I would take the free public transportation in to downtown and go to all the free concerts of Canadian bands, ect. They close off all the streets downtown so its one large street party.
Moving to Alberta I thought nothing would change. ‘Downtown on Canada Day, why?’, my Albertan friends protested. No more free concerts, half hour long firework displays and of course the huge friendly street party. It was really just a day off for them.
I knew that when I married my Spaniard I would have to show him how Canada parties on its birthday so of course I took him to Ottawa before moving back to Spain. He got his picture taken with a mountie, had coffee in the cafe right below Alanis Morisette’s apartment, drank beer in a shady courtyard and had a blast!
Now we are back in Spain and Canadians are few and far between. But I got a text from my Dad today to say he would miss me on his bike ride…
Happy Canada Day