Sunday, July 1, 2012

royal adventure


This year we will be enjoying a quiet and less "royal inspired" day hanging out in our almost finished backyard.

The playstructure was assembled just in time for long weekend fun!

In the meantime enjoy my updated 2011 Canada Day Royal Adventure Post.....
that was accidentally never posted ;)

Canada Day long weekend we packed up the kids and headed to Ottawa
for one reason and one reason only....
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka William and Kate)!

I will remember it as an incredible day.

Jordan is referring to it as THE GREAT CANADA DAY DEBACLE!

Let me share with you our Royal Adventure/Great Canada Day Debacle.
Jordan's discontent started the night before when heavy (holiday weekend) traffic turned the five hour drive into a more than eight hour drive. It was 1:30 in the morning when we arrived at our downtown hotel, a strategic two minute walk to Parliament Hill. I set my alarm for 5am and headed out with Middle Child in tow.

This is her before 6am bright eyed and bushy-tailed!
William and Kate were not scheduled to arrive until 12:07 but I wanted to ensure we got a good spot. Even at this early hour, hundreds of people had already had the same idea. Nonetheless, knowing I could not line up around the barricades I chose a spot on the grass directly in line with the podium and royal stage.

If you were watching on TV we were situated underneath this sign...
The plan was for the boys to sleep in and meet us late morning, however by 8:30am we were surrounded by a sea of people. I called Jordan and told him that if he didn't leave then he would never find us. At this point Middle Child started complaining she had to go to the bathroom but I reassured her Daddy was on his way and would take her when he arrived.

At 9:20 Jordan called me and said that he had hit a "wall of people" and could not physically get to us. Poor Daddy, he tried and circled Parliament Hill a few times with two boys in a wagon until he gave up and returned to the hotel.

Being on the Hill, this made no sense to me when I had enough room to park the stroller, spread out a picnic blanket and still have plenty of space between us and our Canada Day neighbours. What I did not know at that time was after we arrived Police had barricaded off the entire area for security. I'm glad I was oblivious to this because it would have made me claustrophobic knowing there was no exit (or entrance for that matter!).

Middle Child was becoming more and more vocal about having to pee. So much so that our neighbours to the right (an adult brother and sister and their mother), heard her and generously offered to watch our stuff and (more importantly our prime royal viewing location). The Brother even offered to escort us to the porta-potties. I was very grateful as I would never have found our way back on my own. Got to love Canadians, such warm and generous people!

We came prepared with markers and paper but little else as Daddy was supposed to bring the cooler in the wagon. Middle Child made friends with everyone by drawing them a picture and then introducing herself. After our 6 hours together Miss Social knew every one's name and life story!
It was a beautiful day...sunny, blue skies and hot! This is us around 11am fully melted but still smiling.

When William and Kate arrived the crowd erupted! We could not see them directly, but this picture shows you our proximity to their state landau carriage. I took a picture of their arrival on the jumbo tron (top picture) and then a picture from where we were standing about six rows of people back. See the mountie flags... 

Being vertically challenged, I tend to disappear in a crowd. Unfortunately that also translates into a lot of pictures of people's....

Canada Day celebrations included a deafening 21-gun salute, fly past by two Canadian Forces F18's, a snowbirds demonstration (pictured) and little Maria Aragon from Winnipeg singing the national anthem. Nothing could have topped our royal newlyweds though!

I love this picture with the waving flags...
I was also yelling/squealing so loud,
these pictures make me think they may have heard me...
Isn't Kate gorgeous!
Middle Child was disappointed though when she didn't arrive looking like a disney princess!

We stayed to hear Prince William's speech and then decided to leave to try to beat the crowd. This unfortunately was when I realized we were barricaded in. A police officer directed me to a downhill footpath - which at that time was the only exit off Parliament Hill. Apparantly 20,000 other people had the same idea and I found myself shoulder to shoulder on an incline (meant for 50 people, not thousands) holding back a stroller...desperately trying not to bowl anyone over.
It was a nightmare.

People were so close together, someone accidentally stepped on my beloved MK shoes and tore the foot portion from the sole. I was now hobbling with a broken shoe, trying to hold back a stroller on a steep hill and inevitably tore up my foot.

This is a picture of my foot one year later, with my permanent royal adventure scar. Everytime I look at it though, I smile and am reminded of my up close and personal adventure with William and Kate! 

It took me almost an hour to make it 50 ft down that hill and when I finally did I saw this....

....the 250,000 people on the other side of the barricades that were preventing Daddy and the boys from joining us.

Despite the hours of waiting in crazy heat and an injured foot it will always be a day I shall remember fondly! In Prince William's speech he promised to return to Canada and I promise whenever and wherever that is I will be there too!

Happy Canada Day Canada!