Sunday, August 31, 2008

Week in Regina

Our first week of vacation was a week in Regina, Saskatchewan. It is the capital city, and its about 100 years old. I don't have any touristy photos, because we've been there before, and we're kind of allergic to most tourist attractions. So I have no photos of the lovely mature trees along the road or the provincial parliment buildings, but I do have lots of photos of the parks. We went to lots of parks.

The highlight was the end of the week when we went to the folk festival. It takes place in Victoria park, which is nice and small. There were four stages during the day (which were free) and tons of variety on the mainstage at night. We saw everything from fusion / world music to Winnipeg folk/rock band the Weakerthans to Canadian soul singer Jully Black. It was a great weekend. I was especially excited to see Final Fantasy (AKA Owen Pallett) -- he composes these violin pieces where he loops himself singing tenor and playing keyboard as well as playing beautiful etherial violin. He was a bit quirky as a performer, even though he's a very talented musician. I would imagine he's a bit like Glenn Gould, though -- better to hear recorded than live. He kept making little side comments about things that weren't working while he was performing, which sort of ruined it. But later in the week, when he was just being Owen Pallett instead of Final Fantasy he was quite an interesting guy -- sort of like someone I would have hung out with in highschool, I think. I also really enjoyed Great Lake Swimmers. They have a really great sound. The boys really liked Old Man Luedecke (who is a year younger than me -- 31) and his banjo playing. I thought it was kind of ironic becuase he kept playing this song making fun of the company that created Round Up, not really realizing (or perhaps not really caring) that he was in the centre of Round up ready Canola land. He was really interesting, too. Again, the sort of person Dave and I usually end up hanging out with.

Strangely that was one of my epiphanies during this week. I realized that I've always tended to hang out with the odd, interesting people wherever I've been. The people who think a bit too much to be practical or see the world in a bit of a unique, creative way. There's nothing wrong with this, it just makes it a bit hard for me to find friends in a place that hails practicality and level headedness more than introspection and creativity.

We also got together with the Snooks, who used to work a few hours away. This was a great visit -- I hadn't really got to know them before this. We had some really great conversations and I really enjoyed our day with them.

Our biggest adventure was the rain storm. It seems we can't get through a Regina Folk Festival without a rain storm. The storm came on Sunday afternoon. It was the kind of storm where you could feel the pressure drop in your sinuses as it started to roll into Regina. If we had been out of town (its super flat in Regina) we would have seen the clouds blowing in. As it was, we could watch them slowly looming over the festival grounds. We packed everything up in the wagon and high tailed it out of there to our car just as the rain poured down. I seriously haven't seen rain like this since last year's folk festival. Before that, probably not since I left the West Coast. It poured. We took the boys to Chapters and out for supper to Wendys, then went back to our tent with every intention of putting the boys to sleep. There was one problem, however:

See that shadow all around the bottom of our tent? That would be the small lake our tent was swimmming in. Although it hadn't taken in much water, I was a bit nervous about putting the pressure of all our bodies in it -- I was worried that would cause the water to start to seep through. So we thought maybe we could afford one more hotel stay, and drove down the road to a seedy hotel on the edge of town. But after looking at the place, Dave decided against it and started driving across town. As we drove, hoping to put the boys to sleep or figure out what to do, we drove past the festival grounds. And do you know what we heard? Music. We rolled down our window and discovered that the festival was on. The musicians were playing! So in short order we made a plan: Dave ran out and set up our little two man tent we had bought for the boys to sleep in during the night at the folk festival. We rushed the boys and a few blankets into the festival grounds under a tarp and the boys and I snuck into the tent and listened to music. Dave went back to our tent, borrowed a shovel and dug a little drainage ditch (the woman at the desk at the campsite gave him a trowel instead of a shovel, so it was a very LITTLE ditch) to divert water away from our tent, and changed into dry clothes. Then he came back to the festival grounds, by which time the boys were asleep in the tent and we listened to the rest of the music! It was really magical. The park was dark and wet and half-empty. But people were there -- sitting in their chairs holding umberellas, walking around wearing garbage bags, wrapping tarps around their chairs to make little tents and basically doing what they could to stick around and listen to the music. And of course, the musicians loved this and so they played their hearts out. It was a great show. We only caught the last two acts -- Abigain Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet, who played fusion string quartet / asian inspired music, and Michael Franti and Spearhead who played Regae. It was a great time, and we were so glad we were creative and optimistic and found a happy solution instead of giving in to the circumstances that surrounded us. I was just thinking that this is the way I want to live my whole life -- overcoming the circumstances I find myself in rather than giving in to them in defeat.

After that Dave had to spend most of the next day moving out tent and drying out our stuff so that we didn't appear at our friends' house in Regina and take their house over by hanging up sleeping bags and tents everywhere. While Dave was doing that, the boys and I were doing this:

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Do you want to know what I get a good giggle out of? As different as we are, we are too much alike...Elijah has those shark boots too, this is not the first time I've spotted one of your boys having the same clothingish item as mine :o)