Say Something Canadian

While I am away, I am reposting some of my olders blogs from 2010. It is interesting to see where I have come from. This is from /2010/09/29.

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When I travel a strange feeling comes over me. I think that feeling is patriotism. Odd for a Canadian to say that. I think there is a larger patriotic movement happening amongst Canadians since the Winter Olympics. I had it all along we just didn’t talk about it.

As a culture we tend to enjoy self-depreciating humor, apologize a lot,eat weird food and worship the cup that is Lord Stanley’s. My Grandfather, fondly remembered as GP, forced us as young children to sit and listen to long lectures and rants that made us appreciate the fact that we are Canadian. As a family, we celebrated Canada Day, GP called it Dominion Day as was his tradition. Back yard BBQs, Baseball,and Balloons were hung instead of bunting and in the colours of Red, White and …Blue?  Blue? Seriously? We were not Americans. Well, GP’s Dad was an immigrant from the Untied States, came over in a covered wagon – or so the story goes. There have been plenty of stories and who knows what to believe at this point. Still…Blue Balloons? Because the Canadian Flag, Red and White Maple Leaf was not  real flag according to GP. No that would be the Red Ensign. And when I say Ensign I don’t mean the random guy in red on Star Trek who dies in an away mission. I mean the Red Ensign Flag. Red White and Blue because of the British Union Jack.

However, when I travel, I always carry a maple leaf when me because that is how the world sees us. When I was in Kent years ago, we were camping next to a couple who came up to us and said they couldn’t place our accent. It wasn’t American, was it possibly Australian? Nope, Canadian! The woman screamed THE CANADIANS ARE HERE! Wow, talk about a nice welcome! they had us over to their tent for tea and biscuits and she kept saying to me “say something Canadian!!”. Hmm, Canadian…what makes our language distinctly unique? At the time I could give a very good answer. So I asked for another cookie please, and she just about fainted because she thought I was so adorable. Several years later I was in Lake Elsinore in California. I was at the grocery store when the check out girl exclaimed that she had never met a real live Canadian before and said “Say something Canadian!”. Wow, really? So I did my best Bob and Doug MacKenzie and said “How’s it going Eh?”. Then I cracked up and explained that no one says that ever! She said my accent was cute but she was disappointed that I didn’t sound British. That would be because I am Canadian! I am actually Western Canadian. A Proud Prairie Girl. That means I do not speak french nor do I have a french accent. Apparently this was also disappointing. For this trip I decided I need to be prepared! I am going to brush up on my uniquely Canadian language so if I get asked to say something Canadian I will be ready.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 Canadian Vernacular.

  1. Clothing – Toque, parka and mitts with idiot stings.
  2. Food -kubasa, poutine, muktuk, butter tart, bismark and nanaimo bars
  3. Beverages – Canada Dry, two-four, double-double, Newfie Screech
  4. Hockey – dipsy-doodle, road apple, shinny, spinarama
  5. Party – kitchen party, bush party, grad
  6. Cash – Canadian Tire Money, baby bonus, loonie, twonie
  7. Roads – trail, ice road, ice bridge, trunk road
  8. Weather – thunder Shower, wind chill, ice storm
  9. Games-blanket toss, crokinole, high kick
  10. Holidays – Family Day, Heritage Day, Remembrance Day
  11. Song and Dance – Chicken Dance, Butterfly, throat sing, chin music

If you need explanations on any of these terms I would be happy to explain in the most polite way! After all, this Edmonton Tourist needs practice taking risks and bragging about being Canadian.

Cruising with a Side of Sophistication

Way back in the early 80’s when I had big hair, a tail (omg I know…) tight jeans and leg warmers…again – I know…   I would cruise for fun. Living in Sherwood Park – the ‘burb of Edmonton – I can tell you there was not much to do if you didn’t bowl or curl. I did neither unless it was for PhysEd. My friends and I walked endlessly around Sherwood Park. I have never been as fit since those days.

For curiosity sake, I went to map my runs and plotted out our typical route. On an average day we would log 11km. (  <—- see that number? weird isn’t it?) 11km would take us past all the houses that held boys in it that we were hoping to glimpse at. Of course we would DIE if we actually saw or talked to one of these boys. We were much more comfortable talking to strange guys. Not that they were strange and creepy…okay Bob was, but the rest were okay! This is what we did without wheels. No movies, no job, swimming would ruin our hair and makeup and god forbid someone would see us in our bathing suits! OH to look that fabulous now.

Then one day, my sister (ok, she isn’t really MY sister, she is my mom’s sister but we were closer in age and in fact still extremely close) bought a Gold Pontiac Firebird. It was smokin’! She would let us pile in and cruise around. ACTUAL CRUISING! We thought we were all that and more…you know what I mean…

The tunes were cranked, Loverboy Get Lucky blasting out the windows and we would just smile at the boys….. ahhhh good times, good times…

Since my cruising days are over, hard to look cool in a Kia Rondo – Mom car ( in my defense I need the leg and head room for the boy – he is tall and so are his friends and grocery room – teen boys are EATING MACHINES) I have resigned myself to just looking at cars.

I love an Aston Lola, Jag, Beemer or Mercedes. I’m not fussy. I think muscle cars are for middle age men. Women like me need elegance and sophistication. Something that makes my hair and nails look good. Something that shows off my MKors as I slide my legs out of the car. Something that says “she has it all going on”. Kia Rondo says “mom”.

