Today was the annual "Hats off Day" in the part of Burnaby we live in. Our neck of the woods is the north part of Burnaby, and the stretch of Hastings that runs through it is called "The Heights". Once a year, the merchants and restaurants in The Heights join together to put on a huge street festival as a thank you for the business they receive during the year. It's kind of huge. And everyone you know is out on the street feeling pretty naughty for strolling down the middle of Hastings like you own it.
The day started out cloudy. The forecast called for a mix of sun and cloud. We were optimistic. We were also a bit deluded.
The parade got things going early this morning.
There were cops on motorcycles....
....and Mounties marching too.
There were also little martial arts kids kicking pads and wood while they walked....
...and Vikings playing instruments.
There were also friends. That was the best part.
Sasha's friend Heloise and her dad joined us for the second half of the parade.
It's always more fun if you have a friend close by.
I let my little (gigantic amazon-like) bird out of the nest today and said she could do the whole Hats Off thing with her friends on her own. That didn't stop us from spying on her and her friends during the day.
We found some more friends as we walked. My friend Karyne's family has the world's most obedient and lovable dog, Lexie. Yes, that's right - you are hearing me speak lovingly of an animal. I'm telling you, Lexie is special. She does the trails with me and Karyne every week and listens like no dog I've ever seen. Mind you, I'd listen too if Karyne told me to do something.
Here I am displaying my love for Lexie by actually holding her.
I know, I was surprised too.
Sasha decided to follow suite.
You would have too if you'd have been there.
Here is one of Lexie's owners - Ellie's special friend Anna.
One of my favorite parts of the day is (of course) the food! The Heights has a huge Italian community, and there is lots of Italian sausage to be had as you stroll down the street. This deli also had some Italian musicians singing "That's Amore". It was a bit of a perfect corner.
A little further down we even ran into my favorite buddy, Ava.
We go way back.
I've known her since her very first days and I'm pretty sure she really likes me too.
Shortly after lunch the rain began. And did it rain. Not sprinkles, not light drips, but a huge down pour complete with thunder and lightening. We found a dry haven to try to wait it out, but when it looked like we'd be waiting a long time we threw caution to the wind and ran home and got drenched.
That's what memories are made of.