So there I was sitting on my couch getting ready to watch a whole marathon of one of my favorite shows "Burn Notice" when I received a phone call from my favorite wee man.
"Hi Nanna, its me Xavier. Um, I was um, wondering if you would um, like to take us to the fireworks. Dad's still on crutches and can't go so mom said you might take us. Is that ok? We can come early and play at your house."
How is a Nannagramma supposed to say no to that? "But of course. Pack your bags and be ready in 2 hours and ya'll can sleep over".
I pushed my lazy ass off the couch and got dressed. I picked the wee ones up and we came back to my house to play lacross, dress-up, monopoly and play-doh. After dinner, we set off to walk to the train station to make our way downtown for the Canada Day fireworks at Canada Place. So did 200,000 other people.
We wandered around and found what we thought was a pretty good spot to set up our wee portable stools. We waited. The children got hungry while we waited some more. The wind kicked up off the water and the kids got hungrier. Even though we had a big dinner prior to leaving the house, the idea of being so close to the ice cream and popcorn vendors got their tummy's growling. We ate ice cream and popcorn while huddled together as the night got colder. FINALLY - the fireworks began.....behind us on the otherside of the building. However, we did manage to catch anything that was up high.
Lexi had to pee. RIGHT NOW NANNA! There were no washrooms as I ran helter skelter through the throng trying to beg and cajole shop vendors into letting her use the facilities. Finally a woman in a souvenir shop let her use the staff washroom when Lex started to cry. I told her she should have started crying earlier.
When we entered the fray again Rae said she wanted to go home. She was tired and cold. We saw exactly 3 minutes of fireworks as we made our way to the train station. Moving through the mob was difficult and Xavier hurt his leg and was limping along. By the time we made it to Waterfront train station the fireworks were over and the body of people was moving enmasse around us. As we approached the front door of the station we were stopped and told the station was closed and we would have to back-track 8 blocks to the other station. The roads were also blocked so our bus option became confusing. Where were we to catch it now if we couldn't make it to the train station? I had an idea. Ok, perhaps not my brightest but it seemed simply brilliant at the time.
It was now just after 11pm and the city was crowded. The other side of the street, one block down, the buses were still running. I thought "what we if hopped on our bus going in the opposite direction and then ride it all the way around?" This will allow us to avoid fighting the mob in an effort to try to figure out where the other bus stops were re-located to and the kids would be able to sit and get warm. Needless to say, I was pretty proud of myself as our bus came pretty quickly.
We were at the back of the bus chatting and watching the people on the streets. We headed farther away from our intended desitination but I was not worried as I knew it would make the loop and take us home to within 2 blocks of my house. Then is happened. I felt it first - the engine stopped running. Then the driver came back and I realized we were the only ones left on the bus. "Where are you people headed?", the bus driver asked. "False creek - 6th and Heather please", I responded. "Well, ma'am, you need to get off the bus." he said. "WHAT??? It is 11:30pm and the kids just want to go home. What do you mean we have to get off the bus?" "Well, ma'am, I am actually heading into the yard and going home myself so you will have to wait for the next bus." I responded with, "Well, first of all, quit calling me ma'am. And secondly, I want you to call mission control and ensure that another bus will be coming and when it will be here. I have no idea where we are and there is no one else around and so help me, if you leave us stranded here I will make it my mission in life to hunt you down and ensure that even your family dog pays for making me miserable."
He called mission control. Another bus was to be by - the last of the night - in 11 minutes. The kids and I waited, alone and in the dark, playing "jump off the bus stop bench until someone gets hurt" for another 25 minutes. Everyone was real cheery by then. Suffice to say, we wandered through the front door of the house at 12:30am. Rae summed up the evening with "well, that was certainly an interesting adventure I never want to do again. Can we watch cartoons now?"
I returned the children to the parents at 3pm the following afternoon after first being woken at 8am by having a play-doh ice cream sundae shoved in my face followed by a trip to the movie theatre to watch Madagascar 3 (great movie by the way). The kids were nice and cranky by the time I dropped them off.
To end on an up beat, this afternoon at exactly 3pm, my cell phone rang and I looked down to see who was on call display. To my surprise I see it is Panagopolous pizza. My first thought is "holy crap, they are calling to confirm my order since someone obviously stole my information and is ordering pizza." Imagine my surprise when instead I hear " Good Afternoon, this is Panago pizza calling. We noticed that we have not heard from you in quite awhile and we are wondering if we have done something to cause you to discontinue using our service. We would like to make up for any issues that may have caused you to discontinue ordering pizza from Panago by offering you a $10 gift certificate to use the next time you call. We look forward to hearing from you."
Gotta say, that has never happened before. Also brought to my attention that I now know the real reason for my winter weight gain - obviously I was ordering a lot of pizza. What a great marketing idea. I can hardly wait to hear from Las Vegas. I can imagine the call - "Hello, this is Las Vegas calling. We noticed that you have not enjoyed our unique deposit service in quite sometime. We would love for you to return and enjoy the many benefits of always knowing where your money is going. Here is $25 towards your first $100 deposit at our craps table." I would be on the next flight - if only to re-visit my last deposit.
Stay tuned. I am sure as the summer warms up, so will my life.