As luck would have it, I was at the Canada Day family festivities yesterday when the chicken needed to be picked up. We have food catered because we are busy people and do not want to spend the day slaving away in the kitchen on our day off – if we had a day off. Lots of us worked on Canada Day. My Sister – who is really my Aunt – T is what I always called her…always. T said to her hubs “take me to pick up the chicken in the Mercedes” pppppppppppprrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

She said Mercedes. T’s brand new car. I could smell the newness from the living room. I said, I’ll go with you. So we grabbed the keys and went.

She showed me all the luciousness outside and inside and all the bits and bobs it can do. She hasn’t figured it all out yet but who cares. The important thing was we had a good hair day going on so we would look FAB.

Proof we were in the car. This thing was awesome. It had 2 sunroofs – front and back. Warning lights to let you know if you are too close to the car in front. Camera and Video screen to see what behind you  – nothing was see?

We took a “wrong turn” and had to go the long way to pick up the food… how disappointing. I checked my self out in every mirror to see how I looked driving in a Mercedes. I looked FABULOUS! I must get myself one. Now before that happens, I need to either stop working in non profit OR Tell George to hurry up and make an honest woman out of me. Stupid Future ex husbands…

Here is the slide show of this cars awesomeness – your welcome.

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How’s it going eh? C eh N eh D eh Deh!

Happy Canada Day! You may not celebrate it in your home country – you should – but it’s okay that you don’t because Canadian’s are understanding like that.

This little nugget was a leaf I found at Vimy ridge in France. There is no other place on Earth that makes me feel more Canadian then there – weird because it is FRANCE, not Canada – but travel will do that to you.

Today is about BBQ’s, family, friends and fireworks. Typically this happens in the sunshine but it is pouring here in Edmonton. I have hope by 4 PM – the sun will be out and the festivities will begin! If not – it will be party inside and that’s cool too.

Part of my role as Tourist is actual travel to other destinations. My Tourist role isn’t all about finding self-awareness. It is also about taking risks and doing new things. Traveling is a part of that. Yet every where I go I come home thankful I was born and raised in Canada. I am trying to instill that feeling into my children. ChatterBox has joined the party. She shows off her love of all things Canadian through her new Photography blog, AwkwardBox Photos. I’m her mom so I am OBVIOUSLY super proud of her work. She is an artist and sees things through a unique eye. Go take a look and subscribe. She is amazing.

Things That are Awesome About being Canadian

  1. Northern Lights are a regular view from my deck at night.
  2. Killer spiders and snakes can’t take the cold so they live in Australia instead.
  3. There is always a Hockey Game on SOMEWHERE.
  4. Some of the world’s best water comes straight from my tap. Clean, fresh, clear and abundant.
  5. Living in an Urban area – the Capital of Alberta, and I can STILL watch wildlife from my deck. I watched a Bald Eagle soar overhead last week and a Red Tail Hawk stopped by for a visit on the deck yesterday.
  6. I can have a White Christmas AND 11:00 PM Sunsets in June
  7. I have a rights and freedoms act that protects everyone, even new immigrants. Respect it, don’t abuse it.
  8. My National Parks are protected from corporate abuse – lets fight to keep it that way.
  9. I live on the second largest landmass in the world. Our population is about 34 million, yet we still are able to stand strong and compete in world competitions and can EXPECT gold medals.
  10. I am 5th generation Canadian and people still ask me what I am and where my people came from.
  11. When I travel, particularly to Europe, people gush and give me the royal treatment because of what the farm boys did 60 years ago. They still remember.

So today is honourary (honor with a U – the Canadian way) Canadian Day. Put on some red and sing with me.

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! Or as my Grandpa would say Happy Dominion Day! He was never big on the new Canadian Maple Leaf flag NOR was he all that thrilled with other eastern Canadian influences which I will not go into here. But let’s just say, he was a proud Canadian and he was a tremendous role model for us whippersnappers when it came to patriotic pride!

For as long as I can remember, our family has had a Canada Day BBQ. It isn’t just for family, often friends of various family members are invited to join in the festivites as well. My Grandparents were often the annual hosts for the events and then we would walk down to watch the fireworks extravaganza down at  the park.

I remember lemonade, ice cream, burgers and hot dogs, potato salad and homemade beans. Often there was a birthday cake and the yard was decorated with Red, White and Blue balloons and streamers. The Blue had nothing to do with our American Neighbors but everything to do with our ties to the UK. The Red Ensign ( Canada’s original flag) held the Union Jack proudly in the upper corner. This is why the blue was present.

Most of us wear Red and White, play baseball or bacci ball. Sit around and tell crazy stories that are too bizarre to be true – yet are. Mostly we laugh. If you know me, you know laughing is my favorite pastime. I learned it from some of the funniest people on the planet, my family. I love my family and Canada Day. It is one of my most favorite holidays.

Today the plan is to laugh, share, play and then walk to the park to hear the musical stylings of Honeymoon Suite then watch the Fireworks. I look forward to this day every year. I invited several friends, but all were skeptical as to how much fun it really is. Trust ME! If I invited you, A> I must really like you and consider you family and B> I hope that you like me enough to be accepted into my family.

I will be tweeting the events today and adding pictures via Plixi. Please share in the fun and join me @EdmontonTourist by following the hash tag #bbqeh! I can’t wait to share the best day of the year with my new friends and family.

Happy Canada Day eh!