Every year when the Celebration of Light dates are released we say – “let’s take the girls right downtown this year and really experience them up close.” And it sounds like a great plan until we remember that means getting there 5 hours early to secure a spot and fighting crowds of thousands.
Suddenly the great idea doesn’t sound so great and we usually decide to watch from the other side of the water in stead.
This year that all changed thanks to a very kind offer I received at work for 4 tickets to sit in the reserved grandstand seats at English Bay. We could arrive at 9:55pm if we wanted and still have some of the best seats in the house.
It was Disney putting on the show on Saturday and the crowd was expected to be record breaking – we found out later that it was so big they had to close down access to English Bay!
We decided to take the Canada Line downtown and then walk down Robson to fully experience the evening. We stopped for ice cream along the way….
We were in no rush – reserved seats remember? – so it was a lovely little Saturday night stroll…just us and 125,000 of our closest friends.
We got to Denman – which was closed to cars – and walked down the middle of the road pointing out the restaurants we used to frequent when we lived in the area.
Then we detoured down an alley to show them the building where we lived way back before we were even married.
It was very odd walking down that alley where hubby and I had walked so many times before – just the two of us – now each of us holding the hand of one of our daughters.
The view was so familiar and at the same time the memory so distant. We finally made it to the little building with its private courtyard and pointed out the window of the 400 sq. ft bachelor that first daddy lived in and then we both did.
The girls were kind enough to pretend to be really interested when all they wanted was to get to the fireworks already. And so we headed down towards the beach and the huge crowd.
I have to say – walking along that road – so many happy people around us my thoughts turned to the recent events in Nice and how horrific that must have been. I hate that is even something we need to think about but I was on high alert as we walked through the crowd and was definitely holding on a little too tight to my little ones hand.
Finally…we made it to our seats in the YVR observation deck and – oh my god! – the view was amazing!
It was 9:35 so we watched the crowds for a bit, hit up the washroom (no lines!) and then it was show time…
The show was really amazing and it was so much fun to sing along to the Disney songs. Of course, it was over all too quickly and then it was time to face the crowds again and make our way to the Canada Line station to come home. The line at the station was huge – and the girls were exhausted at this point…
Luckily it moved quickly (and very efficiently considering it was transit!) and we were soon on the train coming home. A very enjoyable night behind us and a promise finally fulfilled.
Let’s (maybe) do it again next year…